ready for the storm


We’ve not had our usual winter here in New England: very little cold or snow. Seems that’s about to change. A Nor’easter is blowing in tomorrow. By Sunday afternoon we could have about a foot and a half of snow on the ground and I will be out shoveling the driveway.

Though the mild days have been nice, there’s an air of disappointment, too. Surviving the long winter is part of what distinguishes us as New Englanders. We were ready and have not been put to the test. I feel like I worked hard to get ready for the big game and have done nothing but sit on the bench. We need cold and snow — piles of it — so we can name the storm and tell the stories and call out to each other as we clear our driveways and then go into warm fires.

As Dougie MacLean says, I am ready for the storm.

Part of being ready is having what I need to make the food that warms us as well.

So here’s a recipe for “Open-faced Chicken Pot Pie.

The great thing about the recipe is — though I have given you a specific list of ingredients — you can add or take away whatever you want. Ginger is not much for carrots, so, when I don’t feel like watching her pick them out, I leave them out. Broccoli works well in the mix also. Try sweet potatoes instead of the white ones. You get the idea.

Since our house sits in a wind tunnel between the beach and the marsh, the storm will swirl around us, making the house whistle. Since our house is a converted summer home, the windows do a little whistling of their own as they let in some of the cold air. We wrap up in our quilts, the schnauzers turn into little donuts that smell like corn chips, and — despite all of the inconvenience — we are still captured by the magic and wonder of the white stuff stacking up in the yard.



  1. Just wanted to say again that I’m glad you’re here. I love your imagery. My dog smells like corn chips sometimes, too. Why is that? (I don’t give him corn chips to eat – so that isn’t the answer.)

    It’s cold here in Dallas now, but not the fun kind. The wet, rainy, muddy, windy kind.

    By the way, got any good chicken and dumplings recipes? My husband loves this, but I fail miserably at the dumplings part. Chicken and Dumplings is always a good cold weather meal.


  2. We’re supposed to get 4-6 inches here. That probably makes us wimps in comparison to where you are. But it still sounds like a good time to see if this recipe will keep body and soul warm. I’m going to try it. That means *I* will cook it. Not my wife and not my daughter. I’ll give you my verdict Monday. Stay warm and safe.

  3. Great timing with the recipe Milton! The cousins just left and I have leftovers! The north woods of Michigan have been milder than usual – only 6 inches of ice on the lake. The sun is shining today but the air is crunchy cold and there is the smell of snow in the air – Happy Nor’easter!

  4. You know, if you want more of a winter challenge, you are more than welcome to come shovel our driveway! 🙂 We’ve gotten several inches, but I really can’t tell exactly how much because the wind is blowing so hard, everything is in drifts.

    Hope you are staying warm and snuggly 🙂

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