Monday, December 15, 2008

North Cascades Highway Closed (for the Season)

Washington DOT decided to keep the North Cascades Highway closed until spring. I kinda figured that would happen. Oh well, better safe than sorry, even if I dislike traveling US 2 across the mountains.

I signed up for alerts from the DOT so I've been getting email updates about Stevens Pass approximately every 4 hours. This may be handy info to have available later so we can check pass conditions before crossing.

We were talking about going over to the cabin after Christmas. If the weather doesn't warm up a bit, we may just stay home. With no insulation in the cabin, I don't think the woodstove and heater can keep up with the cold temps. Just the 4 days at the cabin over Thanksgiving made the electric bill jump. I'd rather take that money and use it towards getting other things done at the cabin - like insulation, at least for the ceiling. I wish we could insulate the whole thing, but the rough-in plumbing and electric have to be finished and inspected first.

It is in the mid 20's at home this evening. Karl took the dogs out after work today and we think it was too frickin' cold for Buddy. Karl said the dog was walking sort of funny and then just toppled over on his side like he was having a seizure. Karl quickly hustled him inside to the warmth and he seems fine now. He was only outside for a few minutes and our guess is that he couldn't handle the freezing weather. We'll have to remember to put the dogs' sweaters on before they go outside. At least for the next few days. Buddy is a California boy and is not used to this kind of weather. Maybe he needs doggy boots for his feet, too. I may check at Petco tomorrow for some. Haha!

I tried a new recipe for a Sausage & Potato soup last night for dinner. To sum it up - deeelish! We're having leftovers for dinner tonight.

Here's the recipe:

4 red potatoes, cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 - 14 oz can low sodium beef broth
1 - 14 oz can low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
3/4 lb turkey sausage or kielbasa, cut into 1/2" slices
1 can condensed cream of chicken or cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk (optional)
2 tbsp corn starch (optional)
Ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, combine potatoes, onion, celery, beef
broth, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and
simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Stir in sausage and
condensed soup and continue to simmer until heated through and slightly
thickened. For thicker soup, mix corn starch with milk. Add to soup and continue to simmer until heated through. Season with pepper. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

This is a perfect soup for a cold winter day.

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