Monday, February 18, 2008

More Snow

It snowed over the weekend...and snowed...and snowed. I woke up yesterday to the pitter patter of tiny ice pellets hitting the window. I'd slept through the worst part of the storm, about a half inch or inch of freezing rain that coated everything. After that came almost nine inches of snow.

Snow is bad enough, but freezing rain is the absolute worst. It breaks branches off trees, brings down power lines and makes the roads really slippery. It clogs up my failing gutters. And if it really rains hard, it floods my basement.

We've gotten a lot of snow this year. I didn't realize how much until I saw an article in the local newspaper saying that we were officially in the third snowiest winter ever recorded for the area. And we are only three inches away from the all time record, set in in the winter of 1958-59.

I wish that the poor weather had held off one more year. The house is not in good shape to deal with it. We will be replacing the roof and the gutters next summer, and if the weather could have just held off one more year, the house would be in a much better position to deal with it. We've noticed some leaks in the attic and I'll be heading up there tonight with a flashlight to make sure that there are not torrents up there. We've become resigned to keeping buckets up there.

We also went out on Saturday and found a really cool store. We stopped into a place called The Olive Cellar. Generally I'm not a big olive fan. But there are a few kinds that I really do like, and it's not the crummy green ones with little red pimentos stuffed in them. So I was excited to see a store that might carry a wider selection of olives, maybe somebody who supplies the olive bars at the more upscale grocery stores.

I was extremely surprised when we walked in and there was not an olive to be seen anywhere in the place. Just lots and lots of two foot high, stainless steel urns. They looked a bit like coffee urns and there were probably around fifty of them. Each had a little spigot and small ounce or half ounce plastic sample cups, like the ones that liquor stores hand out with samples of wine. It turns out that the place sold olive oil and vinegar. That was their focus.

They had olive oils from all over the world, including Italy, Greece, Spain, and Australia. They had olive oils infused with basil or garlic or porcini mushrooms. They had spicy olive oils and mild olive oils. It boggled my mind. And then there were all the vinegars - pear vinegar, white vinegars, pomegranate vinegar, fig vinegar and so on.

And they encouraged you to taste the vinegars and the olive oils with little sample cups. We were there late in the day, so we couldn't stay long because the girls hadn't had a nap, so we cut or stay short and bought a bottle of their number one selling olive oil (garlic infused) and their number one vinegar (18 year balsamic vinegar). The vinegar is up there with fine scotches. It is unbelievable - tangy and sweet. Worth every penny. That night we went home and had homemade bread with olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. I'm smiling just thinking about it.

The Olive Cellar is the kind of place where Ms. Huis and I took sample sips of things, looked at each other and said, "This would be perfect with that strawberry orange desert." or "This would be perfect with the pasta dish that has those mushrooms." Absolutely divine.

I hope the place stays in business. It's a fabulous resource. Take a look if you get time.

Oh, and guess what the weather is doing right now? Yup, it's snowing. Today may be the day we break the record.


Allknowingjen said...

What a cool store- it sounds like it's on par with the mustard museum! :)
Also, I wanted to let you know that I saw "bespoke" printed in the Sunday paper this week.

Mary Beth said...

My brother got me infused olive oils for Christmas - one with garlic, one with lemon and one with orange. They are so yummy! The citrus ones make a great, light dressing for pasta!

Mr. Kluges said...

There was a news story last week on WPR on the mustard museum. Hoping to get there someday.