Home Life-Premium Baby, it’s cold outside! Or is it?

Baby, it’s cold outside! Or is it?

Tina Specht

Lately, it seems the first half of the week is cold and then the last half you can wear shorts. So I guess you have to keep several different things in your car and just be prepared. 

I know now that I have lost a lot of weight. I am mostly cold all the time.  So shorts aren’t a thing for me. Couple that with the fact that I am whiter than winter — no one needs to see that mess.

With this weather the way it is, people I know have taken ill. I have been down and out twice this year, and I never get sick.  

I shouldn’t get sick with all the vitamins I take. I guess I need to play outside a bit more like we did growing up.  

As you all know, I am from Maine and the winters are cold and long. Real long. I moved away from there 27 years ago and I have never looked back.  

I hated living in the south at first. At the time, I was living in Florida. And, before you say “Florida?”  It wasn’t the glamorous part of Florida.  

After moving here, I fell in love with this “big town” and wouldn’t have it any other way.  I say “big town” because the town I am from had 5,000 people and even less now. So, moving here, I hit the big leagues.

Winters growing up were a lot of fun.  We were always snowmobiling, skiing, or sledding.  I do miss the snowmobiling and sledding a lot.  

Remember, I came from a big family and we would ride for miles. When you come from a big family, that means you have lots of cousins. So we were always out building forts, having snowball fights and whatever else you can do in the snow.  

The winters were cold though. When the wind chill factor got to 75 below zero, you just didn’t go outside. It was way too cold.  

There were times we would get snowed in for days. It is crazy to even think about this now. I couldn’t go back to live there. I have gotten spoiled and don’t like that kind of cold. I will never forget where I came from and go back often but my home is where my husband and kids are, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Cabbage, Sausage and Potato Soup 

INGREDIENTS

1 pound kielbasa sausage*, sliced into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 medium leeks, sliced into ⅛ inch rounds, white and pale green parts only

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 small green cabbage, chopped into bite-sized pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 pound red potatoes, diced

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Add sausage to a large stockpot and cook over medium-heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring and flipping occasionally, until the sausage is lightly browned.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a separate plate, and set aside.

Add the olive oil, leeks, carrots, and celery to the pan, and stir to combine.  Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then add the cabbage and garlic, and sauté for 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock, potatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, cooked sausage, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked and tender.  Taste and season with a few generous pinches of salt and black pepper as needed.  (Also, depending on how seasoned your sausage is, feel free to stir in an extra few teaspoons of Italian seasoning if you think it needs some extra flavor.  A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes will also help bring out the flavors.)