Much to our astonishment, Whidbey Island enjoyed a white Christmas this year. With snow in the forecast, we still couldn't believe our eyes when the snow came tumbling down on Christmas morning. And it continued all day and most of Boxing Day leaving a good few inches on the ground.
With temperatures in the 20s all week, the snow seems to be here to stay - creating all sorts of driving challenges on an island with only 2 or 3 snow ploughs. It's not surprising that Island County officials are encouraging inexperienced drivers or those without snow-appropriate vehicles to stay at home as much as possible.
But, we islanders are making the most of this unexpected treat. Kids are sledding on hillsides, people are bundling up and going for beach walks and the brave are venturing out in their 4-wheel drive vehicles. Others are enjoying the snowy landscape from inside their warm and cozy homes.
We are enjoying some cross country skiing from our house and Mollie is taking every opportunity to do her trademark bunny hops in the snow. We are also doing some baking. Janinne made muesli rusks for the first time. Similar to biscotti in the sense that it is first baked then dried, the rusk, a traditional baked good that is designed to be dipped in coffee or tea, is is full of fiber-rich bran, seeds, and nuts.
Jean-Michel is perfecting the art of rough puff pastry. He is already very proficient at pate brisse (or shortcrust pastry) but had never tried his hand at puff. Our waistlines are not thanking him but our tastebuds are ecstatic. Using his pastry, we have made the most delicious Christmas mince pies and sausage rolls with a South African twist.
Unfortunately, snow on the ground creates obstacles and challenges for some Whidbey Island residents. People dependent on public transit find it hard to access grocery stores etc. That's why we are thankful for the incredibly kind people at Whidbey Island Angels for the work they do to support our community. Not only do they have a food pantry, but they also put out calls for assistance via their Facebook page which gives others the opportunity to lend a hand to those in need.
With love from Whidbey Island
Janinne, Jean-Michel and Mollie
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