Margaret Button: Snow: If you can't beat it, just eat it

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The past week brought to mind the winters of my childhood, where the snow piles were way over my head (OK, I was a lot shorter back then ...) and a heavy snowstorm brought not only a day off from school, but a day of sledding.

Back then, school closings were announced by the city's fire alarm system, which usually went off daily at 8 a.m. and at 2 p.m. on Fridays, but if it went off at 7:45 a.m. (if I remember rightly), there was no school. Which was ironic because by 8:30 a.m., all the kids in the neighborhood were at the school, anyway, to go sledding.

My childhood neighborhood in North Adams no longer exists — except as the campus of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. I estimate our house was where the Amsler Campus Center is today. There was a terraced lawn behind the college's Murdock Hall with three or four bankings in it. Let me tell you, there was no joy among the neighborhood's younger residents when construction on Venable Hall began and the terraces were leveled.

The subsequent sledding spot was a good-sized hill that ran from Mark Hopkins School (now MCLA'S Mark Hopkins Hall) down to Montana Street. We would take our sleds, saucers, jack jumpers (which I never had because my mom was convinced it was a death machine) and even pieces of cardboard to slide down the hill over and over and over again ... until out faces were beet red from the cold and our feet and hands were frozen. We would then all trundle home for hot cocoa.

And speaking of feet, the boots of the day were rubber overshoes that slipped on over our shoes — and I use the word "slipped" quite liberally. I remember Mom huffing and puffing, pushing and pulling on my boots to get them on. The moms of that day and age had a solution to that dilemma — put plastic bread wrappers or waxed paper over and under our shoes to make them slide into the boots easier. Not only did Wonder Bread "help build strong bodies 12 ways," its bags saved our moms from having a heart attack while pulling on our boots.

A Berkshire Eagle reader shared the web link to today's recipe with staff writer Jenn Smith, who forwarded it to me. I haven't tried it, but I love the blogger's note at the end!


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