Tales From A Hungry Life

February 23, 2015

12 Wonderful Things About Winter

Get your key lime pie here!

I miss you already, Kermit of Kermit’s Key Lime Pies!

I just got back from a much-needed vacation in Key West. Yes, the land of blue skies, blazing sunshine, and parties day and night. I’m home now, and I keep wondering…why exactly did I come back?

While I was gone, my family and friends kept sending me weather reports. “It’s snowing AGAIN,” or “It’s 1 degree here. I hope you’re having fun.” I think I was supposed to feel guilty, but I didn’t. For two whole days, I remembered what it was like to feel sunshine on my face and not live in fear of snowflakes falling out of the sky.

Such a troublemaker

Such a troublemaker

Before you start playing the world’s smallest violin for me, let me just say that it wasn’t all a beach party. While we were there, Key West had their coldest day EVER. That’s right, as in since the dawn of time, or at least since they started keeping records about these things. It was 48 degrees with 20-30 mph winds–and the “conchs” (Key West talk for natives) told us that there was even a wind chill! The former records were smashed to smithereens in the few days we were there.



However, since it was 3 degrees the morning we left for our pilgrimage to the Conch Republic, 48 degrees felt downright balmy. We were the ones wearing shorts, eating all the Cuban Mix sandwiches and Key Lime Pie we could lay our hands on, and generally having a great time.

Now that we’re back, I keep trying to think of some good things about winter. There are those who say that negativity takes years off your life…although I bet most of them are sitting on a beach, sucking down a daiquiri.

It helps if you drink up

It helps if you drink up

But in the interest of remaining upbeat and channeling the Dali Lama, or at least the fun children’s book, Is Your Mama a Llama?, here is my list of the 12 Most Wonderful Things About Winter. Are you ready? Let’s go.

12. The oven heats up your house, so baking is mandatory



11. No one ever says, “it’s too cold to eat such a heavy dinner.”

10. Four layers of clothing plus gloves, a face mask, and a parka hide a multitude of sins

9. Numbness in fingers and toes means you can stop shoveling and go inside

8. Sliding on ice give you a chance to work on your balance and juggling skills

Think happy thoughts

Think happy thoughts

7. It’s nearly impossible to get sunburned during a blizzard

6. Unwanted guests rarely drop by to use your pool

5. Mothers who say, “stop making that face or it will freeze that way” are finally right

4. You’d rather go to work than sit on the beach

He looks like I feel

He looks like I feel

3. Your upper body strength has increased 10,000 fold thanks to all that shoveling

2. You no longer envy Boston for any reason

1. No one says, “how can you sit inside and watch that boob tube all day long?”

Recent selfie

Recent selfie

I could probably think of more, but I’d better get some rest. While it’s not snowing now, I’m sure it will be in the next day or two. I need to lay down and get ready for the next round of shoveling, digging my car out of the frozen tundra, and cracking icicle tears off my face.

Recipes: Comfort Foods

If you had to choose your favorite comfort food, what would it be? I asked this question of several people and got some very different answers. I asked my husband, daughters, friends, and my dog (she hasn’t answered me yet). So, here are some of the results from my very unscientific poll:



Beef Stew

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Tetrazzini

Mac and Cheese

Shepherd’s Pie


Chicken Soup

Chicken and Dumplings

Baked Ziti

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Check out these 101 Best Classic Comfort Food Recipes that I found on Southern Living. They include Shrimp and Grits, Italian Pot Roast, Old Fashioned Meat Loaf, Praline Pull Apart Bread, Strawberry Shortcake, and more. These are all wonderful ways to warm up when winter insists on hanging around.

Don't forget the banana pudding

Don’t forget the banana pudding

So, Hungry Lifers…what’s your favorite comfort food? What do you want to reach for when the temperature dips ridiculously low and you need a pick me up in order to face another gray, snowy day? Are you as ready for Spring–and as mad at that stupid groundhog–as I am? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!

You BETTER NOT see your shadow!




  1. Welcome home, Maria! Your fun, wintry list makes me think of one other thing … spring comes right after!

    Comment by Lisa — February 23, 2015 @ 10:18 am | Reply

  2. Of course you were supposed to feel guilty. We were home where 48 degrees would’ve felt like summer and you weren’t. Now that you’re back with the suffering ones you don’t have to feel guilty anymore. I never liked Winter and never will. Couldn’t understand why snowball fights were supposed to be fun. Hated shoveling back when I was a kid and hate it more now that I am no longer a kid. But happy you’re back safe and sound writing great blogs.

    Comment by bglou — February 23, 2015 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  3. Wonderful post, Maria. Now I’m hungrier than ever. Favorite comfort food: roast chicken and mashed potatoes — hold the veggies!

    Comment by Joyce — February 23, 2015 @ 11:03 pm | Reply

  4. Thick, hearty, soup, soup and more soup–lentil, vegetarian veggie or minestrone are my faves. Thanks for another great post, Maria. Key West sounds wonderful, especially in the dead of winter. 🙂

    Comment by wordimprovisor177 — March 2, 2015 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

  5. Maria, All food is comfort food for me. Sleeping is the only thing that gets me over the cold, snowy days. This whole winter I couldn’t shake the cold from my bones. I use to think going south would help but after reading your Blog even there it’s cold. Oh to have more quilts!

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — March 16, 2015 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

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