Anyone who’s lives here in Portland will tell you how unusual the weather has been here.
We rarely see snow at this elevation; some years we see a slight dusting and occasionally we get a few inches.
But what we saw this past week is something Portland hasn’t had in decades — a foot of snow.
And because we’re not really prepared for that kind of thing, schools were closed for all but a day this week and the streets were largely empty but for the random sledders on foot or the occasional lone snow-shoer.
Everything looks so beautiful tinged in white.
I love the way the neighborhood pool looks under its thick blanket of snow.
Having grown up in Connecticut, I’ve missed wintry weather and have enjoyed hunkering down with the family and enjoying the magical luminescent world around us.
We went to the park almost every day, to stretch our legs, do some sledding, and make some snow angels.
I’d bring a small bag of drinks and back up gloves, and listen to the hoots and hollers of sledding kids.
Even Bailey loved it; it’s like the cold weather refreshed him and his creaky limbs were looser, more relaxed, and he romped in the snow like a puppy.
Happy dog, happy Mom.
And I loved coming home each afternoon after the park and enjoying a small treat with the kids.
Sometimes we’d have hot apple cider, and sometimes we’d go the hot chocolate route (made richer with the last of the advent calendar chocolates).
And occasionally, something a little more special.
Like White Chocolate Peppermint Bark.
I have a friend who makes me a batch every Christmas and it’s always gone within days.
With so many hours inside this past week I cleaned out my pantry and in doing so, I stumbled upon the last of the candies from our gingerbread house decorating.
Those leftover peppermint candies had me thinking — why not whip a batch of my own?
Sometimes I forget how easy bark is to make at home.
I make dark chocolate bark several times a year — and love it.
White Chocolate Bark is not usually on my radar, though. Why?
Make is such an overblown, exaggerated word for what we’re talking about here; when nuts aren’t involved, it’s basically just an exercise in melting.
I started with white chocolate chips, a splash of cream and peppermint oil and melted that in a double burner until smooth and creamy.
Also in my pantry clean-up were some paper sticks I hadn’t used in ages, and I thought I’d try to use these to make some lollypops, too.
I formed them in a cake pop pan I was given (but rarely use) and they cooled and hardened outside within the hour.
I dropped off a round to a bunch of neighborhood kids sledding, and saved the last for afternoon snacking these last couple days.
Don’t they look so pretty when they sport ground peppermints on their glossy exterior?
Some of the bark I’d formed into oversized rounds, using a cookie cutter to shape them.
They were a touch too big and too rich to eat all in one sitting, but true champs don’t let that small fact stop them.
They look like shortbread but taste like the creamiest, most velvetty truffle-like confection — just the thing to enjoy on a snowy afternoon– or evening at home.
So Happy Snow Days to all of you– wherever you are.