Winter Poem Printable

So one of my good friends lives in Wisconsin and keeps me supplied with kringles, which are the only ones I waste thousands of calories on because they’re the most delicious.  When she mentioned that she’d like a poem for each season, after I posted “October Gave a Party,” I couldn’t help but fulfill her wish!

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Click here for an 8×10 version

Click here for an 8.5 x 11 version

Click here for an 11×14 version

This poem was one of my grandmother’s favorites, possibly because she was a contemporary of Robert Frost. Or possibly because her generation just memorized much more poetry than mine. I wrote another post using this poem, along with some photos I took in Wisconsin two years ago, which you can find here, if you’d like! This photo of the kids’ wagon is one of my favorites from that series:

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Much as we love the Pacific Northwest, we do miss the snows of Wisconsin…if there were only a happy medium somewhere!

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Filling a Football-less Sunday

Everyone at out house seemed to be adrift yesterday, the first Sunday without football in a very long time. Not that we’re total fanatics…we usually don’t turn on the television until 3:00 or so. I’m not sure why everyone was so aimless.

We go to Mass on Saturday evenings (because that’s when our kids are the least ill-behaved), and usually try to keep our Sundays as a day of rest. Their dad takes them swimming at the YMCA, or we go for a hike, or just stay home and sled. None of that was appealing yesterday. So I needed to kickstart our day a little, and these doughnuts were just what we needed.

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Cider Doughnuts

(modified slightly from King Arthur Flour’s)

  • 4 tablespoons butter, almost melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Penzeys baking spice (or cinnamon)
  • 2 tablespoons boiled cider or thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Glaze: 2 cups powdered sugar; 2 Tbsp boiled cider; water to loosen if needed

1) To make the doughnuts: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a standard doughnut pan. I bought one at Target a couple of weeks ago. They had round or hearts then. I’m a little addicted to these baked doughnuts, especially since it’s over half an hour to Dunkin’ Donuts.

2) Beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and spices.

3) Beat in the boiled cider, then the egg. I really like this boiled cider. It’s just concentrated cider, but much better than using frozen apple juice concentrate. We also put this on our waffles, with a little peanut butter…yum! Anyway, then scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

4) Whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, and flour. Or do what I actually do and just put them on top of the wet ingredients and stir it all together.

5) Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.

6) The directions for the pan say to spoon the batter into the pan, smoothing the tops. The first time, I found this difficult to do neatly. Now I spoon the batter into a Ziploc, close it, and cut off a corner. Then I can just pipe the batter into the wells easily.

7) Bake the doughnuts for 10 to 12 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into one comes out clean.

8) Remove them from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool. Put a piece of wax paper under your wire rack, to catch the glaze drips later.

9) Mix glaze ingredients in a flat-bottomed bowl, then dip the doughnut tops into it. Set back on wire rack to cool. Sprinkle them with whatever you’d like, if your Sunday is in need of excitement.

These doughnuts are very tasty, but don’t taste like old-fashioned, fried doughnuts. We actually like them better…they’re a bit like a muffin, but more moist and dense. And, by the way, I made fruit salad and Egg Beaters with cheese to round out our breakfast.

Soon after eating, the hooligans were ready to tackle the outdoors. The temps dropped into the teens Saturday night, so it was quite chilly out.

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They sledded for awhile, then somehow they were persuaded to haul wood in using their sleds. That GI Joe of mine is pretty clever sometimes!

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DSC_0028Then the big one and the little one decided sledding down the stairs would be a good idea. I think they got this idea from their Papa Colorado, who told them he used to ride his bike down the building stairs in New York. They don’t remember anything else he tells them, but he mentioned this once and they’ll never forget. I stopped them right here, so no one actually traveled down the stairs.

We do still have three hooligans, but the middle (and smartest) one was back inside, having warm peppermint milk and leftover doughnuts. He had been kicked in the head by a sibling while sledding and needed a little comfort.

Everyone ventured back outside after lunch, and I managed to come up with a couple of ideas to entertain them. First I filled some old spray bottles with food-coloring tinted water for them to paint on the snow. That worked for about 20 minutes, then of course they started painting each other.

In the meantime, I boiled pure maple syrup for about 6 minutes, to hard crack stage, in a saucepan over medium high heat. It really boils up, so use a much bigger pan than you think you need. I boiled about a cup. When it reached hard-crack, I took it outside and quickly poured it in a thin stream on a patch of clean snow. It hardens almost immediately, then the kids can pick it up and eat it! It’s like maple hard candy. I’m pretty sure I saw some squirrels out this morning acting even more hyper than usual, so I think the kids didn’t get all the sugar out of the snow!

I read both these ideas years ago, but after we left Ft. Drum, NY. We haven’t lived anywhere snowy and/or cold enough since, so I’m glad we got a chance to try them out!

They sledded a bit more, then came inside as I was starting to make dinner. I fed them Miso Soup to warm them up this time, instead of hot chocolate or anything sweet. They love miso soup, so didn’t even complain…except that I only made them one bowl each!