By Diana Shaw
February 1, 2014
I’m rapidly expanding my weather vocabulary.
Weather has always fascinated me. Many years ago, second-guessing “the weather man” was a daily avocation. Anybody with access to a copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac could step outside and look up at the sky and do almost as well as a meteorologist at forecasting the weather.
Not so anymore. Meteorology has become a rather exact science. With the technology at hand, meteorologists can and do tell us what to expect of the weather within an hour or two of breaking weather events.
A year and a half ago, I learned the word “derecho” when a fierce, short-lived wind and rain storm swept through central Ohio on its way east. I started watching Doppler radar very closely when it was reported that the brightly-colored, smallish storm in the vicinity of Chicago was going to score a direct hit on Columbus and vicinity and it was coming at 65 miles per hour.
Anyone looking toward the west late in the afternoon of June 29, 2012 saw what looked like a tidal wave two to three stories high, coming like a freight train. What we saw was the leading edge of the storm blowing a huge debris field ahead of it. It was scary, to say the least. The sky turned black, rain swept sideways in an unrelenting sheet for about 20 minutes, breaking off trees and actually blowing large profile vehicles over. A few people unfortunate enough to be caught outside were knocked off their feet as well.
The storm blew all the way in a narrow path through Ohio to the east coast and broke up over the ocean.
This month, I’ve added another other-worldly-sounding weather term to my vocabulary. Does Arctic Vortex sound familiar to anyone? I’ve never felt cold like that before and we’ve had two such weather patterns this winter, both in January. Arctic air has swooped down clear to the southernmost states following the jet stream. At least the fleas, ticks and mosquitoes shouldn’t be around in droves this summer.
The weather for the Super Bowl is still undecided, but the cold, snowy predictions don’t sound like anything that would make me want to go outside and kick a football. Arctic vortex or not, I’ll be happy to stay in my warm den and watch it on TV and eat “football food,” of course.
It will be just the two of us. Hopefully the game will be exciting enough to keep us awake all the way to the end. Bowls of homemade chili with lemon bars for dessert sounds like a dinner made for cocooning. Best of all, everything can be made ahead. I hope your team wins.
EASY LEMON BARS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Pinch of salt
2 sticks butter
Butter for greasing
2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9 by 12 by 2 inch baking pan.
Make the crust. Combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan. You may need to dip your fingers into a little flour or confectioners’ sugar to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, when the bars are done.
Makes 16 bars.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.