Nevertheless, this morning I put on two layers of clothing, wrapped my puppy-scarf snugly around my neck, zipped my coat up to my nose, pulled on my gloves and hat and headed out the door looking very much like a ninja.
A cold ninja.
There's always something that astonishes me the first time each year that I look at the weather and see that not only is it 14 degrees right now, but it feels like it's 2 degrees and today's high doesn't break the freezing mark. It's as though that's never happened before, even though it did, in fact, happen just last year and the year before that, too. To anyone reading in Wisconsin or any of its neighboring states, and of course Canada, feel free to have a good laugh at my expense. I am grateful that I've never seen the temperatures you deal with all winter long. But for a relatively temperate area like Philadelphia, sub-freezing is our sub-zero.
When I got home, my first impulse was to make soup dinner despite Mister's inevitable protests. I did not for two reasons (one of which became null): first, we didn't have any sandwich fixin's and I feel bad [now] serving Mister just soup. Second, I was already thinking ahead to tomorrow's work lunch. Granted, there are a ton of fabulous eating options within a one-block radius of the store I'm in tomorrow, but I haven't been keen on
Enter Charro Beans with Chipotle Sausage from Vegetarian Times. I've made this before, so why bother posting about it again?
That's why ^. I've been meaning to try Field Roast sausages pretty much as long as they've been on the market, but they are about $1 more than Tofurky sausages and, being somewhat impoverished, that $1 has disproportionate value. Regardless, since the recipe called for chipotle sausages and since Field Roast makes them (and Tofurky does not), it seemed the perfect excuse to splurge.
Unlike Tofurky, which is packaged similarly to hot dogs, the Field Roast sausages were actually packed as individually-wrapped links. This made for quite the adventure trying to free them from their casings. It resulted in my hands and cutting board looking like someone had just killed him- or herself in my kitchen - I'll spare you the picture I took of my "bloody" hand.
Once I'd coerced the little buggers out of their plastic casing, I cut two sausages in half (anticipating they would pack too much heat to stay in whole rounds like the recipe instructed) and then sliced them to add to my sauteing peppers.
After letting them cook a little by themselves, I added the beans and tomatoes, but I left out the chili powder because I was getting the distinct impression the sausages might end up being more than I'd bargained for.
Fortunately, I did have the foresight to serve them on a fluffy, bland cloud of mashed potatoes.
That may very well have been the only reason I could finish my first...and only...serving. It was far more outstanding this time than the first time I'd made this dish, and that is owed completely to the brand of sausage, I believe. Okay, that mashed potatoes are awesome doesn't hurt.
In any case, two things resulted from this dinner: first, Mister ended up with a generous portion of leftovers [read: all of them] for his lunch tomorrow and I ended up with a new strategy to beat the frigid temperatures outside: sausage. By the time I finished my meal, I was nearly sweating, even though I'd turned down the heat while I was at work (Mister's fine - he's Greek so he radiates heat). So, I told Mister I was going to carry the leftover sausages with me to warm me up like the brandy in a St. Bernard's barrel - just keep my sausage in my pocket until I need to go out into the cold.
Insert reallllllly immature joke here.
On a final and unrelated note, my healthcare for my new job is about to kick in, which is perfectly timed since one of my contacts decided to rip in my eye today. All day I was walking around work squinting and blinking and putting drops in my eyes and complaining to my colleagues about my eyes bothering me. I was counting the minutes until I could come home and take them out. Upon doing so was when I discovered the damage, so I was reminded of yet another thing I love about Philadelphia and Winter.
In Philadelphia, especially Center City, but even on the residential streets where the homes are three stories tall, there is a natural darkness. This is both beneficial and detrimental, depending on your point of view. On the one hand, it might not be so darn cold if the sun could touch you and warm you up a little. On the other hand, I can get away with not wearing sunglasses most of the time. When it's winter, there's even less sunshine because the days are shorter and the sun never actually makes it to the "top" of the sky, so it's possible to stay out of direct sunlight pretty much all day.
Before you think I'm a vampire, let me just point out how difficult it is to wear sunglasses with seeing glasses - it doesn't work. Since my new contacts are at least a week away from being in my eyeballs, looks like I'll be rocking my glasses, so I'm glad I don't have to worry about sun.