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We are finally mostly dug out from the blizzard over the weekend. That was a bit of a surprise, let me tell ya! We knew we were going to get a lot of snow, around 10 inches/25 cm, but a blizzard? In April? Yep.

High winds and lots of snow falling and blowing so that at times it was hard to see across the street. We had taken the plastic covering off from around the Dashwood’s run weeks ago and the snow blew right in. They stayed inside their coop and refused to come out. Good, but not good, because their food and water is in the run. Bookman went out several times with a plate of warm food and a dish of water that he would put in the coop. I asked him if I should tie a rope to him so he could find his way back to the house. I think he just rolled his eyes at me but it was hard to tell since he was bundled up so much.

When it ended Sunday afternoon we had accumulated a little over 16 inches/40.5 cm, a record snowfall for April. In fact we also have had more snow total in April than in recorded Twin Cities weather history. Also, it is so far the coldest April on record. April is not the month you want to be setting these sorts of records.

Bookman and I went out late Sunday morning to start to clear away some of the snow. Getting out the front door took a big hard shove because of all the snow on the porch. As we shoveled we kept hoping our next door neighbor with the snowblower would come out and start clearing the sidewalk as he so generously does from time to time. But no, it turns out he is in California. Normally we would shovel his sidewalk, but not this time. One of the neighbors did manage a shovel-wide path for him though.

We got the Dashwoods dug out and the snow cleared from the run and some fresh straw for their little chicken feet. They were glad to be out of the coop, that’s for sure!

The temperatures are above freezing again and by the weekend we might actually be a warm 52F/ 11C! This helps to melt all the snow and might mean that the 100k populaire bike ride that was postponed because it was blizzarding will take place. The Tuesday night crit races I signed up for have been cancelled for the last two weeks because of snow. Next Tuesday it looks like they will finally happen.

Cupcakes and ice cream

At the beginning of the month I had a birthday. It was a really wonderful day that was all about the food. We had brownie pancakes for breakfast. For dinner we had lentil-beet burgers with tempeh bacon and all sorts of fixings including baked fries. We had carrot cake cupcakes and peanut butter ice cream too. I asked Bookman for the recipes, a difficult request because he is the kind of cook who looks at a recipe and then makes it his own. It has taken him some time to be able to get it all down for me. Here is the cupcake recipe. Others to follow.

Carroty Cakey Cupcakes (adapted from Simple Vegan Blog)

• 2 tbsp flax meal (ground flax seeds) + 6 tbsp water
• 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• 1/2 tsp nutmeg
• 1/2 cup apple sauce
• 1/2 cup brown or coconut sugar
• 2 tbsp soy milk
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup grated carrot
• 1/2 cup or so raisins

Oven should be preheated to 320-330F, no more than 350.
Mix the flax meal and water first and set aside, it develops a jelly/ egg-like consistency.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Add the flax “egg”, the soy milk, and the vanilla and mix well. (add a bit more soymilk if it seems too thick).
Mix in the grated carrot and raisins.
Bake in cupcake sized pans for 20-25 minutes or until tops seem firm when pressed gently with your finger.
Cool completely then frost with sweet cashew cream frosting.

Sweet Cashew Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked in hot water for 1 hour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave or your favorite sweetener (the drier the sweetener the more water you will need)
  • 1/2 cup water (add more to get desired thickness, I like to start out with as little water as possible and just add enough to keep the mush mushing)

Process drained cashews in a food processor until they are a mashy butterness.
Add the rest of the ingredients and keep prcessing until they are the desired consistency (the longer you can stand it the better).
You can just add all of the ingredients without first processing the cashews alone, I just like to it this way.