The city and its suburbs crawl at a snail's pace in the face of snow storms, much to the amusement of a certain Chicago native who has taken up temporary residence in the city. The last time the city shut down in January due to a heavy snow fall and his two daughters stayed home from school, he did not hide his disdain for us wimps.
There is just no comparison, however, between DC and Chicago when it comes to extreme winter weather. We may get a handful of winter storms a year - just enough to keep the kids happy, and the parents and schools from pulling their hair out. So this area just does not see the wisdom in spending millions of dollars on preemptive management of snow storms.
Perhaps that criticism, however undeserved, stung - DC schools decided to open late rather than shut down completely yesterday. Schools in the suburbs felt no such compunction. The snow day alert went out to the parents even before the first snow flake floated down to the ground.
By the time morning rolled around, that decision certainly appeared wise. The Washington area had its first real winter storm of the season. Thick, powdery snow hung heavily on the evergreens and formed neat beds on the deck, patio, railings and steps.
The sun came out a little while later. While it made no dent in the piles of snow all around, it did make interesting patterns.
A snow day, lots of shoveling and the cold weather all pointed to a hot, spicy brunch. So guntapanganalu it was, with coconut chutney. For those who don't know, guntapanganalu are small, round, roasted puffs made of dosa batter to which finely chopped onions, green chillies and coriander leaves (cilantro) have been added. They are made in a special cast iron pan, usually with about seven pits (in Telugu, guntalu - hence the name for the dish), placed directly over the flame.
My mother, who is on a perpetual quest to make my life easier, had purchased a non-stick version before I went to India the last time around. They are infinitely easier to handle.
Dipped in spicy chutney, they are delicious. The problem with these, unlike the regular dosas, is that you lose count of how many you eat!
If you live in the US and don't have one of those pans, kitchen equipment stores sell pans for making sweet pancake puffs. From what I've seen, it seems like you could use that pan to make guntapanganalus. Now I've taken to making pancake puffs in my own non-stick pan too. They turn out great and the kids have a blast pouring syrup over the puffs.
All in all, a good snow day.
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