A Point of Pride….

So here in Michigan a fall chill or even full-on winter weather has been known to come too early.  Notably, we often have to send our kids out to trick or treat in their coats and one year it snowed on Halloween! I am not sure when it started, but somewhere along the way I made it a point of personal pride to avoid turning on the furnace until the last possible moment.  September is totally unacceptable and if you’re such a cupcake that you turn on the heat this early, then yes, the rugged people of Michigan are judging you. Now that it is October we are getting into some marginal territory; where it is acceptable in *certain circumstances* however, not fretting about your gas bill when you open the door 50 times for trick or treaters is the real treat.

Here is a Weather Channel chart for when the first snow can be expected. If your area is not listed, follow the link below for other regions in North America.  In 2006 we had record snowfall on October 12… these are the certain circumstances mentioned above.

Avg. First Snow By… Earliest First Snow Avg. Season Snow
Marquette Oct. 13 Sep. 13, 1923 203.6 inches
Rapid City Oct. 16 Sep. 13, 1970 41.6 inches
Int’l Falls Oct. 18 Sep. 14, 1964 71.8 inches
Duluth Oct. 21 Sep. 18, 1991 81.5 inches
Bismarck Oct. 26 Sep. 12, 1903 50.1 inches
Sioux Falls Oct. 31 Sep. 25, 1939 43.4 inches
Mpls./St. Paul Nov. 2 Sep. 24, 1985 53.4 inches
Fargo Nov. 2 Sep. 25, 1912 49.5 inches
Omaha Nov. 10 Sep. 29, 1985 28.4 inches
Cleveland Nov. 10 Oct. 2, 2003 68.3 inches
Des Moines Nov. 10 Oct. 10, 2009 36.8 inches
Milwaukee Nov. 13 Oct. 6, 1889 49.3 inches
Detroit Nov. 15 Oct. 12, 2006 43.8 inches
Chicago Nov. 16 Oct. 12, 2006 37.1 inches
Columbus Nov. 20 Oct. 10, 1906 27.1 inches
Indianapolis Nov. 23 Oct. 18, 1989 25.5 inches
Kansas City Nov. 27 Oct. 17, 1898 18.2 inches
Cincinnati Nov. 28 Oct. 19, 1989 21.3 inches
St. Louis Dec. 3 Oct. 20, 1916 17.7 inches
Wichita Dec. 3 Oct. 22, 1996 15 inches
Louisville Dec. 8 Oct. 19, 1989 13.4 inches

https://weather.com/storms/winter/news/first-snow-average-date

Portage Michigan is about half-way between Chicago and Detroit so there are two techniques I use to maintain my ability to proudly say “I have not turned on my furnace yet” even when the temps get chilly:

  1. Use the oven
  2. knitting

Making a pumpkin pie or roasting some vegetables is a great way to get your kids to stop complaining about the cold.  Here is what I prepared today …

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Roasted brussels sprouts, potatoes and cauliflower rice drizzled with Siracha.

This was a good way to keep the oven on for at least 45 min shoveling trays in and out at 425 degrees.  Just in case I am the only one who eats the brussels sprouts I baked an Apple Dapple Cake (sans frosting) to make sure everyone has a full tummy.

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I could not bring myself to add the frosting after dumping two cups of sugar into the batter.  The cake kept the oven on for one hour and we are all pretty happy about that with overnight temps in the 40’s.

The other approach is knitting.  This is the time of year we start wearing hats in the house; including snuggly sweatshirts, socks and scarves.  I have just finished knitting for my new grand niece and can begin everyone’s hat for this year any time.  Here is a collection of hats made last year; most of them gifted.

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This mini Mackintosh Jacket will need to wait for the little one to grow into it.  However, having the yarn piled into your lap is a nice way to stay warm. Here’s to making it to Halloween before turning on the furnace, wish me luck!

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