We are really being pummeled with an old-fashioned, cold winter.  Cleveland could be Alaska at this time of year – at least in terms of sunshine.  We get very little.  But if we are going to have cold, grey skies, then at least let’s have some snow to play in!

We decided to plan our winter party, despite the frigid temperatures because in a week or two it could be gone.  I told our guests to dress for the weather (highs of 17 during the day.)

The yard was prepared by my husband, who always executes my entertaining ideas without complaint.  Actually, the yard is his domain, so he prepared it the way he wanted it prepared.

My husband made these signs years ago for the kids to create roads on the sidewalk.

The ice rink was shoveled.

The hill isn’t big.  The advantage is that you don’t expend much energy walking up.  With the frigid temps you can glide a long way.  Throw in a couple of snow ramps and it makes for hours of fun.  (Except for the old guys who think they can still go off the ramps….)

I love our toboggan from L.L. Bean!  I really should sew a cushion for it….

The party started at 6:00.  My night shots are lousy, so you won’t see the luminaries my husband placed along the walkway.  And you can only catch the shadows of the skaters on the rink.

We enjoyed wonderful, warm food.  I made 40 hotdogs – boiled, placed on a bun and wrapped in foil and then placed in a cooler with heat packs..  They get nice and steamy and they are easy to handle with gloves.  Add some chili for chili dogs or just enjoy a bowl!  We had potato soup, cheesy potatoes, ham and cheese strombolis, hot cocoa, various snacks and McDonald’s chicken nuggets!  Yes, you heard me!  You haven’t lived until you’ve tried roasting nuggets over the fire….crisp and crunchy…discovered by the kids at the neighbor’s campfire this past summer.  Desserts included brownies, Smores, cookie cake and two fantastic concoctions made by my friend.  The first was a molten chocolate dessert topped with ganache.  She also made a fabulous bread pudding.  Both of these were served up warm to our guests.
It was a fun night with family and friends.  The cold air was invigorating!  And next week is February!  I think we can survive this winter….