Thorin Oakenshield’s snow day #richardarmitage

We’re supposed to get some significant snow today and tomorrow (most area schools closed today for fear they would not get the kids home in the afternoon). First several inches (top predictions are 12 in and I think we have a solid 4 already), and then some blowing around to come.

The Thorins could tell something was up, because I soaked a large container of red kidney beans last night and cooked them this morning so I could start a large pot of classic Wisconsin-style chili. I’d sauteed my onion and celery which got a good smell going through the upstairs.

Cardboard cutout Thorin was not curious — in fact, he retreated further into his cellophane wrappings. POP!Thorin, on the other hand, wanted to catch some of the atmosphere, so I let him go outside.

Unfortunately he refused to put on his snowsuit. He insisted that it makes it hard to go to the bathroom. He has a point.

Here he is at 11:40, about twenty minutes after the snow started. "You should have put me in the refrigerator first, the snow is melting on my head!"

Here he is at 11:40, about twenty minutes after the snow started. “You should have put me in the refrigerator first, the snow is melting on my head!”

I browned my ground venison (dad harvested a deer in November) and ground chuck (because venison all by itself is, well, very venisony — even the deer from our part of the state, which eat a lot of corn).

At noon, everything was fine and he looked like he was having fun.

At noon, everything was fine and he looked like he was having fun. “Are you sure you don’t want to put on your snowsuit?” “No, I’ll be fine!”

I stirred up the pot and added my beans and stewed tomatoes and checked the consistency. I added tomato paste, some water, and some tomato juice.

At 12:30, I was a little concerned. "Can you move your sword?"

At 12:30, I was a little concerned. “What about your sword?” “I’ll be fine!” “It’s really sweet how the snow is starting to pile up on your tiny little nose!” “Bah!”

The soup’s consistency looked good, so I added two of the three crucial ingredients — chilli powder and paprika. Since it was snowing extra hard I put in an extra tablespoon of chilli powder. Sadly, we were all out of the third crucial ingredient — the bay leaf. I usually don’t salt at this point because salt can make cooking beans tough. Put the lid back on and set it to simmer.

This is how the yard looked at 1:30 p.m.

This is how the yard looked at 1:00 p.m.

So I decided to check on Thorin again.

"Thorin, I'm worried about your beard." "I'll be fine!"

“Thorin, I’m concerned about your beard.” “I’ll be fine! Leave me alone!”

Went back inside and put the noodles on. I usually cook them half in water and then add them al dente to the soup so they don’t soak up all the broth. I like at least a little soup in my soup. I also salted at this point. When the noodles were half done I added them to the soup.

At this point the house was starting to smell pretty nice, and I was thinking about doing some writing. I made a big glass of unsweetened iced tea (perverse — I really should be drinking milk, but you know how I feel about milk) and sat down, when I heard a muffled noise from the porch.


“Can I come in now? I think I am turning into a snowdrift!” “Nah, in order for you to turn into a snowdrift the wind would have to be blowing harder.”

Snow is an insulator, so he was probably warmer under the snow than he had been earlier, but I didn’t want to risk him turning into a dwarf popsicle over the afternoon, so I let him come in.

"Aw, don't cry, Thorin!" "I'm not crying!"

“Aw, don’t cry, Thorin!” “I’m not crying!” “Of course you’re not.”

*snuffle, snuffle* "Here, have a washcloth!"

*snuffle, snuffle* “Here, have a towel washcloth!”

I told him he could have some chili, too, and he nodded his head gratefully.

"You said we were having chilli! What the heck is this?" "You're in Wisconsin, Thorin, get used to it!"

“You said we were having chilli! What the heck is this?” “You’re in Wisconsin, Thorin, get used to it!”

But I just looked, and I noticed he ate the whole thing. Venison and all.

~ by Servetus on February 2, 2016.

62 Responses to “Thorin Oakenshield’s snow day #richardarmitage”

  1. Chili. With noodles. Welcome back to the other side of the moon!

    (I made it home in one piece AND before the plow blocked my driveway)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems to have slowed way down — you probably drove through the worst of it. I was worried there for about twenty minutes. Dad was out in it too.

      You know I make fun of chili with noodles but it really tasted good. Including the venison. Somehow “real” chili would not have been right for today.


  2. And look at Pop Thorin going all native!! ๐Ÿ˜€


  3. Great “photo essay”. Nothing can faze a dwarf. His calm, unnerved demeanour is testament to his stoic Durin endurance. Majestic as ever.
    PS: Wisconsin-style chilli looks tasty.
    PPS: Interesting word choice, “harvested a deer”. (Not snarking, just surprised.)


    • That’s just what the hunters say. “harvested” or “got” a deer. I like that usage because it points out the ecosystem component of all of this. We destroyed their natural predators (mostly, although the wolves are coming back now).


      • I suppose there is an ecobalance aspect to it all. The usage probably sounds weird to me as a non-native speaker – “harvest” for me always evokes fields of golden wheat or a bush laden with raspberries ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Glad he’s enjoying himself. The chilli looks fabulous! So what are those noodles? They look like macaroni to me…


    • yeah, just boring old elbow macaroni.

      This is kind of a Wisconsin joke — I actually don’t know why this soup is called chili except that its main flavor component is “chili powder,” which is a spice mixture you can buy anywhere around here. No self-respecting Texan would eat chili with noodles. At most, perhaps, some cornbread.


  5. I loved the whole story. In the second and third photo he looks very dignified with the slightly white hair, but later on, I think he curses his fate being a dwarf (but won’t complain).
    But your tasty chili will have reanimized him.
    I don’t know this either with noodles, we have it simply with bread…


    • I think this is the only region of the world where it has noodles.

      And I agree — very stoic. Determined not to give in.


  6. It’s 70 degrees and blustery here in Georgia….we’ve hardly had a winter so I envy you — but just a little bit.


    • I love watching it come down (and, if I’m honest, I even like the temperature), but it’s no fun to clean up. So no need to envy ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. Absolutely brilliant! My favourite snow story ever. Thanks making me chuckle, loudly! Stay warm.
    Wishing you and yours the best of everything, always


  8. Poor Thorin and his crown of snow. When will he learn to stop being stubborn and listen to reason? I know he drives Gandalf crazy with this kind of behaviour. At least he got warm in the end with his cough towel


  9. Love that sequence of pictures, especially that little snowy nose shot! LOL! The stew sounds wonderful. Does the “Wisconsin-style” part indicate the noodles added?


    • yeah. We in Wisconsin believe in noodles in our chili. I lived in Ohio one summer and they do theirs with spaghetti — Cincinnati chili — but as far as I know we upper midwesterners are the only ones who do elbow noodles.


  10. Loved your snowy Thorin photo essay. Reminds me that my dwarf friend hasn’t been outside for months. He deserves an outing too. I have never seen chili with noodles before. It looks great, just not like chili (in my experience). And celery, another surprise ingredient. But what a delicious treat on a snowy day. I have to remember to put sunscreen on Thorin when we venture outdoors. He seems quite pale.


    • He probably needs some Vitamin D.

      Wisconsin chili is just really a different dish. The name is incidental. I like real chili too (if it’s not impossibly hot). But I do love the joke around here that if it’s especially cold outside we put an extra spoonful of chili powder in!


  11. Ha, this warms and cheers my heart. Hell-bent little Thorin enjoying the snow….I’d say I saw him even grinning… ๐Ÿ˜€ Our one-week snow happiness here is yet gone again. Back to this winters’ persistent spring weather……..


  12. Your snow looks lovely as is your Snowy Thorin! I think he has some Scottish blood there with that stubbornness of his! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wish we had a bit of snow, but only to look at. As long as it stays on the mountains that’s fine with me. We haven’t really had a winter so far and the trees are starting to bud out! Crazy!! Thanks for the lovely pics and your Thorin story!


    • Probably most people are happier with less winter. I haven’t had one in SO long that this one is a real joy for me.


  13. That is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen! You are so lucky you have that snow. It’s pouring rain out here, and I hate rain in February!
    I have never seen noodles in chili, but it looks good and now you have made me extremely hungry……


    • rain in February is the worst.

      this was ridiculously good. Even without the bayleaf. I’m ashamed to admit how much I ate of it today.


  14. That’s what Mom calls “Nana’s Chili”. It’s our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Her side of the family is from Iowa.


  15. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€
    I must try to cook the Wisconsin type of chili…but where to buy that deer meat?…my Mum “collects”only ducks,chickens and rabbits.


    • ๐Ÿ™‚ You can probably use just ground beef. I just have a lot of venison on my hands at the moment and not much money, so I went that way.


  16. A grown dwarf acting like a dwarfing. Oh, Thorin! I guess it’s good to let that child-like wonder (and stubborn streak) loose. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Serv, as I was reading steps in the chili preparation, I kept getting a feeling of deja vu … and then it hit me. Except for the chili powder, this is so similar to my Grandmother’s pasta e fagioli. Pasta and beans. Good, hearty fare for a snowy day.

    Hope you all are keeping warm!


    • It’s funny you should say that — I was at Olive Garden a few weeks ago and you know they have all you care to eat soups. The waitress was telling me which soups they have, and she said, “and we have chilli” and I said, “what?” and she said, “yes, it has an Italian name, but it’s just chilli.” LOL.

      It was nice today but it’s supposed to start cooling again tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Looks like you were all set for winter with the chili, little Thorin and lots of snow. We had about 30″ here in SW PA last week so Thorin would have definitely gotten lost. Book looks like my kind of reading…After looking at those good kidney beans now I have a craving for Italian style, love those on a cold winter evening. ( only 1/2 Irish other 1/2 Italian)


  18. Aw, poor Thorin, out there being slowly buried in the snow. I see he’s maintaining a stiff upper lip (i.e.fortitude in the face of adversity) a phrase I thought was completely British but apparently originated in the US. I guess he knew you were preparing extra hot chilli (looks delicious btw) to warm him up when he was finally allowed back in!

    Hope the snow goes away soon.


  19. Ah, how wonderful! Thorin, snow and warm soup/chili! That’s winter bliss right there ๐Ÿ™‚ I think he’s utterly cute with a snowy nose, but don’t tell him so, he probably thinks he was being exceedingly majestic, bonding with nature and all that ๐Ÿ™‚ (wouldn’t never admit to liking to have a play in the snow, i bet ;-))
    I like your chili version except maybe for the beans and mac combo, i usually stick rice into it ‘ggg’. Made a lentils version last week which is now stashed in portions in the freezer, but no pasta as it doesn’t freeze well, stuck with veg only.

    I envy you the snow a little, i like what it does to the air outside and the warmth inside. Here winters are wet and cold not crisp. At the moment we are just sharing your wind, but not the snow. My curtains actually move inside with the windows closed (if my single glazed, pull ups on ropes can be called that). Ergo, me making thick soups to warm up from the inside ๐Ÿ™‚

    PS like him on top of those European witches ๐Ÿ˜‰ hope he is their protector!


    • There have been a LOT of lentils around here lately, I am a big fan and they are very affordable.

      I have to say that right now, anyway, I am SO enjoying the return to winter. Really grateful.

      That was a book from a course I used to teach — am still in progress of selling my library.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I’ve missed little pop Thorin, and tiny angry Thorin! I think your pop Thorin might be a little jealous of mine, mine was wounded in battle on his last road trip. The girls demanded he patrol the dashboard by the pink ninja, man, if I thought the girls were bad on twelve hour road trips…..


    • I have to find tiny angry Thorin again. I hid him because he was the kind of thing students would walk off with. I put him in a box with Thranduil and I need to look for it. They’ve probably had a whole crop of dwelves in the interval.

      That must have been rough for POP!Thorin.


  21. Give him a sled or skis and he will love it โค
    Here, itยดs spring ๐Ÿ™‚


  22. Very entertaining! I love that you combined your story of Thorin in the snow with chili making ๐Ÿ™‚


    • I think chilli-making is only interesting when embellished with other stuff. My dad said to me today, finishing off the pot, that was really good. Do you have a recipe that I could give Flower? and I said — well, it’s not really worth writing down. Put the ingredients in a pot and cook until done.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. This is a great pic.
    Especially for me – having escaped my daily routine for a week and currently enjoying breakfast in a nice spot in FarFarAway at about 90deg F / 32deg C ๐Ÿ˜‰


  24. lol I am glad Pop Thorin finally decided to go inside and you shared the tasty looking food with him!!!


  25. […] — I’d guess that the top three favorite dishes of most people at these facilities are Wisconsin chili, fried fish, and bratwurst. (And anything with cheese on it.) All of them also have more intensive […]


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