Sun, Snow and The B-52

A great after-ski cocktail is the B-52: Layers of Coffee Liqueur Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Vodka
The B-52 cocktail: Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream and Vodka by

From what I hear on the news, they tell me it’s winter outside. Okay, but it’s hard to think about winter when it’s a sunny 75ºF sunny day outside. And, yes, we Southern-Californians do get sick of the sunshine and warm weather. You wouldn’t eat chocolate everyday, would you? Okay, bad example, but I think you get my meaning! Luckily for us, a trip to see snow isn’t too far away. In San Diego, you can always visit Julian or Mount Laguna and make it a day trip. For skiing, many choose to go to Big Bear, about 90 minutes east of LA. y husband doesn’t like to anything too easy. So for President’s Day weekend, we made a four-day mini vacation out of it and chose to visit Big Bear AND Disneyland.

We’ve had great rain so far this winter in California, including a storm last week, so we knew we would find snow. Last when we went to Big Bear at this time of year, we arrived right before a 3-day snow storm. We were prepared and had plenty of food and entertainment for the kids. When you don’t live with snow, watching it fall for days and days is a treat. But, my poor husband, kept looking at the steps that lead down from the street to our cabin and thought only about how much shoveling he had to do… everyday.

Luckily this year, we missed the storms and we were able to enjoy the snow without needing chains on the minivan and with plenty of sunny skies. We chose not to ski this year, but to enjoy the sledding and the beautiful wilderness around us. The cabin greeted us with the usual 2-3 feet of snow covering the steps leading to it. The children screamed with excitement and I hurriedly put on their boots, mittens and snow attire. My husband stepped out of the van and looked down the snow covered stairs and frowned, “I better get to work.” We brought with us a snow shovel that we borrowed from our neighbors. They used to live in Minnesota and I think they kept the snow shovel to remind that they don’t need to use it anymore! So once a year, we get to borrow it and bring the old shovel back to life!

The kids played in the snow, threw icy snow balls and sledded for three days. At night, they crashed from exhaustion and slept like logs. We walked in the forest and laughed as our boots got stuck in three feet of soft snow. We were amazed to see our sled track turn into an icy luge run overnight. I laughed hysterically as my husband tried to convince that it was safe for our kids to slide down, only to watch him get launched into the air and thrown off the sled! My son, The Professor, laughed, too, and gave his father the same sage sledding advice, “Stay on the sled, Daddy!”

And me? I took a break from cooking for four days. I can’t tell you of any exotic restaurants I ate in. Remember, I have three kids. My dining was limited to Carl’s Jr. and KFC. But, my husband and I did get to indulge in our favorite ski drink. Well, we didn’t ski, so we’ll call it a great snow drink: The B-52.

It’s best served in thin, tall shot glasses. Back in college, my man would mix these drinks in test tubes. But we’ve evolved and found these great shot glasses. Just pour in a third of glass with Kahlua Coffee Liqueur first. Next, a third of Baileys Irish Cream. And top it off with a third of vodka. Because of the different densities of the three drinks, you get this lovely three-layer effect. If your vodka mixes with the Baileys, chill the Baileys until cold, then pour again.

And, as my husband tells me, “Don’t be a wimp! Drink it in one shot!”

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