We were in such a positive frame of mind, that even the 10 feet of snow we saw everywhere as we reached Paradise, didn't put us off. It was all beautiful and breathtaking. I should have realized that the best thing to do was just walk around, take pictures, then head back down. But there is a visitors' center at Paradise, and the ranger there told us about an "easy" trail that we could attempt, provided we rent snowshoes. DH and I had never used snowshoes before, nor have we ever gone hiking in the snow. If that ranger had just taken a better look at us, she would have seen that we were not prepared for any serious snow trekking! We had no gloves, no waterproof boots and certainly no hiking poles. DH had on a couple of layers of t-shirts and a rain jacket for crying out loud! But after our kayaking adventure, our bloated egos led us to believe that "suuuuuuuure, we can totally do this!". Rule no. 1 when you're in the mountains - RESPECT the mountain. Something we didn't do. So what started off as two excited city folk gingerly making their way up up UP this trail that was completely covered in several feet of snow, somehow turned into a scary lost-in-the-mountains type documentary. Ok, not really, because we knew where we were, but it got pretty dicey. First of all, it was a lot more effort going uphill in those snowshoes than I'd realized. Next, we couldn't find the trail markers (probably because they were buried!). Then the clouds descended all around us, the wind picked up, it started to rain, and we could hardly see anything. So while DH could probably have made it all the way to the end of the trail, I was a huffing-puffing-sniffling-bleary-eyed mess! The worst bit was trying to come back down. It took us a while to get the hang of it. I must have fallen down at least a dozen times, and maybe even unsuccessfully attempted to slide down the mountain on me behind (erm, I was desperate). Luckily DH had the presence of mind, and more experience than I did, and got us both back to home base safe and sound. *sigh* Another adventure that we survived. Barely.
Fresh Corn Confetti Salad with Smoked Aged Cheddar (find Leela's recipe here)
2 cans of fresh-cut corn, drained well OR 3 cobs of fresh corn
Half a medium red onion, cut into small dice roughly the size of the corn kernels
1-2 serrano peppers, very finely diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice roughly the size of the onion
4-6 ounces of smoked aged cheese (I used gouda), cut into small dice roughly the size of the bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1-2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Spanish or Hungarian paprika
Juice of two limes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt & freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Prepare all the ingredients (except red onion) and keep them chilled in a mixing bowl. Just before serving, add the chopped red onion, olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and paprika; toss. Adjust the tartness and saltiness to suit your taste.