What do you do with back to back Winter Storm warnings? You pull out the newest cookbook to grace your door-step, Apres All Day, by Kelley Epstein, and say, “I surrender. Whatever time of day, let us apres.”
I could immediately tell that Epstein is not local to this neck of the woods, when I opened her book, because her recipes are deliciously indulgent and medium-to-low-healthy. (Mexican Beer Fondue with Homemade Tortilla Chips?!?! I mean, I definitely want to eat that… but then, I am not the mom who sends her kid to school with kale chips and chickpea flour muffins.)
I think anyone from this territory who wrote a cookbook about sustaining themselves as skiers and riders would have the most nutrition-boosted offerings. (I’m looking forward to reading these books, by the way, Leala, Meesh, Becca, Sarinda.) Only tourists think you need to eat nachos and drink hot chocolate to be a skier, amirite? I mean, I was that tourist 25 years+ ago, I drank hot chocolate every single day of my first season here because I thought that’s what you did when you were skiing, and realized pretty quickly that that was profoundly unsustainable. As was the daily beer drinking. Changed a dress size, and then changed my apres habits.
So, this is NOT a vote for daily boozing as your pandemic winter coping mechanism. (See: What I Learned From Trying to Unwind without Wine. I tried it at the start of the pandemic, and it’s really not sustainable.)
Nor is it a vote for nachos, although houseguests over Christmas made us nachos for dinner one night and it was awesome. It really was.
But it is a big shout out to comfort – comfort food, comfort slippers, comfort blankets or clothing that is somehow a combination of blanket and poncho (genius.) It’s a shout-out to people who write cookbooks during lockdown (I kind of hate you, but props, seriously, props.) And a shout-out to the delight of browsing through cookbooks, for glossy fix, inspiration, salivation, and a reminder that we don’t have to make the same 4 meals on rotation all the time.
One thing I loved about Epstein’s approach to apres is that she eats it in the car. She and her partner often head up different aspects of their local resorts, so they reconvene for parking lot lunch dates. This season, we’ve definitely been packing car snacks for the drive homes and while I can’t literally imagine pulling out a cute chickpea salad in a jar on the chairlift, especially not at minus 25, it would be great for the drive home.
The other recipe that caught my eye to try is these savoury sausage and cheddar muffins. Ping us a note if you’d like the recipe and we’ll email you (as long as you promise to send photos if you try it.)
I think ultimately what I like most about embracing “apres” is that it is a celebration of what is behind us, of the work we’ve done already. Any time of time, this moment in time, seems good, to fortify ourselves with a little reminder and reward of what we’ve done. Kudos to you. Seriously. I’m glad to be gathered around the imaginary fires with you.
And don’t forget the car snacks.