Thursday, December 27, 2012

Settling in for Winter

Winter is finally here! Well, winter weather has been here for a month, but I refuse to acknowledge winter's existance until it is really, truly winter according to the calendar. This is Minnesota. If you let the weather make those kinds of decisions for you, you'll lose out on a good chunk of spring and fall. I used to hate winter, so much so that I packed my bags in my early 20s and moved out West to find the sun, only to discover after a few Los Angeles winters that it is exhausting to have nothing but sunshine. I like weather. I like to have an excuse to sit in my pajamas by a warm fire with a cup of cocoa and do needlework.

I love bread baking and soup making. I've been making this Rosemary Olive Oil Bread a lot this fall and winter. It makes four loaves at a time and I always end up thinking that there will be some leftover to freeze, but it's so good that it never lasts that long. I'm lucky if there is some for lunch the next day. It's been a while since I baked bread regularly. The past two winters I was pregnant and tired, but I seem to have gotten my feet under me after three babies in a row, so there will be more bread this year.

My grain mill might even find its way out of the pantry. It was a hand-me-down from my father-in-law, his spare grain mill. We were just sitting there in his cabin in Arkansas talking about how much I wanted to try milling my own grains someday and he went to his cupboard and got me one. That is why I love him.  

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
Even in winter, though, it's nice to have signs of life. I bought this at the store thinking it was just cut, fresh rosemary, and it turned out to be a live plant. I'm going to repot it and see if it grows. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but it's worth a try. 
Which reminds me of another sign of life in the Bleak Midwinter. The arrival of the first seed catalogs. Is it funny that seed catalogs always remind me of winter? Probably not.



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