Winter settled in around us here in the Northeast with a bitterly cold Christmas, and we are experiencing a sustained period of Artic cold the likes of which we don’t typically feel until mid-January. Such extreme weather has kept outdoor winter activities limited to only what absolutely must be done, like cleaning the barn stall, walking the dog, and shoveling any new snow.
Thankful for a warm house and the company of my family I have entered a kind of hibernation which, rather than revolving around a prolonged sleep, involves lots of baking. First it was for impending holiday gatherings; now it is to keep busy so as not to spend the duration of this awful weather on the couch in front of Netflix.
As a result, some new recipes were attempted and my favorites are always in the bread category…so much variety from sweet breads to quick breads, so many shapes and forms, and such versatility in the final consumption from a simple sandwich to a fancy bread pudding! Both of these were from Food.com where not only do you get the recipe but some pretty great (quick) videos to help achieve good results.
I figure this is the point that Mrs. Claus reached up there in the frigid reaches of the North Pole. I still have to take care of the have-tos, whereas Santa and the Mrs. have an army of elves they can put to work on those. So Mrs. Claus gets to hunker down in her kitchen all year, cranking out breads, cookies, and all other manner of good eats. Santa goes out one night a year and even then he is treated to cookies at practically every stop, so it was only a matter of time before they morphed into the roly-poly pair so well-loved all over the world today.
Maybe because I know it could happen, it won’t. Have I identified the slippery slope in time? Jury is still out and I am still baking. Once the new season’s seed catalogs start arriving in the New Year I can at least divert some of the baking energy to pouring over pages of colorful cultivars, dreaming about the gardens to come and mapping out the planting and harvesting schedule. At least around here, spring will come eventually and outdoor activity around the farm will ramp up once again, eager to get my hands and the new seeds and plants into the warming soil. Until that time, I guess I can enjoy the foods of my labor, at least until all the advertising for local gym memberships gets underway. If I can still fit into last year’s shorts, despite the weather, it will have been a decent winter.