Winter Routines

I am having a quiet, restful day today. The sky is gray and overcast, as it almost always is these days, so I have the lamp lit beside my chair, to add a bit of cheer. My crochet project is waiting for my fingers to cease tapping here, to resume the rhythm of the yarn. The tidied kitchen sits at the ready for the next frenzy of activity, which I will call lunch. The computer is playing peaceful piano music, a bit sombre really for a gray day, but calming. Wistful thoughts touch me occasionally, hoping that those who are experiencing difficult times will find comfort and peace. So far this winter we have only experienced two short bouts of frigid weather, enjoying relatively mild weather for the most part. Tomorrow night though, another cold snap is predicted, with the night time low of -15C, and even colder nights to come. This will put the unheated basement insulation to the test! So far the basement temperature is holding at 12C (54F), but the weather has been mostly mild. We were living in a house for a few months that only reached a high of 5C (41F), before the chimneys for … Continue reading

Forest Floor Muffins

The ice storm arrived here after midnight, so we awoke to a sparkling world. The sparkle was brief though, because very soon the snow began to fall, making everything white, and surprisingly, not all that slippery. We did not lose power at any point. Today was another gray day. Having baked bread last weekend, there was no need to do it again this weekend. Actually, there were no plans to bake today. But mid-afternoon I was looking for a snack and couldn’t settle on anything. So I made muffins, a go-to recipe. I don’t read the recipe anymore, I just use this recipe’s base ingredients, and then mix and match the rest of the ingredients. The base ingredients are divided into two categories, dry and wet. Extras are usually added to the basic dry ingredients, but also sometimes to the wet. The dry ingredients in my base recipes are: 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup of quick cooking oats 2 teaspoons of baking powder (aluminum free) 4 tablespoons of brown sugar The wet ingredients, in a two cup measuring up are: 1 egg 2 tablespoons oil 1 teaspoon of vanilla liquid to make ABOUT 1 1/2 to 2 cups … Continue reading

Settling Dust

After the flurry of holiday season, the dust is once more drifting down and settling around life and Mist Cottage. Only seven weeks left until March arrives, with its promise of a new season to come, and the lengthening days. March is my least favourite month, two of the people I adored in life passed in the month of March, so that it hasn’t been the same since 1976. It has been a busy week for me. I was out and about all through the beginning of the week, taking care of shopping and errands. A quick visit to the bulk food store was overdue, to pick up things not reasonably available at the local supermarket, such as buttermilk powder and rubbed marjoram. Garbage tags were running low, time to stock up on those, which entailed a dedicated trip to the municipal offices. I snagged a free 2020 calendar while I was there. A host of little things to get done were on my list, which had lengthened shockingly over the last few months! At home bills were paid, and a slow return to kitchen organization was initiated. The first thing on the kitchen list was repackaging some of the … Continue reading

Filling the Pantry

We had a busy weekend! Having consumed all of our Christmas fare, it was time to replenish the pantry. Attila made a big batch of Turkey Noodle Soup, with the remains of the Christmas turkey. The way he likes it includes salt, which I don’t eat anymore, so this soup will be exclusively for Attila’s consumption. Which, as it turns out, is just fine with me, because when there is no salt in Turkey Noodle Soup, it isn’t one of my favourite meals. For my part, we were in need of baked goods, going into Attila’s first full week back at work, so baking it was. On Saturday I milled 24 cups of organic whole wheat flour. Because I wanted to use sunflower seeds in my baking, I roasted then cooled two cups of them. Then I used the freshly milled flour to bake one dozen Cranberry Chocolate Chip Muffins, one dozen Apple Raisin Nut Seed Chocolate Chip Muffins, five loaves of whole wheat sandwich bread, and when all of that was cooling I made four liters of Switchel, which Attila takes as a beverage in his lunch. Phew. On Sunday the bread machine was put to good use baking … Continue reading

The West Wall

Another cloudy day here. It has been cloudy for weeks and weeks. The sun did come out yesterday, for about an hour, which was lovely. But today the skies are steely grey. And mild, it is very mild for January. I might have called it the “January thaw”, but there is nothing frozen here that needs thawing. The snow disappeared well before Christmas. As an aside, looking out the window, it makes me wonder why the colour gray is so very popular for interior domestic decor these days. I get enough exposure to gray from the weather, I don’t need to emulate it in my home. But that is just me. Attila has almost completed the stud walls and insulation in the basement! He has about 16 inches to go! The rim joists on the back wall will not be completed until into the summer, so we will have some heat loss there for the rest of the winter. There are lots of fiddly bits, as retrofitted improvements always reveal, that need to be done before the drywall and paint can be installed. The unfinished stretch of rim joist is a dogs breakfast of jerry-rigged plumbing and electrical, which have … Continue reading