Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter

It is the dead of winter. The first weeks of February offer winter a perfect opportunity to show off its most extravagant weather, its coldest temperatures, and time that stretches anxiously towards eternity or March 20. Here at Mist Cottage February is the challenging month in the struggle towards spring. At the country house it was March that proved to be the most daunting month of the year, as snow storms and frigid weather there would carry on well towards April. Mist Cottage weather still feels tropical by comparison.

We are very quiet here. For me hibernation like reverie is more the order of these winter days. I do all the usual tasks that keep our little home running smoothly, milling flour, baking bread, cooking meals, a bit of cleaning, a bit of filing, a bit of this and a bit of that. No larger projects offer enticement. Attila is spending his winter days painting the basement ceiling, and rewiring as he goes along. But even that project is progressing at a relaxed pace.

This past week Bex, who has commented on this blog and has been a dear friend for many, many years, has been ill and is in hospital (not Covid and not immediately life threatening). She is not communicating online at the moment, but I think any prayers, or silent kind wishes sent into the universe for her would be wonderful. Stay strong Bex!

Stay safe dear friends.

While monitoring electricity usage, it was noted that our oven in the range uses a shocking amount of electricity. I decided a strategy to reduce hydro usage would be to try to use the Air Fryer for some of the baking. Here is one of the recipes I have come up with, grabbing bits and pieces of a variety of recipes I have found online.

Maggie’s Breakfast Oat Cakes (Air Fryer)

1 cup Quick Oats
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 tablespoons Brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar substitute (sugar equivalent)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon Baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water or boiling fruit juice

Grease an ovenproof dish that fits into the Air Fryer.
Combine oats, flour, and sugar. Cut in peanut butter.
Add baking soda to boiling water.
Add water mixture to dry ingredients.
Press mixture into baking dish.
Bake at 400F for 8 or 9 minutes.

NOTES: Raisins and walnuts can be added to the dough.

Sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the top of the Oat Cakes when they come out of the oven.
Sometimes additional water is needed to moisten the dry ingredients.
I love to serve a portion of these Oat Cakes with a large dollop of sour cream!

Maggie’s Breakfast Oat Cakes



Date: 6:00 PM EST Saturday 6 February 2021
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -5.9°C
Dew point: -11.0°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: WSW 21 gust 34 km/h
Wind Chill: -13
Visibility: 24 km


“Little by little, one travels far.”
J. R. R. Tolkien
1892 – 1973


  1. Anonymous

    It sure does feel like an eternity waiting for spring to arrive. I am not a winter person at all! Your breakfast Oat Cakes sound delicious. We are due for more snow tomorrow. Will keep Bex in my prayers for a speedy recovery. Stay well and stay safe, Maggie.


  2. Eileen, it sure does feel like an enternity this year! We have all been experiencing the intensity of the pandemic, and political unrest, for so very long, that winter is just the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. But not really broken, because most of us are coping amazingly well for living through such times as these! I am not a winter person either, autumn is my favourite season, and late spring is pretty awsome too. At least we are one week into February, with three to go, lets hope it speeds by! Thank you for keeping Bex in your prayers!
    Stay safe dear friend!

  3. So many prayers for Bex. Enjoy your oat cakes! I like some gluten free granola sometimes for oatey goodness. Was you that spoke of Schitt’s Creek? I seem to remember you said it was funny. We got a DVD set of several season’s worth. It has a good start so far, (four episodes in).
    Stay safe!

  4. Joan, yes, many prayers for Bex!
    The Oat Cakes are not only healthy eating, they taste like dessert to me, and I love desserts, lol. Granola is wonderful, I used to make it all the time in the crockpot, haven’t for years, you’ve put the bug in my ear now.
    I am not sure if I spoke of Shitt’s Creek, but I do think it is funny. I loved it! It matures as it goes along, ages like fine wine. The characters are true to form, wealthy people are very much as the family is first portrayed, at least the ones I’ve been exposed to. Their experiences humanizes them. I think if all the 1% had similar experiences they would become more human, and we might even love them. I can dream. Anyway, I think it is a great series.
    Stay safe dear friend!

  5. Monica, a good suggestion!
    I’ve been looking at them for the last few weeks, and at the prices. As a result I’ll be putting a little aside when I can towards the cause of a new, more energy efficient, range. The one we have works well enough, so until our income recovers from all the income losses of weeks of lockdown, and then weeks of medical leave, we will need to make do with what we have. Things are expensive here in Canada, and the sales taxes are significant.
    Attila has pointed out to me the hot water heater as a possible source of energy guzzling as well, so I have been looking at those too.
    At some point all of these appliances will break down and have to be replaced. I hope to have enough put by when that happens to purchase energy efficient units!

  6. It was 43-below here, yesterday morning. I think maybe only 40-below, today. I went outside just long enough to fill the birdfeeders; the sun was glittering on the snow and it was beautiful! But skin freezes in a minute, so … no walk. Wouldn’t want my eyeballs going solid on me. Sometime today I must dig my extension cord out of the trunk of my car and bring it in to thaw so I can plug the car in when I go to the office tomorrow. At these temperatures, if you bend the cord it can snap the wire inside.

    I’ll be thinking of Bex and hoping her hospital stay isn’t an ordeal, as they sometimes can be — even just getting a rest is impossible, with the constant noise and interruptions.

    Keep well!


  7. Kate, -43C is COLD!! Even a breeze would be unwelcome! At the country house we got as cold as -37C, and that was challenging. But we didn’t see temperatures as cold as the prairies are seeing now! My niece is in Fort McMurray and she wrote saying how bitterly cold it was there too. Apparently the northern lights were amazing the night before last, I wonder if that is a function of the extreme cold. Interesting that you need to thaw extensions cords and things with thin wire, before allowing them to bend. That didn’t come up for us at the country house, luckily! I don’t wonder you aren’t going for a walk at -43C, I am not going for a walk and it is only -20C.
    Hospital stays can be exhausting! Bex will be glad to get home, and I am sure Paul will be very glad to have her home again. I’ve been thinking of her all day, wondering how things are going. Fingers crossed!
    Stay warm, and stay safe dear friend!

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