March! During the years we lived at the country house, March was the hardest month. It was invariably full winter weather until the end of March, and one March we got a winter’s worth of snow during the month of March, unforgettable. Managing to survive March with its accompanying cabin fever was hard work, every single year.
All that is behind me now!
March is a month that brings a smile, here at Mist Cottage. We do get winter weather in March here, but the winters here are mild indeed compared to the weather at the country house. There is still snow under the trees in the bush, on the north side of the trees, the temperature will still drop well below freezing, it is supposed to be a low of -17C on Saturday night. But here March also brings amazing mild temperatures, this morning it is 10C on the back deck! It is, comparatively speaking, downright tropical here at Mist Cottage in March!
The five gallon, food grade pails and gamma seal lids arrived late yesterday afternoon. By the time Attila arrived home from work, they were unpacked, washed and set out to dry in the front bedroom.
Now they are full.
Last evening was spent moving almost all of the food stored in the front bedroom into the five gallon pails. Two contain whole wheat bread flour, one contains red lentils, one contains basmati rice, and one contains red kidney beans. What we have left is one 25 kg bag of hard bread flour, which is shrinking fast. The pails are labelled and stored in the basement, placed on cardboard sheets so that they do not sit directly on the concrete. The contents will remain dry and safe from dust, bugs, and rodents. I love the gamma seal lids. They are worth the expense because they are so easy to open when I want to refill my four litre glass jars for day-to-day use. The only storage conundrum left is the 22 kg bag of all purpose flour, which is sitting on the kitchen counter. Eventually one of the two pails the whole wheat flour will empty, and we will use that empty five gallon pail for the all purpose flour. Until then I must tolerate the half filled bag cluttering up the kitchen counter. Time to get baking whole wheat bread!
Moving the food out of the front bedroom opened up enough floor space for the computer desk. Moving the computer desk to the front bedroom opened up floor space in the living room. The items stored on the desk are sitting in a small pile waiting for me to find a place to store them. Finding a place to store them will mean sorting through some drawers and shelves, to discard or give away items we seldom if never use.
Life at Mist Cottage is a game of dominoes.
Attila and I sat in the car yesterday, after picking up the photograph from Walmart, discussing whether we needed anything from the stores. The upshot was, if we bought something, where would we put it! We laughed, and headed for home.
I do not eat a lot of bread. Attila does not like sourdough bread. This means that only I eat the sourdough bread, and I eat less than a loaf a week. I have two types of beautiful sourdough started, gifts from Auntie Mame, and I am finding I can’t keep up with it, it wants to make more bread than I can eat. So, I have been researching how to dry the sourdough starter, and will soon be tackling that as a project. Dried sourdough starter can be used to restart a colony, so I will have it for future enjoyment.
My walk this morning was a tonic. I have been cooped up through most of February due to ice and snow on the road and sidewalks, making walking treacherous. Yesterday was beautiful, sunny and a bit nippy, but I didn’t make it out the door, I had to wait for the five gallon pails to be delivered. Deliveries never seem to arrive first thing in the morning, which would free up the day.
It was raining hard when Attila left for work early this morning. During a long break in the rain I decided to get out for a walk. Instead of warm winter boots, my feet were light and free in running shoes. The temperature was so mild that the wind did not invite pulling up the zipper on my parka. It was lovely out there. Birds were singing, the wind rattled the bare branches overhead, and the mild fresh air was invigorating. The roads and sidewalks were perfectly clear, no ice, no snow, just a bit of gritty dirt along the side of the road. Early in the walk it became evident to me that I had been housebound for some time. I was a bit short of breath, and my legs ached. Pushing through, my pace slowed, and comfort returned. The weather is supposed to turn cold tonight, so it remains to be seen how “walk friendly” the neighbourhood will remain. Still, what is a week to wait for the mild weather to return!
Today’s plans include practising my crochet skills, baking cherry chocolate muffins for Attila’s lunches, and preparing sourdough for bread baking tomorrow.
A pleasant day.
Date: 10:00 AM EST Wednesday 1 March 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 99.2 kPa
Dew point: 5.2°C
Wind: SSE 36 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
Cherry chocolate muffins? Wow, that sounds so good.
I think this year’s weather has been an odd one here too – very, very mild and unseasonably warm. It was 73F the other day! The birdsong going on in the front garden yesterday almost made me reach for my camera to video it to capture the audio, but I didn’t. It was very loud and lovely to sit out there in the warmth of the last day of a February, listening to the symphony of the birds.
Couldn’t you make up the sourdough breads all at once and free them once they are baked?
What an amazing day here, even if it is somewhat gray and rainy. The birds are singing up a storm, warbling, chirping, chattering, for the last hour plus. I’ve never heard so much bird song, and it’s only March 1st! I feel like I’m sitting in the garden at the height of summer!
Bex, sourdough is a live yeast mixture that lives in the refrigerator. I take some out to make the bread, and then feed the starter left in the jar with water and flour, and put it back in the refrigerator to ferment. It has to be fed and kept alive for further use. If I dry it, I can reactivate the yeast at some time in the future, and start the culture over again. If I use it up, then it is gone forever. Some women pass their sourdough down to their children, I was lucky enough to get mine from a friend.
The chocolate cherry muffins are yet another variation on my Orange Oatmeal Muffins, Attila really likes these ones! I use dried cherries, they are sour, so the muffins have a sweet & sour element to them.
We collect ingredients when they are on sale, which is where I got the dried cherries a few years ago. Soon I am going to try some apricot muffins, with the dried apricots we dehydrated years ago. They have lived in a mason jar ever since, so it is time to think about making them a part of our diet.
Does Belle like sitting out with you and listening to the birds? It sounds so wonderful!
You too Teri! Bex is hearing birds down in Marblehead, it is a continental celebration! I didn’t hear many birds today, but we have very high winds here, so all I am hearing is the wind whistling through the trees. 🙂
Big drop in temps overnight. We have an inch or two of snow on the ground again too, so a slight pause in our advance toward spring.
I guess the birds are all wondering what happened. No bird songs today, that’s for sure.
Same here Teri, big drop overnight, and snow on the ground this morning. It is mainly sunny here today, so all of the new snow has melted. The temperature remains below freezing. No birds, except some high flying geese.