Photo taken by my brother, I believe it is the view from one of my parent's windows, some winter past.
1. Recipes! Sort of. Lazy ones.
- Apple Pie for breakfast: chop one apple into a saucepan (I leave the skin on, why not?), add a tbsp or so of butter, dash of cinnamon, tbsp of brown sugar, handful of raisins. Cook until apples are soft-ish. Add 1 cup oatmeal (I have the regular kind, not the quick kind, but I'm sure any hot cereal would do), add appropriate amount of water (for my oats that was 2 cups), cook for 15 mins or so until water is soaked up. Serve with milk. And lovely French press coffee, if you have it. [photos to follow, maybe]
- Mushrooms = delicious. For 2 mushroom loving people: Slice up some little new potatoes (oh... lets say about 7?) into quarters. Place on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper, herb of your choice (rosemary is good, so is oregano). Goes in hot oven (for mine, around 425F) for about 10 mins. During that time, take two large portabello mushrooms, turn upside down, remove stem. Drizzle with olive oil. Dress with toppings of your choice. Any of the following are tasty (not necessarily all at once): avocado, olives, garlic, onions, tomatoes (fresh and/or sundried), pine nuts, spinach, more chopped up mushrooms, and then of course CHEESE. You really can't go wrong there. We just tried halloumi cheese this week and the verdict is yum. Quite salty, a bit like a cross between feta and mozarella. Works beautifully for this. Take oven fries out, shuffle them around a bit, add the two be-topping-ed mushrooms to the pan, put back in for a further 7-10 mins or so, until the cheese is melted and possibly even a little browned on top. Fries should be browned/crisp on the outside, still soft inside. Remove, serve with ketchup for the fries (or mayo if you live in Quebec) and some raw veggies for a crunchy contrast. The mushrooms are least messily eaten with a fork & knife.
* Did anyone else used to stand over the forced air heaters in their nightgowns, allowing them to bell out with all the hot air trapped against your legs? That was a nice feeling.
* Being 10 and night skiing with my dad, then drinking hot chocolate in the lodge. I was never a very good skiier, but I liked that hot chocolate! Except when it burned my tongue.
* I have all these bits of memories of being in various elementary school Christmas productions (I believe there is a certain former Mrs Claus in my readership?). I loved the pagentery and being in the school gymnasium at night (a contrast to my total dread of the gymnasium for P.E. purposes). I loved the gaudy-ness, the construction paper chains, the glue & glitter, the holly and the hand-made Christmas trees. I didn't really have any desire to be a star (set design was more my thing), I just wanted to participate in the bustle of opening night. I liked being in the chorus (no one can actually hear me sing, right?) and getting to watch the play so close to the stage.
* Snow day! I remember getting up, noticing right away the quality of the light, the reflections off the snow making my bedroom brighter than usual (or darker, if it was still falling) and then racing to the living room to turn on the radio. Any minute... any minute they would announce school clossures... ok here it is and there are some and is mine closed? YES! A whole day for reading, tv, drawing, playing and generally not being at school.
3. Christmas may be over but the Candy Cane Lane Tea is not! I can't seem to get enough of it. Even better with an extra splash of vanilla. I don't even like candy canes! Or at least... I thought I didn't. Hmmmm.
4. Word of the Year. I'm not much into resolutions (I still think yours, M. to floss more, was the best, simplest one yet!) but I like the idea of calling forth a kind of theme for the year. A thread to weave through the calendar and to return to again and again. I've seen others choose discipline/focus and expand as their words. The one that came to mind for me, though, was aim.
I was thinking goals and direction and things along those lines... but I liked the simple little word aim. It's just a small reminder, to ask myself in any given situation "what is my aim?"; what do I want out of this? Why am I doing it? Interesting how asking that shifts my attitude about doing it, whether that is cleaning out a closet-of-impenetrable-gloom or going to work or doing assignments. Or, hopefully, most importantly, writing. Maybe my word should have been WRITE. Well, anyway, one of my aims is to write."...something intended or desired to be attained by
one's efforts; purpose: whatever his aim in life may be."
5. A reminder: for those of you (unlike me!) who prefer summery days to wintery ones, remember that we are now almost a month past the solstice. The days are already getting longer. And I'm already looking forward to next autumn!
"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” ~Stanely Horowitz