Last night was the coldest it’s been around here. I woke up at 5:30, freezing, came downstairs and pulled up a chair two feet from the fire, sitting on our new sheepskin for the baby, and started up some backseat fire making: “Less paper, less kindling, less wood” Dean built a hell of a fire, as usual, and really didn’t need my input. What was I thinking? He was a good sport despite it. Thankfully, he ignored my backwards minimalist fire building advice.
Last night, I made the gingerbread pictured above. I remembered how I was making this recipe a couple winters ago a lot. And last winter not at all. Why not? Don’t know. But I’m going to make up for it. So, last night suddenly I needed it immediately. I made it promptly. We were headed over to a friends for dinner in an hour. The bake time is 50 minutes. Also a beer run was necessary for a Guinness. The recipe calls for a stout beer. Dean rushed to Walt’s and I stormed the kitchen. We made it. We were late to dinner but it was worth it. Anyway, it’s a real good bread. Like, insanely good. I cut out half of the white sugar. It calls for a cup each of brown sugar, molasses and white sugar. Seemed a little overboard. It’s really more like a cake but you can go ahead and call it bread and then help yourself to a few extra slices. It tastes especially good on a crispy, late fall morning. Or evening. Or afternoon snack. Maybe with a cup of tea. Or a glass of water.
Also we made potato leek soup recently. I harvested the leeks in the rain. It reminded me of my years farming and how thankful I am not to be doing that this year. And how much I miss it. And how grateful I am for the farmers who still go out and harvest leeks in the rain. The ones who didn’t give up. In the cold, biting, rain. As long as I am being thankful, I am also thankful for salt and pepper. Things are pretty great around here, to say the least.
Hank and I went for a walk this morning. Nothing new. But it was the crispest it’s been. My cheeks felt so cold you could chip them with an icepick. We went down to the beach on this little trail built by the boy scouts (thanks scouts) and there was a flock of doves. Is it a flock? A fleet? A gang? They put on quite a performance and it was pretty spectacular. Not sure where they’ve come from or why they are there. It was surreal.