Savoring the Remnants of Winter

Posted on March 26th, 2013 by Tonia 6 Comments

We still have two feet of snow on the ground around here, but I’m trying not to complain because this is the first “normal” (read: bleak, snowy, cold, seemingly never-ending…) winter we’ve had in about five years. Even though I am looking forward to the return of sunshine and greenery, there is something comforting in the fullness and earnestness of seasons. It just feels rightโ€“as if all is well with the world (plus, 5 months of cold weather means we have less scary bugs. Really, my favorite thing about winter is that it kills everything. If you’ve ever seen the hideous/poisonous life forms that live in the warm states, you will agree with me that an annual mass bug-freeze is a great thing. And not shaving my legs is my other favorite thing about winter.)

Spring should be showing up sometime next week, so before then I’m relishing the last hurrah of “winter activities”. Once the garden is cranking and there are things to be done outside around the homestead, there will be no time for listening to podcasts while baking glutenous, sugary “snacks” that are really desserts, organizing shelves and cupboards, therapeutically sifting through unused belongings and putting them into boxes and donating them, obsessively Googling things like “natural options for de-worming horses” and “essential oils for horses”, and sneaking snuggle sessions with Charlie in the middle of the day/whenever the mood strikes.

Mike has also been savoring the remnants winter. Lately he has spent a lot of time in the kitchen, plastic gloves on, radio blaring Punch Brothers, up to his elbows in ground pork. He cranked out two types of sausage last week: Spicy Italian pork sausage from our pig and tomato-basil-chicken sausage from the chickens we raised last summer. We ate the Italian sausage last night atop homemade pasta and marinara made from the tomatoes I canned last Labor Day…DELICIOUS.

He also started a batch of homebrew (and, ahem, sprayed the entire kitchen with foamy wort in the process), which is now fermenting in our dining room and should be ready to bottle and drink in a week or so.

It has been very fun to work on these quiet projects together. I’m grateful I have a partner who likes to learn and try new things, and that he doesn’t mind spending hours upon hours painstakingly creating stuff that, in the end, we eat! God I love food. Really, it’s all about food. Amiright? Everything. All of it. Food.

Every spring I go through the same horrible break-up with “winter food”. I freak out about the fact that we’ve been surviving mostly on pasta (gluten), stored root vegetables (starches), and baked goods (sugar) for five months and we need to “be better”. So we start making green smoothies every day. We grow a million kinds of lettuces and we eat mounds of salad. We work out (kind of). We drink more water. It feels great and it’s good and everything.

But we’re not there yet. That’s next week. This week we’re savoring winter. Cookies and pasta and pizza and beer are still happening. Don’t cheat me out of my last precious week of winter! I will kick you. And then I will eat another chocolate-chip muffin.


P.S. A big, huge, warm hug to everyone who left a comment on this post. You rock. I love you.
P.P.S. We’re all set up and ready to go for maple syruping, and we think the season will be kicking off this weekend! Stay tuned for lots of sugary fun!


  1. Sasha says:

    It’s awesome to have a partner that is willing to go great lengths for food ๐Ÿ˜‰ Homebrew sounds sweet – Definitely something I’d like to try someday!

  2. Devin says:

    I agree, my favorite thing about winter is the bug-killing abilities :). I know in my head that many bugs are good for the garden, nature, blah blah blah, but it doesn’t help that they have al sorts of icky legs that crawl and stuff. yuck! I’ve always been thankful to live in the north, because I couldn’t handle all the critters that live in warmer climates. yikes!

  3. Carla says:

    Love your photos so evocative I can feel the cold from here. I love winter, sadly we don’t have such distinct seasons as you have over there! About the bugs I am a mosquito magnet I even managed to have allergic reaction to a spider bite out on a camping trip. It was not pleasant my arm was like an oversized sausage. Not fun at all.
    I think I might pp by for some home-brew and sausages :p home-brewing in something on my TODO list. I think this summer I will take the plunge and make some mead!

  4. Tonia says:

    Well if ya’ll are interested in the homebrewing, I should maybe talk Mike into doing a more detailed post about it, huh?

    Carla, a friend of ours tried making mead last summer and it didn’t work. It was super alcoholic…like moonshine, I imagine. Two more failed attempts later, she’s back to just brewing beer because apparently beer is more forgiving. You can have a couple “oops, was I supposed to do that?” moments during the brewing and still wind up with something drinkable at the end. ๐Ÿ˜› :)

  5. Carla says:

    Hm I may try beer first then. Supplies are hard to come by. We don’t really have a homebrewing movement yet.
    If you can persuade Mike for a homebrewing post I will await with a notebook ready!

  6. Oh my goodness! Those donuts. I’m vegan but…could you maybe post the recipe on here somewhere and I’ll attempt to modify? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ That would be swell if you could! I love your photo’s hun (:

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