"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the
touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire;
it is the time for home."
I'm sitting on the floor in front of the fire looking out at the blue-patched clouds scudding across the sky. Another rainy front is moving in, but oh my, have we ever enjoyed the recent sunshine. At the end of each day, though, we return home, whether from work or leisure activities.
January is an appropriate month for home comforts, as Dame Edith Sitwell expressed. Here, copious amounts of tea are drunk, with an occasional hot chocolate indulgence before bedtime. The calendar is mostly empty, and in the evenings we read books, place stitches, and talk about plans for later in the year.
Tidying up happens in a desultory fashion. The other day I sorted my scarf drawer, refolding the ones that had been tossed in in a hurry, and removing a few that are never worn.
The pile of linens on the chair above were those used during the holidays, now laundered and either stacked neatly (napkins) or in long folds draped over hangers in an upstairs closet (tablecloths). I learned to store them that way from my mom and it certainly aids in lessening wrinkles.
I keep a fairly deep pantry. My daughter-in-law once said that in case of an emergency she's bringing her family here because there would always be something to eat. Each year I freeze berries and produce and now is the time to ensure that it all gets eaten.
A couple of times a year I announce that we will be "living off the hump" referring to the fat stored in a camel's hump that enables it to live when food is scarce. I think I read that in a book by Peg Bracken many years ago. I try to whittle down the freezer contents and make sure that I'm using the staples in my cupboards. The other day I made a peach-blackberry cobbler for friends using frozen fruit.
Grocery shopping consists mostly of fresh foods like citrus, so sweet and juicy just now. I made a lemon loaf last weekend, and this weekend I think I'll put together a Sour Cream Lemon Pie from a recipe on Brenda's blog. I also hope to make some Lemon Curd and freeze it in small jars to pull out when needed.
Our winter has been extremely mild thus far and the Swiss Chard and kale are thriving. I picked a bunch of chard and made a rustic bean dip with it. I portion it in half-pint jars and take it to school for lunch, to eat with cucumber slices and wedges of sweet bell peppers. Some of the chard will go into a soup I'm making tonight.
A year or so ago I purchased some Tilda fabric, along with a book of Tilda projects. I've done little with the fabric and since one of my intentions this year is to be more creative, I started small with this cushion cover. The piecing went together in a couple of Saturday afternoon hours, and the rest in small chunks of time here and there. Now a little cottage in the woods rests on the bed and makes me smile to see it.
The Granny Square quilt I began a couple of years ago is now finished. Choosing the fabrics, cutting the squares, and sewing them together is the fun part of quilting for me. When it comes down to the actual sandwich part of quilting, I procrastinate. Recently, however, my sister and her daughter purchased a long-arm quilting machine. My mom is an expert quilter and while here in September volunteered to get two tops ready for quilting. She cut the batting and backing and sandwiched them together for quilting, took them to the mainland and gave them to my niece. Yay! All that was left for me to do was cut and stitch the binding. I enjoy the last step of hand stitching the binding to the back. There is great satisfaction in having another project finished.
This is turning into a very long post. I'll tell you about a couple of books I read recently later. Now I'll leave you with a bright bouquet of tulips that are cheering up the dining room. Pops of colour in January are most welcome, don't you think?
Linking with Friday Bliss, hosted by Riitta of Floral Passions.