Like many of you, I’ve been spending a lot of time at home. Even during a “normal” year, I typically work at home and make the occasional day trip to visit family on the South Shore or up in Portsmouth, NH. In years past, if the weather was decent, I’ve made short trips to visit some college friends who live in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Since this year is keeping me closer to home, I’m completing things off a never ending “to-do” list I’ve created in my head. And it’s been wonderful!

In addition to cleaning and decluttering many neglected, dusty corners of my house, I’ve been reading, listening to podcasts, cooking, baking and crafting. With so little farming to do in the winter, I need to find something to do with my hands. I gain a lot of happiness from learning how to create beautiful things to give to others. Over the years I’ve learned how to make soap, candles, kombucha, wreaths, rope baskets, macrame for hanging planters, cement art, bread and hand salve. It’s a great way for me to be creative while also learning useful skills.

This winter I made beeswax wraps (still perfecting the method), shampoo bars, apple cider vinegar (also need to perfect the recipe), candles by melting down the end of a few candles that were just collecting dust, a book safe and butterbeer lip balm for my niece who is a Harry Potter fan, embroidery art for a friend and my favorite hand salve (thankfully this recipe is perfected!). I think I take after my mother, who is just as creative and crafty and always finds joy in making things.

In the kitchen, I’ve been discovering new recipes to add to my weekly repertoire. Spicy Thai noodles, roasted garlic and cauliflower soup, fire roasted tomato soup, dutch oven bread, creamy polenta with red wine mushrooms, sweet potato and black bean tacos, chickpea and tomato coconut curry soup, mushroom stuffed potato cakes…..hungry yet? I love spending more time in the kitchen during the fall and winter months, not only because it’s probably the warmest part of my house, but because I can finally slow down to appreciate the vegetables from the farm. It’s difficult to find the time in the summer to cook, but I certainly make up for it now!

With the first greenhouse seeding just around the corner, I’m appreciating the quiet, slow days of winter. With proper rest and plenty of completed craft projects, I will be more than ready to begin another growing season with a happy heart, a healthy mind and a body that will be eager for some more exercise!

Be well.

Until next time,