New England Weather is unpredictable. We experience 50 degrees, the next day brace for a winter blizzard. So January 2022 began with a winter storm, 18 inches, and on the first Friday in January.
I woke up to a gorgeous winter wonderland, especially since I was warm inside and enjoying a cup of tea.
With Christmas over, it was the best. We all managed to stay healthy and avoid Covid, which unfortunately was not the situation for many of our friends; I started hearty winter cooking, a necessity in New England.
My first post-Christmas recipe was this colorful, gorgeous Butternut Squash Galette. You might ask what a Galette is. It is basically a rustic, free-form flat tart made with a single crust of french pastry or bread dough, like a pizza. Galettes can be savory and served as an entree or sweet like a dessert. The dough is simple and easy to master.
A special Christmas present this year was an electric teapot! Years ago, I had a Mrs. Tea, and I enjoyed making a pot of tea in the unit. Eventually, I wore out my teapot and chose not to replace using a standard teapot on the stove.
I just happened to stroll Dedham town square and discovered Terma, a charming new shop. I was taken with an adorable stunning electric teapot, a sleek contemporary design with smooth lines that was exactly my style! And Santa graciously gifted me this tea kettle, all prettily wrapped with a bow on top under my tree. Now I plug my pot in, turn the setting to my desired temperature, and have perfect hot water for tea all day.
Another January tradition that I adore is the cleaning and organizing my home for the coming year. A personal favorite is cleaning out my spices. Did you know that herbs do not last forever? My favorite place to buy spices is from Penzey’s. The spices are fresh and can be purchased in bulk or a small amount at a reasonable price. Purchasing small quantities is essential with spices that you do not often use. Who wants expensive leftover spices that are stale and you have to throw out? Also, if you buy a small quantity, you can sample a variety of unusual spices to see what you like.
During the cold winter months, I love to make up batches of soups to freeze. My soups are deliciously filling and healthy since I primarily use minimal salt and fat. Perfect for taking off those few pounds added during the holiday season! A new addition to my repertoire is this healthy vegan Vietnamese Pho Soup.
I have to say that this January was both frigid and stormy. A combination that is chilling to the bone. My hopes are that February is kinder and gentler to us New Englanders.
As I sit and write this blog, I am sending wishes to the universe for a warmer and less stormy February. Either way, I will be searching my favorite garden websites for additions to my garden. My perennial favorites are David Austin Roses, White Flower Farm, and Dutch Gardens. I highly recommend these sites to budding gardeners; the ideas are perfect for novices and experienced gardeners. Each year I pledge to not purchase more plants for my crowded garden. However, I don’t believe a word because I can’t help finding new plants that will be perfect! So I dream on as the days get longer, and as the early spring warm replaces frozen earth, and my copious quantities ordered from garden sites, arrive at my front door!
Cheers to celebrating January and wishes for an equally eventful February!