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Comfort Cooking

Often, in the dead of winter, every Danish corpuscle in my body will start screaming "We haven't put up any food at all! We haven't preserved a single vegetable! We're all gonna die before spring!" And, seeing as I lack the equipment or patience to do proper canning, it generally comes down to refrigerator pickles.

The red jar is turnips and a few beets for color, such as you may have had at Lebanese restaurants. The orange one is a pseudo-Mexican preparation of carrots with red onion and some slices of jalapeños I grew last summer. The yellow jar is a cruciferous concoction of broccoli stems and cauliflower in seasoned rice wine vinegar.

This is the sort of thing I do to get through the winter depression. What about you? Any tricks for enduring the dark months? I can use all the advice I can get.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
I put on warm clothes and boots and stomp through the woods with the dogs. That usually does the trick to cheer me up. I also climb on Charlene and dump piles of dirt and leaves onto my barren garden. If those don't work, usually a good seed catalog brings me out the winter blues.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, how could I forget: Large bonfires.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
Can I borrow the dogs and Charlene?
Jan. 22nd, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Your brother pointed out one of my favorite things to do in the winter -- get bundled-up and take a walk in the woods! I'm also a big fan of seed catalog therapy. Knitting and crafting in the dark months also really helps me -- creating during this time feels extra soothing.

Maybe some Geocaching soon?

Jan. 23rd, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
In addition to our existing plans, I'm thinking some Geocaching is a very good idea, indeed. Espeche around noonish. The sun would help!
Jan. 22nd, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
i'm w/ chris on the "stomping through the woods" thing, or at least making a point of braving the cold on occasion, especially when there's Actual (if weak) Sunshine.

other than that, apparently i nest. how can i rearrange my space? what Exciting New (and cheap) Furniture can i get to make it more comfortable? what do i not use that i can get rid of (freeing up more space)?

occasionally i'm even motivated to clean tidy it up, although that's a bit of a stretch. >;)
Jan. 23rd, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
Good advice all around. Not really quite up to that degree of environmental engineering, but I'll keep it in mind for when it gets a wee bit lighter. Nesting in general I can do. I mostly make nests out of blankets and pillows. Twigs and straw. Etc.

Hope you are well, honey. We're thinking of you.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
We're all gonna die before spring!


Beset by toddler. Can't really write. But I have to smile at you.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)

(please kiss toddler for me)
Jan. 22nd, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
That's awesome! Now I want to go and pickle something...

I tend to read more books during the winter than any other season - sometimes two at once.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
I wish I could get into your head for veggie recipes! Will you tell me some? Pleaseplease?
Jan. 22nd, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Can't help on the patience issue, but as long as you avoid meats and tomatoes, you can do all kinds of "proper" boiling water canning with stuff you probably already own. All you really need are canning jars, tongs, a funnel, and a stock pot.

Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
How did I not know that you do canning? That's really cool.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
I've only been doing it for a couple of years, mostly jams and such during the summer fruit season to give as X-Mass presents. But it's amazingly easy to do, as long as you take a little time to get organized.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
I take low-paying jobs that get me outside a lot.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
Stay warm, please.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Walking in good boots. Sweating at the gym and taking a hot shower. Planning and cooking meals at home. Buffy DVDs and wine and big fluffy blankets and cattens and one friend. Cleaning the kitchen (keeps the creeping miasma at bay). Dance parties. Going out to the country and seeing an effing ton of stars.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:24 am (UTC)
Huh, OK. *wets pen on tongue, takes notes* "A says... creeping... miasma... bad..."

See, I was totally cultivating the creeping miasma, but now that you mention it, it does seem like it could be part of the problem. I think I was just taken in by how fun it is to say: creeping miasma!

In all seriousness, great suggestions all around. I can't really do all of those things right now, but I think I could work up to it

BTW, I miss you.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
Oh, sweet! Thanks so much for these.

You know what we had for dinner on Saturday? Potato leek soup and homemade bread. I guess there's something universal about that in winter.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
We have a Verilux full-spectrum floor lamp. We bought it for art purposes, so we could get "natural" light even at night, but it improves my state of mind whenever we run it. obscurerichard had it on in his office today and my mood immediately lifted from apathetic to almost perky every time I walked in.
Jan. 24th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
I was going to suggest that too. :) Also, paint a room bright sky blue (like the craft room). With that plus full-spectrum light and a heater, it'll feel like summer!

Well, maybe not just like summer. But, y'know. :)

Also, I think it's about time for a summer tiki party at the Manor. We can de-ice everything and put out some palm trees. :)
Jan. 24th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
Another thought? Come to Orlando. Bright blue skies, sunshine, 70 degree weather... :)
Jan. 24th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
I'm looking forward to Imbolc ritual this year. A great reminder that the sun IS returning!
Jan. 24th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Tips from your sister
Eat plenty of chocolate or comfort foods
make lots of LJ icons
Play with your kitties
Learn something new on the internet, out in public or in the home every day.
don't cook for one night and order out.
get plenty of sunlight
Spring clean your home in the winter.
move the furniture around--I did this one winter and it was nice. A new enviroment def. cheered me up
Take hot baths with candles and smelly stuff
check yourself into a hotel for one night and have others wait on you.
watch plenty of funny movies and shows
think happy thoughts.
Turn your living room into a home gym. exercise makes you feel better.

Jan. 24th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Lots of full spectrum lightbulbs, making anything in general, time with friends who love and adore you, trips, cuddles, and in general having those things around you that are relentlessly positive (in whatever way you need). Just my 2cents.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )