Nothing like butter and sugar deliciousness to a paleo-weary soul. Especially on a cold, dreary Michigan day. I'm making a banana spice cake with chocolate chips, mixed up in my favorite old yellow Pyrex bowl.
While this is baking, I thought I'd pose with my half-finished scarf, needles dangling. It's taking longer than I thought. I need to have it done by Monday in order to send it to the women's shelter. It has been a good excuse to sit and watch some Christmas movies, though, as I don't need to concentrate very hard on this pattern.
And now, yummy cake and tea. Love this quote from Wind in the Willows. I, too, have a fire burning and a cat curled up and purring. No canaries twittering, but loads of chickadees and finches busy at my feeders.
When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad; and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over, and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries. ~Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
This is quite a lovely book. I've read it several times over the years. There is a wonderful description of the contents of a picnic basket packed by Ratty when he and Mole go boating on the river.
Another cozy book I have just finished is Christmas at Fairacre by Miss Read. Set in the English countryside, it is a collection of three Christmas novellas of a simpler time, complete with quaint characters and a peaceful, charming setting. It was a quick read, and I was sad to see it end, as Fairacre was a lovely place to visit.
These cold, dreary days do have their compensations. I used to think, growing up, that I would choose to live somewhere warm as an adult. I hated my bare feet touching the cold hardwood floors in the morning. My mother, born during the Depression to frugal New Englanders, kept true to her roots and set our thermostat to 63 during the day and 58 at night. Brrr! Now, however (living in a slightly warmer house with carpeting), I've changed my mind. Winter means cozy fires, hot cups of tea, stacks of good books, and flickering candlelight. I can be snug as a bug in a rug, as my grandmother used to say -- just as long as I don't have to drive in the Michigan sleet and snow. That's another story!