Friday, February 09, 2007

Does this blog post make me look fat?

I've been neglecting my blog lately in favor of working in the yard, celebrating the glorious 40 degree weather. Glorious relative to the 18 degrees I woke up to the other day, of course. I know, I know, some of you have it far worse with temps in the negatives and wind chill blah blah blah, but I chose never to move farther north than where I am right now 'cause I like to sweat, dammit. It's good for you.

I have been sweating in the yard lately, lugging around 50# flagstones left in a pile by the landscaper to a new spot as stepping stones from the front door to a side gate. I had to grade the path by hand, too, shovelling great piles of soggy, rich clay to what will be new beds on either side of the path. All that, plus hauling broken chunks of concrete driveway that were left on our property as the first course of "stone" in a stone path border. The chunks are all about 6 inches thick and damn heavy but at least we don't have to landfill them, and they read visually as stone once you put real stones on top of them. I love to work like this. I don't know about the rest of you, but hard labor is always good for what ails me.

Today, though, it's just a bit too cold and windy to feel comfortable outside even doing heavy lifting work. I've got some baking projects going instead to make things cozy here. I'm trying a recipe for no-knead whole wheat bread, and no-knead yeast breads were not even something I knew existed. I'm too lazy and have too much of a sweet tooth to have ever devoted much time to really learn how to bake good bread, but something about the weather inspires a longing in me to perfume the house with fresh baking. I also pulled some custard cup-sized apple crisps out of the oven a little while ago. I feel all virtuous about it because I used up 4 apples just beginning to wrinkle, half a cup of some homemade mincemeat filling, and some pecan streusel I had frozen some time ago to be able to make quick fruit desserts. Apples and mincemeat plus some sugar, cinnamon, and a big dollop of sour cream were the filling, the streusel I sprinkled on top, and that was it. Sooooo rich and yummy and belly-warming.

And now to go with my theme for the day of self-indulgence, I'm off for a little nap. Hope you're all finding ways to relax out of the cold today!

9 comments:

Damselfly said...

Lugging flagstones in 40=-degree weather?! You deserve a nap and then some.

Thanks for commenting on my blog exchange. Granny panties, sometimes it's nice to wear 'em!

Beth said...

yum....apple crisp...love it.

I would love to see pictures of your yard...it sounds like a country cottage with a garden overflowing with pretty flowers and paths that lead somewhere special.....

Amber said...

It's been in the 70's here- perfect weather IMO. I'm starting on my gardens next week. This week has been spent painting. I've got raised bed gardens to build, haul dirt for, and then plant. If I'm feeling up to it I"m going to do the paverstones around them too- but we'll see. I just want to get my tomatoes and peppers in before it's too late.

Lauren said...

This is such a nice post. Wow, you really work hard in the garden.

Belle said...

What, exactly, is mincemeat? I've read it in some of the historical novels I love, but didn't know there was such a thing in this day and age. It sounds pretty good, though.

It's still not really warm enough for us to work in our yard...since we're not really doing anything other than planting stuff after the last frost.

And....I hope to make some sort of lockable enclosure for a pool and extend our driveway. But I can't do that till our tax refund comes in.

Sugarmama said...

Belle, mincemeat is a mixture of dried fruits, spices, and, back in the day, also included suet chunks. You simmer it all together and it ends up spicy and chunky and very rich and sweet. It IS kind of an old-fashioned thing--especially the suet part--but you can still find it in the baking aisles of a lot of grocery stores come holiday time. And, of course, you can make it yourself.

Manhattan Mama said...

You made me so hungry with your apple strudel chat that I starting baking like a crazy person again: muffins, cookies, scones, biscuits. I love being a little baker delivery person in my building -- we give the extras away!

Stay warm and send the strudel recipe!

cubmommy said...

I wish we had some decent weather right now.

It sounds like a lovely way to spend your time.

Sugarmama said...

Manhattan Mama, I wish I'd been so ambitious as to make a strudel, but it was just apple crisp with some streusel on top.

Hmmm, apple strudel sounds tasty right about now...