That didn't stop me from taking deep joy in battening down the hatches. Candles were lit, pyjamas donned, board games played, tea drunk; and oodles of spaghetti and sauce consumed.
I also made my first successful batch of bread in years, testing my new halogen tabletop oven. I gave up when we had a new, terrible oven installed and couldn't hack it to bake good bread (or good anything) and have missed fresh baked bread terribly. Though I'm out of practice and started with a dough that was far too wet; and my 'rolls' merged into a giant bread flower; the bread rose beautifully and stayed soft and springy.
|Yes that is a wallpaper stripper, unused and repurposed - very good for scraping, portioning and spreading.|
I'm completely smitten with the halogen oven. It comes to temperature in a few minutes as an oven, and instantly as a grill. It also fills the kitchen with a fire like glow that is particularly pleasing on a dark evening; and it warms the unheated uninsulated kitchen - though nowhere near as efficiently as the main oven. My only complaint is that I would like a bigger model; and that I wish it were rectangular to take my regular baking trays.
The sun is gradually returning - the day is almost half an hour longer than it was at the winter solstice, which makes my SAD prone self very happy. But I think I've coped pretty well so far with this winter, taking care to nest and appreciate the little, cosy things. This time next month I'll be starting my tomato seedlings; and then I'll know things are on the up.