Monday, February 1, 2010

Bluegrass, Baking, Snow and Seedlings

So this weekend has been one of many firsts....I will start with the one that prompted some things and prevented others!

This weekend we had our first and probably last big snow of the 2009-2010 winter season.   A winter storm hit central NC on Friday night and dumped about 6 inches here in our area.  Nice fluffy snow, topped off with a layer of sleet.  Perfect for sledding!  I love it when it snows, it is so quiet and beautiful.  But, because we live in the South, snow pretty much shuts down everything.  Schools close, places of work close, and the roads are treacherous since our Department of Transportation isn't exactly prepared for any amount of snow over an inch. 

The chickens just ventured out of their house today after I shoveled the snow from their pen and put down layers of fresh, dry straw....spoiled girls!  The pups have been extra hyper, something about the snow that makes them super excited.  The wild birds have devoured every last seed in the feeder.  This beautiful, fluffy snow meant me and the hubby would spend the entire weekend at home, inside, neglecting the many things that need to be done outside to prepare for Spring.  So this lead me to...

The first time I have made homemade bread.  It started on Friday.  I picked up The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book from the library.  This book has detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make bread from scratch.  It even goes into details about how the bread should look and feel at every stage of the process.  It's like having another person, a bread-making genius, in the kitchen with you!  So, on Friday I slaved away over the hot stove (this is what I tell my hubby) to make my first loaf of whole grain bread.  To my surprise my first loaf turned out perfect and yummy!  I even went as far as to make french toast for the hubby on Sat morning with the homemade bread.

Of course, being holed up in the house all weekend...I couldn't stop at one loaf!  So on Sunday, while the snow was still holding fast, I tried a different recipe....Whole Grain Pesto Bread.  Now I am not usually one to brag, but I am too proud of myself!  These loaves turned out great!  Not bad for a girl on her first bread-making adventure! 

I also made some black-eyed pea soup and cornbread (can't take credit for the cornbread, comes in a mix add egg, etc you get the drift)!  But cooked in a cast iron skillet, makes all the difference.  That's a well seasoned pan there (almost got it all out in one piece!)

Other firsts this weekend....Hubby's band The Rye Mountain Boys had their maiden gig scheduled for this weekend, Sat night, when everything was shut down and snowed gig had to be rescheduled, but I got to listen to the hubby practice in the house most every evening.  This is a rare occasion, as he is usually in his music room, but practicing by the fire must have been more appealing to him!  So as he practiced and I made bread, I couldn't help but think this was what we were meant to music and make food.  Seems kinda crazy but I figure we were both equally happy with ourselves at that moment. 
Ah yes, and I can't forget...our first seedlings of the year!  We have officially started the growing season here in our household.  Under grow lights we have lettuce seedlings pushing their way through and our hot peppers just started rearing their hot little heads last night!  We usually straight sow everything in the garden except the hot peppers.  This year we are also trying our hand at a early spring garden with lettuce and carrots. 
So a weekend of firsts, and what a wonderful weekend it was.  Schools are still closed today and tomorrow, hubby worked from home, and I, well I don't have a "day job" so I just did the usual.  As we "recover" from the "massive snow storm" and things are slowly thawing out, I feel like Spring can't come fast enough.  I long for the warm days and all of the green that comes with Spring but I do actually enjoy the slowness of Winter.  Sometimes I think we forget how quickly things change.  Before we know it Spring will be knocking us upside the head with flowering Red Maples, seedlings galore, garden chores, bluegrass gigs and festivals, and a long list of work we will never finish.  That's when we will look back on weekends like these and long for the slowness of Winter.  

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