We aren't having the heavy snow followed by freezing rain (baaaad!) that some of you are experiencing today, but our early morning temperature got down mighty close to 20 below. That's cold.
As I was comfy warm in the kitchen getting an apple pie together to put in the oven, Papa Pea was outside doing morning chores. Coming in he remarked that one almost needed goggles to protect the eyeballs from the biting cold. It's truly necessary to be careful when being outside in these temperatures.
We went down into the root cellar yesterday to retrieve more apples to fill my container I keep on the floor of the pantry as a supply for baking or eating out of hand. It was time to sort through the apples anyway, and we found very few with developing bad spots. Good for us, bad for the chickens who love to get the sorted out apples and peck right through them lickity-split.
Speaking of our dear chickens, they are finally seeming to come out of their winter rest period and molt. Finally. I've been rationing the eggs I've had stock piled plus the few we've gotten these past several weeks. We debate each year about putting a light in the chicken house to possibly encourage more egg production during this darkest time of the year, but always come back to the more natural way of keeping the chickens . . . letting them have that natural rest period. We've had good luck keeping older hens laying through their third and even fourth years so maybe in the long run letting them take time off pays off.
All in the root cellar is keeping very well: potatoes, carrots, cabbages and the apples. Between food in the cellar and pantry and freezers, don't I love to go grocery shopping right here at home!
Besides the apples, we also brought up more potatoes as Papa Pea has lately had a real hankering for them. (The man says he needs fuel this time of year!)
And that's fine with me as the cook because it's just the right time of year for tasty oven meals such as I've been making.
Casseroles like these scalloped potatoes made with ham chunks mixed in are well-received on a cold day in January. A dish this size provides us with several meals with different side dishes for both our morning and evening time around the table.
My mind is fighting between spending the day industriously baking and cooking in the warm kitchen or snuggled on the couch in front of the fire knitting and/or reading. What a dilemma, eh?
For those of you shoveling and plowing and roof raking and moving snow, pace yourselves by going in frequently for rest breaks. And enjoy the beauty of the snowfall!
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