January 24, 2015

Mid-Winter Musings...

Well, my last visit here was a long-overdue attempt to catch up on the holidays and life in general. I've managed to get back here to post less than three months later, which in itself is something of an accomplishment.

With the holiday frenzy past, it's really a time for quiet reflection, and an opportunity to take care of some things at home - you know, the things that you put off for a winter day because it's too nice outside the rest of the year to be stuck inside.  But stuck inside we are lately - it has been bitter cold, not necessarily terrible weather (thank heavens!) but frigid and not a fun time to play outdoors, unless you really love all those winter sports that make you put on layers and puffy attire that makes one look like the Michelin Tire man...not a good look for most folks, if you ask me.

I've got stacks of things to deal with piled up at the abode, so grey winter days like these are truly perfect for sitting down and tackling them to try to make a dent in the accumulation. It'll take a few of these weekend days to get through them, but there's no compelling reason to go out right now, so that's my plan.

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, though I think it's a good idea to try to do certain things differently, or better or just be a better person, etc.  I did make a couple of unofficial resolutions late last year - one was to have more fun.  It seems a simple notion, but sometimes I get so focused on work, or taking care of essentials at home, or laundry, or whatever, that I don't do as many of the things that I used to in years past that I still enjoy.  Mind you, I can have fun just having a quiet day or evening at home, and rarely do I go out to do something "fun" for its own sake unless it's really appealing to me, but I am going to make a point of doing more of those things I enjoy.  I'm sure I'll do them when the weather is milder in spring, summer and fall, but I've resolved to make a concerted effort to do more now, when it's not so nice outside.  For example, I can't remember the last time I went to a museum or art gallery - something I love to do - so I've already made a plan to visit an art gallery that I've wanted to visit for nearly a year.  It's not nearby, but it's not so far that I can't get there in less than 90 minutes, so I'm headed there in February when I'll be en route to another destination that's farther still - about 2 1/2 hours from home - that I enjoy and haven't visited in a few years.  I'm looking forward to enjoying them both.

I've also been of the view for years that the best way to make the long cold months of winter feel like they're going by more quickly is to plan activities periodically that I can look forward to.  It breaks up the season, so by the time one gets into February, things feel like they're moving more quickly toward spring...always a good thing in my view.

In the meantime, I had a craving this week for a menu item that used to be a very popular in years - okay, a few decades - past, so I picked up the ingredients in my grocery store and made it today.  No one will suggest that there's anything to recommend the calories or fat or anything else that this decadent item delivers, but it's one of the comfort food tastes of those years ago, so I made it.  I give you my classic quiche Lorraine!

Yes, the one with eggs, cream, Swiss cheese, crumbled bacon and sauteed onions all contained in a crust (ready-made in this case) within a classic, fluted quiche dish.  I haven't made it in a long while, but I made it, or variations on it, so often that I didn't need a recipe and it turned out perfectly.  It puffed up beautifully, baked in a 400F oven for 10 minutes, then turned down to 325F for 40 minutes more and voila!  I love my quiche dish, too. It's one of the traditional ceramic pottery ones that was made by Pfaltzgraff for their Yorktowne line and mine has been used so often that it shows all kinds of vintage crazing - I happen to love that in this dish in particular - it shows how much it is a favorite for all kinds of items.

So, bunndle up, put another log on the fire, relax, have a glass of wine (or whatever), a slice of traditional French quiche, a bit of green salad, and enjoy!