As the weather outside gets frightful we turn our attention inward. We bury ourselves in winter coats, avoiding the use of every warm layer at once, hoping to mentally trick ourselves into thinking the coldest day won’t come, while secretly knowing we have to keep some wooly layer in the closet like a trick up our sleeve for inevitable freezing days. We light fires, plug in electric blankets, don thick socks, and sit more tightly packed on buses and couches. Festivals that celebrate light, and warmth, and sparkle help us feign off the fatigue that creeps in on the shortest days of the year.
As we look inward, let’s not shut off. As we look inward let’s warm our homes and share our fire. Let’s find ways to rejuvenate ourselves before we need it. Let’s dance, let’s laugh, let’s use the YMCA sauna (!!), let’s sit too close to each other, and let’s, as every season allows, share the food we love.
While winter, for me, lacks the presence of a sun ripened tomato and a juicy peach that drips down your chin- there are still beautiful flavors that provide warmth and comfort through this season. I rely heavily on my Czech roots during this time, feeling nourished by stewed dishes with flavors of paprika, fennel, and orange. I play around with how much nourishment I can keep locked into all the hard winter vegetables that get cooked up. I relish (hehe) in the beautiful bounty of summer that has been canned, frozen, and pickled. And I delight in using my oven to bake, creating both delicious treats, and a warm work environment!