Snowbound…and Baking

We woke up to about six inches of drifting snow this morning – a much lower amount than forecasters had been predicting for our area. That said, CPT A still had to get out the snow blower (only the second time we’ve used it this winter) and clear the drive.

Meanwhile, I grabbed a shovel, cleared off the porch and worked on a path to the front door.

I wore my new camel hat…

…and am pleased to report it kept my head toasty warm and dry. In fact, when I finally came in, I had a coating of ice on the hat that I hadn’t even noticed. (It was sleeting as I shoveled).

The birds are not pleased with the weather.

They came out briefly to look at the ground I’d shoveled for them and then returned to the barn where it’s warm and dry.

The snow means there will be no “visiting” for them for a few days. The turkey and guinea hen have discovered that our neighbor to the north is generous with birdseed and have been frequenting her backyard feeders. They’ve also been sauntering up her front walk…

We caught them at it the other day – they looked like they were going for tea. Thankfully, our neighbor is understanding and says she enjoys it when the birds stop by.

Inside the house, things have been pleasantly cozy. The government shutdown has me looking into the pantry for meal ideas more than I have in the past (I’m ashamed to say), and I discovered all sorts of neglected ingredients that needed to be put to use. I started by channeling my surplus of flour into basic white bread (very popular with the family)…

…then progressed to a “Heidelberg Rye” (not quite as popular – I think I added too much rye flour and the loaves were pretty dense. They looked nice, though!)

Meanwhile, Alison baked cookies to put a dent in our stock of peanut butter, and I threw together a pan of “Mary Jane Gingerbread” with the last of the molasses and some forgotten whipping cream.


If you’re interested in the recipe (and it’s a good one!), you can find it HERE. I first came by it in Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Cookbook (1964). She says the recipe belonged to her grandmother.

In other news, the girls learned how to make soap this past week at a class offered by the East Longmeadow Library.

Aren’t these cute?

And they work!

The ducks are actual rubber ducks (CPT A thought they were soap, too, at first). I think these would make really cute gifts.

And, finally, here’s a picture of a sunrise I enjoyed this past week.

CPT A and I periodically complain about how we never get to sleep in now because of the chickens. And, it’s true. Seven days a week, we’re up with the sun…. But, the upside of that is…we’re up with the sun, and that’s often a very beautiful time to be up and about.

From the dining room table, noticing that it has begun to snow…again,

Mrs. Smythe

6 Comments on “Snowbound…and Baking

  1. Thanks for showing us how to thrive despite….Thoroughly enjoyed your post!

  2. I usually get up around 5, eat breakfast while reading the paper then watch the sun start to rise and the birds come to the feeders. It’s my favorite time of the day, well that and when I get get visitors on the deck looking in at me.

    • Too funny about the “visitors”! So glad you don’t mind them dropping in. And, I agree, there’s something really wonderful about the early morning.

  3. Mary Jane Gingerbread? I know this is Massachusetts and all, but I would think that this would present a conflict of interest for Cpt. A!

    • I had to do some internet research to interpret your comment, Bob. I had no idea “Mary Jane” was another name for marijuana. Rest assured, there were no “exotic ingredients” in the gingerbread I made this week. 😉