I try to bake and cook with the seasons.
It’s not easy to do in a culture of 24-hour grocery stores offering year-round supplies of every produce imaginable. Even though I sometimes fall into the trap of instant gratification of my taste buds, I strive to draw my creative energy from the current season and keep in touch with the earth’s natural cycles.
So on this Winter Solstice Night, sipping on pine-tree-flavored gin and eating a solstice tart (recipe in development!), I’m reflecting on the Autumn we’re leaving behind and the Winter that faces us. Color has drained from the trees, winds are turning from brisk to bitter, and we are driven indoors to seek shelter from the cold and dark. Some days it seems that Winter’s bleakness is eternal. It is not; we just need to look a little harder for our nourishment, nutritional and otherwise. It’s time to share warm, hearty soups and stews with those closest to us, mopping up the bottom of the bowls with seedy sprouted wheat sourdough breads and rolls, the sort of creations that remind us that life can be found right in the kitchen anytime of year. I’m grateful to be greeted each morning by the bubbling ripeness of my two sourdough starters, Demeter and Persephone. Even on the darkest nights of the year, the kitchen is teeming with vigorous activity.
Even when I feel the pull of those woods, so lovely, dark and deep, you can find me baking in the kitchen. I hope you find nourishment and love there during your Winter, too.