No place like home.

Today marks my 6th day in a row being at home. Last week I was felled by the plague (again), but I worked from home while chugging soup, hot tea and Delsym. Then I canceled all plans for the weekend to rest, except for one short jaunt to the grocery store for the requisite pre-storm eggs and milk. Come Monday, half a foot of snow and ice fell. And here’s the scariest part:  I haven’t minded one bit. I’ve been completely relishing in my homebodiness while “snowed in” — I’ve watched TV, I’ve cleaned my house, I’ve read a book, I’ve talked on the phone, I’ve watched some movies, I’ve made dinner. I’ve even had time to bake two loaves of bread.

Bread might be my favorite food, and I will eat it in any form:  a sandwich, toast, crackers, rolls, scones, pancakes, even croutons. (I obviously would fail miserably at the Atkins diet.) You probably know that I a) enjoy a culinary challenge, b) am wary of what’s in my food, c) bake to offset stress and d) like preserving the slow ways of cooking. For those reasons, I started baking my own bread about a year ago. I used to be afraid of yeast and the finicky nature of dough, but I’ve learned that I like working with it as much as I like eating the finished product. Sure, there’s all that kneading and rising and punching. But it’s kind of a miracle when you can put some flour, butter and water in the oven and a light, flaky baked good comes out. Keep reading »

Winter wonderland.

It’s a rare snow day here in the South. Well, a snow day to everyone who isn’t “on call” or “working remotely” or “tethered to their BlackBerry.” Not that that contains an ounce of bitterness.

We have about 6 inches on the ground already and that will be covered by a layer of ice tonight, which should make driving really fun over the next few days. A couple of fools from my neighborhood have already tried to drive out today, and I really hope they’re headed to help at the hospital, not just traipsing out for errands. Hey, the mall delayed opening until 10 a.m. this morning. What a relief.

It’s no secret that we southerners don’t react well to snow — one flake falls, the banks and schools close and we all furiously speed to the grocery store to buy bread, milk and eggs. (To make french toast while we’re snowed in?) I for one am heeding the warning to stay put. Twist my arm. Keep reading »