Gloom. That about sums up the winter so far. The up side (there is ALWAYS an upside, albeit a tiny one) is that the frigid temperatures are not as long-lasting as last year's. They are punctuated by a spike in temps with rain. Joy.
Finding myself the recipient of five days in a row where I was not at my office, I decided to de-stress by going on a purge. Of my crafting closet. It turned out to be a half-purge, as I ran out of steam after just going through the fabric half of the closet. In my defense, I already had a sort-of organized system, using the word "organized" very loosely. I crammed all the fabric, wrapping paper and that sort of thing on the left, and crammed all the yarn, various crafting trends I lost focus in, painting stuff and all things fiber on the right. It was a frightful mess. The last straw was when I had a small gift bag that I wanted to keep (along with the other 505 gift bags I knew I would need...someday) and opened the door quickly, shoved it in, and slammed the door so nothing would tumble around my ears. Sad, sad, sad.
Taking a deep breath, pulling on my BGPs (the same sorry ones I've been pulling on for years - haven't had the gumption to enter a store since the holidays), I made a pot of tea and charged in. Four hours later, I had two of my favorite pop-up bags (from Sylvie, who tries even from afar to whip me into shape) spilling over with oddments and bodkins. There were two pillow forms (new in the bag), yards of fabric, sewing notions, craft supplies, gift bags...., wrapping paper, gift tags, all kinds of stuff. I managed to shove everything into a 30+ gallon trash bag and put it on Freecycle. I know, I know. I am a glutton for punishment. I had six requests within 5 minutes of listing it. They ranged from: I WANT IT! to "I want it and am in North Adams if you can deliver it today". North Adams is a 45 min drive. I got downright snarky - in my heading, I had dutifully listed the location. Very clearly. One woman wanted to know if I was in another town. In another state. I informed her I was with the bag in the town listed. The first normal sounding person was due to pick it up Saturday night. She never showed. Apparently, something came up and she forgot. Sigh. I declined to hold it for her until next weekend. No. 2 showed up and lugged it off. Besides the aggravation of having to deal with the knuckleheads, it was such a great feeling - getting all that stuff out of the house. I was going to continue with my yarn side, but I have too much emotional attachment to my yarn, so am waiting until my backbone regenerates.
I bet you are wondering what the heck the Mediterranean has to do with all that. Well, nothing. As usual, I went rambling on and on. The Mediterranean has to do with my Meyers lemons. I had a nice crop this year, even with my shameless neglect of my adored tree. But what to do with all those lemons coming ripe at the same moment? For once, I did not go online. I moseyed over to my cookbook shelves and pulled out my favorite wintertime reading - Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts, by Aglaia Kremezi. Lawsymersy, if this book doesn't make you feel all warm and balmy, nothing will! It is one of my favorites. I had spied a recipe for preserved lemons in there, so leafed through to see if I had what was needed. Close enough (my motto).
Voila! (or Eureka! since we are referring to Greece...)
The whole process made the kitchen smell all lemony (in that distinct Meyers' way) and sunny. I left a few lemons for fresh use, but I cannot wait to try these out. I have my eye on about seventeen recipes in the book...
Which leads me to (more quickly than usual...) the GC update. I realized this weekend, that I need to quit cooking for a while. I am not using up the prepared things in my freezer as fast as I need to. I think I have "Must Cook" hardwired into my brain on weekends. I made a deal with myself that I would only make soup. I always take something up to my parents (at 91, my mother is tired of cooking - go figure), so soup is what they get. I did roast a half-chicken from my stash, then made chicken stock and tidbits for the dogs, along with a nice chicken pot pie with a GF biscuit crust. Meh on the crust. I need to make my own baking mixes. I am now set for the week.
Now that the warm snap is gone - down to single digits again tomorrow night - I may just live on soup.