As a monster snowstorm cripples the Midwest and a deep freeze settles over much of the country, isn’t it great to know that Punxsutawney Phil, the infamous groundhog, didn’t see his shadow this morning (meaning spring’s supposed to come early)? Do you believe it? As I wrap up in a blanket and listen to my home’s heater doing its best against Colorado’s deep freeze, I’m having a hard time.
We’re settling in for our second snow day in a row here in Boulder, where the temperature is 13 below. I’m planning to make a couple of the warming winter recipes featured in the November/December 2010 issue of Natural Home. Sweet Potato Colcannon combines rich sweet potatoes and vitamin-packed greens for a hearty meal that will also help my kids ward off colds. Anticipating a house full of bored kids, I’m mining Mother Earth News and Natural Home for winter craft projects. We’ll take advantage of the new snow to make Jack Wax maple candy, per Mother Earth News editorial assistant Heidi Hunt’s childhood recipe.
Natural Home’s arsenal of winter craft projects includes a hot water bottle sleeve that we can use to soften the hot water bottles we’ll tuck into our beds tonight. Before I crawl in, I plan to take a bath using a warming bath salt mixture of sandalwood, sweet orange, ginger and patchouli that I found in the Herb Companion. Then we’ll sleep away the cold with a nice long winter’s nap, because as former Natural Home columnist Carol Venolia points out, hibernation is a natural reaction to the worst winter has to offer.
Hearty Sweet Potato Colcannon will keep us warm tonight. Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison