Nov 9, 2009

Eating the Dark

Winter is in the wings here. Her chilly breath on my bare neck reminding me to take heed. The trees glow somber in a gossamer gray mist, the few brave leaves left hanging on in futility. Sky a bruised plum, even at 3 o'clock. This coming of winter also means that the darkness creeps in much earlier. Having grown up on the east coast I should be used to this. You know, hearty character building stuff that makes us such a stoic and martyred lot. Having lived in California for 13 years before moving to Kansas though, I sadly realize that am not. I had forgotten how the gears of the seasons downshift- time, the weather, my body and it's clock, all suddenly feel as if they are wading through the hours in slow motion. I am relearning the rhythm of this ancient dance and I am stumbling. But, my feet seem to remember where to tread and I am trusting of this.

Without fail, this happens every year at this time. Even when I was living in Los Angeles and there was no intelligent sense in it. Suddenly, I want LOTS of knee socks and Flashdance-esq legwarmers. I feel this surging and tidal desire to re-learn (meaning really learn) how to knit. I want stacks of books and a howling wind and a big blanket to wrap up in. Then, there is the cooking. Oh the cooking. This is delicate.

In winter, food becomes porn for me. Yes, I said porn. I want to bake and cook insane amounts- bunker house apocalypse style, we have to live in the basement because the end is near kinda crap. More food honestly, than the 2 and a half of us could ever really eat, even on a good day. And not just any food. I want to cook complicated food. Food with recipes 3 pages long that takes 4 days to make. Food that will wile away the small hours between the early coming dark and when I can fall into bed feeling like I accomplished something of merit- even if that something is as ridiculous as making enough homemade sausage to feed a small Bavarian village. But, my husband has threatened to live out in the shed fasting in protest if this mania comes to pass. Just because the bears are going into hibernation and eating their way into a stupor he says, does not mean that we should be doing the same. I agree with him, begrudgingly of course, though the lure of the kitchen is as difficult to resist as a siren's song these nights. Cooking is another vein in creating for me. To make something, even if that something is chocolate chip banana bread or a pot of braised short ribs that slow bubble in the oven all night happily singing and trilling in their red wine bath, is so profoundly satisfying. The visceral raw soul stoking kind of satisfying. Oh yes. It's like that for me.

But because I love my husband, in lieu of homemade lemon cream danish, I will write. It's going to be a long winter.

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