Sunday, May 29, 2016

Early winter

We’ve had wintry weather for the past couple weeks. This is unusual, though obviously not unprecedented, but the bad thing is that I’m already over it. Unfortunately, there are months of winter still to come.

It’s been raining at least part of nearly every day for the past couple weeks, just like winter, though some of the temperatures have still been fairly mild. But, we’ve also had some cold days, too.

The thing about this is that winter doesn’t start until June 1, so why does having it a couple weeks early matter? To me, oddly, it seems it does.

For some reason, these past couple weeks have felt like a month—maybe a couple months—and I have no idea why. Sure, I was sick the past week, and that didn’t help, but it’s not a good enough explanation. I’m guessing it’s just because I wasn’t expecting wintry weather so early—I was caught off guard.

As part of my recovery from my cold, and a way to deal with this early wintry weather, I made a hearty beef stew for dinner tonight, and we invited the whānau around to share it with us (since we were both too sick for our usual Friday get together). I made my mother’s recipe, the same one she used to teach all of us kids to cook—well, that’s what she told me. Interestingly, I realised today I’d never actually asked my siblings if our mother used the stew recipe with them, too, and if she told them the same thing.

My second year in university, I shared an apartment with a flatmate, and it had a kitchen. So I asked my mother to send me the stew recipe, and she did—complete with annotations, like how potatoes don’t freeze well. I’ve referred to her handwritten note ever since—the better part of forty years. However, she didn't send me the recipe for her dumplings, so I had to find another.

I could have searched online, but I reasoned an American recipe was more appropriate, and I turned to my copy of The Joy of Cooking, a cookbook I used throughout my years in the USA. It worked well, even though it was different from my mother’s recipe (I remember enough of it to know that). In fact, it worked well enough that I’ll keep the recipe as my default—for now, anyway.

Tomorrow starts another workweek, and I also have many other things to do (including recording a much-postponed AmeriNZ Podcast episode). It should be a busy week, but, fortunately, I have plenty of inside projects planned.

Wintry weather has come early, after all.

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