Right now I have yeast proofing in the kitchen. We haven't had bread in a couple of weeks, it feels like a good day for sandwiches. I use very hot water (steaming hot) to proof my yeast, how about you? They say to use warm water, but I never do. Years ago I started to use very hot, just as an experiment, and the results were so much better I've never gone back.
I have to get back to the kitchen in a minute to knead the bread dough, I just wanted to pause this morning to take note of two things - dinner in the dark, and geraniums.
We've entered the months of dark dinner hours and after school visits from friends lingering past sunset. Sometimes I feel challenged to stay with the day once darkness comes, preferring to cozy-up on the couch with a glass of wine than prepare a meal and clean up afterwards. But when we all pitch in, and stay focused on making our family meal happen, it is of course the highlight of my day.
Last night we sat around the table for over an hour. We chatted about our days, laughed, told stories, made plans. Muscling through my internal clock's desire to close the day, we instead shared the most enjoyable part of it, and I was reminded (yet again) to work hard at maintaining the evening meal. My goodness the dinner table has such power.
Throughout the winter I tend to buy flowers once a week. We split one bouquet from the store up into many smaller ones and place them around the house. The color, the fragrance, the way they uplift... we love fresh flowers. But flowers do come out of my grocery budget and we are all being extra mindful of that these days.
This winter I've brought my pink geraniums inside and have them sitting proudly next to south facing windows - in my front living room and the back family room. Two rooms with flowering plants! Usually, they wind up in the basement in front of (darker) windows, waiting for their springtime exit to the out doors. They do manage to hang on until spring, but don't necessarily get the love and attention they deserve. They don't blossom much in the basement, and the few flowers that do appear, we don't get to enjoy much.
A master gardener told me that if I bring them inside, place them in a south facing window, scrape the top inch or so of soil off and replace with fresh compost, they will flower nearly all winter. That is what I'm trying. So far there are many flowers, both in full bloom and getting ready to bloom. I think there are eight potted geraniums in all, it sure would be lovely if they continue to flower through the dark months of winter.
Have you ever tried this? I'm so excited to have flowering plants all winter!
Yesterday I felt it in the air, the feeling of 'there's no going back to summer now.' Hello cold months ahead, let's be good to each other. You bring the snow, I'll bring the flowers.