Starting from Comfort

Today is the last day of Christmas Break at my school, so I am trying to enjoy as much as I can before I'm once again surrounded by small, eager young scholars.

This is the first time in a long time that I find myself without any knitting deadlines and I'm quite enjoying that. Instead of focusing on a list or a specific KAL, I'm knitting what I find comforting. It was not an intentional choice, but I have a Drachenfels on the needles that has my relishing in cozy garter stitch delicious wool (Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy -- just the name makes me smile).

I actually just ran out of the darker color several rows short, but I'm not worrying about it. That would take all the zen out of this exercise. Most of this has been knit while reading the Cormoran Strike novels over the past week and a half. I admit, I'm hooked. I read the first book over the summer after stumbling upon it for a dollar at a used book store and fighting off a woman who tried to guilt it out of my hands. But we were never able to find the second so I finally put it on the book list I gave my mom and I got it for Christmas. I had thought I would try to put off the third book for a while, but I found myself on New Year's with no desire to read anything else in the apartment and getting antsy about it. Chris finally caved and we traipsed off to Barnes and Noble (the only store I could confirm was open that night) and not only found it, but found it on sale!

I'm also rediscovering the joy that comes from making comforting soups and stews. I had a bit of a scare over the break, but Eggbert and I both received a clean bill of health yesterday and I'm finally feeling well enough to bustle around the kitchen once more. I used to cook for Chris and I all the time when he worked seconds, but I got out of the habit once our schedules matched. This week I made Peanut Butter Chicken Stew and Tomato Soup out of Stephanie O'Dea's More Make It Fast Cook It Slow.

I really want to get back to my more "grown up" cookbooks now that cold-ish weather is finally upon us, but I have to know my limits and take my time (prep for the kinds of soups I like to make can be exhausting). For now I'm hoping to get in the routine of making one or two recipes over the weekend that I can split and stockpile for times when I'm feeling poorly. And in the meantime I think I'll start baking bread again.

It's interesting that this renewed perspective happened at the start of a new year. I guess I'm more influenced by resolution season than I thought. Or maybe it is because with the weather change it feels like we've stopped stagnating in some weird state of early fall (Did I tell you I saw snow yesterday? It was very exciting). Either way I'm hopeful that grounding my routine in what gives me comfort will build a happy foundation for the next five months. You know, before our world is completely turned upside down forever.

What about you? Did you make resolutions or enact some changes for the start of a new year?