I’m curled up in my favorite pink Ralph Lauren velour “leisure suit” and a pink fleece blanket, wearing old wool hiking socks and drinking Stash Green and White Fusion Tea. Winter has presented its first blast of flurries, ice, and cold temperatures. I hauled out my white down coat, hand-knit pink accessories, and pink suede Ugg boots from last winter. Suddenly I want to eat endless chocolate and read long novels of realism.
Yesterday I met my Mom and we enjoyed a lovely lunch at our favorite bookstore/cafe. We split the house quiche (spinach, basil, and feta) and a Greek salad, and warmed up with hot Darjeeling tea (my all-time favorite!). We visited a few of our favorite foodie spots, including one that features a variety of imported wines, cheeses, chocolates, and just lots of nifty specialty items. I was excited to find Codice, a Castellian wine I enjoyed when I was visiting my friend S- in Alabama in May. And they have a wide array of liquors and liquers in tiny bottles; I selected a few varieties (Godiva Chocolate and Bailey’s Irish Cream) to slip into my homemade hot chocolate on these chilly winter nights.
When we left the foodie mecca, the snow was swirling everywhere and we had to scrape our cars. We headed to our respective homes, and I made a stop at a Starbucks drive-through for their most perfect beverage: non-fat vanilla latte. I’ve had many a vanilla latte, my favorite comfort coffee beverage, at many a coffee shop and cafe, and the only place I’ve had a better one is at Zingerman’s, where they use real Mexican vanilla and organic milk. But the Starbucks vanilla latte brings me such simple happiness. Yesterday’s beverage was not a disappointment, and as I munched my snack sized Toblerone bar, sipped my latte, and listened to my mellow mix CD, the snowy miles unrolled under my tires.
Tomorrow the holiday baking commences; I’m treating my students to cookies, and I have several other outstanding baking projects to tackle. The warm smells of chocolate, butter, and sugar melding together will combat the gloomy cold outside.
I’ll leave you with my favorite winter poem, Wallace Stevens’ “The Snowman”:
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.