A Rainy Baking Day

On Saturday we enjoyed some of the clearest skies we’ve seen around these parts in months.

On Sunday (and now Monday) the clear skies gave way to rain.  Lots of cold, misty rain.

I love rain.  Living under persistant cloud (and “cloud”) cover for months without rain can be draining.  It makes people sad and lethargic.

But rain– rain gives purpose to the clouds.  Rain washes away the awful chalkiness in the winter air and the chemical and coal smells.  Rain is a chance at revival.

Staying indoors when the air outside is bad can make home feel stuffy.  Like an absurdly comfortable prison, but one you wish you could break out of just the same.

Staying indoors when it rains is different.  You can go out, and you probably will go out, but when you come home it’s because you want to, because home is a cozy refuge.  A place to put flannel pajama pants back on at noon, put on some good music and bake until your heart is content.

Rainy days call for curling up in well-worn, soft sweatshirts and slippers and watching movies at 3 in the afternoon.  Rainy days were made for luxuriously long naps. For making a slow-simmering soup stock and not one, but two loaves of hearty homemade bread.

On rainy days ingredients like molasses and wholesome homey projects like chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are especially appropriate.

Should you encounter a rainy day like ours, I can whole-heartedly recommend the following list of baked goods:

A loaf of near-textbook chewy and delicious no-knead bread

A funny little loaf of molasses whole wheat bread-best served toasted and slathered with a generous helping of salted butter

A batch of thick, chewy, granola bars, custom-made for yours truly and ready to be devoured over the coming work days

Oatmeal raisin cookie dough, flash frozen for a later date (today? tonight? 15 minutes from now?)

2 of them require 6 ingredients or less and little to no work.  2 require oatmeal and raisins and if you are making one, it’s quick work to whip up a batch of the other.

It’s been awhile since I’ve so thoroughly mucked up our kitchen and covered myself in flour.  It’s nice to see the freezer slowly filling up home-made goodness again.  It feels good.

T-12 days to crisp blue skies, my mom’s gumbo, some snow-shoeing, some snorkeling, and eating lots and lots of salad…


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