- The Simple Life
The Gift of Winter!
January in Michigan might seem depressing snow, sleet, ice and cold. But it can be a gift if we just look in the right directions.
Winter can be all those things that we don't have time for when we are enjoying the other three seasons. So don't wait for spring to start doing the things you want to do get them all done now!
Redecorate! One year I had some painting I wanted to do, but thought I would wait until spring to do it. That room never got painted until the next winter. Spring, Summer, Fall, there are too many garden activities for me to let a painting job get in the way.
Cleaning again put on some great music and clean a room or a closet. You will feel great, get some exercise and feel good about the work you did.
Take a class. There are some great classes around the area. Join one. Or, start your own book club, or just read a book. There are online university classes you can take for free! There is no credit, but hey! Think how much you can learn.
Teach a class. Know how to cook, knit, sew, or do wood working, speak a foreign language, or play an instrument? Offer to teach a class to a few friends, right at your house. Or rent a town hall. Often you can rent a room for $10 - $25, if you leave it clean. I'm sure those who attend would be glad to pay a small fee.
Virtually any skill you have might be a potential class.
Go hunting! Don't let those deer blinds sit empty all winter. You don't have to take a gun to enjoy the beautiful scenery of a winter afternoon. There are sunsets and animals to observe. The peace and quiet of a hike and a nice winter afternoon are worth the time. A heater in the deer blind helps, as does a thermos of cocoa.
Take the kids on a field trip to a museum, art gallery, or go roller skating, skiing, snowshoeing, or for a winter picnic. Just do something different.
Ice fishing can be really fun, especially on a sunny afternoon when the ice is safe. Bundle up and it hardly has to cost much at all. Ice poles are only a couple bucks, or borrow a couple from a friend to try it out. There are even "free fishing" weekends in the winter now so you don't even have to buy a license, until you find out how fun it is.
Interview relatives and do some genealogy. Work on the scrapbooks.
Have a fun family night, do a puzzle, make a quilt, fix something, start some seeds for spring or just relax, for a change. Bears hibernate, and there's nothing like a nice long winter nap to counteract the rushing we do the rest of the year.
Start enjoying winter before it gets away.
Coffee Can Bread
4 cups Flour -- divided
2 1/2 teaspoons Yeast
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2 large Eggs -- beaten
Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour and the yeast in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, oil, sugar and salt. Place over medium heat and cook until mixture reaches 105 - 115 degrees F. Remove from the heat and pour the heated mixture into the flour and yeast mixture.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat the mixture with electric mixer or bread machine until smooth. Add the eggs, mixing well. Slowly add the remaining flour, beating until smooth, elastic, very stiff batter is formed.
Spoon batter into two well oiled 1-pound coffee cans. Cover coffee cans with lids and allow to rise in a warm place 35 - 40 minutes or until batter rises to within 1-1/2 to 2 inches from top of can. Uncover and bake 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in cans 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks.
Yield- 2 loaves
To freeze for later use: Cool loaves completely and wrap securely in foil. Place wrapped loaves into zip baggies. Label and freeze for up to 12 weeks. DO NOT slice bread before freezing. Thaw overnight on counter top, and re-heat foil wrapped loaves in 200 degree F oven for 10 - 15 minutes.
keeping it simple,