At last! There is room and time to take a deep breath and allow ourselves a bit of relief. The tree may still need to be taken down, the ornaments returned to their nests, but the freneticism of recent weeks is at a close. For the next few weeks and months, even the most obsessive of us can give up our extended task lists and accept the possibility of serendipity.
Snowbirds will flee to warmer climes. There are, however, many of us who prefer the familiar comfort of our own surroundings, a book, a cat, a couch, a fire in the fireplace and the freedom to drowse and daydream. Naps, we are constantly informed, are truly worth their weight in rest. Unfortunately, ours is a culture that does not put its mouth where its money is. Though we can tell ourselves that it is beneficial to nap and go to the trouble of scientifically proving it, few have the luxury of freedom to schedule our day contrary to the norms of the environment.
Nonetheless, that same extended culture has produced legendary sleepers. Rip Van Winkle being a reasonably local favorite. We ought, perhaps, to take a leaf from the book of cats. Cats average sixteen hours of sleep a day, broken up into longer and shorter cycles based on the whim of the moment. Maybe we should start a movement to make January National Nappers Month. I bet a fair number of folks would be overwhelmingly in favor at the moment.
There are so many last minute changes to holiday menus and guest lists that getting the quantities right is a serious challenge. Along about this time there is a refrigerator full of yet unused ingredients and leftovers. Sounds like a perfect day for soup. What is it about soup that qualifies it as a comfort food? Sure, it is filling and nutritious. Of course, there is the appetizing perfume of all its many ingredients carried through the kitchen and beyond. There is the feeling the warmth of it traveling down through your body and heating the even most chilled sleigh-riding child and parent. But exactly why it is so satisfying, is too esoteric to define and would take longer than making and enjoying the soup.
There are scores and scores of delicious soup recipes on our website. Just plug in the ingredient you have in quantity and make your choice. At nearly every winter market, either our market master or our farmers bring wonderful new soups for us to try. Today, thinking about that refrigerator full of leftover holiday meals, we are offering The Roast Beast Remains Soup. It’s a terrific prelude to a nap.