Thursday, February 2, 2023

Fickle February!


It's raining again today. I have to admit that the month of February has never been near the top of my list of favorite times of the year. It's not so much the ever changing weather this month seems to bring to the southeast, but more like the days are often veiled in gauze, not clear or crisp such as around the holidays - now long gone - or the busy thought provoking January days at the beginning of a new year.  

This past week or so it's been annual medical check ups with prods, scans, tests etc. Throw in the usual grocery runs, a long day of furniture hunting with granddaughter, and cat sitting for my neighbor. A few chilly wanders around the garden were not exciting, so much looks sad this month. The deer have been by at night nibbling any signs of green, and stealing the bird seed, however there are a few daffodils opening along the back fence. My later blooming camellia has blooms opening in the higher branches however below freezing night temps are expected over the weekend which may impact them.

Ms. Nala - next door cat!

Then of course comfort cooking in the warm kitchen has taken over. I like to think of myself as being an innovative cook of sorts, pretty good at making a dish out of whatever is hanging about in the refrigerator or tucked in the back of a kitchen cabinet. I clipped these recipes from an older UK Country Living - always my favorite magazine for so many reasons, especially food!  Both were really perfect  for cold and dreary night suppers . . . . . . . . . . . .

Potato, Caramelized Onions and Gruyere Galette
Very tasty hot from the oven, and a cold leftover slice with 
a bowl of soup and a salad made another quick good meal.

Rustled up a tasty Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie yesterday. 
This time I made the mash topping with a mix of yellow and
 sweet potatoes. . . . . . . . . the recipe called for lentils but I
added a can of black-eyed peas instead, and finely chopped
 a jalapeno pepper for a little heat. It was delicious. . . . . .

. . . . and served up for supper in front of the fire while watching 
season two of VIKINGS!  We're currently addicted to this
 Canadian created series (2013-2020) - a historical drama
 made for the History Channel.  
A really interesting show for chilly nights.

Frost damage to the early blooming camellia . . . . . .

. . . . . . but the first daffodils for the kitchen window!

Female Eastern bluebird on the front porch rail.

Male Northern cardinal in the rain.

Female Northern flicker in the fig tree.

Carolina wren on front porch seed bell.

Yes, still plenty of birds around, perhaps even more this coming
 weekend with such cold nights. We will scatter additional seeds
 and have the feeders full.

What are your thoughts on the month of February?


  1. Dearest Mary,
    Hmm, below freezing night temps...? Freezing in itself indicates enough.
    Ms. Nala seems to be a happy and pampered kitty and I love her blue eyes!
    Started February on a happy foot as my housekeeper started yesterday.
    Feels great and now I get more time to do the laundry and the cooking + shopping and some sewing projects lined up for widening the duvet covers so they fit the newest size down duvets.
    Step by step we manage. And of course the tax papers need to be worked on. We do the initial work and then have a CPA Tax Director do the actual work for us.
    Biking has not yet been possible for me. Pieter did run some quick errands by bike but I had other tasks and the weather has not been the greatest.
    Yes, birds are visiting our feeders, bird baths and other feeding spots like on the oak stump and on the oak plaque beside it (as they had not sawed it off straight but a bit at an angle and we were staring at it from the bay window area...).
    When we came back from our dinner at Ristorante da Maria with the husband of Pieter's niece who was in the USA on business, we saw three deer on the side of the road—what a marvel!
    Your comfort food looks delicious however I am no longer to enjoy the lentils, nor beans and no cheese and any type of potato...
    You both enjoy it for as long as you are allowed to!
    Pieter found some vegan cheese at Walmart in the vegetable area... Strange place and Whole Foods Market has not carried it for a long time. At times it looks like Americans don't want to eat healthy.
    But we manage!
    Big hugs and stay cozy close to the fire.

  2. February is a month that I want to get through quickly, wanting to have Spring flowers and a bit of sunshine. Of course it has been known for the UK to have snow in March! Your galette looks delicious.

  3. No mention of Ground Hogs day? Valentine's Day? My birthday. 😏
    I feel pretty much the same as you do about February. We sometimes get
    a February thaw, which might be lovely or not.

    One good thing is that each day takes us closer to spring, though compared to Maine, you've already arrived.

    Your potato and onion galette looks so good.

  4. February is my least favourite month of the year, so it's good that it's also the shortest. But the snowdrops are blooming outdoors and I'm seeing tiny buds swelling on shrubs, so it also marks the change from winter to spring, although that can be very drawn out. Your kitchen turns out delicious food, Mary! The potato galette looks so scrumptious! We all do our best to make the most of each day, even in raw chilly weather.

  5. It all depends on your hemisphere. In Melbourne we are having the last two really hot months (Feb and March) but for most families the long summer holidays are over. The schools and universities opened this week and the new academic year brought excitement for both students and staff. I am a bit sorry I have retired.
    Art and Architecture, mainly

  6. February is shorter than all the other months, but it does not always feel that way, does it! We've only just begun the month, but have had precious few sunny hours since the start of this year, and I must admit the seemingly endless dull grey skies are getting to me a little bit, especially as I have not had occasion for as many walks as I would like to.
    Still, the good news is that the effects of last year's draught have been diminuished and so our vegetation has a head start this spring. The blackbirds already sing their beautiful spring songs, and I am sure the other birds will follow before long. Already sunset is nearer 5:30 pm than 5:00, adding another half hour or more to the day before it gets really dark.
    All things considered, Februar is not a bad month for me, and has never been.
    Love your food - would eat all of it!

  7. Dear Mary, Thank you for the fine and colorful cornucopia. Nothing but white as far as the eye can see at this country house.

  8. Birds, flowers, and food - all yummmmm! I bought some gruyere and a crispy bagette just today to make a French Onion soup tomorrow. Marilyn M.


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