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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Snow, Shoveling, Squirrels, Sourdough, and Strawberry Jam (Blog 230)

Except for one trek to the grocery store, I have been at home since last Friday as winter has gripped Botetourt County and Southwest Virginia.  Elaine returned home from quilt camp (yes, there is such a thing and Elaine enjoys her time there immensely) on Sunday evening.  The snow and intense cold (the temperature is below 0 this Thursday morning) here in the hollow has resulted in very little snow melt.

So my days have fallen into a routine of writing in the morning, tending the chickens (they rarely leave the hen house and whine when I come by), shoveling snow, and occasionally squirrel hunting for an hour or so.  I have yet to see a squirrel though, as the bushytails, like the chickens, seem disinclined to leave their shelters.

Tuesday, however, I asked Elaine to make some sourdough bread.  Our starter comes from nationally known sourdough expert Soc Clay of Kentucky.  Not long after Elaine and I married in 1978, we obtained some sourdough starter from Soc, and a little container of it has resided in our refrigerator ever since.

Even after all these years, it is fascinating to watch Elaine kneed the doe, and when the bread comes out of the oven, it is a taste and smell sensation.  To brighten up a dark night one evening, we opened up a jar of strawberry jam (made from berries from our garden last May) and slathered it upon the bread.  Life is good, and so is wintertime - no matter how cold.

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