We are firmly entrenched in January, well on our way through winter’s disposition. The first weeks and months came quietly and softly, a mere shadow of possibility and gloom. The gelid winters of past all but dismissed as this year crept in without the scars and fury and has continued on that way. So far. It was only this past week when we faced our first snow storm and achingly low temperatures. At last.
These are not the days of our youth. Those days were familiar if not predictable. We knew when one season started and another ended. Days wove easily and transitioned flawlessly. Winter in those days was at times harsh, bold, white and succinct. It came in quickly and left the same way. You always knew you were afoot in winter by the first step outside. And you could dress accordingly.
Not these days.
The first two months of winter came in with an identity crisis, torn and lost and painted with the wardrobe of fall and spring. It teetered between the two most days, starting off as one and finishing the day as the other. And so it went for weeks. We prayed for snow before Christmas and were left disappointed if not acerbic. But finally, it’s arrived. Late but present. The mornings are finally cold and the snow has blanketed the ground. Two sure symptoms that winter is upon us. A painting I’ve been ready for.
I love winter. No, it’s not my favourite. But I do like having four distinct seasons, and in this country they really are such. And I’m glad it’s finally here for that reason. To give us real variety. And that includes our routines. We particularly like bundling up on a cold weekend morning and heading for a walk, each breath billowing up like a cloud. When we return our faces are rosy red and cold and ready for a hot cup of tea or coffee. And I’m ready to make a hot brunch for two. To warm us up.
When I was young my weekend mornings were spent inside a hockey arena or on the neighbouring street playing with my friends. The weather and temperature didn’t hold us back. If anything, it prompted us. If it snowed heavily we would shovel an area on the street and play ball hockey. And we would play for hours. And then, I’d return to a warm house and a hot breakfast. Eggs or french toast. Always. And I’d stay in just long enough to warm back up and then head out again.
Today our weekends aren’t much different, barring an appointment out of town. We head out and enjoy the fresh if not frigid air and then return, fireplace on and stove hard at work. And that’s what we did this past weekend. We spent the first real cold morning out with our dog for a walk. We came home and W got ready for a shoot at home while I made this. I wanted something that reminded me of those breakfasts years before but with a grown up touch.
Eggs Benedict was a special breakfast for me. It wasn’t every weekend that we’d eat it, really only having it on special occasions or the rare trip out for brunch. But it was my favourite breakfast growing up so I try to make it as often as I can these days, usually substituting ingredients from time to time. This time using some smoked salmon we had on hand and some chives we picked up at the market. It was the perfect answer to a cold morning brewing outside and a chance to get back in the kitchen.
The familiar days of winter have returned. I was waiting. And thankfully we can return to our traditions are routines. Weekend walks with our dog and lengthy escapes to the kitchen. And brunch. Time to sit at our table and share food. And escape winter, now that it’s back and at work outside.
From my kitchen to yours,
For the recipe, click here