A week ago today, virtually to the minute, this was our sky.  What a difference a week makes.  A fast, cold storm blew in on Wednesday.  It began to snow that afternoon.


Chilly daylily. Can’t you just hear her teeth chattering?

I fell asleep that night to the sound of plunging mercury.  When I went to the back door to let the dogs out in the morning, the thermometer read 1 degree.  They were out and back very, very quickly.


Even the sun was chilled, no doubt by the moon invading its space. By the time I left for work, the temperature was all the way up to 2 degrees.

When we lived in Northern California, one of the things I loved about fresh snow was the animal tracks we would find when we went out to bring in firewood.  Raccoons, of course; skunks and the big swish their tails would leave; deer, naturally; and a few times I found the small, high-stepping tracks of a fox, attracted perhaps by abundant cat smells.  We always made sure all were present and accounted for before sunset.


Lately, when I leave early in the morning, I’ve been seeing the tracks of one single, solitary mouse and its short, whip of a tail.  Just one.  I suspect it flirts with the idea of getting to spillings from the bunnies’ cage in the garage.  But there are all those dog and cat smells to get past.  Not to mention the dogs and cats.

Thanksgiving is nearly here, with Christmas hot on its tail.  For better or worse, that is one of the principal meanings of Thanksgiving in my business.  We host our first Christmas party the Saturday immediately following.

During big party seasons, we’re constantly short of various equipment, one of which is typically bread baskets.  This year I decided to take matters into my own hands and make some.


Some big ones.  Some honking big ones.  That, my friends is a giant loaf of sourdough bread.  Giant.


Nine pounds.  A personal best.  I’ll give it a few days to dry out (it took nearly two and a half hours to bake until it was done in the center), then cut a circle out of the top and hollow it out.  Given a couple of more drying days, I’ll pass it along to the kind gentlemen on our maintenance crew who patiently shellac all sorts of breads I bring them.  I think I owe them a batch of cookies.

In the meantime, may your Thanksgiving be abundantly joyful.


About thesolitarycook

I'm a chef, a cook, a teacher, a reader, a writer, a bike-rider, a dog- and cat-woman
This entry was posted in STORIES, THE WEEK IN PICTURES. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, I love the photo’s and that loaf is GIGANTIC!! I hope you have a great week and a wonderful holiday.

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