It's hard to believe it's already the winter solstice again. It seems far too soon to be celebrating the longest night and shortest day. Especially with the gorgeous sunny weather we have been having recently. For me the solstice marks the beginning of winter and the dive headlong into the cold of July and August.
In the past I've dreaded the coming of winter and the fading of the light. I love the feeling of sun on my face and cloudy winter days leave me moody and downhearted. But I've recently realised winter also is the time when I am at my most creative. It's when I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to share my thoughts and ideas. It's also the time when I crave making things with my hands and always have a project on the go. At the moment it's finishing my arm warmers with a crochet beanie waiting in the wings. So this year I am embracing the positive aspects of the season and getting outdoors as much as possible in the times when I'm not making or writing.
Each year we celebrate the solstice with lots of warm, hearty and filling dishes. These recipes tend to be made just for the solstice so they are pretty special and eagerly looked forward to. My favourites are the tropical rice pudding and homemade hot chocolate. I also make pumpkin soup for the rest of the family and this year we also had homemade rye soda bread.
Solstice this year was extra special as we had the whole family in the kitchen together making food for our celebration. The girls loved making the bread and pudding. Licking the spoon never gets old! Gareth chopped up the onions and pumpkin for the soup. It was lovely to be able to include him in all our celebrations. He usually comes home after work, just in time for pudding.
We rug up warmly after dinner and take our homemade candle lanterns for a walk around the block, singing our solstice song as we go. Although I feel this tradition may not last for very much longer as even Phoebe who is now seven is starting to make noises about it being stupid (it's the most popular adjective around here and is used for just about, well, everything.)
Happy winter solstice friends!