Winter Wonder… when it will end

Its no secret I don’t like winter. I don’t like being cold. I don’t like the icy wind. I don’t like the sideways rain.

I’m constantly cold and my neck is always sore from tensing my muscles. I haven’t been able to feel my nose or my toes for months.

I also realised a few days ago that I am looking decidedly ill. I’m pale and pasty and meh. My skin alternates between extreme dryness and over oiliness.

I’m tired of my winter clothes, wearing socks (yuck) and being bundled up in layers all the time. I feel frumpy and uninspired and just generally gross.

And just when I thought we were on our way to spring, seeing almond trees in blossom and the gorgeous wild Red Poppy Anemone in the fields, with the weather getting warmer, it all came crashing down this week.

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Its currently 11ºC and raining and not looking any better for the rest of the week either. This morning I not only stepped in a giant puddle when I got off the bus but an idiot driver drove past and splashed me from head to toe.

Can spring hurry the frack up? Please!

Soup weather

Winter, the season for soup.

So far I’ve made a pot of chicken soup and a pot of zucchini soup (requested by the boy child).

I wasnt sure about the zucchini soup. I like it roasted or as zucchini noodles but soup…?

So I searched the interwebs and found a few recipes but none really appealed to me. What did appeal to me were the recipes that had garlic in them.

So armed with a list of various recipes, a bag of zucchini, a garlic bulb and my spice rack I created my own recipe.

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Zucchini Garlic Soup
A mild and creamy zucchini soup.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. Oil for frying
  2. 4 large zucchini, peeled and sliced
  3. 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped (more or less per your taste)
  4. 1 red onion, diced (most recipes called for white onion, I only had red and it was perfect)
  5. 4 cups of water or vegetable stock
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. Herbs, I used basil and rosemary
  8. Ginger powder
Instructions
  1. Soak your peeled and sliced zucchini is a bowl of salted water.
  2. While that is soaking, in a large, heavy bottomed pot, lightly fry your onion and garlic until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Drain your zucchini and add to the pot.
  4. Heat until the zucchini starts to soften.
  5. Add your water or stock and bring to the boil.
  6. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and add your salt, pepper, herbs and ginger to taste. If you are using water, add more, if you are using stock add less.
  7. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. Serve hot with slices of olive bread.
  2. This soup has a very subtle flavour. Next time I will probably add a bit of sweet chili powder for a bit of a kick.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Can we talk about the weather?

Particularly about the fact that the seasons change. From summer to autumn to winter.

Every single year.

Every single year of my 37 years, the seasons have changed. Every year before that.

They follow the same cycle. Hot to warm to mild to cool to cold.

And every single year I manage to wear the wrong clothes when the season is changing.

Even though I know the weather has changed. Its been getting progressively cooler for weeks now. It rained, which means the average temperature definitely drops the days after. 

So, can someone please tell me why, knowing that the weather is colder, knowing that it will probably rain, I still insist on wearing thin summer shirts and my slip slops?

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Seasons and 10 months along.

A few days ago I realised we had been in Israel for 10 months. Let that sink in a moment. We have been here for almost a year. Its gone by in the blink of an eye. I cant even say that sometimes it felt like its been dragging because it hasn’t. Its been like a runaway train.

When we arrived in Israel, winter was in full swing. Freezing cold, windy, rainy. It was over pretty quickly and in the blink of an eye we were in summer. A particularly hot, dusty summer for Israel.

The last few weeks the seasons have been changing. The days getting shorter, the mornings and evenings a bit cooler. Yesterday I left work at 17:25. I stood at the bus stop and realised, while I wasn’t freezing, I was cold. Cold enough to have goosebumps and to bemoan the fact I didn’t have a jersey or a zip up hoodie to throw on over my sleeveless shirt.

Pretty soon I will have to put away my Havaianas (the national summer footwear of every Israeli) and start wearing my boots. I will have to start carrying my coat and my umbrella with me.

penguin

While I am enjoying the cooler weather for now, I really am a summer baby. I much prefer the heat to the cold. So I warn you in advance, I will moan and cry and throw many a winter tantrum in the next few months. But winter in Israel is short lived so I’m grateful for that.

In the mean time I’m getting ready to take out our down duvet and preparing to cuddle away the dark mornings in bed.

Beanies and gloves and scarves. Oh my!

The majority of my Facebook and Twitter time lines are South Africans.  This means I’m seeing a lot of shorts, t-shirts, swimming pool and {braai} (BBQ/grill) pics.  I keep thinking to myself, sheesh, are they not cold? I’m freezing! Then remembering they are all in the Southern Hemisphere and experiencing the hottest summer in ages.

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Which means I am in winter. Cold, miserable, rainy winter (to be fair it hasn’t rained that much but when it does its nasty!).

If I hailed from Cape Town, maybe it wouldn’t be such a shock to my system.  Winter here is very similar to a Cape winter.  Lots of wind, days of rain, biting cold.  I’m not used to that.  {Jozi} winters are mild and sunny and dry.

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In 35 years I’ve never had to wear a down jacket (or a jacket of any kind!) or a beanie or a scarf and definitely not gloves and yet that is what I leave the house in most days. And I’m still cold to the bone and cannot wait for a steaming hot bath at the end of the day.

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Having had a bitch and a moan, at least I can say that winters in Israel are relatively short (also very green and pretty, see the rain I mentioned above). Spring lasts only a few weeks and then we are in for some super hot, dry weather.  Thank heavens for air conditioning!  I cant wait though, I’ve always loved Israel in summer.  I find it invigorating. I’m looking forward to longer day light hours and hot nights and braais on my balcony.

*Photos by {Paul Jacobson}

On winter. And summer. And hating both.

Most people are winter or summer people.  Hot or cold.

 

I got this image at {hdiphonewallpapers}
I got this image at {hdiphonewallpapers}

Im not.

I do not do well in extremes.

I cannot stand to be cold and bundled up and feeling like the {Michelin Man} and not feeling my fingers and toes and ears and nose.

I also cannot stand being hot and sticky and sweaty.  I hate wearing shorts and jeans and skirts are uncomfortable.

I much prefer spring and autumn, mild and gentle weather, not too hot, not too cold, just right.

What ‘season’ are you?  Also how do you cope in the extreme cold or heat?

Seasons

Today I could not stomach the thought of wearing jeans and boots again. I had to wear a skirt and a pair of slip on ballet type shoes, I just had to.

I also caught myself looking at the trees and shrubs on my way to work and trying to see if there were any green shoots yet.

I am beginning to hate winter, I want to be warm, I want the colours of spring.