12 01 2011

It’s January.  It’s snowing in central Pennsylvania.  This is neither unusual nor unexpected; nonetheless, I can feel a knot developing in my chest as I watch the first flakes of a potentially accumulation-producing snowfall drift toward the frozen ground.

There is something about the sharpness of the air, the flat grayness of the sky – the atmosphere seems to hover menacingly, hiding behind sparkly little cascading crystals, waiting to drop some meteorological hammer of dark and dangerous cold from which I will never escape.  

How ridiculously illogical can I be?  Just as I know the night always ends at daybreak; spring will rescue me from winter.  It always has and it will this year, too. Earth will move around the sun at its usual pace and on its usual track and the seasons will change at their usual pace in their usual order.  I know that, intellectually, but I just can’t reason away the dread that takes up residence in the pit of my stomach every January.

Since this irrational feeling recurs with the same predictability as the arrival of January itself, there’s no sense wasting energy trying to talk myself out of my winter funk.  It’s kind of like having a head cold – moderately uncomfortable, energy-draining, and you get over it, in time, without any lasting damage, so I’ll soldier on, if not bravely, at least gamely, toward healing, toward spring.

Just like a warm drink can help lessen the unpleasant symptoms of a cold, this warm drink can ease the malaise of Janu-weary. 

Frothy Hot Vanilla Malted  –  single serving                                                          

1 ¼ cup milk

3 Tablespoons malted milk powder

4 teaspoons dark brown sugar

¼ t vanilla

½  shot rum (optional)

fresh grated nutmeg

Heat milk to simmer in a small saucepan.   Mix malted milk powder and brown sugar in a 2-cup glass measuring cup.  Add milk slowly to the malt mixture, stirring to dissolve.  Stir in vanilla (and rum, if using.) Either whisk quickly to froth or buzz with an immersion blender, then pour into a large mug and top with a dusting of nutmeg.  Sip slowly, while grumbling quietly to yourself; a mug full of warm sweetness and some personal whining will make you feel better.




One response

13 01 2011

I wish I could give you some of the joy I feel at this time of year my friend. But, soon enough, you will be happily bringing your beautiful flowers and plants back to life, while I will be sweltering and whining in nearly triple-digit weather. I’m glad we agree on nearly everything else!

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