How is it February Already?

But, seriously, it’s February.

I guess I mentally hibernated for most of January. (I’m not proud of how much I’ve binge-watched on Netflix.) SAD is a real thing when you spend the winter in New England. After the holidays, there isn’t a whole lot to look forward to in a New England winter. Unless you ski or snowboard or snowshoe (actually, I might enjoy snowshoeing) or snowmobile or can get snowed in and not leave your house for a month without repercussions. I love New England. I kind of like winter. I enjoy a bit of snow. But January and February in New England are. . .difficult. SAD seems like a byproduct of over-diagnosis and over-medication and maybe melodramatic and suck it up already, but, I think most people in this climate have felt some kind of ‘winter blues.’ It’s cold and grey and I just want to live in a blanket fort and not emerge until mid-March. But that’s not practical; I don’t work from home.

I do start work at the library this week, which is something. It’ll force me out of my blanket fort, for one thing. And the Super Bowl, of all things, has helped me out of my SAD funk a little, mostly because it involves food.

I don’t care about football, but I care about food and excuses to eat lots of cheese. So the roommate and I hosted an anti-Super Bowl gathering, consisting of British TV shows, and Super Bowl food: A variation of Jamie Deen’s Five Layer Taco Dip, substituting refried beans for the ground beef, This Buffalo Chicken Dip, substituting leftover rotisserie chicken instead of the canned stuff, and a classic Ranch dip (Can we dip it? Yes we can!). Plus amazingly addictive homemade caramel corn.

NFL Abby. That’s my kind of Super Bowl Sunday.

Unrelated to the anti-Super Bowl, but having everything to do with the snowstorm, winter, free time, and overripe bananas, I also made a gluten-free version of Molly Wizenberg’s Banana Bread with Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar, using King Arthur gluten-free all-purpose flour, which came out better than expected, and I like that her recipe uses no butter or oil (especially considering I had a dream last night in which I had some kind of formal event to attend and every single dress I tried on was disturbingly too small/tight).

I feel better after I cook. I feel like I’ve accomplished something, and demonstrated skill, and exercised a kind of creativity. And – bonus! – it’s edible! There’s proof of effort and accomplishment. But then, of course, there are all the dishes to do. . .

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