Oh February. The longest and the shortest month. Even with all my well-intentions this year, I still felt the February slump where the newness of the year starts to wear off, routines feel a bit stale especially as the weather dips low and lower. Our days were full this month and I'm always so grateful for a chance to look back over the month as a whole rather then letting one or two bleak days colour all my perspective.
From the kitchen: I am loving cooking from actual cookbooks right now. I waited a long time to get my library copy of Smitten Kitchen Keepers and just like I thought, it's one I want to add to my own shelves. We really enjoyed the Creamy Tomato Masala and Coconut Creamy Rice, we love the rich comforting flavours of these dishes. I have a few other dishes marked for trying including the chocolate chip cookies with salted walnut brittle. My other favourite cookbook that I've reached for a few times this month(and a ton over the years) is Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, we love the one bowl carrot muffins. Tonight's dinner for us and friends was the cozy chicken shepherd's pie with leeks and mushrooms. A Literary Tea Party by Alison Walsh was our guide for hobbit treats- we made the dragon scale madeleines and also a seed cake worthy of Bilbo himself. I may also plan future bookclubs simply around the food, this book is delightful.
From the library: My reading journal holds fewer entries but a few solid winners.
A Lady's Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin, a delightful story set in the Regency era of a young lady who needs to provide for herself and her five sisters. All she needs to do is marry a rich gentlemen which proves to be more challenging then she first thought. It's funny with many hat tips to Jane Austen. After I read it, I promptly gave it to my thirteen year old who has read all of Jane Austen and is enjoying Austen re-tellings.
Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev. It's inspired by Persuasion and is delightful to read, however I did not promptly hand it to my oldest girl, there's a few open door scenes.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown and this re-read was as timely as the first time I read it.
Read aloud time has been full with The Hobbit, The Long Winter and The Little Town on the Prairie via audiobook during our lunch and literature time and evening read aloud of The Wolf and the Warden by Andrew Peterson read by Jared.
From the school room: We took our break from some of our regular studies and did a month long study on The Hobbit. We read poetry by Tolkien and looked at his original illustrations, comparing them to the book and the movie. We listened to a lot of music inspired by the book and did a brief nature study on spiders. We celebrated St. Valentine's Day at home and with friends which is always such a highlight of February for all of us.
On habits and goals: one of our goals as a family this year is to cultivate a habit of hospitality, this month that looked like me hosting a roomful of friends for a homeschool moms' night and getting dates on the calendar with friends for future supper dates. One of my other goals was to automate meals as much possible, making double and putting the extra in the freezer (or giving to a friend!), this helps reduce decision fatigue and frees me up for the other important stuff in my current season.
On to March!