Wednesday, May 8, 2013

rainy day musings, warm milk with honey, and chocolate...

It's a napping sort of day, with the moody gray skies, chilly breezes, thunder, lightning, rain and sleet we've had today.  The sky is already impossibly dark for early evening.  I haven't had the luxury of a nap, though, just too many cups of black coffee to make it to five o'clock.

I left work and was pelted with cold rain as I walked to my car - why didn't I wear a sweater this morning?  I love the rain, but it chills me all the way through on days like this.  I wish I had a pair of polka dot rain boots to splash through all the puddles.

I'm home now, though, with a warm cup in my hands.  I was thinking about when I lived in China and I ate lots of local honey to try to get my body accustomed to the allergens so that I wasn't constantly sneezing and wiping my nose.  For my daily dose of honey, I would warm up a cup of milk before bed, and stir in a tablespoon of honey.

It's now been years since I've made myself a cup of warm milk, so today was the day to remake my old favorite drink.  I've recently switched to unsweetened almond milk instead of my usual skim milk, so I warmed up a cup of almond milk, added a spoonful of honey, a few drops of vanilla extract and a fresh grating of nutmeg.  I'm still getting used to the taste of almond milk, and to be honest, I far prefer the taste of cow's milk instead.  I imagine this would taste pretty good with coconut milk, too.  For extra deliciousness, you could make this with 2% or whole milk, or even add a small splash of half 'n' half or cream.  Yummy in my tummy.

My hands are getting delightfully warm from the hot cup, and I'm cozy in my pajamas now, my uncomfortable and cold work clothes lying in a heap on the floor.  Heaps of laundry waiting to be put away is one of my biggest faults.  I admit it.

There's a pigeon on our balcony incubating her egg in one of my flower pots - more details on this later - and I wonder if she's cold out there.  How can she not be freezing?  She's getting drenched with rain as she sits there on her egg.  She lets me come right up to the glass door now without getting scared and flying away.  I think she senses that I don't actually mind her presence out there, and she even let me take a few fuzzy photos of her through the dirty, rain-streaked glass.

"Should we name the pigeon?" I asked Jamie last night.  After all, she's going to be with us for a few more weeks, and if all goes well, there will be a baby bird out there for a couple weeks after that.  And then we can reclaim our outdoor space for ourselves again.

"Uh, no, we shouldn't."  He's not as intrigued by all of this as I am.

Maybe I shouldn't name her, though.  No point in getting attached to a silly little pigeon that I don't want to get to close to for fear of mysterious bird diseases.  But if I did...  any suggestions for names?

I've found a blog that I can't stop reading.  It's called Naughty Shorts, and it's written by an Australian dressmaker who sells her vintage creations on Etsy.  Her blog is all girly, pretty, vintagy loveliness, and I'm in love with it.  Reading through her posts inspire me to renew my own creativity, things that I've neglected for too long, like my own sewing, painting and drawing.  I've been so busy dreaming up recipes and baking that I've forgotten there are other things I love to do, too.  Creativity ebbs and flows, though, and I'm glad to have a little renewed inspiration.

But for tonight, since it's Jamie's turn to cook dinner, I'll enjoy my hot milk, my favorite green blanket and a book...  And a little dark chocolate.

Warm Milk with Honey
  • 1 cup milk, any kind you prefer
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, or cinnamon
  • splash of cream or half 'n' half

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until hot.  If desired, add a little cream for extra richness.

Yields 1 serving

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen