Full winter mode is in effect. I'm making soup after soup, the tea kettle is always warm, and I've resolved to my usual winter introversion of staying in most evenings. I swing back and forth between embracing hibernation and seriously contemplating why I live in such a cold place during these months.
Pros of Winter
- daydreaming about summer
- romancing a hot babe with 69 candles and a dusty grey-brown space heater because every old building in Toronto is never warm enough.
- pasta every other night seems reasonable
- wearing big blankety scarves. No joke, the other day someone told me my scarf made me look like I was from The Revenant. Ummm thank you. They were bad asses and also very cold like me.
- catching up on all your tv shows and internet memes
- onesies are appropriate at any hour (“are they though?", said a work friend when I demanded I should be allowed to wear one to my job.)
- The snow is pretty and makes it look like Narnia. (But let's not forget how messed up Narnia was. Firstly, the evil queen cast a spell so that it's permanent winter. So yeah, it was beautiful and magical or whatever, but even the evil queen couldn't think of a worse punishment than infinite winter. Also, Mr. Tumnus is a uber creep. He lures a little girl into his underground lair or “home", drugs her drink, and then hypnotizes her with his pan flute and fire demons. Ummmmm whaaaaaat?!?! Just watch this scene and try and tell me different.)
Cons of Winter
- toes turn to icicles for 5 months straight
- buying tubs of moisturizer to prevent a reptile-like appearance
- everyone has a slight to severe amount of depression
- the air hurts your face
- the air hurts your lungs
- produce is often unripe. My current avocados are more fossilized dinosaur eggs rather than fruit or vegetable.
- morphing into a jelly-like blob from too many hours of Netflix and bowls of pasta
- slipping on ice because 1) it hurts and 2) it's very embarrassing and people always ask if you're okay and you say “yeah, I'm fine" when you're not really sure if you are fine and all you want to do is have a frustrated-painful cry for like one minute.
To improve my winter depression I must have light and fresh things around to whisper sweet summer nothings into my ear. Raspberry jam is my favourite preserve and reminds me of my grandmother's garden where fresh herbs, rhubarb and raspberries would flourish. I bought some lush plants the other day to help remind me that we will eventually emerge from the heaviness of winter – revitalized and fresh, into a lighter and more care-free season.
This raspberry jam uses all natural ingredients and is lightly sweetened with a bit of honey to create a tart and fresh preserve. The recipe is simple, with only a few ingredients, and uses chia seeds to thicken it to the perfect jammy texture that invites eating straight from the spoon.
May your winter and jam be fruitful and your skin still in tact by Spring.
RASPBERRY CHIA SEED JAM
inspiration: raspberry picking in my grandma's garden
the feels: tart + slightly sweet
eat with: a thick piece of toast w/ butter or coconut oil, oatmeal, yogurt + granola, in a smoothie, muffins, croissants, scones with clotted or whipped cream, in a cocktail, on vanilla ice cream
might like it you're into: picnics, cartwheels, the smell of grass, quiet sunny mornings, cheese boards, English gardens, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
makes one cup jam || prep + cook time: 20 minutes + extra to cool
- 2 cups raspberries
- 2 tbsp honey
- zest of half a lemon
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (I used white)
- 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- optional: 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
- In a medium pot add everything except for the chia seeds (raspberries, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and salt). Place on stovetop over medium heat and stir to combine. Once mixture begins to warm up and berries begin to get mushy (within a few minutes), mash with the back of a wooden spoon until it is all evenly broken down.
- Leave for 5 minutes on medium then reduce to low-medium for another 10 minutes, stirring once in a while.
- Remove from heat, add chia seeds and stir to evenly combine. Leave to cool. Pour into jar and refrigerate.
Keeps for 3 to 4 weeks in the fridge.