Love, red mittens…and panettone

darrell and meThroughout my blog posts there’s a theme of practicality.  I’m rarely a sentimentalist and when romance gets sappy it tends to make the hair on my neck stand up.  Even so, I do have a tender heart and married a man with the capacity to melt it.

Darrell was lucky enough to have a 4th grade teacher who insisted that each student learn to knit their own mittens.  No free passes were granted based on gender or aptitude.

He probably took great pleasure in it.

His hands are happiest when they’re in creative motion.  There’s evidence all over our little farmette from the table which he hand-tooled using reclaimed beams to the wide array of baskets that are scattered from the laundry room to the library! You may remember hearing about Darrell in other posts like This is the House that Love Built!  He’s like the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker all rolled into one.  There’s nothing he can’t figure out and craft into reality.  I’d lay a wager that his 4th grade teacher helped fan this flame into passion.

Our farm table made from reclaimed beams from our renovation!

Our farm table made from reclaimed beams from our renovation and some cherry wood we found in the barn!

It’s because of her that I got the red mittens I’d been longing for last winter.  It’s because of me that I lost them….nearly the first day that I wore them.

I had put them on one morning to venture out to do some local foraging.  Our first stop was the public market.  By the time we’d gotten to the Co-op, just our second stop, I realized I’d already lost them along the way.  Darrell (being Darrell) patiently drove me back to the market and we retraced our steps.  No luck.

FullSizeRender copyHeading through the parking lot I summoned the courage to ask if he was mad at me. Without missing a beat or breaking stride he reassured me, “Mary, if I got mad at you for losing things I’d be mad at you every day….your keys, your shoes, your cell phone…I don’t want to be mad at you. I’m just glad you haven’t lost me yet.”

Then he let out one of his deep quiet chuckles and smiled at me.  It was his sincerity that melted me. Yet again.

I mourned the loss of them but didn’t dare ask for a second pair.

Love those red mittens!

I love red mittens!

In true Darrell fashion, for Christmas this year, there were new red mittens under the tree.

Is it any wonder that I love making bread for him every week?  He’s happy with the old faithful loaves but since school is out this week I’m adding something special: panettone.

While I have my go-to panettone, I’m inspired by a brioche I tasted on a recent visit to Montreal: cherries and almonds.  Hmmmm….I normally use apricots but we’ll see what goes into the bowl when I start baking!

This is the panettone we foraged from a local bakery in Montreal

This is the panettone we foraged from a local bakery in Montreal

It’s a great time to experiment now that winter has officially shown up! We’re in the midst of a winter blast with 18 inches of snow expected by day’s end!  It’ll be a great way to warm up the house and give him a sweet surprise at the same time!

I’ll post the recipe and pictures as soon as it comes out of the oven!  In the meantime please chime if you’ve been experimenting in the kitchen or have a sweet story to tell.

Hope to see you around the bread bowl soon!  Maybe we’ll make some panettone together!


PS: Darrell’s tapping our maple trees this week.  You know what that means?  The Maple Syrup Contest at the Genesee Country Museum is right around the corner.  Please consider doing a little recipe experimentation and joining in on the fun!  If you don’t feel like cooking up something go have a pancake breakfast there!  It’s always a win-win when you plan a trip to Mumford to see what they’re up to and for this event kids’ admissions are free!)  It’s a great way to connect to the past and ensure that the museum stays around for future generations! Here’s a “taste” of the event with some pics from last year’s event!  Need more enticement?  Read last year’s post: Tis the Season or see one of my recipe entries from last year Roasted Veggie Pizza with Maple Balsamic Glaze (Yum!).

Please comment in if you’ve been, or are planning to go, to the festival this year!  …or join the conversation on Kneading Life’s Facebook Page!


In the village there's other curiosities.  Look what piqued my grandson's interest!!!

In the village there’s other curiosities. Look what piqued my grandson’s interest!!!


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