I’ve become a bit of a food snob as a result of growing my own for so long. I rarely, if ever, buy fruit at the market with the exception of apples. Last week I was tempted by a plastic container of absolutely perfect organically grown in the U.S.A. strawberries. Granted, the price tag should have included a picture of an arm and a leg, but they were beautiful.

I cut off the stems, washed and presented them in a lovely glass colander. Violet actually spit hers into her napkin. They were completely hard, void of any flavor and unrecognizable as food. I tried to doctor them with some sugar and yogurt with questionable success.

So, it’s back to apples for our family until our own fruit ripens next summer.

Speaking of strawberries, I cut some baby runners this fall and potted them into flats in the greenhouse. They are coming right along. I hope to plant them into the ground under plastic or Reemay in hopes of an early crop. My friend Sharlee grew some in her greenhouse and got a full month’s jump on the season.

I covered my existing outdoor plot with a light layer of hay recently. They looked horrible after the bitter cold of the polar vortex.

Last week it was rainy on Saturday and chilly on Sunday. I spent some quality time slaving over a hot range. I had garlic, onions, carrots and potatoes from fall harvesting ready in the pantry. With the addition of homegrown pork and chicken stock, a lovely and hearty stew was ready for several meals.

I absolutely love winter. I’m so busy in the summer that I hardly find time to enjoy myself. I’ve had some long conversations with folks in the post office and market — people I’ve not seen since last winter.

I’ve found time to make bread every week. I try to pop a few loaves into the freezer for use this summer. I’ve made the same bread for almost 40 years. The recipe came from the Joy of Cooking, it’s white bread-plus because I changed it around to include flax meal, oatmeal, sesame seeds, whole grain flour and olive oil.

Back in the early 80s I used the Tassajara Bread Book but somehow switched back. I wonder why? I should drag it out again and look it over.

Kneading bread is one of life’s simple pleasures. It is downright meditative. Good thing for me since I find meditation in general pretty annoying and boring. Oh! I can already hear the feedback!

A few weeks ago right after the solstice, I planted lettuce and spigarello in the unheated greenhouse. The lettuce is just beginning to emerge but the spigarello is up and green and promising. A type of broccoli, spigarello is grown for its tender leaves. It does not make a floret like true broccoli, but a rather nondescript white (also edible) flower. I got the seed from the Seeds From Italy company, but I recently came across it in Johnny’s of Maine. The germinating seeds gave me inspiration to drag out the leftover seeds from last summer and start planting in earnest. I’ll do anything to avoid cleaning house or chaining myself to my desk for some long overdue paperwork, ie. tax preparation!

It is a well-known fact that I am computer illiterate. However, I can get on the Google machine in a pinch. If I look up, say, purple roses, within a nanosecond all sorts of garden-related advertisements pop up. I get that everything I’ve ever done is out there in cyberspace forever.

We know that the Steubenville rape case was solved because of social media. Gang members boast of their crimes on Facebook and get caught. We have endless discussions about the ramifications of Edward Snowden’s actions.

Why, then, would supposed intelligent members of Chris Christie’s political team throw caution to the wind and put such damning evidence on the internet? They deserve to be caught, if for nothing else than their stupidity.