Perhaps it has something to do with the resurgence of winter weather we are experiencing here in Chicago, but I have been feeling rather rife with ennui of late. Not that I am complaining, to the contrary, I am rather enjoying this quiet downtime. On the whole, life is good -- Natasha was finally released from the hospital over the weekend after more than two full weeks, and I've been getting back into the kitchen.

I haven't prepared anything that was photogenic enough to share with you, but just yesterday I made my first attempt at homemade risotto. It wasn't as challenging as I thought it would be, although if I had it to do over, I might have followed a recipe instead of improvising my non-rice components to create a more harmonious flavor profile. Inspired by my visits to Natasha in the hospital, I also whipped up a batch of
my favorite popsicles recently (it's one of the few desserts she can eat on her new restricted diet), using the last of the peaches I had frozen over the summer. Frozen desserts might not be the first thing to come to mind in January, but for whatever reason, they really hit the spot. I've got a few more kitchen projects to get to before the end of the month, but overall, I'm content to close out the month on a quiet note, even if it doesn't provide many opportunities for compelling journalism...

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