We woke up to the first snowfall of the season - a light dusting as a clear sign that the record-breaking autumn warmth is ending up here in northeastern Ontario. We will hopefully be blanketed in the stillness and quiet peace of winter soon. The kids and I were super happy to greet the frosty morning. It was definitely not a dreaded sight. We're ready for the shift: for the days when the weather keeps us home with nowhere to go, the fields call our names to be skied upon, and Grandfather Hill becomes our tobogganing fun. It was a long and tiring summer; and the fall heat wave has made it longer than usual. We're ready to rest and nest into our winter den.
After a lifetime of mostly rural living, and more than a decade on our deeply rooted family farm, I'm still surprised that I need to work on truly accepting and internalizing that our chosen life means that we NEED to follow the changes and demands of seasons, including periods of rest. To restore and replenish, we need the slower times that invoke more cozy indoor warmth and simple presence with each other. I keep thinking about how this commitment - allowing the patterns of the seasons to more intentionally AND naturally govern our days - is something less tangible from the farm that we can offer to the world as we continue to learn to live with it. I'm persisting with the lesson that fully embracing the seasonality of life will also mean more grace and calm riding the inevitable waves. I choose to believe that more consciously opting to slow down and be more present in this uncertain, chaotic and changing world means we will live in a way that contributes just a bit more peace - for ourselves, and to radiate out. We all need to find ways to manifest more peace right now. So, I'm doing my best to work on it ... without attachment to perfection.
We've been busy winterizing the farm the last few weeks - Denis has been making firewood and building a new chicken coop and all of us have been tidying up and putting summer away. The kids have been drawn more often indoors to play; and it feels like we've cozied up on the couch more in October than we did all summer.
These seasonal shifts towards the reflective and cozy also have pleasure and a bit of indulgence that come along with them! In the past few weeks, there have also been more kid requests to bake together. We've had a lot of fun and laughs making a couple of versions of cinnamon and sweet rolls. It all started with trying to deal with an excess of cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, and so I made a cranberry version of the recipe below. As a result, the kids wanted weekly winter baking to start, stat! So, this weekend we made these ones for visitors, along with traditional cinnamon rolls. They were good enough on their own, but I've included a cream cheese frosting recipe if you would like to make them extra special.
We made these with our "Rhuskap" Jam , a low sugar haskap and rhubarb jam made with our fruit and organic sugar. We make and sell from our farm store and kitchen. We also do deliveries between Sudbury and North Bay; and can even ship our shelf-stable products across Canada. As mentioned above, I have also made these with cranberry sauce. I am sure any jam would work well. We're far from perfect in our ingredient choices, but we do try to eat what we grow, and source organic and local whenever possible. These were made with organic flour and sugar, and someone else's eggs. With the growing darkness, the hens are having a good rest. Once the chicken coop is done and they are all moved into their snug new home with supplemental lighting, we will be back into fresh egg production within a few weeks. All of us can't wait to be eating our own eggs again.
Here's the Recipe!
Shop this recipe
These products may also be helpful for making this recipe. You can order them through Amazon by CLICKING ON THE IMAGES BELOW. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission off of every sale made through these links. It costs nothing extra for you to purchase through these links.... it is just one simple way you can help to support our family farm:
Stainless Steel 9x9 Baking Pans
Serrated Bread Knives