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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Cozy

Cozy, fleece-lined slippers.
What makes you feel cozy as the weather turns cold? Even though I live in the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) it does get chilly here. This week the temperatures got up in the 60s, but the nights are in the low 50s. There is no heat in our apartment. That means, it is cold inside.
To compensate, I wear snug sweaters, and I bought a pair of slippers. The slippers are from a leather shop, and the inside is fleecy wool. So comfortable and warm. I love to put my slippers on, get snug in a sweater, wrap a blanket around me, and join my family for Saturday night movie night. My kids are very sensitive to pretty much any movie, so we’ve started with old classics from even before my childhood, like Robin Hood and Cinderella. Every Saturday we pick a treat to enjoy with our movie. Sometimes cookies, other times pastries, once we got gelato. It’s a fun tradition.

What else keeps me cozy? There’s nothing like my first cup of coffee. I brought over my hand crank Burr grinder, and finally, after searching for a month, discovered some good organic whole bean coffee. I brew it using a coffee sock, which is kind of like pour over or drip. A cup or two of coffee keeps me feeling real snug. And when I need a break from it, I turn to robust Earl Grey tea.

First cup.
Another cozy activity the girls and I do on school days is to begin lessons with Morning Time.  We sit on the terrace wrapped up in coats and blankets (if necessary) or basking in the sunlight on a warm day. Morning Time always consists of a song, a prayer, a Bible reading, and a chapter in a book. Currently, our lineup is Love the Lord Your God, a prayer of St. Patrick, a reading from the book of Acts, and a chapter from Tumtum and Nutmeg

One of my favorite things we get to do is buy roasted chestnuts. Have you ever come across the children’s book In the Town All Year Round? It has characters that go through each season. There are little picture stories throughout and you can track what happens to them. One character sells balloons one season, ice cream another, and roasted chestnuts in the winter. I remember thinking how enchanting that was while wondering if I would ever get to try a chestnut in my life.

Just a couple of blocks from our home. 

Roasted chestnuts
Well, there is a chestnut vendor precisely one block away across a street. He and his wife scoop handfuls of chestnuts into a shiny pot over a fire. The smell is heaven. It’s a combination of maple and cinnamon and camp fire. You say how much you want to pay (two euros, three euros) and they wrap a piece of paper into a cone, fill it with hot chestnuts, and hand over that package of coziness to one very delighted family.

Chestnut roasters
The meat of a chestnut
The outside skins are gray and charred. It is satisfying to peel them off in stiff layers. Inside is the meat of the nut. It looks a little like brains. The texture is a tad mealy, like a baked potato, and the taste is creamy salty delicious. I look forward to buying many more cones of chestnuts throughout the winter here. And enjoying many more slipper wearing, treat eating, blanket wrapped movie nights. 

And you? How do you do cozy?


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