“Most of life’s problems can be solved with a good cookie.”—Ina Garten
Our first month of 2023 is almost in the books, and what a beautiful month it’s been.
What? you may ask. Yes, you heard that right.
Sure, there have been some gray skies.
Some bitterly cold January mornings.
Moments when we felt as if we couldn’t see what was ahead.
And—perhaps a little less snow than we might have liked over the course of the month…
…although these last few days have brought the bright white stuff back to our winter here in the Chicago Region.
But consider the colors of the prairie wildflowers and grasses this month.
The stark beauty of prairie plant architecture.
January has its own rewards, even if they are more understated than the other eleven months. But you’ll find them. If you look for them.
Although January is almost in the rear view mirror…
…the year is still in its raw beginnings. Think of what lies ahead! More adventures. New things to discover.
Imagine all the intriguing ways the prairie will unfold over the course of the next eleven months.
Who knows what stories we’ll have to tell?
How will you spend the last day of January 2023? Today is our final chance to add to the “January” chapter of our lives before we turn to February.
I know I’m going to bake a few cookies—chocolate chip—as a defense against the bitter cold. (You, too? Let me know your favorites.)
Then, I’m going to tuck a few warm cookies in my pocket and go for a short hike on the prairie. Gloved, hatted, and mittened, of course. It’s so cold! But I want to remember this January. Who knows what stories are out there, waiting to be read on the prairie?
Ready? Let’s go!
The opening quote is from Emmy-Award winning Ina Rosenberg Garten (1948-), known to multitudes as the Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa” since 2002, when her show debuted. She has worked at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, where she wrote nuclear energy budget and policy papers for President Gerald Ford and President Jimmy Carter. While in Washington, she purchased and renovated old houses in the area, earning enough profits to purchase an existing food store called “Barefoot Contessa.” Her The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which was published in 1999, sold more than 100,000 copies in its first year. Try her creamy potato-fennel soup—it’s a great winter warm up.
Calling all writers! We have a few spots left for the Nature Writing Workshop at The Morton Arboretum—-four Thursdays in person (6-8:30 p.m.), beginning Feb.2 (this week!). Please join us, even if you can’t make all four sessions. Having trouble getting that New Year’s Resolution writing project underway? Join us! Read the full class description and register here.
Winter Prairie Wonders — Tuesday, February 7, 10-11:30 a.m. Discover the joys of the prairie in winter as you hear readings about the season. Enjoy stories of the animals who call the prairie home. Hosted by the Northbrook Garden Club in Northbrook, IL. Free to non-members, but you must register by contacting NBKgardenclub@gmail.com for more information.
Dragonflies and Damselflies: The Garden’s Frequent Fliers –— Wednesday, February 8, noon-1:30 p.m. Hosted by Countryside Garden Club in Crystal Lake, IL. (Closed event for members)
The Tallgrass Prairie: Grocery Store, Apothecary, and Love Charm Shop— Thursday, February 9, 12:30-2 p.m. Hosted by Wheaton Garden Club in Wheaton, IL (closed event for members).
Illinois’ Wild and Wonderful Early Bloomers— February 20, 7:15 p.m-8:45 p.m. Hosted by the Suburban Garden Club, Indian Head Park, IL. Free and open to non-members. For more information, contact Cindy through her website contact space at http://www.cindycrosby.com.
Bell Bowl Prairie in Rockford, IL, needs your help! Find out more on saving this threatened prairie remnant at SaveBellBowlPrairie.