I really really REALLY hate winter. In the ten years I’ve lived in South Dakota, only one winter has been decent, and that was the winter of 2011. Barely any snow, it was WARM (for South Daktoa)…It was beautiful and I loved it. All the winters since have gotten worse. I think it was 2012 that broke Jay’s brain, and caused me to have several panic attacks. Stupid Seasonal Affective Disorder. That alone sucks, but whenever we get huge snowfalls that pile up and don’t melt for months because it gets so damn cold out here, I start feeling closed in and have to fight off feelings of claustrophobia. I’m a mess for basically half the year! And I bring it up because along with all that, I have to deal with a food blogger’s worst nightmare: Crappy lighting. Although this here Polenta with Sausage and Marinara doesn’t look TOO bad…But just last week I was setting things up in my driveway, to get decent daylight. Those days are done till April, if we’re lucky!
Okay, let’s be honest…The lighting is not great at all. I attempted to make a sort of diffuser but it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. But too, I’ve had worse photos, so I’ll deal with it. I’ll likely go back to making mass quantities of whatever I can over the weekends and trying to cram 6 photos shoots into a 2-hour period. This is one reason I’m envious of those who can blog for a living. Or those who have 2 cars. I live close enough I can walk home for lunch most days, but once it starts getting icy and snowy, I hole up in the break room with a book and my iPod. I think I took my last walk home for lunch until April last week. It made all my pensive thoughts bubble up.
So to combat a lot of my depressive, maudlin panic, I spent the day in the kitchen, bustling away. Making polenta, as I’ve mentioned before, is oddly relaxing. So is mincing garlic, and kneading bread dough. I had no garlic to mince, but because I’m being cheap, the bambino is getting homemade bread for awhile, so I kneaded bread as well as made the polenta. Because you need time for this to firm up, plan to make this at least 4 hours before you want to eat it. And allot 35 minutes and all your arm muscles for stirring.
If you want, you can omit the sausage for a vegetarian version. Omit the cheese too if you’re vegan. And if anyone has an extra ticket to Australia or New Zealand do let me know. I’m working on convincing Jay we need to start spending half the year down under–That way we can have spring and summer all year round, and just keep hopping hemispheres!