A Recipe for Cozy Weaving (and an Actual Recipe)
I am not a huge fan of winter. I do not like the cold, I think that snow is a pretty nuisance, and I prefer long days to early sunsets. What I do appreciate about winter, however, is that it’s the Season of Cozy. Cozy to me means something warm and comforting: hearty soups, hot chocolate, warm and woolly blankets, a specific type of mystery novel, scarves that you can wrap around your neck again and again, comforting movies you know by heart, and warm towels fresh out of the dryer.
The other seasons just don’t allow for optimum enjoyment of coziness. Spring and summer are too warm—nobody has ever described a piña colada and a pair of Bermuda shorts as cozy. Autumn allows you to tiptoe into cozy, but the temperature swings too much for proper cozy appreciation. Winter is the best season to wrap yourself up in a throw and read Murder on the Orient Express for the tenth time.
Winter is also the perfect time of year for cozy weaving. Although sitting at a loom might not seem like the coziest of endeavors at first, allow me to assure you that cozy weaving is not only possible, it is delightful. First, you need to choose a cozy project. The yarn should be warm and soft, and the finished project should be used to enhance your state of comfort. Wool scarves or blankets are perfect choices.
Second, you must outfit yourself accordingly. I have a pair of down booties I wear during my winter weaving. They are so very warm, and just putting them on makes me feel relaxed. Thick socks (especially those that are handknitted) or slippers are also excellent choices. Trousers should also be warm—I’m a fan of flannel pajama pants. The shirt is the tough part. You want something warm but also something where the sleeves won’t get in the way of your work. Sweatshirts or hoodies with elastic around the wrists are good as are fitted sweaters or cardigans.
Third, a hot beverage must be within your reach at all times. Mulled ciders, spiced teas, hot chocolates, and even mugs of thick tomato soup are all acceptable. Just make sure that while these items are within reach that their spill radius doesn’t overlap with your weaving. For bonus coziness, also have a plate of gingersnaps, applesauce spice cake, or banana bread alongside.
Last, make sure there is a reward for when you finish your cozy weaving session. This might mean lighting a fire and curling up with the latest Inspector Gamache mystery or eating a perfect dinner of warm soup and crusty bread with somebody you love.
It’s a perfect recipe for cozy weaving. And, because I love you all so much, I’m going to give you my recipe for my comforting and cozy apple sausage soup. It’s a wonderful winter soup full of root vegetables, and it is easily made vegan/vegetarian simply by using vegan sausage (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!). I hope you enjoy!
Christina’s Cozy Apple and Sausage Soup
2 links Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled OR 1 cup vegan sausage, crumbled
2T olive oil (more if using vegan sausage)
1 leek, white and light green parts chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cider
3 cups vegetable stock
1 large baking apple, peeled sliced into generous but still bite-sized chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled and large diced
1 small turnip, peeled and large diced
½ cup red potatoes, large diced
¼ cup small pastsa such as orzo or acini de pepe (for a gluten free option use ½ cup cooked wild rice)
½ T smoked paprika
1 T basil
2–3 sprigs thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown your sausage using a wooden spoon to break it up into bite-sized pieces. If using vegan sausage, add some oil to the pan first. When browned and heated through, remove sausage from pot with slotted spoon and set on some paper towels.
2. Without cleaning the pot, add the olive oil, leeks, and garlic. Sauté until fragrant and soft, stirring to prevent browning.
3. Add the cider, stirring frequently to deglaze the pot, making sure to get all the browned bits off the bottom. Let cider cook down to about half its original volume.
4. Add all the rest of the ingredients and the browned sausage. Bring to a boil.
5. Turn down the heat and let simmer covered until vegetables and apples are soft, about 20 minutes. *The longer you cook, the more the apples and sweet potato will dissolve, thickening and flavoring the broth. If you want the best of both worlds, you can compensate for this by adding in extra apples and sweet potato in the last 20 minutes of simmering.* Adjust salt and pepper as needed. For an added kick, you can also stir in some chipotle powder or a few drops of hot sauce.
Happy Weaving (and cooking),
Featured Image: Looking for something cozy to weave? Try a soft and woolly blanket like one of these. From left: Caribbean Blues Blanket by Leslie Voiers, Elegant Gamp Lap Robe by Suzie Liles, and Warm and Cozy Plain Blanket by Linda Ligon.
Get cozy with these weaving resources from Interweave!