Slow Down…Settle In

By Susan Serra

Maybe the fall, winter, and early spring months are a seasonal message to slow down…settle in. It almost seems as if the cold winter months give us permission to do just that, doesn’t it? Some see these months as busy – gearing up for the entertaining “season”, especially considering the holidays and our increased commitments to entertain in our homes. I think, unlike the summer months, when we are busy outdoors, sometimes exhaustively so, the cold months are more of a welcome relief than conventional wisdom tells us.

Gatherings with family and friends are cozy affairs in the winter months. The elements of a fire, music and/or “the game” on TV lend warmth to any gathering. The cold months are also when the most savory foods are made with love and care, and family and friends are often an integral part of the cooking experience. A kitchen that is designed with a second sink, for example, turns into a convenient work station for a friend, who transforms into the sous chef as we catch up on our lives, or, it can become a beverage center. Flexible design creates an ease and a flow for our lifestyle needs in the kitchen.

With more time happily hibernating in our homes, our habits shift into a lower gear. Indoor projects are started, books are enjoyed while relaxing in a cozy spot, pictures of vacations are finally looked at. We are moving within our homes in a different way. We may be dining in different ways as well. I’m a big proponent of having multiple places in the home to dine, which can simply mean setting up a table in a family room or in another available nook. Cooking a wonderful meal on the weekend, whether Saturday night dinner or Sunday brunch, and having this alternative spot to dine at is one of the greatest pleasures. Add candles and it doesn’t get much better! Truthfully, however, lying on the sofa with home made snacks and the throw blanket on a Sunday afternoon is a VERY close second.

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