Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

Almost Perfect
by James Glaser
November 30, 2007

Florida, make that Northern Florida is almost perfect in the winter. The only way I know it is winter down here, is because it is late November, and people in Northern Minnesota are getting excited about ice fishing now that the lake has frozen over.

Down here in Tallahassee, every day is like a really fine Minnesota fall day, or maybe a late spring day. Chilly enough in the morning that you want a long sleeve shirt on, but you better have something lighter to change into in the afternoon when it starts to warm up.

Working in my studio is like I said, almost perfect. The only thing wrong is that late in the afternoon mosquitoes start to bother me if I have the back roll up door open. I not talking swarms, but even one or two mosquitoes will drive you nuts if you are trying to do exacting work. Nothing itches more than a bite on your finger.

I can't say I miss the bitter cold of the Northland, but I do miss the food. Now that it is starting to cool down at night I can make things like hot soup or like I did tonight, beans and hot peppers. I soak the beans while I'm at work, rinse them as soon as I get home, start them cooking, and add a few onions and what ever else comes to mind. The hot peppers I add cold after I put a big helping of beans in a bowl.

Up north you cooked things like soup, because it took a long time and having a pan simmering on the stove all day kept the kitchen nice and warm. I do miss a wood cook stove, and for sure Florida doesn't get chilly enough to have one of those. I am starting to have thoughts of fudge, and I can't wait to start making it and sending it out as gifts. Fudge is an American candy, first made by a girl at Vassar College for a fund raiser. The government talks about a lack of inflation, but every year the ingredients for a batch of fudge costs more. They must not check the price of sugar, butter or chocolate. In fact they must not monitor most of the things I buy.

The nice weather down here kind of took my by surprise. One day in early October it was hot as all get out, and the next day it was pleasant. Now it should stay nice until some time in May. Eight months of nice weather, two OK months, (June and September) and two horrible months. (July and August) Eight months in a row of nice weather tends to spoil a person, and I like that

Not that I am any good at it, but I think this weekend I'll try my hand at making a few loaves of bread. The smell of bread cooking is a mighty fine way to make your house inviting, and hot bread right out of the oven with butter melted into it sounds like a good idea to me. A man could get pretty lazy in Florida in the winter. Maybe if it is chilly enough, I could make a bit of hot chocolate to go with the warm bread.

Those are wonderful thoughts, but I have a long "to do" list, and weather like we are having now makes it seem like work is the right thing to do.

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