Solar Hugs

Nutmeg Honey Butter

I love those golden, glowing days of midwinter when sunlight streams through the windows, embracing you in warmth.

Solar hugs, so to speak.

– – – – –

That was the beginning of my post before our furnace gave out (sometime between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.), leaving me wondering why the thing wasn’t kicking in overnight. (!)

Thankfully, the “intro” still applies.

Handmade quilts (thanks, Sis) and Oklahoma’s moderate temps sustained us until the coffee was ready.  Never mind that it’s supposed to get down to 27° tonight — a temporary cold spell — I’m savoring the gorgeous sunlight that streamed through our windows this morning.

Warmth is a state of mind and I can’t help but feel cozy.

Definition of irony:  We bought a wood-burning stove this weekend.  It’s still sitting in the driveway. :)

– – – – –

Getting on with things, I love fruitcake almost as much as I love solar hugs.  (Please don’t stop reading.)

For those of you who despise the much-maligned holiday treat (especially if you’re petrifying it into a doorstop at this late date), this isn’t a tortured how-to.  My favorite fruitcake recipe can be found in Christopher Kimball’s The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook — a sunny-looking tome, if you’re so inclined.

What I do want to share is Nutmeg Honey Butter.

Golden orbs of goodness…

Golden Orbs of Goodness

Sunshine in truffle form. :)

Sunlight Truffles

Nutmeg Honey Butter

1/4 lb. quality butter, chilled  (I used Hope Butter)

2 tsp. honey

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Using a small scoop, shape butter into truffle-sized balls.

Place on a decorative plate.

Drizzle with honey.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Serve on bread, pancakes, waffles, or yes… the dreaded fruitcake.

Fruit Cake with Nutmeg Honey Butter

Here’s to sunshine and warmth in midwinter, especially when your alternative heat source has yet to be installed.

(I’m calling the furnace guy tomorrow.)

Enjoying solar hugs,

~ Kimby

26 thoughts on “Solar Hugs

  1. You know, this is exactly the kind of weather we’re having here (just a little colder 14F here) and the sun is smiling every day, which is far better than usual rain. I love the idea of butter, will have to try it, though (don’t judge) I’m yet to eat a fruit cake that would win me over, perhaps I should try yours. Happy weekend! :)

    • I’m smiling, Gourmantine — fruitcake is one of those “ya love it or ya don’t” kind of foods — no judgment whatsoever! Personally, I detest “candied” fruits, which most fruitcakes contain. Christopher Kimball’s recipe calls for dates, dried apricots, raisins (regular & golden), and pecans, plus it’s laden with molasses, which reminds me of my Grandma’s fruitcake. :)

  2. Hi Kim! Although I’m in California, I grew up in a country with four distinct season, I learn to recognize and enjoy seasonal differences. I love your description of solar hugs. I know what you mean. :) And this recipe, amazing. I’ve never played with butter until I made strawberry butter for popovers. Now this will be my next try. I cannot resist good butter on good bread. Looking forward to trying this out!

  3. Oh no, no heater?!

    I hear ya on the fruit cake deal. I’m not a big fan either, but I also don’t detest it. I’ll have a bite with coffee. There’s this place in Corsicana, TX that makes the best fruit cakes. We order them every year for Christmas.

    I like reading your musings :)

    • Still no furnace guy yet, Christina! But I’m warm and well, thanks to “zoning” off the house with blankets and two lil’ electric heaters. In the meantime, let them eat cake… fruitcake, I say. :) Glad you enjoy my musings… I’m delighted with your updates, too!

  4. I love fruitcake. I’ve never had homemade. My band used to sell them when I was in high school. I buy at least one a year. I am going to share your honey butter recipe with my husband tonight. He’s been experimenting with his own recipes. The other night, he said to my teen daughter, “Here.” He handed her a spoon with a glob of margarine on it. She got it in her mouth and said, “Dad, you didn’t say you were handing me a spoonful of butter.” Afterward ensued a conversation explaining the difference between margarine and butter. I noticed real butter in the frig yesterday. He’s at it again.

    • Catherine, you brought back memories of all those band “fund raisers” — never sold fruitcake, but I hawked a chocolate bar or two. :) Let me know how your hubby’s butter experiment turns out!

  5. I just love how you personify the sun w/solar hugs! My kitchen here in CO has a huge (as in about 9×9′!!) East facing window…the sun not only hugs me but blinds me! Speaking of which, I should get ‘blinds’ (as in the electric shade that will filter the sun’s rays making them yummy hugs), but, just can’t seem to bring myself to it…maybe it’s b/c I deep down love the intensity of this friend! Sending solar hugs your way! xo Ally

  6. You are not only a better person than I, but evidently much stronger! No heat…oh no…you know my complete discomfort (read hate) of winter and cold weather. I would be kicking and screaming until my poor husband would have fixed it or sent me to Florida ;)

  7. I think there is a fruitcake for everybody. I finally found mine, and even though it takes a month to make, I’m finally a believer. Your butter sounds so good, perfect to spread on a breakfast or tea-time treat. And wow I do hope you get your furnace working fast. It’s soooo cold here. Was very nice and sunny for several days and so warm in the afternoons no coats were necessary. But alas, the cold front has returned.

    • Glad to hear you found a fruitcake you can believe in, Veronica. :) Also, it’s been in the 50’s & 60’s here during the day (not to rub it in) and if it gets too nippy at night, we have a small electric heater (but it tends to blow fuses, ha!) I’m just grateful we have four walls and a roof over our heads — much to be thankful for!

  8. As for fruitcake, I’ve never been a fan until I sampled some made by the monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani. Done right it is divine. Never thought about adding honey butter, but it’s now on my list of things to try.

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