sense and sensibility rain, then sunshine

It has rained almost all week in Atlanta. The earth is soggy, the air is cold. The fire cracks and snaps, spits and blazes, continuously. This is the kind of damp cold that gets into the bones and won't leave. It's Emma Thompson telling Kate Winslet, "Your feet are cold!" and getting out of bed to put on a pair of socks. It's Kate tramping aimlessly across the grassy hills in the pouring rain, catching her death of cold and pining her heart out for Willoughby. Only it's not that romantic.
Then, this morning: sunshine. Glorious February sunshine. You know what I mean, don't you? It has that certain slant to it, that weaker but brighter glaze that says, I'll be blazing and beating down your back like crazy, come summer; here's a preview of coming attractions!

To celebrate the sunshine, I quartered a cabbage, then quartered it again, and placed the eight wedges into a big bottomed bowl I found at Kudzu this past week and brought home with me.

I added carrots and onions.I loved the light as much as the meal I was making. I wanted to share it with you.I drizzled the whole shebang with a flavorful olive oil, added some water, and preheated the oven to 325 degrees.Coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper were the finishing touches.
I lidded the whole thing and slipped it into the oven, where the cabbage will braise for two hours while I slip into my going-away bath in the deep bathtub.
I travel today and will be home Wednesday night. I have my going-away rituals in place: a healthy meal and a good long soak. And a gift -- the return of the light.
I'm heading to nine Arkansas schools and one public library event in three days. Don't think I can do it? Just watch me! It's going to be a whirlwind, and great good work. I'm working with fourth through sixth graders and my work is sponsored by the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library system. I'm excited about the days ahead -- and I've got my camera with me.
But first, a good meal (I tossed some Parmesan onto the braised cabbage, and sauteed some Brussels sprouts) with a good husband and good sunshine. A soothing soak. The simple things that Marianne and Elinor Dashwood longed for as well. And got. "There is some blue sky! Let us chase it!"

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