Everything about the idea of hibernation seems wonderful to me.  The eating excessively to ready the body for the months of sleep where it will need to sustain itself off my fat reserve. The deep sleep for a few months when it is dark and cold outside.  The giving birth while asleep in my fat induced coma.  (I’m not expert but this is what I believe hibernation entails.)

Where I live the sun sets at 5:30 pm or so and doesn’t rise until 8:30 am.  My brain is programmed to wake and sleep according to the sun. This has something to do with my cave-men ancestors I’m sure and nothing to do with laziness or seasonal depression.

Needless to say for about a month here I’ve been getting  very angry when my alarm goes off in the morning.   I love how Oprah says to wake up in a spirit of gratitude.  Try living in darkness where everyone starts looking like they are from a horror movie with giant black eye bags due to the fact that we never see sunlight and see how grateful you are Oprah.  Not possible.

The children are not allowing me to hibernate.  First of all I had to birth them awake… drugged but awake. Then they have the audacity to demand breakfast and lunches made for them before they go to school.  Furthermore, they need to be driven to hockey practices every evening in the dark.  They are not understanding my longing for the deep sleep of winter.

My mind wanders to what our ancestor farmers did back when there was no TV or electricity or reason to live.  They obviously made babies due to the fact that every family had about 12 children living in 400 square feet of house. With no TV.   Wouldn’t be my first thought in the lonely darkness of winter to have yet another child to discipline, provide for, pay attention to and share square footage with.

I’m assuming they slept a lot.  I realize they had to worry about keeping the family fed and animals alive and wood supply stocked and clothing sewn and maple syrup tapped.  (now I’m purely referencing Little House on the Prairie)

I’m more into being a modern day farmer’s wife.   I appreciate what those that forged the trail ahead for us did but my guess is I would have starved to death and so would my 14 children.  Which might have been the kindest thing I could have done for them given our circumstances.

Next best thing to sleeping is eating freshly baked bread.  So I am making Grandma Swan’s bread recipe today in hopes to forget that I wish I was sleeping.

All winter… just sleeping. Or at least from 5:30 pm – 8:30 am.  Is 15 hours of sleep good for you?

grandma swan's white bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp quick rising yeast
  • 5 cups potato water (or regular lukewarm water)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 13 to 14 cups all purpose flour

Directions:

  • mix 1 cup water and sugar together and sprinkle yeast over it
  • let sit for 10 minutes
  • in your Bosch machine (or dough machine) add warm potato water, oil, sugar and salt
  • add yeast mixture and combine
  • add flour, 3 cups at a time and mix well after every addition
  • when it comes together, turn out onto a clean surface and work with hands into a ball
  • place in a greased bowl and let rise till double
  • punch down and let rise again
  • shape dough into 7 balls and place on a greased baking sheet covered with a tea towel
  • take one ball and roll out with a rolling pin to approximately 7×11 inches
  • from upper edge, roll dough towards you, jelly roll fashion, sealing dough with the heel of your hand after each roll
  • after roughly 4 turns it will be at the edge and seal the final seam
  • seal ends of the loaf with the side of your hand to get a thin sealed strip
  • fold sealed ends under and place in a well greased (I use shortening) bread pan, approximately 7×11 inches
  • let rise until double with a tea towel over the loaves in a warm area
  • bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes
  • take out of oven and brush tops of loaves with margarine
  • remove from pans and cool on rack