Remedy for the winter blahs

The twelve days of Christmas are over. Partying, decorations and celebrating are fond memories now. The days are short, the nights are long. And boy, is it ever cold! It’s enough to give you the blahs.

Fortunately, we’ve got a strategy for winter blahs at This Old Row House: a thick afghan and a great, old movie. Oh, and some fabulously easy microwave caramel popcorn!

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn I’ve got a pile of vintage afghans. In this drafty old house you really can’t have too many.


I love their kaleidoscope of colors on a black background. Each one has a different texture and personality. Right now I’m favoring a heavy wool Granny square afghan that Luray bought for me at Sage Farm in New Hampshire. (Psssst! She’ll have a booth at Sage Farm in February!)


It has a sky blue crocheted border and a variegated background. Most of it is black, but some of it is also navy and purple.  Because it’s slightly felted it’s thick and snuggly even on a night that’s below zero outside.


Of course, I’ve got to add in a classic movie. How about Charade from 1963 starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn? It’s got romance. Suspense. Murder. And missing money that everyone wants. Who has it? Who done it? Why has she dumped ice cream on his suit? You’ll have to watch it to find out!


And to munch while you watch, Microwave Caramel Popcorn. (Thanks for the recipe, Jenn!)


You’ll need 8 to 10 cups of popped popcorn. That’s two bags of microwaved popcorn. Put the popped corn in a paper grocery bag.

For the caramel:
1 stick of butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda

Put the butter, sugar and corn syrup in a microwaveable casserole on high for 2-1/2 minutes. (Make the casserole large–the mixture will expand as it cooks.) Stir it and then microwave it again for another 2-1/2 minutes. Stir the baking soda into the mixture. It will foam up. Immediately pour the mixture over the popped corn in the bag. Shake the bag vigorously to coat the corn. Put the bag in the microwave for one minute. Remove it and shake the bag again. Repeat. Pour the finished caramel corn onto a sheet pan to cool before breaking it apart.

Try not to eat it all at once! 🙂

2 Comments on “Remedy for the winter blahs”

  1. I haven’t begun to “Undecorate” yet. It may be next week before I am ready to take it all down! But when I do, I will make a party out of it!

    • janeray says:

      That sounds really fun! Otherwise it can be kinda sad to put it all away. I miss the sparkle and lights and people, but not all the cleaning up!