I love exploring, heading out into the infinite adventure possibilities that make up Manitoba, whether it’s cold, hot, rainy or windy, there’s always something to discover. But sometimes I just want to stay home. I need a hibernation day every once in a while. Luckily Manitoba makers, bakers and businesses have some of the best hibernation essentials for a chilly winter weekend. Here are 6 things you need for a Manitoba-made hibernation day.
1) Soothing sips
Any winter hibernation day should start with a warm beverage. A coffee, tea or hot chocolate, take your pick. There are tons of great coffee roasters here in Manitoba, from Flatland Coffee roasted in Gimli to Black Pearl Coffee based in Winnipeg.
Personally, I prefer tea. Three6Tea, a tea shop in Selkirk that comes up with its own tasty flavours, offers tons of choices from Guilt Free Donut to Caramel Macaroon Matcha. For my hibernation day I choose the simple yet flavourful Earl Grey Creme – a combination of floral and bitter. A teaspoon of Beeproject Apiaries honey sweetens the tea just enough, and the honey I’ve chosen is made right here in my own neighbourhood of Wolseley. As the warmth of my tea radiates through my handmade Valerie Metcalfe mug, I already feel like I could crawl back into bed.
2) Comfy clothes
Comfort is key for hibernation. Animals have their dens and we have our homes. Animals keep warm in extra thick fur and we keep warm in extra thick sweaters. Now’s the time to get out the sweater grandma knit for you last Christmas, or in my case the one passed down from my mother.
If you haven’t got a knitter in the family, you can get great handmade sweaters, socks, scarves and blankets from makers across the province. Head to any Manitoban craft market and you’re sure to find at least one booth selling the comfiest made-in-Manitoba clothes. Or you could try to make something yourself…
3) Pacifying pastime
Grab your needles and yarn from Wolseley Wool and get to work. Knitting is a great hibernation day activity, it’s mesmerizing and slow (at least when I do it), and you’re working toward something. You may not finish your project by the end of the day but after a few more hibernation days you could have a scarf or even a pair of socks.
If knitting isn’t for you, think about other things you may want to try – writing, reading, drawing, beading. Hibernation days are perfect for trying to learn something new or re-teaching yourself something you once knew how to do. Give yourself a mental break and let your creativity come pouring out.
4) Relaxation station
Some deep relaxation time is a must while in hibernation. I opt for something even more relaxing than sleep – a bath. For a made-in-Manitoba soak in the tub, I recommend a candle from Charleston & Harlow. The owners of this Brandon-based company develop the fragrances and hand-pour the candles themselves right here in Manitoba. So you know they’re made with love and the most wonderful smelling scents.
You can also grab a bath bomb and bath salts from the Forks Trading Company, which sells tons of local products from tasty treats to relaxation essentials.
5) Evening indulgences
A hibernation day should end with a feast!
Luckily, I've stocked up like a chipmunk getting ready for winter. A quick stop at Perogy Planet gave me a dozen eclectic options, everything from the traditional potato and cheddar to more uncommon creations like buffalo chicken and Philly cheese steak perogies. I’ve picked up two perogy flavours – BBQ pulled pork and my personal favourite sweet potato rosemary. I also have Winkler Farmer Sausage to round out this Manitoba-inspired meal.
Since my perogies aren’t traditional I don’t feel bad adding even less traditional elements to this dish. A touch of Smak Dab mustard for the farmers sausage adds a punch. And the apple sauerkraut from Flora & Farmer adds a touch of acidity to the plate and pairs really well with the pulled pork perogies.
6) Sweet treats
No hibernation day is complete without a sweet treat at the end. For dessert I indulge in Decadence Chocolates and Utoffea handcrafted toffee. Both are made in Manitoba and have the right touch of sweetness to finish off a relaxing day.