family gatherings Fighting the Winter Blahs with Soup

I’ll be honest, this isn’t my favorite season. In April, spring is my favorite time of year, and in October, fall is my favorite. Since my birthday is in July, I’m never sad when it’s summer. But winter can be long and cold, and the days often appear dark instead of light. I love to see the snow and watch the Ravens, but I could do without the cold, as evidenced by my electric bill.

But there is something that helps me tolerate the cold days of late winter, which, if you’ve ever had kids who play outdoor spring sports, often includes March in my book. Soup. I know, you thought I was going to say wine, but I said soup, and I meant it. A good soup or stew can feed me for days and make a weekend afternoon cuddled on the couch with the dogs feel complete.

I love cooking up a big pot of chicken corn chowder or beef stew on a Sunday afternoon and eating it for lunch or dinner for much of the week. That is why I’m excited about our article in this issue, “Stir Up a Winter Soup Party,” by Michael Vyskocil (page 58). I never thought about having a party starring soups, but I love the idea, and more than that, I love having some new recipes to try. And if you like the recipes in this issue, check out more soup recipes by Michael at

When you sit down to enjoy a bowl of soup on a chilly weekend day, take a minute to read about how Carroll County residents are approaching the new laws around recreational marijuana use (page 34). Plus, just in time for Valentine’s Day, discover how couples in various stages of life work through relationship issues (page 44).

Spring is around the corner, but I’m taking time to enjoy all that winter provides. I’m hunkering down, staying cozy, doing the snow dance, and making lots of soup. I hope you are staying warm and comfortable, too. I would love to learn about your favorite winter soups and stews, or hear your thoughts after you’ve tried our soup recipes. And if you plan a soup party, send my invitation to

Kym Byrnes

Have feedback? Email your ideas to: