Out in the garden this morning in the rain, little grizzle about picking in the cold and wet, until I remembered – no visit to the supermarket after work, no trying to find parking close enough to avoid getting drenched, no queues of tired and grumpy people. Just this lovely quiet of a misty morning with trees all sparkling with raindrops and happy frogs calling.
We have the slow combustion wood stove going at night these days, heating the house and making hot water as well as cooking. It also keeps the sourdough bread warm enough to prove beautifully. I put a lamb shank in the pressure cooker for stock last night, adding a cupful of the Purple King bean seeds I saved in summer just before bed. They have slow slow cooked overnight and this morning there is a gorgeous base of soft beans in meaty stock. This morning I stoked up the fire and added another log, then went for a pick in the garden.
A leek, a parsnip, a carrot, a pumpkin, some celery, some amaranth, some silver beet, a handful of cherry tomatoes, a handful of green beans, a few leaves of sorrel, a few leaves of chinese cabbage, a couple of late chilis.
Bring the lot up to pressure then take it off the heat, shut down the fire so it keeps going very low all day, and off to work.
When I get home tonight, there will be live coals in the stove and the house will be warm and dry. There will be a loaf of sourdough on the kitchen counter, ready to just pop into the warm oven and a pot of bean and vegetable soup ready to just warm up, enough for dinner for the two of us tonight and leftovers for lunch tomorrow as well. I’ll stoke up the fire and feel warm and nurtured and very grateful for my garden!