Winter arrived this weekend in a fury of fierce winds and pelting rain.
Before the rain arrived, I bundled up in layer upon layer to take the girl goats for a feed in the fields accompanied by Solar. He loved it, bounding through the tossing grasses before cozying down into a little nest out of the wind. I felt like a little kid again as I hunkered down there with him, sinking my fingers into his thick, white fur, laying back and watching the grass and tree branches being whipped above us.
After our rest we went exploring, finding all sorts of things hidden in the grass by the wood pile.
I love old, weathered wood, always have. My grandpa used to take us grandkids out for drives on the prairies of Alberta. We’d pile into the back of his station wagon and bounce along rutted tracks and even bumpier fields before clambering out to find abandoned homesteads and barns ready to be examined by a crew of curious blond-headed kids.
We never knew what we’d find: old iron bedsteads, weathered window frames with tattered curtains still flapping in the prairie wind, dusty bottles that whistled eerily when rogue breezes blew across their tops.
We always wished for treasure, of course, and I suppose we found it through the stories we imagined of the people who used to live in these empty buildings.
My thoughts would run wild wondering who had rocked on these rickety front porches, what did they eat, wear, dream of, and why had they dropped everything and just left?
I will never know, but I think that was part of the magic of those adventures, making up our own stories about who the residents were and what had happened.
I loved wandering about finding old wood piles that had been chopped by hand but would never be used, looking inside old tins and wondering if they had once been filled with cookies or flour or perhaps, carefully collected rocks, feathers, and bits of wire from an imaginative child.
I loved opening creaky cupboard, closet, and cellar doors, hoping against hope that I would find a hidden diary or photo album that would reveal everything I yearned to know.
I treasure those adventures and it makes me smile to be able to relive them a bit here on our Aussie farm, finding remnants of abandoned projects, an unexplained pile of rock that looks very, very much like a grave, and the detritus of generations living off the land.
After such meanderings it is lovely to come in out of the cold, casting off layers of wool and flannel, and sit down to a dish of roasted macadamia nuts tossed with salty crisp bits of rosemary and thyme.
These savory little morsels make stormy winter days an absolute pleasure.
What do you think of when you see old, weathered wood?
Roasted Macadamia Nuts with Thyme and Rosemary
2 cups raw macadamia nuts
fine sea salt
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C).
- Place all ingredients in medium bowl. Toss well until nuts are evenly coated.
- Cover baking sheet with baking paper and spread nuts in single layer.
- Roast for 30 minutes until nuts are golden brown.
- Cool 10-15 minutes and eat warm. Store leftovers in sealed container.