It’s been a sleepy sort of day, dark and rainy, cold and quiet, the sort of day where you want to curl up in bed with a book and not do much of anything. So I did, for a little bit, right after I got off work at 8 a.m. I climbed under the covers and read a few pages of a fun little mystery, feeling rather marvelous all warm and cozy under the covers as the rain pattered against the window pane.
It was lovely and relaxing, but then life beckoned and I rolled on out of bed and got busy with dishes and laundry and paying bills and making lists and paying more bills and cooking and whatnot until finally all the vital stuff was done and the rain stopped for a bit and I could go outside.
I went to visit our little kids, watching them nibble hay and bother the dog and try to nurse on the wrong mother and get head-butted for their efforts. This little one never fails to come up to me, prancing and skipping then skidding to a stop if I make any sudden movements. She’s a little adventurer and bold as a lion and I love her.
Kebab, our little ram, came up for a head scratch, and then he was off with his harem to wander under the trees and eat grass.
I headed for my gardens to see what they looked like after all that rain, and was astounded.
Scrawny seedlings have shot up several inches, tiny beetroot leaves are now nearly as big as my palm, pea vines are covered with fat pods, eggplants are plump and dark, and the tomato branches are hung with bright green tomatoes.
The greens have gone especially wild and are absolutely gorgeous in their vivid greens and brightly colored stalks. This rainbow chard is so pretty! It’s going to be beautiful sauteed with sultanas and toasted pine nuts.
These mustard greens are stunning with their lime and burgundy coloring. Since they’re rather strong, they can handle strong flavors, so I’ll cook them with crumbled sausage and caramelized onions.
I’m really fond of Swiss Chard, and have planted varieties in magenta, crimson, and bright orange. They’re so versatile and can be added to many things: chili, soup, salads, quiche, sandwiches, smoothies, etc. They’re one of the few plants I always have growing year round.
We’ve been eating simple, warming foods over these rainy days. Beef stew with red wine, scrambled eggs and sourdough bread, and toasted cheese sandwiches with tomato chutney.
Today I roasted several beetroots until they were tender, then tossed them with a balsamic Dijon vinaigrette, creamy Danish feta, and fresh thyme leaves for a lovely winter salad.
Today all sorts of good things arrived at our house. I picked up our first grass fed beef order from Highbrit Beef. It looks amazing and they even threw in free meaty dog bones for our Apollo, Freja, Solar, and Luna. They’ll be thrilled! I also received my latest heirloom seed order and am so excited to start planting again, especially after this good rain prepared the soil so beautifully. And, last but not least, a new River Cottage dvd to inspire and amuse us as we press on enhancing our skills as foragers, gardeners, orchardists, and animal carers. I do so love learning.
What good things are happening at your house this week? xo