It’s a beautifully dark and cozy Sunday, my favorite sort of day for pottering in the garden, baking bread, and snuggling under a blanket with a British murder mystery.
We’ve had such beautiful rain this week, and our farm yard has transformed from dry, crispy, and brown, to soft and supple with a luscious green shimmer as new grass shoots up everywhere.
When I knew rain was coming, I set out buckets and tubs to capture as much as I could. This morning I ladled it out into my watering can and gave more precious rainwater to my cucumbers and lettuces, then planted rosellas and capsicums and gave the last of the rainwater to them.
Once everything was planted I dug up the last of my new potatoes, they smell so good, and brought the chipotle and poblano peppers I’ve been drying upstairs.
I’d never grown chipotles until this year, and am delighted by their shape, like tiny old-fashioned Christmas lights. I smoked a few over winter and added them to chili, but these ones I’m using both for seeds and to flavor vinegar.
I like how flavored vinegar and oil add greater depth of taste and fragrance to salad dressings, sauces, and especially slow-cooked meat to make it extra tender. You can even use the flavored vinegar to make quick pickles like these pickled beets or these plump pickled cherries.
And, frankly, I like them because they’re beautiful. It gives me a happy little thrill to see glistening glass bottles of deliciousness lined up on my pantry shelves, filled with fresh herbs, colorful peppers, and whole spices.
While I gardened, I put bread dough on to rise. Cozy Sunday afternoons are made even better with fresh bread rolls slathered with butter and our very own honey. Add a cup of hot pineapple sage tea and a good book, and I’m a thoroughly contented soul.
I’m thankful for this beautiful weekend, for visits with dear friends, reading by lamplight, and good food to nourish our bodies for a busy week ahead.
What do you like to do over the weekend that restores you for a new week? xo
Chipotle Pepper Vinegar
1/2 cup fresh or dried chipotle peppers
2 cups vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a sterlized glass bottle, seal, and set in a dark, cool place for 1-2 weeks until it reaches the flavor you like. Strain and use.