It has been nine days since I have left these four walls. Time passes without notice. Tonight I am restless, and awake, and I notice. How strange to think, that there are crowded streets, ceaseless lights, and bustle all over the planet, when here the white silence stretches into the black night. Even the bears have retreated into their dreams.
Tomorrow the wind may have died down, making it much safer to walk in the bush. Falling branches are a significant hazard. Windy days bring down a lot of branches, falling thirty feet or more to the ground. Like spears, they fly into the earth, penetrating as much as a foot into the soil. November has been very windy.
Mist and I have been keeping ourselves busy with our respective projects. Mist sleeps, and I research the family tree, read, bake bread, pace the floors, stretch, watch the snow, and listen to the wind.
Attila leaves before light, and arrives home as darkness falls. Several times over the last two weeks he has been able to come home for lunch.
Saturday I processed vegetables, which we purchased two weeks ago at a vegetable stand, on our way home from the little house in the city. The beets were easy, two batches washed and cooked whole in the pressure cooker, then sectioned, packaged and frozen. I had fun squeezing the skins off, after they had cooled. My hands were an interesting shade of red for the rest of the day! The large turnip we purchased was fresh, and unwaxed. After being peeled and diced it took only five minutes to cook it in the pressure cooker. It was the best tasting turnip I have ever cooked, and I found myself snacking on turnip cubes as it cooled. We will definitely be making more purchases at that vegetable stand when it opens again next summer.
For lunch I had a toasted sliced beet and mozzarella sandwich, with mayo and hot mustard. It is my new favourite, for now anyway, until something else takes my fancy.
We like soup. A large pot of soup makes for instant meals, with homemade bread, and cheese, on the side. One of our favourites is Hamburger Soup, which is incredibly easy and incredibly good. I used a pound of the grass fed ground beef, which I sautéed with onion, to caramelize. Then I deglazed the pan by adding a can of diced tomatoes, and then add it all to the crockpot. In goes two or more cups of beef or vegetable broth, potatoes, carrots, and whatever other bits of vegetables I can find in the refrigerator, until the crockpot is full. I add basil, peppercorns and a bay leaf, garlic if I have it, then let it cook for hours and hours and hours. It usually cooks all day, or overnight.
We had Sunday together, Attila and I and Mist. Attila and I spent most of our time in the kitchen. Mist loves it when we are all together. She sits between us and purrs, or if we are active she settles where she can watch us, and purrs.
Applesauce, mincemeat squares, and a turkey dinner with all the trimmings kept us busy. The squash was quartered and baked in a pan, in the oven, with the turkey. The new potatoes, from the vegetable stand, were cooked in their jackets and mashed.
Next week, after having eaten turkey leftovers for a week, Attila will use the remains of the bird to make soup. His process takes many days, but it is worth waiting for! And again, we will have instant meals, to eat with bread and cheese.
Perhaps those few days without electricity enhanced our appreciation of kitchen magic!
Date: 12:00 AM EST Tuesday 26 November 2013
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Wind: SSW 22 gust 32 km/h
Wind Chill: -9
“Order is not pressure which is imposed on society from without, but an equilibrium which is set up from within.”
Jose Ortega y Gasset
1883 – 1955
“José Ortega y Gasset (Spanish: [xoˈse oɾˈteɣa i ɣaˈset]; 9 May 1883 – 18 October 1955) was a Spanish liberal philosopher and essayist working during the first half of the 20th century while Spain oscillated between monarchy, republicanism and dictatorship. He was, along with Friedrich Nietzsche, a proponent of the idea of perspectivism.”