I was sitting by my window this morning with my cup of tea watching as the rain drops fell and the fog and mist wisped through the trees. Even though it's not cold outside anymore, I felt the morning called for a fire in the woodstove so I built one just to hear the snap and crackle of the logs and to take the damp out of the air. I must have made a good decision in starting one because it wasn't long until my two dogs, one old, one young, curled up on the mat in front of the stove and descended in to a slumber that is truly a dog's life.
On days like today, when it is misty and rainy, I like to slow down a little. The homey instinct kicks in and I have the desire to bake and cook and make soup. I tend to put jazz on the stereo instead of my go to country, and I will light a scented candle to add to the ambiance. I'm all about creating the moment. Life has been so crazy busy lately that it feels so great to give myself permission to just take a deep breath and relax.
As I sat by the window, I was watching all the birds twitter to and fro to my feeder. The hub of activity that goes on there can keep one occupied for hours. We have chickadees, finches, doves, blue jays, black birds and a yellow bird, I have no idea what its called. I will post this picture of it, and if someone knows, please comment and let me know what it is.
I spent a lot of time in the garden yesterday, weeding and tilling. All my herbs except for one has returned from last year which I am very pleased about. My chickens tend to do a number on my garden in the winter so I was pretty worried, but all seems good. Unfortunately the thyme didn't survive the chicken onslaught, so I will replant this year and hope for the best. My goal is to have a giant herb garden for fresh herbs in spring and summer and dried herbs in winter. I purchased a dehydrator last year which has been instrumental in everything from apple chips to dried tomatoes, herbs and beef jerky.
My basil is also off to a great start in the potting shed. I may have more than I know what to do with so I am anticipating a lot of Pesto in my future. Fresh Pesto. I can't wait. Once you have fresh from your own garden, there is no going back to the stuff from the store. I think this year I will can some to have over the winter. If it lasts that long. It's a big favorite in this house. I have also done Parsley and Cilantro Pesto which is really good too and I sometimes replace the pine nuts with walnuts, and play around with different cheeses. All very yummy and very delicious.
Having the time to cook from scratch and utilize what grows around the garden is a joy. We are very lucky to have the space to grow volume. But I have lived in small spaces too, and know that one can grow an amazing array of veggies and herbs in pots and on a small deck or patio. It is so fun, and a healthy way to add nutrition to your meals. And the kids like it too. Radishes and sunflowers are a great starter plant for kids. They are virtually a no fail option. And kids love to watch what they have planted turn in to something on their plate or a humungous flower for the birds in the garden.
But for me today, gardening is out, and baking is in, so off I go to whip up a batch of bran muffins. I'm throwing in some rhubarb instead of raisins to see how that turns out. I will let you know!