Tuesday, July 20, 2010

the good, the bad, the ugly

What gardener didn't love 'The Secret Garden' as a child, or more recently, 'Tom's Midnight Garden'? There's something about this idea of a hidden garden that is still open and free within that I really like. I guess that's what 'garden rooms' are all about; not revealing everything at once.
Well my thoughts are above ground, open and free, but it has been a captive, basement existence for the last few weeks in one of the potato rooms. En Hakkore has had five of these windowless, internal rooms in the time we've been here but the sultana room was converted into a kitchen a few years ago. It was a room off the main kitchen, fully lined with tin to keep it rat proof and in the Sanitorium days all the dry goods were kept there. The smell of sultanas had completely permeated it but it has gone now as has the lining.

Go through the open door of the Administration block, turn right and walk along to that set of ground floor windows. Turn

180 degrees, push the door open and imagine alot more sacks, each with an average of 8o potatoes. There are platforms on the floor to keep the potatoes off the floor because if they freeze it's all over.
The other rooms incidentally are a walk-in safe, another potato room, and from the Youth Detention Centre days, a very sad jail trio of three rooms. The jail seems to be still permeated with despair.

My job was to drag the spuds out, brush off the sprouts, dust them with powder and re-bag, lug back into the tiny room and stack. It didn't take me long to realise that if the job had been done a month earlier, then each potato would not have to be handled and buffed. A quick dust would suffice. I've had ample time to consider that this is not a mistake I will be making twice.

Finally the job is finished and on a lighter note I'm preparing to cater for a camp this week-end. It's a FGB group, Full Gospel Businessman, and in NZ that means men only. Hence the man-labels on the jam and the man-size jar of relish to go out with the cooked breakfast.
In the UK they are open to everyone. I used to go along and typically we would meet in a hotel over high tea.
Without making sweeping generalisations I can confidently say that there will be no-one asking for herbal teas, trim milk, or with dietary intolerances. There will be no sandwhiches left-over after supper, only biscuits and the porridge will all go while the muesli is ignored.

Oh that life could always be this simple. Posted by Picasa


  1. Have fun with your catering Miri - like your "man" labels. We had 3 frosts in a row last week and everyone was complaining about the cold. Now they are all over for the winter and already there a jonquils for sale. Best get my wool wear in while I can.

  2. That really is a sombre thought about the jail cells. What a history that place has. Far better to imprison potatoes I think.

    I like your man labels, they really crack me up. No nonsense there. I would love to be served up your man food, complete with full cream milk, sammies, and no herbal tea in sight.

  3. I did laugh at your description of the man breakfast. In our house Rosie and I have the herbal teas and meusli - Rosie has the intolerances and tom eats as you describe. Hope the camp went well

  4. yes I have to say I'm not too fond of having to cater for the vegan gluten free individual. I like your uses of the rooms - and how gardening lets you take advantage of what you have available around you. No jail cells here but I do keep trying to take over our wine cellar - which is kept to 14 degrees all year round and is rodent proof, perfect for winter vege storage.