Saturday, July 9, 2011


If I had to pick out a movie to define this stage of my life, the one that resonates in my mind is Babettes Feast. It's not the concept of spending my inheritance on a meal, although when you're doing a big shop it can seem like that sometimes, it's the image of Babette out there picking thyme and wild herbs to make her soups; wind is howling around her and she is wrapped up in many layers.
Fresh out of the garden is all very well; however, in winter I have to put my gumboots and jacket on and go on an expedition in the darkening cold to dig out parsnips carrots and leeks so I try and get a weeks worth of those at a time.

Bob's beans above turned out to be as beautiful as their pod. I left them too long on the vine and it was uncharacteristically damp so quite a few had a 'white bloom'. I didn't keep those for eating. That's not like me  but I was thinking of the rye moulds in the middle ages that drove the peasants insane and the jam moulds that are probably bad for you. It was a fierce struggle against my genetic inheritance to err on the side of caution.
Home grown beans are different to bought. Possibly because they are so fresh, don't take much cooking, not as starchy, they almost melt: Beef and Bean Chilli. Beans gone. 

Finally on the last leg of turning over the beds in glasshouse one. I'm building a compost heap on site rather that cart everything out there and back here later. Here it is going up. I'm gambling on being able to spread it by November as a mulch on this lucky bed (albeit in a rough state). Compost normally takes a year here. The tomato debris is off to the dump but all other weeds , wood chips, straw, layers of nettles conveniently growing nearby and sloshes of liquid comfrey on hand, all that has gone on sandwhich style. I've covered the heap with black plastic hoping for some solar advantage. It has warmed up. I didn't add any animal manure which would give me a hotter heap. I imagine this will be colder and slower.

Now it was a week of high drama on the roads. Only a dusting of snow and the road looks deceptively clear. There are alot of big trucks come through Highway 85 especially through the night and they compressed the snow to a layer of ice. Bill got stuck on the Pigroot coming home. There is no cellphone reception through that stretch and we had a power cut at home so nobody could ring.  We went out in the truck and  found him around midnight with six other cars in a cluster and pushed him out. There was an Irish fellow putting chains on nearby who said the roads were 'mischief'. Something about that word has you imagining small mythical creatures spreading danger out like sand. They closed the road through to midday Friday and everybody just drove around the barrier.
As it happened, the next day so did we.

 From memory, Babettes Feast is set in a remote religious community and their inability to acknowledge her beautiful food is just part of a big story; no comparison implied here! However, this is a teetotal community and the meal voucher I won to Riverstone Cafe was for a three course menu complete with wine matches. It was all the better for the novelty.  We were booked in for Friday and would just about have walked through the pigroot and carried the car if neccessary.
Final photo is the last peice of cheese. Swiss M made it before she left. I could see it wasn't quite right but haven't made any for so long was unsure where the problem lay. In hindsight I think there was too much whey left in and the cheese 'turned' pretty fast. Cheese moulds don't scare me one bit and although there were ammonia notes, nothing was wasted. Genetic inheritance includes a robust digestive system.
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  1. Great post Miri, thoroughly enjoyed it. I had my own adventures with genetic inheritance when I refused to throw out some hummus that had been left out and spent the evening to repent at leisure on the toilet.

  2. Poor Bill, stuck on the Pigroot in snow! Aiyee! Well it's genetic inheritance left right and centre at the moment, because I chopped the mould off the pumpkin at the back of the fridge and made a big batch of soup with it, also throwing in a rubbery leek and some other offending items. It was very nice and no bad effects were evident. As Dad used to say, everything costs money, and we have all that we need right here.

  3. Mischief is a great term for it! I'm not looking forward to trying to get to work tomorrow.

    You are the second blog I've come across to reference Babette's Feast today... think I might need to look that one up!

    Keep warm.

  4. hmm yes i sometimes wonder about the moulds, i usually skim them off without anyone else being the wiser.

    hope you are surviving the chill down there okay.