Winter circles… kitchen, garden, lovely moon and of course, coffee (thanks to Roger’s barista skills!) It’s the best time for my favourite type of slow and oven cooking and the dishes pictured include (top right) ricotta gnocchi baked in the pan and (bottom left) a serpente of mushrooms and wild greens (but the snake got away on me a bit!)
I wish I had a fireplace as flames are such a lovely part of winter but instead must be content with this beeswax candle – though I have to say it does smell delicious. And for those who saw my last post, the first mandarin (pictured) from the tree actually was very delicious, and perfect, perhaps even more so because I could go out and pick it from the backyard!
Hope you’re keeping warm and carrying on cooking and getting out into the garden, park or patio, even if to just be in the sun and crisp air for a bit, or to see the winter moon. Zoe x
The shortest day of the year and the garden’s winter light seems crisper, a dryness to the cool air. As I get older, I realise more and more my gardening is taking on aspects of the Nonnos and Nonnas among us, as if by osmosis… checking each day, touching the plant leaves, saving seeds, happiness at seeing healthy worms in the freshly turned over soil. Perhaps one day I’ll even start planting by the moon like many Italian gardeners do, instead of plonking plants in and hoping for the best.
Mandarins and rosemary are reigning in the vegie patch at present. I’m soon to pick my first mandarin for the season and each day keenly check their growing blush of orange. Meanwhile, the rosemary is like a forest and as well as using it in cooking, I’m starting to put rosemary wands in flower vases and love their scent when I touch them while going past.
There’s an Italian saying… where rosemary bushes grow large and bloom, the woman rules the house. I’m not sure about that, although it might make Roger laugh, I’m sure! But I do love how it makes me think of Nanna Francesca’s rosemary shrub and how my Mum grew it too. They were both strong yet gentle as needed be, forte e gentile, and if those qualities rule a house, then so be it. Happy winter solstice! Zoe xx