Our Sunday

24 July 2017
Sundays feel different here, I guess they always have, but the reality of it is that Sunday is just another day. There are no weekends when you work every day. But instead of painting that as being drudgery, you know as well as I do, that this lifestyle, even on its worst day, is far from drudgery. So yesterday, our Sunday, I was up early, read the overnight news and watched my two favourite live streams. Yes, in addition to the bears in Alaska, for the past couple of weeks, I've been visiting the interesting and lovely sheep and turkey barns at Sanctuary Farm in Watkins Glen, New York.

The farm has been running since 1986 and provides a safe and comfortable life for farm animal that have been rescued from unethical factory farm practices. They have sheep, goats, cows, alpacas, chooks, turkeys and pigs. I know many children read here with their parents so I've been watching silently for a couple of weeks to make sure there was nothing that would upset them. I'm happy to report the farm is run by gentle and kind staff who seem to genuinely care for the animals they tend. I watched one staff member administer medication to a number of animals before the gates were opened and there is a goat with paralysed back legs who is attached to a wheeled walker. Many of the animals are housed in large barns with straw-covered floors at night and are let out to enjoy the sun and pasture during the day. It's easy to spend 15 minutes there drinking tea while thinking about the internet and the power of the many good people in the world.

Back in the physical world, Jamie arrived around 7.30am, Hanno cooked his favourite breakfast of baked beans and an egg with a cuppa, while I wandered outside looking at the bush house wondering if it would be the day I actually tidied it up. I cut back a few wild plants and selected some pots I'd plant into later in the day.  Gracie was outside, the chooks were let out, the sun was shining and all was right in my world. I went back inside to wait until the temperature rose above 9 degrees.  Brrrrr  ⛄️

On Saturday I made a really delicious soup. I slow-cooked some marrow bones, parsley, thyme and bay leaves for 18 hours and in a separate 9 litre pot cooked 1½ cups of barley and cubed gravy beef. In the food processor, I roughly chopped onions, carrots, parsnip, turnip and celery and added it to the half-cooked beef and barley. Then I added my seasonings - 2 tablespoons miso, 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce, 1 tablespoon paprika, salt and pepper. Then I added the stock from the slow cooker to the pot, topped it up with water and put the lid on to slowly simmer for another two hours. It was one of my best soups ever. We had it again for yesterday's lunch and I added herb dumplings then because I had the extra space in the pot. Fresh local strawberries and cream followed and all of us agreed, it was a very good lunch.

I wanted to bake something that Jamie likes so he could take a few home to share as well as take to school next week.  Having a Swedish grandma, cinnamon rolls are one of our traditional family foods.  I don't make them often, maybe once a year, but when they're sitting on the kitchen bench, the smell is divine and it just calls out for tea to be made. Immediately. We had a roll each for afternoon tea while we watched Grace run around the front yard filling her eyebrows and beard with weed seeds.  Pffft.

I'm looking forward to the coming week. The only plans I have are for a haircut on Wednesday and then to travel over to see Kerry at his new sushi shop to wish him a very happy birthday. I might just take some cupcakes with me for him and his staff to have with coffee when they have a break.  The rest of the week I'll be gardening, saving seeds, tying up tomatoes, tidying the bush house (maybe), cooking and knitting.  It's still cold here so our food will continue to be hearty and warm. I've planned a pork rack on our little charcoal grill during the week and Hanno has already asked for another tray of cinnamon rolls.

What are your plans for the week?