Snow on my Artichokes

Opening the curtains to discover snow falling is a bit of a thrill. Awful picture – but it was falling fast ( and twirling too), so not much I could do.

The weather didn’t deter Dizzy from insisting on an early walk, which gave me time to think about what we would eat today.  Cold days are a perfect excuse for a little extra cooking.  We wandered along the road (you can’t really see the feathery snow flakes, but it looks pretty chilly).

We met our neighbour, Helen, who was all excited too and reminded me to ‘keep my chest warm’ – she used to be a nurse. Dizz (whom Helen calls ‘my little man’) was all speckled with snow my toes got really cold. I did use the opportunity to gather pine cones, as I was certain a fire would be needed later.

A quick inspection of the veggie garden – it was snowing on my artichokes! The Cavalo Nero looked right at home (I believe it tastes a lot better after a frost so look forward to trying some soon) and the beans didn’t seem to mind in the least. Lettuces did look a little odd with leaves filled with snow. When the rain started, the snow melted quickly.

I decided to feed the birds today – sure they would need extra energy to keep warm. I put out avocados, oranges, tree tomatoes, nuts, bits of chicken fat, prunes, bananas, broccoli  and mielie rice.  There were lots of birds on the Greyia. The new blooms were splotches of bright red in the dull landscape – I wonder if the colour attracted the birds?Then it was time for breakfast. Fried brinjals, tomatoes and a goose egg on toasted ciabatta hit the spot.

The kettle boiled a lot – I filled up my flasks just in case the whole world switched their kettles on and the power went off.  Also, the cat needed hot water bottles to keep her snug.  I drank tea with abandon and soon realised I was about to run out of milk.  Eeek!  Mid morning, the rain stopped and I drove (carefully on the slippery road) down to Sharon to get some.  Despite the freezing weather, she had still got up at 4.30am to milk her cows! Wearing a very stylish knitted hat and scarf, I might add.  Leaving home meant I got to see the snow on the Curry’s Post hills – which were very beautiful.

Frozen lettuce was not appropriate for lunch so I decided on a sweet potato curry.  Cooking makes you warm anyway, before you even start to eat.  I fried garlic and shallots and ginger with cumin, coriander, mustard seeds and masala. I added red lentils to thicken the sauce.

Then in went the sweet potatoes and some big green lentils and, before I knew it, it was lunch time.

As it wasn’t raining, we went for a long afternoon walk to see what we could see. It was jolly cold, but I was all wrapped up. The donkeys and horses and cows were nibbling away at the grass, without much thought to the weather.  I wonder if they could see the snow on the hills?

We came across gorgeous Natal Crocus – Apodilirion buchananii  – flowering in the recently burned grassland.

Dizzy even waded into the dam for a drink!  Fool.  Then he sat on a hay bale admiring the view, listening to jackals (and probably thinking about his supper).

We popped in at Ma Dlamini on the way home to see how she was doing and found all the farm staff drinking tea and watching TV – obviously, far too cold to be out doing chores. Poor Patrick Zulu was outside fixing a leaking water pipe though – yikes, his muddy fingers must have been frozen. I suggested someone take him a cup of tea. Even the trees looked cold.

Now it is evening, I’m sitting beside a wattle fuelled fire and thinking how lucky I am that my house doesn’t leak, I have a pot on the stove and a dog to cuddle. Winter life doesn’t get much better than this.

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3 thoughts on “Snow on my Artichokes

  1. David Clulow says:

    Hi Nikki, I rattled through your blog and I think you are a gifted photographer. Taking pics of meals is very hard on someone looking on from down the valley, and who feels trifle peckish. I have to ‘rattle’ when I go onto blogs because we have 3 Gigs per month and with my wife’s priority to Skype our daughter in NZ it just doesn’t last. But great that I sneaked in at the start of the month. David (Boston)

    Like

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