On the last day of the year, while we were still in bed, I read aloud to Farmdoc from an article in The New Yorker by Calvin Trillin. The article is about Trillin’s repertoire of recipes. There is some discussion in the piece about how complex a dish needs to be (for example how many ingredients it must have, and whether it needs a stove) to be included in the repertoire. It’s a charming, funny, and even moving piece of writing.
Farmdoc’s own repertoire has changed recently. He no longer bakes his delicious chocolate cake, among other sweet treats, and the ice cream maker now sits unused in a dark corner of the pantry. His diet these days is as low in sugar, salt and fat, and as rich in fibre, fruit and vegetables as he can make it.
When we finally got up, we ate Farmdoc’s famous stoneground muesli hot cakes for breakfast. I had mine with stewed sour cherry compote. Those cherries are delish but in the morning light I discovered that I had splashed the wall with their juice while pitting them. Oops! I have to admit that the table was a little sticky too.
In the vegetable garden we picked raspberries, transplanted seedlings and dug up potatoes that had volunteered from the previous year’s leftovers and were threatening to take over every bed.
For morning tea we ate Farmdoc’s tahini cookies (recipe courtesy Daughter Number Two).
In the afternoon, while Farmdoc went for his walk (10,000 steps a day), I worked in the sycamore forest, showcasing the ferns as I like to do.
Late in the afternoon we lit the stove and Farmdoc baked a loaf of rye bread for dinner, and I made raspberry jam. Recipe here. I made more jars than I’d intended, but it’s easy jam to make and it’s lovely to have on hand for gifts during the long Tasmanian winter.
We had intended to slash some bracken in Home Paddock in the cool of the evening, but it grew dark before we had a chance to get out.
For dinner we ate our share-farmer Sharon’s eggs with the potatoes we’d dug in the morning and Farmdoc’s fresh bread. I was tired and didn’t quite make it to midnight.
So the year ended.
2011 was a big year for us at Onemilebridge. Farmdoc is glad it’s over. I don’t know if I am. It was such a rewarding year, how can I be glad it’s gone? Those days that Farmdoc was in hospital were terrifying, that’s true; the first weeks afterwards were worrying too, and I know he’s still anxious about his future.
But I’m grateful for the year’s bounty and I’m grateful beyond words, beyond measure, for the love and support of my family and friends – both in person and in the blogosphere. I am so much richer for it.
I wonder what 2012 has in store for us. I for one am ready for whatever it brings - its joys and its challenges. Happy new year to us all.