Sunday, 30 May 2010

Fresh and local breakfast

Rain again overnight.  I have been out to see how the vegetables are looking, and it is wonderful.  There's not much that I can do out there today though... even weeding in the drizzle seems rather pathetic as the sour sobs are looking so healthy!
This morning I went out at 9.00am to check the rain guage (another 11mm) and to feed the dogs and the chickens.  The chickens are not laying very many eggs at the moment... this is normal as the days get shorter and shorter, but we are still averaging two eggs per day.  That means no seriouly egg based meals (quiche or big egg/vegetable dishes) but we manage.  This morning there was jsut one egg which I took from the nest and then detoured around the garden to find something to go with it for my breakfast...
Of course,  I had to light the fire (or at least resurrect the leftover coals from last night) before cooking,  but, in fact this changes the rythm of the day...  one lives slower by necessity with a wood fire.
But with coffee and the breakfast cooking....
... the tomato was jsut one single tomato from a jar of preserved ones... last summer's production.
And served on home-made bread toast (toasted on top of the fire)...
...  and this was cooked in local olive oil.... this is really fresh and local!

It is easy enough to slow down and cook food in the old fashioned and inxpensive way,  but there are a few things one has to get used to...
... the fire is warm and friendly,  but the mess on the floor from wood and ash is always there...
...  and while I'm sure that I could keep the area perfectly clean (as long as I cleaned up about twenty times a day) but as it's not really dangerous to one's health,  I have other priorities.  It does mean a different set of priorities though,  and I can't help thinking of other even more primitive homes that I've visited in the past and how unimportant some kinds of "dirt" are.  Vacuum cleaners, vinyl floors and "clean" sources of energy have raised the level of isolation from dirt and ash for most "western" people to that of the aristocracy of the past... those who had cheap labour or slaves to keep the environment removed from the soil and ash of production.
I have read about (and mentioned before) the calculation of how many slaves working "in the basement" to maintain our current standard of living without the cheap energy that comes from coal and oil.  As we reach the peak of cheap energy, it will be interesting to see how manyof us get used to living with more of the detritus of our own making.