We dig into Christmas, hollow out a space and fill it to the brim with: homemade stockings, pound shop key rings, mistletoe and stewed red cabbage served with chantrelle mushrooms that the vegetable man said he picked from the forest just next to his house. We sit beside the fire and mislay our sense of time in embroidered vintage tablecloths and silk PJs. Gifts are unwrapped, toys built and thank-yous said. In the middle of the day, he encourages fresh air and we are blown from the appartement and venture outside wearing fake fur coats that are not discreet, but fun. Upon returning, we eat, nibble, drink and I finish the day munching my chocolate ganache tart. Pre-bake little tartlettes of a sweetened pastry. Then, melt chocolate in a bain-marie. Heat double cream until nearing boiling. Add to chocolate with a smidgen of butter. When it resembles chocolate mayonnaise stop stirring. It's ready. Fill pastry cases and refridgerate. Yum. Parfait.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Sunday, 23 December 2012
These days, we are walking in the forest, nestling into our cosy home, burrowing into Christmas. I have baked a cake, unexpectedly. Decorated a tree. I am reading Foucault, Claire Vaye Watkins and a book about the origins of writing. Science is reassuring, I tell him as we sip tiny glasses of blackberry gin, lit by the winking of fairy lights. Philosophy structures thought, I explain and we talk about that and then my vegetable soup, made from turnips, carrots, leeks, potatoes and a handful of chestnuts. I flavoured the soup with sprigs of thyme and a solitary bay leaf; liquidized it was divine.
Friday, 14 December 2012
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Early, I leave hot coffee and jumble of brooms. Outside clouds hang like sky whales, pencil grey on turquoise sky. A pinky ink is seaping into the daybreak. Bold golden light carries the dawn to a tar black, starless earth that is frozen, stone daubed with a swift breath of frost. Soon the sun will rise, unlatching the door to green grass. Handles turning on the last days of autumn light.
Monday, 10 December 2012
I leave my home wrapped in the smell of baked christmas cake, driving, steering through the darkness, the cars opposite like miners with headlamps, ready to descend into the pit, the trees line the hedgerows and point us forwards, driving, on this road there is no turning back, half-awake and half-asleep in this period of hibernation where the animals are tucked into earthy holes, suddenly when i turn there is the winter light, a hot globe burning, hanging low, just above a lace of black branches, hope and warmth where life goes on.
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
There is nothing quite like jam tarts in bed, crumbs wriggling into sheets as you take a bite. It is comfort, safety, like a bedtime kiss from a parent who says it will all be right. A chill draft is sneaking through my window, but I under my Welsh blanket I am eating jam. Slivers of pastry linger at the back of my mouth as I creep, deeper into my bed. There is nothing quite like jam tarts in bed. Do try!