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Reclaiming the kitchen, artichokes, and the comforts of Beatrix Potter

The last week has seen me in the kitchen, mixing up Irish soda bread, sautéing cannellini beans with escarole, tending to pots of soup and curry, grating carrot into sweet and tangy fried rice, and slicing up fresh veg and pickles for favorite lunchtime sandwiches and wraps.  I am filled with gratitude to have made such a complete recovery from the flu, and for the bounty of energy that I have experienced since.  That is not to say that there aren’t times when I feel tired–I usually do around mid-day. Fortunately, I find that recently I have the motivation to brew myself a cup of strong tea and continue on.  I find myself pecking around the fridge throughout the day, and take great comfort in knowing that more often than not, there are bits and bobs of leftovers that I can heat up if I need a snack, but don’t feel like cooking an entire meal from scratch.  I’ve even taken to drinking warm vegetable broth — it’s both energizing and satiating.  Will and I have been taking late night snacks to bed and watching old movies together on the laptop.  Just recently we nibbled on artichokes while watching Angels in the Outfield — I know, you can laugh!! We went to the grocery store late that night to buy the veg, and I was astonished to see another woman picking at least half of the artichokes left and placing them in her basket.  I really have never encountered anyone else buying artichokes at the same time as me, and I had been dreaming of them all day!  The whole situation seemed rather rare, but luckily I was able to snag two fresh ones which I then went on to trim and boil.  Mmmm, and there is nothing quite like a tender artichoke heart swimming in butter — even vegan butter!

I have also been extremely comforted by the old children’s shows that I watch with my daughter from time to time.  Recently, we have been exploring Curious George and Madeline.  However, before that we watched a little of a Peter Rabbit series that uses Beatrix Potter’s illustrations.  I love the story of the Tailor of Gloucester.  These mice watch and listen as the tailor works tirelessly on a coat for the mayor, to be married Christmas morning.  The tailor falls ill and to top it off, has run out of twist to finish the coat.  His mischievous cat Simpkin was to return with more twist, but instead has hidden it from the tailor because the tailor released some mice that Simpkin held captive under several teacups.  Though Simpkin eventually gives the twist to the tailor, it is the mice who go on to finish the waistcoat for the tailor themselves, using what scraps and material they can find.  Come Christmas morning, the tailor is surprised to see the project completed, and with very fine stitching.  It is all very sweet!  Actually, all of Potter’s stories are, and I am inclined to purchase a collection of her works in the future, once my daughter is at the age where she can understand and appreciate them more.

On that dreamy note, I will let you go and hope to write more soon.  It sure has been a while!

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2 thoughts on “Reclaiming the kitchen, artichokes, and the comforts of Beatrix Potter

  1. I love the artichoke story! My parents and I always joke whenever we go grocery shopping and our favorite items are sold out. We say that “that guy took our food,” and you know, maybe it’s true! You had a bout of that with the lady buying artichokes, haha.

    Did you ever watch the movie, Miss Potter? It’s beautiful: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482546/

    It focuses on Potter’s life and loves, as well as how her books were printed. You gotta watch it. I grew up reading those stories, but I don’t have clear memories of any beyond one or two of them, haha. I need to reread them.

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