I love the seasonality of the kitchen.
Not only autumn and winter, spring and summer. I love the day-seasonality of it. The morning season, mid season, afternoon season, night season.
I love the ongoing cyclic nature of it. The I will make this thing now so that I can use it then nature of it. I grind my own salt from coarse sea salt. I hand grind my own pepper. I make paneer. Spice powders are made ahead of time. Lentil flours. There are oven dried tomatoes and dried capsicums, tomato paste for winter tomato-iness. Herbs are dried for teas and herb salts. Vanilla sugar made. Strawberry syrup. Quince syrup. Crabapple jam.
I like to chop this in the morning for dinner tonight, put something in the oven at mid-day season to have toasty warm for afternoon snack. The yoghurt is drained in the morning for dessert at lunch or dinner or breakfast the next day. Oats are soaked overnight for great porridge in the morning. I freeze this today for dinner in a month when, dead tired from the umpteenth day of more than humanly possible working hours, I just want to turn on the tv, collapse into bed, fall asleep and get rid of the hunger in my belly, all at once.
The hunger in my belly at those times, though, is not only the physical need for sustenance gnawing at my body. It is a need to be back in the kitchen working and learning the only way I know how.
At best in this life it is a compromise. A half job in the kitchen most of the time as enough keep is earned the rest of the time. It is a life, and a jolly good one. But ….
Being at home is a little luxury. I can look at the yellow of the silver birch leaves across the road. Find the freshest of flowers each morning. Gaze at the clouds enveloping the hills. Listen to music. Read. And cook. Oh, it is so good to be home.