Monday, December 15, 2014

Part Three: The Christmas Pudding...


Sanua's home was a storybook place, but nothing was more enchanting
then her kitchen. Rustic and plain, it had an elegant and easy, well-scrubbed look. The walls were a warm brown plank board that ran vertically.  At one end, an oversized four-door cupboard in a worn red paint; at the other, a large stone fireplace with perfectly round gray field stones set in gray mortar.  A
rectangle firebox standing on end neatly stacked with a graphic looking
puzzle of firewood. Along the outside walls, a bank of windows with slightly
rippled glass, a rough plank work surface and soapstone sink, and a narrow
eight-foot work table with a bottom shelf filled with red ware mixing bowls  and
old gray crockery topped with wax cloth and tied with twine.  The room smelled
of lavender, as Sanua raised fields of it on her property and burned twine-bound bundles of stems in her fire to scent the room.  She spent most of her time in the kitchen. She lived off her land and was constantly making or creating something from the season's bounty. In a pantry room off the kitchen
were vintage jars filled with peaches and plums and apples all preserved in brandy
colored syrup with cinnamon sticks and bay leaves floating among the colorful
fruits. Sanua had jars of berry preserves and bottles of Concord grape wine.
There were jars of pickles and onions and tomatoes stewed with salt and herbs. For
a tiny woman, she had stored away enough food to feed a giant. It was such a
pleasant place and she must have been filled with the pride of a squirrel that
had tucked away several years worth of food.  On the interior wall was a
wonderfully worn, natural unpainted  farm table that had obviously sat outside and been
bleached for several seasons by the summer sun. On one side a plank bench and
on the other, two barrel-back farm chairs in black paint. I perched myself on
the bench and enjoyed the warmth and fragrance of the fire and a cup of hot tea
sweetened with fresh apple cider. The left top door of the red cupboard was open.
On the bottom shelf, a round and rustic-looking walnut cake under a dome.  On
the upper shelves sat old glass apothecary jars filled with dry ingredients and
spices, and at the very top - a gleaming copper decorative mold that shone like a
prize among the simple, rustic peasant decor:


  1. I can just imagine sitting in that warm kitchen,

  2. Matthew this story is so darn good...reading your words and the feeling behind them...I am transported to this warm kitchen and smelling all the aromas...and taking in the sights of a cared for and well stocked hearth.


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