Mulberry Shoots, and the author K often posts photographs of the plants and ceramics in her kitchen, or some little bouquet or posey of flowers from her garden. There is something about that still life that appeals to me, so yesterday when I was bringing in gardenias for the second day in a row, I thought about Mulberry Shoots and little vignettes of life.
You can probably tell from this vignette things that appeal to me. Wine labels, heirloom tomatoes, gardenias (or other flowers), tea, and unusual bottles or tins...oh, and mirrors. Years ago, I read something about feng shui and using mirrors so as not to have your back to the room. I have had this mirror over my sink in whatever house I have lived in since, no matter whether I have a window or no window. When we moved into this house, the space was open to the room beyond--a typical tribute when folks enclosed a porch to add on a room that encompassed an original exterior wall. It allowed cold air in during the winter, and hot air in during the summer, so we closed it off as that room has its own heating and cooling system--separate from the one for the house and they were always competing with each other. It now serves as my bulletin board/art collage to keep my eyes entertained while I am washing dishes.
I love gardenias, and there is a small gardenia bush in the front yard next to the porch. Gardenias are short-lived though, on or off the bush. I usually leave them on the bush so I can see them and smell them while on the front porch. The bush has gotten extremely leggy, though, and desperately needs a trim, so this seemed like a good year to cut them and enjoy them for a couple of extra days in the house. It has been delightful to not only see them as I am in the kitchen, but to smell their wonderful heady aroma as I walk in the door or through the kitchen. They will last about 3 days, which is about 2 days longer than outside. When I was in high school, a gardenia was often the corsage of choice for special dates, and I learned to love the sweet smell wafting up to my nose from my shoulder. The girls would always wear the corsage to church the following morning.
While in Memphis Thursday, I stopped at Fresh Market and bought items I cannot get here at home--like heirloom tomatoes, long-leaf tea, a wonderful chocolate with maple-cured bacon bits (I know, sounds gross, right? It's rather like the chocolate-sea salt combo, though--contrasting flavors that work together), some beautiful purple and white striped Asian eggplant (which went into the spaghetti sauce last night), Italian pastas, Brooklyn tomato and basil sauce, chicken la venezia, portobello, and parmesan ready to bake, and beautiful loaves of whole grain bread and cheddar popovers. I am preparing for the third night in a row of cooking dinner!
Things are slowly moving back toward normal here on the hillside. So much back to normal that I really have no excuse not to clean house this weekend...