Housebound by February and Covid, I am taking pains to remind myself of how sweet my kitchen has become, even in its perpetual state of rehab. On a sunny morning the mixing bowls look bright in their doorless cupboards; the yellows and blues are brisk yet soothing; the countertop is as clean as new paper. Someday there will be cupboard doors, and a task light under the shelf, and a row of utensils hanging beneath it. And it's true: I don't have a working oven. But the room is so charming that I am happy to make do.
There's a scene at the end of Wilder's These Happy Golden Years when Laura opens a door in her new house and discovers the pantry that Almanzo has painstakingly constructed for her. That is how I feel about my kitchen: it's a love-gift from its maker, designed to give me joy. And it does.
Today, we've got more snow on the way. I had hoped to skate yesterday afternoon, but everyone else was busy. And now I'm hoping to skate this morning, but we'll see how the boys feel about it. Or maybe the ponds will be too full of other skaters, or maybe the snow will start earlier than expected. I might just need to go out by myself, sometime during the week.
I spent yesterday puttering among house and desk stuff--washing clothes and writing an artist's statement and reading The Leopard and playing games and going for a walk. For dinner I made braised chicken legs with capers, green olives, and preserved lemon; dill dumplings; and green beans with garlic, baby rosemary, and balsamic vinegar. I thought there would be leftovers, but no. Paul does love those dumplings.
Here's a bit from The Leopard, as illustration of what I was talking about in yesterday's post--about the powerful influence of landscape in the novel. This particular section focuses on the sun, which, in Sicily in the summer, is the landscape.
The sun, still far from its blazing zenith on that morning of the 13th of May, was showing itself the true ruler of Sicily; the crude brash sun, the drugging sun, which annulled every will, kept all things in servile immobility, cradled in violence and arbitrary dreams.