Frosty Fields

It was -2°C this morning at 8:00 when we went for a long walk with Curious Dog. Sunny, but cold. All the fields rimed with frost and there was a thin sheet of ice on the puddles. Hardly anybody was around. It was quiet and restful and lovely. The first subzero temperatures this autumn, here, I think (unless it was this cold when we were away). We took the normal way up our hill but went back down the long way. By the time we got back home, after about 1.5 hours, I was quite cold. But I like the cold, it’s the time for it. And it’s nice and cozy back in the warm house, with a warm cup of Caro Kaffee (a fake coffee made of roasted barley, as I only occasionally like to drink real coffee).

Afterwards I continued reading Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. I’m now well past the half-way mark. But I didn’t read for very long, as I then decided to prepare a hot lunch in the clay oven (usually we cook at dinner, but on Sundays we sometimes do it at lunch, so that we can relax at night without having to spend time in the kitchen). I peeled and cubed some carrots and potatoes, added some cubed onions, and diced dried dates, and mixed the lot in a bowl with curry and paprika spices. I also cut a head of cauliflower apart and added the same spices. Then I took a tin of coconut milk and some vegetable stock, boiled it and added some more curry and chili. I soaked my clay oven pot (Römertopf in German) for ten minutes and put some shredded Savoy cabbage that I had in the freezer into the bottom of the pot as the first layer of vegetables. I put the potato-carrot mix on top and the cauliflower florets on top of that. Then I poured the coconut milk mix over all the vegetables, closed the pot and put it into the oven at 200°C for slightly longer than 1.5 hours. That’s the great thing about cooking with the clay oven. You do all the work up-front and then you just wait until it is done. The drawback is that you can’t just open it to check how it’s doing (all the heat would escape), and you can’t add any more spices before it’s done. It turned out delicious, though, if a bit too soupy. I should have used less stock, but I’m used to making the recipe with rice instead of potatoes. The rice always soaks up all the liquid. Best of all, there’s some left for tomorrow, although I will need to add something to the curry as it won’t be enough. Still, that won’t be much bother.

While we were waiting for the food to cook, we watched a documentary about the history of writing which was fascinating. It’s a three-part series, we’ve got up to the invention of the printing press. There’s one more part to go, I guess we’ll watch it sometime next week in the media library of the TV channel Arte. Arte is a French-German public TV co-production that has lots of good documentaries and also shows news from all around the world, which other channels often don’t do. They also show interesting films. I like Arte, but I also like blockbusters. The best thing about Arte is that like the other public TV channels (in contrast to the private ones) it doesn’t interrupt films with adverts. I really can’t stand all those ad-breaks on the private channels and almost never watch them. It’s public TV or DVDs/blue rays/streaming all the way.

I spent the early afternoon reading, then we watched the second of the three episodes about the history of writing, and then Partner made a berry mousse (with aqua faber, that is, the liquid from a tin of chickpeas and berries and sugar). Sounds weird but is very nice. Aqua faber is a vegan alternative to egg white. We had the mousse on top of vanilla pudding, instead of baked goods for coffee.

Then it was time for CD’s afternoon walk, again. Sometimes all that walking it does get a bit tiring, but when I see how much CD loves it, I can’t not go. And anyway, he get super restless if he doesn’t get enough exercise.

On our return, I bit the bullet and did a bit of housework. Cleaned the bathroom. It didn’t take very long. These things would go better if I didn’t keep procrastinating, I should have done it yesterday or on Friday. The psychological hurdle is bigger than the job itself. I should know that by now.

In half an hour we’ll be watching the Tatort again. It’s supposed to be good; we’ll see.

And then to bed and tomorrow another day, another work week.

Keep safe, world.

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