We have passed the Solstice, which means, for us in the southern hemisphere, our earth is turning this part of her face back towards the sun. The days will start getting longer.
This is a pretty short period of daylight for us in our latitude:
We have developed a tradition to celebrate Mid Winter with a feast. This is a great way of celebrating the moment, and we all need celebrations, don't we?
In order to get some extra room around the table, we swap our dining room with the lounge room and bring in more chairs and the table from my sewing room. A party for eleven sit-down diners won't fit in the dining room, and it is too cold to be outside.
We invite friends.
This year I served beef cheeks slowly cooked in the oven, with a potato bake, Brussels sprouts and a salad, followed by lemon tart, chocolate, strawberries and three kinds of cheeses.
We usually send our guests home with some produce from our garden, and some preserves.
We now only have one cumquat tree which has not quite ripened (see picture above) so they didn't get DH's famous cumquat marmalade, but he has developed quite a skill in making tangelo marmalade. We usually give them Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix) leaves and bay leaves from the garden, and citrus like grapefruit grown in our own backyard.
As I write this post, the rain has been pouring down all day. This is normal for us who have a short, sharp, wet winter and an extended dry summer: a typical Mediterranean pattern. It is a time for staying indoors and watching the weather radar website, to see if the bands of rain will allow a quick walk later on. It is a time for making soups and stews. It is a time to read, to do the accounts before the end of the tax year, to sew in my sewing room.
Dh has been preserving pears in red and white wine, as they are cheap at the moment.
I am close to completing a new quilt -a small wall hanging in celebration of everything that lives in the garden. I hope to post pictures of it over at my instagram account later this week. (@earthmotherwithin).