I love this time of year! It’s not as hectic as the planting/clean-up time in spring, or the hot, picking/weeding days of summer. The pace is slower, but still filled with meaningful harvests and preserving of the bounty of the potager. As I turned from the kitchen sink, I saw this view and went to get the camera. Believe me, during the crazy days of summer, I wouldn’t have taken the time to even notice. But here’s my kitchen, which next to the potager is my favorite place to be. From front to back, the jars on the island are lemon verbena syrup, with three jars of freshly picked basil on the left.
In the back that silver space between the basil is the refrigerator, of course. On the counter next to it are some bottles of various herbal vinegars fronted by a pint of tomato sauce. Next are two rows of whole dill pickles, and 7 quarts of bread and butter pickles. Behind them is an old metal tray that I purchased at a garage sale for a dime. I love it because it reminds me of our travels in Europe. It’s a reprint of Van Gogh’s “Landscape with Vegetable Gardens” which he painted in France. This close-up looks much more blue than the actual tray, which is a lovely apple green. Just to the tray’s right is a crockery jar of wooden utensils, well-worn and well-loved.
On the stove is my ancient water bath canner, which I’ve had since 1965! I’d wager a newly purchased one wouldn’t last as long. It’s filled with pint jars of sweet red cherry peppers that will be finished after a 10 minute water bath. And next to that is my favorite tea kettle, bright yellow and cheery. It’s time to switch the kitchen decor to autumn, so the tea kettle on the stove will soon be a dark brown one, or a copper one if I am ambitious enough to clean it! (Doubtful!)
On the wall behind the canner and tea kettle is a rustic painting I did of a collection of my favorite herbs (borage, dill, thyme, rosemary, sage, feverfew, chives, lavender.) A friend fired the tiles in his kiln. From day to day, the objects in the still life of my kitchen vary, but there is always the scent of one herb or another, and usually something baking, simmering, fermenting, or steeping. Like my garden, just being there makes me smile! It’s important to surround yourself with things you love, to stay sane during the non-gardening months to come.