I had a different photo planned for today, but I had to change it in honor of the passing of the nasturtiums, who’ve been my bright and cheerful friends all summer, and who’ve acquired a special charm when they were the only thing left alive in some of the vegetable beds this last month. They are simple, but glorious plants, and I’ve resolved to have some growing in my kitchen garden every year.
I like the way they move in the wind. I’m going to miss seeing them swaying and dancing when I look out my kitchen window.
Last night’s frost completely wiped them out. The scene that met my eye this morning was heart-rending, as if the poor things had melted.
Looking on the bright side, now the electric green shoots of the garlic seem more visible when my eye sweeps the beds, arising in long straight rows, promising a wonderful, pungent harvest in the spring. I’ve never grown my own garlic, and the sight of them doing so well, especially after my scheduling issues, can’t help but lift my spirits and make me smile. (Does the smile come first, or the rising spirits? I wonder….)
Saint Nicolas came to our house last night and dropped off goodies in the shoes F. and I had carefully placed by the front door. My goody didn’t quite fit into my shoe, but proved that Saint Nick knows me very well, indeed. It was a paperback book off my Amazon.com wishlist. I think the saint’s job might be a little easier now that he’s got help from the internet.
Do you celebrate the Saint’s day?
For those unfamiliar, we’re celebrating a European-style Saint Nicolas’ day, observed on the morning of the 6th of December, with shoes (and in some cases socks or stockings) left by the front door for a visit. F. and I are adopting both of our traditions, so far. We might have to streamline in the years ahead. But this year we’ll have Saint Nick stop by on the 6th and the 24th because, well, I’m American, and it just wouldn’t feel like Christmas without hanging a stocking on Christmas Eve.
I hope St. Nick can accommodate us and doesn’t end up thinking we are greedy, undeserving souls. F. says it’s a different guy coming on Christmas Eve, Mos Crãciun (pronounced mosh cruh-Choon), meaning something like Old Man Christmas. But Santa Claus is derived from Saint Nicklaus, so I say it’s the same guy, forced to do double-duty for our mixed-culture household.
I’ll have to make extra special cookies to reward him. I’m thinking classic molasses cookies, tender and moist and heavenly with spice. The milk will be from local cows, raised on lovely organic pastures, and not homogenized so the delectable glory of the cream still rises to the top.
Maybe it’ll be enough of a bribe.