Video – 24 seconds out my front door plus a bunny bonus

There you are now.

The leaves are blowing away. Basically it is cold and getting colder. The wind is up now and roaring outside. The weather will be grim today.

Not for Nelson though- she has ventured way out of the glasshouse and is now exploring the wash-house. And, by the way, eating the washing baskets!

Back into the kitchen again!

Good morning!


The Eyes Have It

I was in the city (Chicago) for two days this week. Oh, how I miss the big city. My visits to the city are usually to promote Janie’s Mill flour. I am carted from restaurant to restaurant by Sysco reps ( they are JM distributors). There is driving and walking and fast talking – always with people I have not met before – culminating with a meeting of culinary minds in the kitchens of some of the best restaurants in Chicago. Food and tons of excellent company.

I got back to the farm shattered – hanging in rags – as they say in England. But deeply satisfied.

My bags are in no way a conventional sales persons bags and they are heavy!

Something I noticed, because I was meeting a lot of new people and we were all masked of course; when all I can see is a persons eyes, just the eyes and forehead, I feel confident enough to catch that persons eyes and hold them for an entire volley of conversation. (the scary fake smile mouth and teeth are covered). I am charmed by their eyes is what I mean. As though a spell has been cast around us. This contact is returned – one goes around the gathered circle catching and holding eyes. And those eyes are steady. The eyes have their own meeting complete with subtext and back-story.

And after almost two years of this I see more eyes now than I ever did.

This is not something women can usually do – to hold a mans eyes for a long period of time is often not appropriate. We have to make other facial adjustments so as not to send the wrong messages. But with a mask on all we have is eyes so by the end of a good conversation we know every golden fleck and hue and those short conversational connections gather their own kind of magic. A new kind of magic.

That kind of does and does not make sense.

I am baking bread today.

Lots of bread. Then some kind of dessert pie using my pastry flour. Any ideas?

It is cold – 36F/2C ( In a couple of months I will be wishing for this temperature but today it feels cold). Good day to have the oven on!

Good morning!


24 seconds out my front door

Actually 28 seconds but we needed to finish the movement.

Watching the seasons change one week at a time!

Have a lovely Sunday.

Oh and look at this!!!!

Nelson is also on the move! Who in their right mind would invite a rabbit into their glasshouse. We need to get the kale cages in!


Late harvest and a rabbit

Nelson the Rabbit is loving the glasshouse which is just as well as it got very cold this last week. She has chosen to spend her nights on a little blanket on the potting bench which I find an odd choice but there you are – I can think like a cow but I cannot think like a rabbit.

Having a rabbit in the house is a new experience for me. But we are all getting over it. Already the dogs have stopped guarding her door in case she escapes and ends up in their mouths by mistake, and though she has given the oregano a good trim ( she can reach it from her area) she has not shown any interest in the lettuce or the kale. And is yet to come down onto the glasshouse floor. Long may that last!

Here is a video I popped up on cecilia_thekitchensgarden – my Instagram. You can see the potting bench above her area.

The combine harvester harvested the corn in the sunset.

The organic white corn was in little islands surrounded in cover crop so the combine harvester left crop circles in the cover crop. You can see that the cold is hitting the cover crop now- soon it will lay down as a golden blanket to protect the soil fir the winter. We have been eating the Daikon radishes too – they are very tasty.

Now the corn has been harvested, Tima was released from her barn diet yesterday evening. As she raced away to check things out I could see that she has indeed lost some weight which is good. She was almost nimble!

It will be interesting to see where she decides to sleep now that it is colder. I wonder if she will go back in with Wai. It is certainly easier to cover them at night if they are together. But I think their divorce is final.

I will be spending a good part of this coming week in Chicago – talking about flour and bread and pastries. Pastries are not really my forte because I do not have the patience (and do not have a sweet tooth) but I know enough to be able to recommend a flour. And it is always fun for me to visit the bakeries and restaurants – I am escorted from bakery to bakery by the Sysco reps. I am literally handed from one rep to another across the course of two days. So it is fun – like a performance – I am on stage in the bakeries and the cars are the green room and I am given the script and meet my fellow actors five minutes before each performance. I love it!

Deep down though I am more of a bread baker. And my sons and I are thinking this could be my retirement job when I go home. Baking bread. So, I will be looking for locally grown and stone ground flour in New Zealand when I am ready to retire. Though I am not ready to retire quite yet!

I am still baking at the mill in between my other jobs. No kitchen – no posh oven. Just my bench top oven in the lunch room, a bowl, and flour, salt and yeast. Water from our water fountain. I maintain that we should not need anything fancy to make a decent loaf of bread – as long as the flour is good.

It is Saturday morning and I am waiting for the sun to come up so I can go out and get a shot of Tima for you. In the meantime I will set up this mornings dough then turn the oven on – it is cold in the house this morning.

Weekend chores. Number 12. Clean Slobbered-on Door

Here you are! I did not even have to go outside. That did not take long for her to be up here vandalising the porch again. Oh my gosh those dirty windows.

That’s better.

Good morning!

Time to get busy.


24 seconds out my front door

And there is a sunrise this morning!

Can you see the subtle changes in the maple.?

Today I am working on bringing in Nelson the Rescue Rabbit. We have decided he can live in East Wing junk room (with the door shut against Boo) and have access to my room with the heated floor. And have his toilet in the glasshouse. This is a very mobile plan! And why we would choose to house a RABBIT toilet in the glasshouse is beyond me but I am very smell sensitive as you know so this seems the best idea and he has never shown any interest in the greens we bring him to eat. So who knows. Actually I think he is a she. But at least he will be warm.

And Nanny Boo can have supervised visits.

Have a lovely day!


Personal Delivery

And still it rains.

And here was I thinking that today I would begin my Christmas shopping and get some boxes in the mail for the family in New Zealand but no: look at this. Below. (Pointed out by one of my Instagram readers yesterday when I posted that I was giving myself an un-apologetic Mental Health Day and I was not going to use it to begin Christmas shopping).

No more postal service to New Zealand? What happened to ‘ the mail must get through’. We have grown up to believe that mail delivery is almost sacrosanct, being able to send a letter or card or package is a given, a civilized thing, a right available to all – even though I have to admit I am useless at mailing packages on time – but I could have! Now I cannot until ‘further notice’ AND right before Christmas.

I am gobsmacked.

Though- another good reason to set up a Personal Delivery.

Not just us.

I need a good journalist to dig into this and find out the real reason why I can’t send a TShirt to my daughter or a goats milk soap to my godmother. Because this is bullshit.

And still it rains. If this were snow we would be buried.

They say cold is coming so these old chooks better hurry up and grow their winter feathers in. Molting birds should stay out of sight until they fully dressed again.

Tima. Still in her diet barn and the corn is still standing in the field – too wet to combine. So she has to stay there. She does not mind so much – she has cows and chooks and ducks to keep her company.

Change is in the air. ( I bet you can imagine what my 24 seconds will look like tomorrow!)

Have a lovely day!


24 Seconds out my Front Door

Week 3

46F / 7.7C

Going to rain all day long!

Looking forward to seeing what is out your Front Door!

Good morning!


Along comes Mr Cool

The cool is creeping in. The little glasshouse is beginning its slow move into winter. The house will get colder and colder ( the battle for the temperature gauge will be lost because I am seldom in the house) and it will never really warm up again until next summer. And the mill is even colder than the house. I dread these Midwest winters as you all know. I do nothing but complain. (And am starting early).

Rabbit Rabbit ( her name is actually Nelson – so named by her first person) is going to live in town where there are radiators to cuddle up to. I hope that works out for her. I would love someone with a rabbit to adopt her but she has lived alone with people for four or five years now so I hope she is happy with The Matriarch for the winter.

She is loving the grass but she will freeze out there. Though the cats live outside all winter.

I drove up the drive after work the other day to see all the ducks splashing about in the pond and the lone guinea standing on a high rock beside the water watching them. On guard. I could just hear her: No diving! Stop splashing water in your sisters eyes! Any more of that behaviour and you will all be getting out of the pool! 5 more minutes! Are you listening to me!? Come on everyone – here comes Miss C’s car- BUCKET TIME!

I am making pasta for a zoom class on Sunday. It is through a local supermarket – people buy a kit then a guest cook does a class on zoom and everyone cooks together. I am this weeks guest cook – so I am making pasta with our Italian Style Pizza Flour. It will be fun – I think!

Might be my next career! Here is my cooking show hero. Do you remember Floyd? And his cameraman? and the slow decline into delight as they consumed a shows worth of wine? I love this guy. I hope this link takes you to the right Floyd. He took a bit of finding.

I especially love Clive – who I have never seen. After I close the shop today I am going to make WaiWai his winter bed. Already both pigs have begun to build their nests.

Tima is still in the diet barn while we wait for the corn to be harvested. Wai is more than happy with this arrangement.

Such as it is. The corn will be lovely but there is not much of it left after the great flood.

Here is a flash back:

The cows have finished eating the last of the vegetable garden.

Time for me to get going! Today seems slow to begin.

Have a lovely day.


PS I will be back tomorrow with ‘24 seconds outside my front door’. Many of you joined last week! Thank you! Keep going as long as you can bear it! Many of you loaded your 24 seconds onto Instagram which is so much easier. Plus a few of you right here on WordPress – I am loving watching Autumn fall or Spring flourish – 24 seconds ( or one still) at a time! Leave the links in the comments tomorrow so we can all come over and enjoy. I am especially loving the birdsong from each location.

24 seconds from my Front Door.

At the kitchens garden we are watching the seasons go past 24 seconds at a time every Sunday morning. Ordinary – unfiltered – unstaged – virtual travel. Just one take. All that good stuff. Once a week. On a Sunday. And you are invited!!

You are welcome to show us your 24 seconds too! Don’t forget to link your 24 seconds to my post and let us know in the comments so we can all pop over!

If you don’t have a blog you can use Instagram or your Facebook page. If you cannot load video just pop in a photo! We will still come and visit! Or you can sit back and watch the seasons – ( which sounds perfect) no pressure!!

The Fellowship of the Farmy strikes again!!!

Love Cecilia, on a Sunday morning.

I love this! #24seconds

Unpacking the Groceries

I am being watched by BooBoo and TonTon as I write because we can smell a skunk toddling off to bed (it is still morning-dark) and they are convinced that they should be allowed outside to give the skunk the ‘hurry up’. Not Happening!

I was reading this great book last weekend called The Perishing by Natasha Deòn and she talked about deep sleep as being the time you unpack the metaphorical groceries you brought home all day. While you sleep you unpack these impressions and sort them out and get them put away in their proper place so your pretend bench does not end up covered in rotting junk.

An alarm going off on the middle of this process is the equivalent of leaving the ice cream to melt on the bench as you step out, leaving the job half done.

As you know I have always been fascinated by sleep so this sentence caught me eye. Though I only grocery shop about once a month and never ever buy ice cream. I only buy food I recognize as food and store-bought ice cream has no recognizable components and ingredients that are certainly not food and I cannot even pronounce. So the ice cream metaphor was lost on me.

But allowing my brain the time to get on with its job of organizing stuff sounds perfectly feasible.

One of my co-workers said to me during the week that she had a bad Second Sleep. I asked her to tell me more and she said her First Sleep was from 9pm to about 2am when she got up to go to the bathroom (loo) and have a drink of water then back to bed for her Second Sleep until 5am.

I found this interesting, too. It seemed like a lovely way to accept sleep as being in two parts. It worked for her. Her sleep was not broken – it just has two episodes.

My new challenge is to go without Amazon or indeed any internet shopping for a month. I have deleted the Amazon app ( which is so useful when one only shops once a month and lives a 40 minute drive from a store and works 12 hour days plus Saturday morning). But there you are! I have gone a week without Amazon. The hardest part is giving up my free Kindle Books. I am re-reading my own library. So I am fine.

I also deleted my weather app for good measure. How often have you seen it start to rain then reached for the weather app on the phone to check if it is indeed raining.

The sun is coming up so I will too. The dogs have given up on the skunk and are sprawled all over the floor fast asleep – unpacking my groceries for me in their dreams.

Don’t forget to join me with a tiny video from your front door tomorrow. Maximum of 25 seconds. Just point and shoot out your front door, into traffic, out to sea, across the rooftops, suburban, inner city or rural. Don’t set anything up – just point and shoot. If you have someone else’s door outside your door shoot up the road. We will see changes as the weeks go by!

You can post on Your blog and link to the kitchens garden – even leave your link in the comments as well OR cecilia_thekitchensgarden on Instagram (and tell us in the comments) don’t forget to link to me or even on FB – make sure to link then tell me in the comments ( if you like) so we can all come and see. Maybe other people would like to join in as we watch the seasons pass on a Sunday Morning.

Don’t set anything up! Just allow the ordinary to become extraordinary all by itself.

See you SUNDAY MORNING. And even if you think your view is not interesting remember that this is for those of us who cannot travel to see your view. We want to hear and see what is out your window. We have all been trapped in one place for a long, long time. Seeing a tiny 25 second of slice of life Somewhere Else will mean the world to us.

For me the shot is across the tiny pond to the maple tree shooting North/East. We will watch winter descend one Sunday at a time from this point of view.

Here is last week in Illinois.

Good morning!

See you tomorrow