The time of the year when cold, nasty weather here at the Estate is more common than not is upon us as I sit writing these words in my office behind the Robert Graves Memorial Reading Room. A freezing sleet is being driven by a steady wind and even Gus, our Head Gardener who is outside in all manner of weather, is inside consulting with Mrs. Ware, the Estate Head Cook, on how many of the Estate geese she’ll need for our Candlemas feast this year.
I think the promise of yet more bread pudding with rum and dark chocolate also figured into his desire to be in the Kitchen. And I see that a goodly number of the Neverending Session musicians have taken up residence in the sitting area of the Kitchen where I heard then playing a hornpipe attributed to Billy Pigg when I passed by the Kitchen earlier today.
The Kitchen here is quite large as its been expanded several times down the years, most recently thirty years ago, when we added more yurts for visitors to stay in. And the Kitchen’s actually in an area of the sub basement though it’s got lots of windows facing the back courtyard there. That expansion added a cozy sitting area where the Neverending Session as I noted above is oft times playing in the Winter. And it’s not at all unusual to the Stitchers group to take up residence there.
It’s a mostly throughly modern with gas stoves, four eight burner Vikings, along with walk-in coolers and of course restaurant sized walk-in freezers. There’s always a stone soup of whatever the staff there thinks is appropriate to toss in — one time it might be lamb, lentils, and onions, another time it might be beef from High Ridge Farm with veggies we grew, or my favourite, smoked turkey with veggies and dumplings.
Mostly throughly modern because we do have an eight burner wood stove with a griddle area that those lovely soups and stews, plus other slows cooked food gets done on. Not to mention superb pancakes and thick sliced bacon.
The best thing I think about the Kitchen is the fresh baked goodies from muffins with Turkish dates in the morning to a late night snack of double dark chocolate cake with a scoop of Madagascar vanilla ice cream. Or the warm enough to melt butter whole wheat rolls with the soup of the day for the Eventide meal.
Damn I made myself hungry! Shall we head down to the Kitchen for a snack? I heard that there might well be carrot cake. With cream cheese frosting. Doesn’t that sound tasty?