There are lots of different words to describe emptiness or fullness, try to spot them in this article:-
I did that necessary, but not very interesting, job this week, of clearing out my freezer. It was quite iced up and every little bit of ice had to be removed, otherwise it would become the focus of a new build up. I’ve got three freezers – one more of less dedicated to vegetarian food for one member of the family, another that was here when we arrived with rather silly drawers that jam if you put in more than the minimum, and the big one – a huge chest freezer, it could even be described as copious, to take all the garden produce to last us until the next harvest. The problem is that we are surrounded with shops offering special offers and so my husband (and I, it must be admitted) keeps coming home with ‘bargains’ and ‘special offers’. We will eat them, but what do we do in the meantime with huge joints of beef and pounds of parsnips, packs of apricots and tubs fit to burst with goodies of all kinds?
I cleaned the freezer and then began to put everything back – but it wouldn’t fit. With a bit of jiggling and a few pushes to stuff things into even the tiniest gaps, I crammed everything in eventually. Finally I slammed down the lid a few times on the overflowing produce until it lay more or less flat. The problem is the lumpy packs of beans and apricots with bits sticking out, overflowing packs of herbs from the garden, and there are always luscious, juice filled plums pushing up against the lids of their tubs. . Then there were the cranberries of course, that were such a bargain. And don’t talk about all the fish that seemed at the time to be just what was wanted.
So in the last few days we’ve had plates piled high with fried fish. I’ve made cranberry relish – jars replete with crimson deliciousness. And apricot tarte tatin with buttery, sugary filling, boiling up and bursting around crisp, sugar laden pastry. Last night we had a dish full of blackcurrants and apples with rice which we devoured until replete, yet still leaving ample supplies for another day, or week, or even month or so.
I use lots of words to describe fullness in my kitchen. Then I look out of the window, or even venture out into the garden. Trees skeletal and bare – empty of life apparently. A vegetable garden with large areas of emptiness, and only a few cabbages and kale. A poly tunnel containing only the remnants of last year’s harvest. A conservatory with hardly a plant showing green, although there is a small orange tree to hint at what might be to come., and tucked in one corner a high pile of apples wrapped in newspaper to keep us going until once again the branches are heavy and bowed down with their gorgeous and prolific fruit. Even the weeds have more or less disappeared, but a few days of sunshine, a week or so of time, and what a change we will see.
First of all snowdrops -thin wisps of bright green against the grey earth – soon their blossoms will swell into fullness. We have three camellias on a sheltered wall where the early sun does not spoil their blossoms. Already there are large buds and soon they will be covered with blowsy, exuberant fullness. The peonies are just tiny humps in the ground, but they too will push up and out in to unrestrained pink glory, as will the rhubarb – so full of life it cannot be contained, but grows ever larger year by year, however much we pick.
I’ll be planting broad beans soon– now wrinkled, brown and dry, but after just a short soaking filling out and rounding themselves ready for action. There are tiny onion seeds waiting to swell into delicious globes of goodness, red, white green and yellow. Fridge drawers crammed tight with packets packed close, all with wonderful labels that promise so much, though experience tells me that some of those promises of perfect plants won’t be fulfilled – not unless I bury them in pots full of rich compost, and keep topping up the water.
So my world at the moment is made up of both emptiness and fullness – things going and things to come. It may look empty out there, even bleak, but some promises are going to be fulfilled if the buds are anything to go by.