Dark falls soon in January. By 4:30, the twilight has settled into the evergreen branches, closing the gaps that daylight opens each morning. Cold seems colder when it’s dark and damp, and I pull my collar up to my chin as I trudge across the yard toward the chicken house. Not quite ready for the roost, the hens hum their evening song as I unlatch the door. Gathered closely, they wait for me to toss their evening scratch, their song building in anticipation until it hits the ground. Busy in the pecking of it, they pay me no mind as I reach into the straw filled nest and stuff the eggs into my pockets. I can’t help but smile as I think of the egg basket, sitting on the table in the kitchen.
Back in the house, I set about my evening chores. Methodical. The word pops in my head as I settle the beautiful eggs in a carton and tie on my apron. Methodical: habitually proceeding according to method. That’s me, and I kind of like the definition. There is a certain comfort in the process. I haul my big Norwegian dough board from it’s place beside the refrigerator and set the oven to pre~heat. Into my old yellow bowl, I measure flour, salt and baking powder, then cut in the Crisco until it’s mixed together just fine. I can almost hear my grandma whisper, “Buttermilk!” as I pour enough 1% milk to make my dough ready to pat out. On the flour dusted board, I form it into a nice, soft round, and cut the shapes to go on the baking sheet. Methodical. Habitual. Peace and contentment.
I slide the biscuits into the hot oven, and take the lid off the soup kettle to give it a good stir. Thick and bubbly, chock full of veggies and last night’s roast beef, it’s the perfect supper for a winter night. The timer beeps for the biscuits. I bring my simple meal to the table and call him from the other room.