My Kitchens

Appears in

Honey from a Weed

By Patience Gray

Published 1986

Looking back I seems always to have been escaping from my kitchen into my workshop: cooking in order to work, rather than working in order to eat. But sometimes I escaped from both — into the sea, into the woods, onto the mountainside.
In Apollona there were three sources of heat. Outside the dwelling, a stone cube with an earth roof a foot thick (conspicuous survival from neolithic times), variously used as habitation, mule shed or onion store, was an outdoor hearth constructed on a stone shelf at waist level against a wall, roofed over with an escape hole for the smoke. The bricks were cemented at the precise distance to support a large black pot over a twig fire, and there was room below the shelf for stacking driftwood. This was ideal for summer, and as the sea was at the door, I was able to light a fire, start the pot with its contents cooking, plunge into the sea at mid-day and by the time I had swum across the bay and back, the lunch was ready and the fire a heap of ashes. The cool of the morning — the sun rose at 5 am — was thus kept free for working.