On Raw Milk, and current regulations in Vermont

Vermont’s legislature is currently debating the regulations around the availability of raw milk, and earlier this spring I spoke to the House Committee on Agriculture and Forest Products as a raw milk consumer.  (This post is an adapted version of what I said there.) You can find all the House Ag Committee documents related to this bill (including testimony from myself and other witnesses) on their website, and you can follow the Farm Fresh Milk Campaign at Rural Vermont.  The current situation is that it is legal for farmers to sell raw milk in the state of Vermont, but there are some very strict (bordering on prohibitive) regulations that make it difficult for farmers to reach consumers.  An effort is being made to mitigate those regulations, giving consumers easier access to the extremely high quality (and safe) raw milk that is being produced in the state of Vermont.

I’ve been a customer of Huard Family Farm for the last year and a half or so. Frank Huard delivers raw goat’s milk to my home about once a week, and sometimes we’re also able to pick it up from him at the Burlington Farmers’ Market. The milk from Frank’s farm is absolutely delicious, with a flavor much more subtle than anything off the grocery store shelf. I would drink it just for the taste, but I also drink it because most milk really upsets my digestion if I drink much of it. The milk from Frank’s farm never bothers my digestion. I don’t know for sure if this is because it’s raw or because it’s goat’s milk, or a combination of the two, but I do know that I can drink it by the glass and feel good and nourished.  I can say positively that (to me, and many others) raw milk tastes better and more distinctive than pasteurized milk, and I would venture to say that raw milk lets those of us who drink by the glass enjoy the local terroir in a way that pasteurized milk just can’t.

Frank has always been gracious about delivering to our door, but I’ve often wondered how he could possibly meet expenses when he has to drive all over the place to deliver milk to customers: Gas is expensive, and it has to take him a lot of time to drive to each individual customer. If Frank could sell his milk via retail stores, it would be convenient for me, but what’s more important is that it would be sustainable for him. We used to get raw goat’s milk from Trillium Hill Farm in Hinesburg, but they stopped selling milk after the 2012 season because that part of their business had proven to be unsustainable. I wonder if this would have been different if there weren’t so many restrictions around the sale of raw milk. I find the present restrictions frustrating personally, but the biggest concern to me is that these restrictions make it so difficult for farmers to reach customers. It goes without saying that a business must be able to reach customers to survive.

I recognize and appreciate that the intent of the present labeling language is to protect the consumer, but I wish that our legislators would give more credit – and more responsibility – to consumers: In my experience, what pasteurization is and does is general knowledge. I think it’s enough to state that the milk is raw/unpasteurized. So long as I’m clearly told what the product is, it’s up to me to determine whether it’s healthy for me. Please show that you respect me and other consumers by trusting us to do that.

In addition to speaking as a consumer, I’d like to say a few words just as a resident of Vermont: I don’t think it’s possible to emphasize too much how important small farms like Frank’s are. They feed us, keeping us nourished and healthy and giving us a much-needed alternative to mass-produced, trucked-in food. They keep money in the local economy. They give Vermont the distinctive sense of place that makes this state a destination. They’re vital to our sense of community: A teacher of mine used to say, “we all exist in a web of interdependence,” and eating food grown or produced by someone in your community reinforces how much we all depend on one another.

The farmers I know are the hardest working people I know, and I think it’s safe to say that, as a group, farmers are the hardest working people in Vermont. While some regulation is reasonable, the present requirements place unnecessary obstacles between the farmer and the customer. H. 426 won’t change that farming is a difficult job, but it’ll do a lot to make this work economically feasible for the farmers affected.

Anna Lappe said, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” I want to vote for a state full of thriving family farms, by buying this good, wholesome product from a local farmer. Please make it easier for me to do that, and give Frank and other farmers a real chance to thrive by supporting H. 426.


Flowers for Breakfast:
Calendula-Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry-calendula pancake.

Calendula petals and blueberries set each other off nicely in these pancakes.

Calendula flowers seem to be filled with sunshine, and since back in the depths of winter this year, these pancakes been my favorite breakfast.  I cook up a batch at a time, put the extra pancakes in the fridge (after letting them cool) and toast them in a toaster oven for breakfast for the next couple of days.  With not just calendula, but blueberries and nettle, these pancakes are packed full of goodness. The bright amber calendula petals and purpley-blue berries compliment each other nicely.

You’ll need:

  • 1 c. buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • a couple of handfuls of calendula petals (not the whole flowers!)
  • a handful of dried nettle leaf
  • 1 c. milk (or milk substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbls. coconut or olive oil
  • 1 c. wild blueberries
Nettles.

In my yard, nettles were the first plants to pop out of the ground this spring.  Dried nettle leaf adds even more nourishment to these pancakes.

Directions:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients well.  The calendula petals have a tendency to sit on top, but don’t worry:  They’ll blend  in to the other ingredients once you add the liquids.
  2. Add milk, eggs, and oil.  Mix.
  3. Add blueberries, and mix in.
  4. I use a 1/3 measuring cup to portion the batter out and cook on the stove top just like any other pancake.  I end up with 7-8 pancakes, depending on how generously I measure.
  5. Add your toppings of choice and enjoy!

Local on a Budget: Food

Giuseppe Arcimboldo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“The Greengrocer,” by Giuseppe Arcimboldo
This fellow ate his vegetables!

Food might be the most rewarding thing to source locally:  Slicing a fresh tomato from your garden or from the local farm stand, you taste the land, air, and rain all bundled up in that gorgeous red package.  This tomato is as good as it is because of the land it was grown on and the care taken by the farmer (or by you).  You literally cannot get a tomato just like it anywhere else in the world.

Now, let’s get something over with:  Mass-produced pasta and tomato sauce is cheaper than local, fresh food.  Yup.  And I’m not going to claim that it’s not.  That being said, eating local isn’t just for rich folks going out to dinner at that fancy restaurant with duck liver and such.  Eating local can be practical, as well as delicious and nourishing.

It does help to keep an open mind about what abundance looks like.  For a while now, Americans have figured that abundance meant things like meat or eggs at every meal and brand name cookies for dessert.  I think abundance looks like mason jars full of grains and beans that I bought in bulk at the local co-op.  It looks like a box full of in-season vegetables when I pick up my CSA.  It looks like a big mug full of tea made from the lemon balm plant in my yard.

As a reminder, you don’t have to do everything at once.  Just change one thing this month.  (It’s a great time for picking your own apples at your local apple orchard, for example.)  And then one more thing next month.  Take one step at a time.

With food, as with other products, there are a couple different “levels” of local.  The questions to ask are:  Was this food grown/raised locally?  If a prepared food, was it prepared locally?  Is the retailer (e.g. a grocery store) a local business?  The more “yes” answers on your shopping list, the better.

And finally, for the tips:

    • Buy produce directly from the folks who grow it.  As much as I love co-ops, it tends to be a lot cheaper to buy produce at a farmer’s market (or even better, at the farm) than in a grocery store.
    • Don’t worry about certifications.  Instead, talk to the farmer.  Part of the reason organic produce is more expensive is that it’s expensive to get certified.  If you find a local farmer who uses organic or near-organic methods, don’t worry about whether or not they have that USDA stamp.
    • If in doubt, buy something that grows where you live, and buy it in season:  E.g. Can’t decide between apples or mango?  If you live in the northeast, buy apples.  They’ll be cheaper, and you’ll probably get a better specimen of fruit.  Likewise, enjoy the yearly glut of tomatoes in the late summer, a time when they’re plentiful and so less expensive.
    • If you have the space for a garden, start one.  Even if it’s a small space.  Even if it’s just a couple of pots of herbs that you can use to season your food or make tea.  In fact, my advice is to start small, see what works for you, and perhaps upsize in future years.
    • Buy from the bulk section.  Most health food stores have a bulk food section for dry goods.  These are often very reasonably priced, since you’re not paying for packaging or brand name advertising.  Also, you can get only the amount you need.  So, if you rarely use nutmeg, and just need a teaspoon for a particular recipe, all you need to buy is a teaspoon.  It’s much cheaper than buying a whole jar!
    • Reconsider how much meat you eat.  Many Americans eat hearty servings of meat at least twice a day.    Dr. Andrew Weil says,

      As little as two ounces of a protein-rich food a day may be enough to prevent protein deficiency in most adults; four ounces will certainly do it. That means a four-ounce serving of meat or fish or chicken or cheese or tofu. (Click for source.)

      That means that we can cut back on meat a lot – or entirely if you choose to do so – and still be healthy.  Since meat is expensive, this is a great way to save.  One option is to halve your meat consumption, but eating really good local meat when you do.  You can also try using less expensive cuts of meat.

    • Think about joining a CSA. With CSAs (it stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”), you pay up front for a share in a farm’s produce at the beginning of a season.  Then, you pick up your share every week or so during the season, either at the farm or at another local pick-up location.  You usually get more produce than you could have bought at retail for the same amount of money.  Take the time to research different CSAs, talk to farmers about what their CSA is like, and if you can talk to folks who have taken part in CSAs.  Each one is different, but they can be a lot of fun and a great way to save some cash and make shopping for veggies really easy.
    • Buy basics, then cook it up yourself. Bread. Beans. Soups & stews.  These things are all so much cheaper when you buy the basic ingredients and then cook them up yourself.  Don’t have time to wait for bread to rise?  I am a huge fan of a basic Irish brown bread – and one of the best things about it is that it’s a quick bread.  Dry beans are super cheap – and super easy to cook, then freeze for later.  Soups and stews are amazing catch-all dishes to make with leftovers or whatever you picked up at the farmer’s market.  They’re also a great way to stretch meat.  How about a kale & sausage soup? Or a beef & potato stew?  You don’t have to use a lot of meat to make it taste rich and feel indulgent.  Lentil soup might be the cheapest yet most satisfying dish ever.  It’s also super easy to make your own vegetable broth, and it’s a good way to use up carrot greens and many other vegetable bits that you’re unlikely to eat.
      If you’ve never tried cooking with a slow cooker, try now.  Your crock pot may be your new best friend.
      This part takes some time, but it makes a big difference in your budget – and in the quality of food you end up with.
    • Check out your local options  for discounted food.  There’s a store that’s local to me that sells, among other things, blocks of cheese that aren’t perfectly rectangular, dinged cans of food and other items with damaged packaging, and yogurt that’s nearing its expiration date.  The store itself is local, and a fair amount of the food they sell is produced locally.  Their discounts help balance our food budget.  Some stores and markets sell bruised or about-to-be-overripe fruit or veggies at a discount.  There’s always the possibility of bargaining at farmer’s markets, too, when folks are packing up – especially if you’re buying in quantity.  Ask around and see what the options are in your area.

The single most important tip I can give you is to talk to people:  your friends, your local farmers, the folks who work at the co-op, etc.  Maybe your neighbor knows about a great farm stand, or your coworker belongs to a CSA that she loves, or your cousin knows about a co-op that has great deals on cases of yogurt.  Shopping local on a budget takes some research, but that research can be as easy as a conversation if you ask around.  You might be surprised about what great resources your friends and neighbors are.

On the other hand, you might live in an area where people aren’t as conscious of shopping local.  It’s still worth asking around (after all, our grandparents bought from local farmers and butchers long before “Shop Local” became a trend), and it’s also a good idea to pass on the info you learn to others.  You might have to do a little extra footwork to find those great local farms and businesses, but you can be even more influential in keeping them around by passing on your own tips to your friends.

Q:  What are your tips for buying local food on a budget?
Q:  What does abundance look/smell/taste/sound/feel like to you?


Dandelions Take a Stand for Contraception?

Scandelous dandelion, virginal rose image from One More Soul, a website dedicated to “fostering God’s plan for love, chastity, marriage, and children.”

Scandelous dandelion, virginal rose image from One More Soul, a website reportedly dedicated to “fostering God’s plan for love, chastity, marriage, and children.”

This image, I have to admit, almost leaves me speechless.  My first thought was to note the amazing feats of illogic.  How, for example, does the use of contraception lead to single-parent homes?  Contraception – by definition – prevents you from becoming a parent in the first place.  And why is contraception the root of (dum dum DUM) “Sexual Chaos“?  I mean, in my experience contraception generally requires some ability to think ahead, and planning isn’t an activity I’d call chaotic.

But true to form, I’m more interested in the choice of flowers.  I’m not going to dis the chastity rose (although I’m not sure any sort of flower is especially chaste…plants in general are awfully good at getting it on), even though it’s not much like the wild Rosa rugosas that I love best.  But a dandelion?  What substances were these people taking that made them think that the roots of a dandelion – one of our most successfully prolific plants – made a good symbol for contraception?

I suspect the logic went something like: Dandelions=Weeds. Weeds=Bad.
Contraception=Bad.
Dandelions=Contraception.
Sigh.

Dandelions are adaptable.  Dandelions are scrappy and resilient.  Dandelions are crazy-good medicine.   Dandelions are generous:  We mow them down and pull them up and spray them dead, and no matter how often or how shortsightedly we reject them they keep coming back, stronger than ever.  Dandelions stand their ground.  They’re independent and sturdy, not to mention cheerful and cheering.

No matter how we vilify them, dandelions pop up in the ugly cracks and crevices and make those places more beautiful.  This graphic is bizarre and in some ways very ugly, and so maybe it’s only to be expected that a dandelion found its way into it.

I’m totally down with roses, and I’m totally down with loving families of all shapes and sizes and styles.  But when someone compares my choices to a dandelion (and yes, I do use contraceptives) I take that as high praise.  So my second thought when I saw this poster was, “I’m a dandelion!  Yay!”

On this glorious spring day, I’m raising a toast to the dandelion. Will you join me?


Book Review: The Wild Medicine Solution, by Guido Masé

(Click to buy local.)

I’m giving a great big virtual cheer that The Wild Medicine Solution: Healing with Aromatic, Bitter, and Tonic Plants has been published and is on my shelf. I’ve been anticipating this since I first heard last May that Guido Masé – clinical herbalist, cofounder of the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, part of the team at Urban Moonshine, etc. – was writing a book. It’s even better than I’d hoped.  Why?

  • It presents a system for using herbs in daily life that’s so accessible it goes beyond simplicity into elegance.
  • Guido both speaks hard science and can translate it for laypeople.
  • Storytelling is a skill near and dear to my heart, and Guido uses storytelling to great effect to both illustrate the uses of herbs and to communicate how powerful these plants are – physiologically, spiritually, and culturally.
  • The recipes included are easy and delicious.  I’m particularly enamored of the hot chocolate recipe, which tastes smoothly bitter and rich, everything I’ve always wanted coffee and Guinness and hot chocolate to taste like.
  • The herbs that Guido focuses on are easy to find and generally very pleasant to take: Think chocolate, ginger, and peppermint.
  • The photos are gorgeous.
  • While many books on natural health can leave you feeling like you’re fighting a losing battle (as though to be healthy, you must rid your home of every molecule of plastic, drink only spring water newly burst from the earth, eat tons of fish, never eat any fish because they’re all contaminated, and spend every waking hour doing mindfulness exercises), The Wild Medicine Solution is inspiring.  You come away from this book feeling that your body is strong and resilient, and can deal with the challenges of modern life if only you give it the right tools.

The upshot: If you have to deal with the stress and stressors of modern life, please read this. Accessible to non-science geeks and very appealing to those who like some soul served up with their science, this book is also a good one for skeptics who want scientific proof before they’ll buy into the validity of using herbs.

If you still have doubts, you should wander on over to The Wild Medicine Solution page on Guido’s blog:  You’ll find that this book is also recommended by David Winston, Susun Weed, David Hoffman, Michael Tierra, and others, including Rosemary Gladstar, who said:

“I have a new favorite book in my herbal library. What is most masterful about Guido’s teachings and writing is the way he weaves folklore, tradition, and science flawlessly together, making a sensible cohesive argument for the daily use of these common and important plants. Guido has written a classic.”

Hear, hear.


Farmers and Moonshiners

Herbs!

I posted earlier in the fall about how I tried growing some of my own herbs this year, but came up against an unexpected roadblock (in the form of contaminated compost).  Luckily, I have some pretty awesome sources for herbs:

My cat quickly decided that this bag from
Zack Woods was hers.  The catnip (which had been
in a plastic bag inside the paper bag) was so
yummy and fragrant that she played with the empty
paper bag for days.

For dried herbs, my first stop is, without a doubt, Zack Woods Herb Farm of Hyde Park, Vermont.  These wonderful people grow, harvest, and dry herbs so full of life that it seems you can still smell the summer breezes and the warm earth when you open up a jar of their herbs.  Anything I can get from Zack Woods, I do.  While I would love to have gotten to work with more fresh herbs from my own garden this year, I really feel that anything I make with Zack Woods herbs is vibrant and nourishing.

My other go-to business for dried herbs is Mountain Rose.  While this company isn’t local to me, they are pretty awesome, and provide a lot of info about their herbs, which are all either organically cultivated or wildcrafted.  From everything I’ve heard, they’re really good people.

I was lucky to win some Urban Moonshine
bitters from Mountain Rose earlier this year!

For extracts, my original favorite – the company whose products made me realize just how much more fun it is to sip herbal extracts than it is to swallow capsules – is Urban Moonshine.  This company is local and run by awesome people, who you can “meet” in this video.  I’ve found their bitters and tonics to be extremely effective – not to mention delicious.  As an added bonus, their packaging is really cool, which means that a bottle of Urban Moonshine makes a hip hostess gift.  Far from the grannies of ages past who would pinch your nose until you swallowed your medicine, Urban Moonshine makes it fun to take their tinctures, and there are all sorts of recipes for cocktails and other tasty beverages.  While I love formulating my own extracts, I also always keep some Urban Moonshine bitters and tonics on hand.  They’re great go-to formulas, add wonderful flavors to drinks, and – thanks to their beautiful packaging and general yumminess – are perfect for introducing newbies to the world of herbal extracts.

So, while I haven’t gotten to experiment as much as I’d like with making herbal preparations from seed to sip, I’m grateful to know some wonderful people who do good work.  I feel that buying from people I genuinely like, whose work I respect and trust, is the next best thing to doing it yourself.

Thank you to Pagan Blog Prompts, where “Who Makes Your Tools?” asks, “When it comes to the tools of your practice, does it matter who made them or where they come from? Does something you made yourself have more power?” for the inspiration for this post!


Stonecutters Kitchen, Doolin, Co. Clare

If you’re on your way to Doolin or the Cliffs of Moher, be sure to stop by Stonecutters Kitchen.  It’s right on the main road between Doolin and the Cliffs, and has some of the freshest and tastiest food I’ve eaten in Ireland.  One of my favorite ways to pass a day on holiday in Doolin is to walk from the Rainbow Hostel, past Fisherstreet, uphill to this restaurant, enjoy some soup and tea and dessert while reading or writing, and stroll back downhill.

The owners and staff are very friendly, as is the resident sheepdog, and the views can’t be beat.  Their plates and teaware are made by a local potter (who, sadly, has moved out of the country) and are a pleasure to use.  Plus, the desserts are absolutely scrumptious.  My favorite is their banoffee pie – a wonderful concoction involving caramel, banana, a graham cracker crust (actually made of digestives), and chocolate.

Learn more and make sure to check out their hours (which vary by the season) at http://www.stonecutterskitchen.com/,  and keep track of their delectable specials via facebook here.  I wish I could stop by for lunch now!


Vaguely Bohemian Angels

My sister has a knack for getting me presents no one else would have thought of.  For my high school graduation, she filled a small wooden chest full of everything from smudge sticks to a fountain – in short, a complete kit to make a boring old dorm room into a home.  For my twenty-first birthday, she bought me a mini waffle maker.  Not a traditional choice, but I lived on whole grain waffles under various toppings for the next two years.  For my most recent birthday, she commissioned custom cookies.

‘Custom cookies?’ you might ask (though you know that custom-made creations are indeed near to my heart).  Yes, when you know Angelica Howland of Scrumptious Angel.  This woman is – as my sister put it – the Vienne Rocher of cookies.  (If that reference doesn’t ring a bell, read or watch Chocolat.)  I can easily see Angelica setting up shop in a stiff little puritanical town and bringing out everyone’s best and most joyous traits with her deliciously original cookies and brilliantly creative self.

My first taste of Scrumptious Angel cookies came when a box packed full of Elegant Angels, Drunken Angels, Sparrows, and Streaks of Lavender arrived for my birthday.  Holy deliciousness, Batman.  I’ve had a lot of good chocolate chip cookies, but Angelica’s have the richest and most indulgent texture I’ve come across yet.  Plus, they’re not chocolate chip cookies; they’re chocolate chunk cookies, and dang good chocolate too.  Plus, they’re not just chocolate chunk cookies, but cookies with the most creative and balanced of flavorings and wonderfulness.  Just try these, for example:

Streaks of Lavender:  Dark chocolate with toasted almonds and a touch of actual lavender.  These were my first favorites, both indulgent and subtle.
Elegant Angels:  Dark and milk chocolate in cookies sprinkled with a touch of sea salt.  Absolutely addictive, in a way that makes you savor every bite.
Drunken Angels:  Amaretto-soaked cherries, cinnamon-roasted almonds, and dark chocolate.  Did I say the other two were my favorites?  This was definitely a favorite.  Scrumptious is exactly the right word.
Sparrows:  Dark chocolate, dried blueberries, and roasted sunflower seeds.  Frickin’ beautiful.  In the end, these are the ones I was saddest to finish.

Luckily, that wasn’t the end.  Next came the development of the custom Vaguely Bohemian Angels.  Angelica and my sis had brainstormed some ideas, one of which was oats, Earl Gray, and dark chocolate.  ‘What about oats, dark chocolate, and chai?’ I asked.  Angelica took that, added crushed fennel, and came up with the most delicious…I’ll start at the beginning:

When the cookies arrived from the Scrumptious Angel test kitchen, I’d been drinking some spicy herbal tea.  Because of this, upon my first bite, I tasted mostly cookie gorgeousness and dark chocolate.  ‘I don’t really taste the spices,’ I though to myself, ‘but damn, I have never tasted a cookie that is so rich yet so packed with oats.  This is pretty amazing.’  As I went on, I started to taste, subtly, the fennel – almost like, I imagine, the sensation of breathing out after a sip of absinthe.  Then, the taste of chai spices began to grow in my mouth.  It was as though the cookie contained the progression of bohemian beverages, from the absinthe of early 20th century Paris to the chai of my favorite bohemian teahouse.  In the second cookie, I was able to taste all of these flavors together.  Alas – although I knew I’d only get another box of samples if there was something I wanted to change – the cookies were perfect!

If you’d like your own box of Vaguely Bohemian Angels, or to find out more about other scrumptious Scrumptious Angel creations, you can find them on Facebook right here.  (Just click on “about” to see the listing of flavors and ordering info.)  The business is relatively new, and so far without a fully developed website, but you can keep an eye out at scrumptiousangel.com.  Believe me, if you’re ever so lucky as to taste any of Angelica’s creations, you’ll be as devoted as I am!


Vermiso Soup

Miso soup is my go-to food whenever I’m feeling a little bit overindulged, motion sick, or just plain queasy.  It helps that it’s yummy and nourishing, and I love to eat it anyway!  Most miso soup contains seaweed, and we don’t have local seaweed in Vermont (what with being landlocked).  But we do have lots of kale!

Vermiso Soup
a little olive oil
1 bunch kale, rinsed and cut into small strips
a leek, chopped
8 cups boiling water
8 tablespoons miso paste

1.  In a large frying pan or wok, saute the kale in the olive oil until tender.
2.  Add leek to kale.
3.  In a separate bowl, measure out miso paste.
4.  Pour most of the water into the frying pan, and enough into the bowl to cover.
5.  Mix miso paste and water.  When it’s all mixed in, pour it into the frying pan with the kale.
6.  Enjoy!

Reheat carefully, without boiling.


Burren Perfumery, Co. Clare

As the days get colder here in the northeastern U.S., here are a few more photos from my midsummer trip to Ireland.  When I visited the Burren Perfumery in 2005, for whatever reasons I was nonplussed.  Not so this trip!  We visited the shop first, sampled all of their wonderful new herbal balms, and ended up bringing some borage balm home.  Then we had a walk around the garden, where I took these photos.  Finally, we met a friend at the tearoom for, well, tea.  Everything was so delicious that we stayed on for lunch.  The special was a spiced vegetarian dish served over quinoa, which was an unusual treat, since in Ireland healthy vegetarian options are often limited to a hearty carrot or potato soup.  The Burren Perfumery is out of the way, but well-marked.  If you’re in the area, I highly recommend a trip there, preferably on a nice day so you can enjoy the garden and then sit outside in the cafe.

Taking off from a borage flower.

If you look carefully, there’s a moss-man lying in the bed, and a fireplace to keep him warm.

A moss lady luxuriating in a verdant tub.