Saturday, late afternoon. Dusk have become darkness, the lamps are lit, five has passed and six will be here soon.
Christoffer and I plot and plan what to make for dinner while my Mother and Lasse prepare to go out for dinner, for once just the two of them.
We decide on a chili stew and the rest of the exquisite bread we bought at Emmerys last we went tea shopping. Nothing but water, salt, flour and skill – not the white soulless kind you get at the supermarket.
The garden is dark, the waning Moon not yet up, frost crunching under our shoes, pinpricks of stars above and the air crisp with winter to come, almost here. I quickly accede Christoffer’s claim that a flashlight will be necessary in order to locate the leeks and free them from the frosty soil.
So back in we go, and then out. This time accompanied by a pair of dancing yellow spots, making the darkness surrounding us more black in comparison.
Spade in hand we locate the leeks and start prying them from the frozen earth. Using all four hands – and teeth for the flashlight – we succeed, a shower of darkest earth spattering into our shoes in the process.
Cold hands are explained as we get back in bright light of the kitchen – the lower stems of the leeks are covered in solid ice, clear as glass.
Christoffer’s eyes are gleaming as he cuts them – by going out there in the dark with flashlights and besting the frost for our food we’ve transformed preparing dinner from an everyday task to an adventure.
Later, as the stew is bubbling it strikes me that years from now, when I am long gone and Christoffer’s blond hair is all white he’ll be able to look mischievously into the eyes of his grandchildren, claiming “When I was a kid, in winter we had to go out into the dark garden at night, hacking at the frozen dirt with spades to get the leeks for dinner, then scraping the ice of them so they could be eaten.” And it will even be true 😉