I take that as a compliment. He’s talking about the herbs hanging in bundles over the doors.
My husband is a paradox. He grew up on the edge of Siberia in a giant city. A giant city? Here I thought the edge of Siberia was the edge of nowhere: no cities. That means he’s Russian, except he’s not. Another paradox. His mom is ethnically Tatar. So, when he says our home smells like the village, he’s referring to the tiny, remote Tatar village called Moiseevka where his grandparents grew up.
At the village, his grandparents used everything. They still do, though they’ve moved to the city now. Utilitarianism is no doubt an American virtue as well. I’ve just never seen it on this scale.
Check out what I mean. Say you are out at the dasha (that’s the garden house with no plumbing where they live in the summer to grow all the veggies they will need for the year) and you need a sharper knife. Why not sharpen a butter knife? It’s what we have.
Or this: Babushka regularly makes 3-4 weeks worth of noodles for her famous brothy soups using just *one* egg and a bit of flour. She works it into a dough and rolls out in two batches, paper thin. She cuts them into noodles and lays them out on a big bed to dry out then packs them in jars for dry storage. One egg and a bit of flour. Completely covering a bed. That’s impressive.
Over here in California, the garden is overflowing. I’m trying to take a cue from Babushka and Dedushka by capturing the bounty and drying our herbs.
We’ve got Yarrow and Calendula up to dry right now. We did Melissa and Marjoram and Mint last week. Some of them I lay out on a chicken wire frame hubs made, pick them over and let them dry in the shade. Others, I just bundling with string and hang it up over the door on a re-purposed wire hanger.
Later, that yarrow will make a lovely analgesic and digestive tea. That calendula will make a nice anti-inflammatory gargle or tea or even a skin-soothing bath. Or, maybe I’ll tincture them. Or maybe I’ll use both of them together to make an anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory wound-healing salve.
The possibilities are endless. We don’t even have to talk about the economy. (We hear enough about that already.) It just feels good to fully utilize the yield from the garden, to receive the gifts of the earth.