Monday, November 24, 2014

I am a cynic I know.

    Apple kale and lime juice.
     PUT it in a bottle with Apple Juice and Lime juice and charge a lot for it. Thank you Waitrose, you know I love you dearly, I miss you, I wish you were in Filey , or even Scarborough as I would shop and shop but not drop as I do in Tesco BUT  why bottle Kale Juice?

    We grew row after row of it in the clay soil of Holderness when I was young. It was about the only vegetable one could hope to do well with  all through the winter. How I dreaded the words would you just go in to the garden and get me a picking of kale for dinner.  Mother would cook it to death and press a saucepan lid over it to get out any remaining goodness. The dog under the table never liked it either .

    Have you noticed everyone how the food Police have recently discovered that some very cheap products are good for you? Have you noticed everyone ,that vegetables that are really easy to grow, easy to store and easy to spell are becoming the staple add-ons for the Baby Lead Weaning generation . Here they are then
    • Beetroot , obvious red or orange: NB very expensive crisps
    • Kale , tough as old boots green , or black if using the Italian variety:NB very expensive soft drinks and  oh so exciting vegetable when fried or something awful ,but freshly picked from the restaurants own veg patch
    • Swedes, orange and easily grown  NB very expensive microwave ready to eat puree (with the addition of black pepper I know)
    • Not a veg, but have you noticed how Black Pudding , the cheapest of meat products is now going gourmet ?
    • Broad Beans are back , only they are called Fava beans in posh places. The frozen variety taste just as good from Herons , and I damned if I'm going to skin them and puree them .
    My allotment continues to enthrall me, yes! really. I have tried Celariac this year as it's always expensive to buy, but its a real pain to grow. Celariac mash just doesn't do it for us anyway, we prefer Parsnip Mash and that root is always cheap in Filey, and takes the addition of Jerk seasoning to make it taste really delicious and different.
    I wonder how long it will be before Chard Juice hits the shops. Perhaps its already in Neals Yard or Daylesford in Pimlico Road, both places where spouse and I like a good snoop .If anything is good enough for the Stockpot in the Kings Road just past the Fire Station its good enough for us, and they are not serving Chard. I am however growing it in abundance because it is foolproof, lasts through the winter and comes back smiling and verdant. 
    My wonderful Italian vegetarian cookbook from the 80s is still used frequently. Chard is the star of many of its recipes that are now firm family favourites, often used in place of spinach. Spinach and Rice Pie is the most used.  I wonder how long before my simple Italian peasant food becomes the best thing since sliced bread in Waitrose, after all it will feed a family of 6  for about £1.50.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Gardening ,Blogging or visiting Aged Parent

    Kilham to Rudston Road 

    I went last week and cut the Asparagus down on my allotment. It was satisfying to see the sturdy fronds and know that next year I will be able to take  my actual crop. Colin came and cut down this years Blackberries so they  will fruit on the new growth which is lethal to deal with and all needs tying in. I felt so guilty as I saw all the scratches he had collected along the way defying his Warfarin soaked blood system . 

    Today he is coming with me to take up from home the 3 huge bags of vegetable waste for the Compost heap. I have had to coax him , as he is firmly of the opinion that its my plot and he wants it to stay that way. I on the other hand feel that a good walk the near mile to the plot would be good for him and his WSB  system .
    I am treading a careful path. I feel I am leaving my beloved spouse alone too much in our cosy but dark 18thC Fishermans cottage. I did not know when I took on my small piece of Gods Good Earth that I would also be taking on in excelsis the duties of the dutiful :Daughter that is.
    For the 6 years since I have been blogging I have often found so much to write about in my journeys across the Wolds to Beverley, going as I did every week or so . I loved stopping on the way home to take a picture of my favourite view from  the Rudston to Kilham Road or as I always drive it , the Kilham to Rudston road. Ive always been one for coming home a different way from going, and Burton Fleming to Kilham is my usual outward journey .
    Yorkshire Bank King Edwards Street Hull 
    Now Dutiful daughter is travelling to Aged Parent twice a week using her railcard as its cheaper for I to travel Filey To Beverley on the train . Sometimes I get the 7am train and travel through to Hull to meet my Sutton Sister in the Caffe Nero that was once my first Yorkshire Penny Bank opposite the Dock Offices and Ferens Art Gallery. It still has a lovely Plaster ceiling. I nip round the bargains in Primark and get the next train to mother.
    You could say its a grand day out! I certainly enjoy it,good coffee stops , a bit of shopping and a good chat with AP showing her all the clothes I have got for £20 including purchases for her,Jumpers  of the fawn or pale blue variety .
    When I'm not being a dutiful daughter , well dressed by Primark , or Fileygardener well dressed by old clothes , I'm a retired of Filey well dressed by Cammishes, and doing all the other stuff that housewives do , shopping and cooking, Flower Arranging, making beds and
    thinking about cleaning .
    I have though about it a lot recently, 
    and realised I just don't do any except for just before every one comes for our homegroup on a Wednesday night  . So in the interests of SANITY and keeping my husband , I have now employed a TREASURE.
    So when I'm not gardening or visiting AP or cooking or shopping I am now able to report that I am able to spend more time with my husband of 42 years, but he's asleep in his chair, library book on his lap waiting for 'Neighbours' so I am going to get back to some more Blogging !

    Tuesday, November 04, 2014

    Devices and desires

    Laptop Screen Capture Device

    I talked myself in to a new and extra smartphone for my recent travels. The reasoning went thus

    • there is no EE cover in Iona
    • (How would spouse manage without updates from me? He doesn't see Facebook like all the rest of my family who know my every move)
    • if I had a fall on a deserted beach who would know it?
    • the camera on the Z xperia models has 20MP and comes as a best buy in Which
    • I will need a good camera next year when I go up the Rhine
    • I can teach spouse how to use a smart phone if he has one to practice on
    • an incognito phone could be a wise buy when one is digitally hiding from relatives who are text crazy
    So there it was and now is reality. The tiny Isle of Iona has had after all these years to lay down a
    helipad next to the Fire Station because of the increase in accidents and the need to fly people off. I was brought up a serious youth hosteller and never would walk anywhere alone without telling someone my destination.  This last summer a young man lay for hours  in Iona without being able to contact help. A whistle might have helped. My smart phones have emergency access, but only my new O2 Xperia Z compact would have got a signal. I keep reading articles  urging the necessity for good signal coverage across Great Britain, and I stand too with that plea. 

    And so I have been remembering my teenage years , the thick mist that descended on Scarth gap Pass from Buttermere as I walked right over into Wasdale past that best of all lake District Youth Hostels ,Black Sail Hut.  We walked , my sister Sue and I , with her friend Julia, from cairn to cairn across the passes, and had to ring the warden of the last YH to let him know we had arrived safely . In the 1960s even the rucksacks seemed heavier and the boots were a nightmare 'wear in'. I used to walk round the garden for hours having spooned the backs trying to soften the leather. Even then elastoplasts were always carried for heels. This year , my walking boots went on in the shop and walked easily ever since. 

    This year I was with my other sister Christine. Sometimes the weather was vile in Iona  but we were dry and warm with our 21C wet weather gear. Even when the wind was howling , the ferry safely moored home behind The Island of Women and not running because of the weather, we were safe and cosy on the Machair in Skerryvore, with our 21st C comforts, TV, and Telescope and central heating, and a great signal for EE in the corner of the kitchen, and wifi for the O2 everywhere else.
    The islanders do not get anxious about travel , if the ferry cant run they just get a text message , and subscribing to Calmacs updates kept us all in the loop. If the ferry wasnt going to get us off Iona , certainly no one would be coming on the island wanting our beds.
    The BBC weather app is so accurate. I knew to within half an hour when there was going to be a rain storm.
    The Google Sky app was great on our first night, as there was a clear sky and I could view the unpolluted sky .

    Night of 23rd Oct looking E from Iona 
    In Steinbecks great novel Sweet Thursday ,when Docs friends at the Palace Flop House buy him what they think is a new microscope, but is the largest telescope the whole goddam catalogue. Doc says that 'it doesn't matter whether you look up or down as long as you look!'