Letouttoplay

Life, photos but not the universe

New*****

Well, what’s not new is that my mind is a complete blank!  I’ve had my sausage and my coffee and arranged to return abandoned goods to various people.  Thankfully, I’m not GB minding this week; she’s been lovely throughout the festive season – a little happyfest all of her own – however she is, er, developing.  She’s getting a bit more bumptious and a little less accommodating.  I wouldn’t go as far as to use the ominous words ‘terrible’ or ‘tantrum’ yet but I may find my relaxed and cuddly Grandma persona stretched a bit thin and I’m not quite ready for it.  Not in the post festive state anyway.

Thinking, the whole season is about people isn’t it (and of course PRESENTS, as Eldest pointed out on Christmas morning when he wasn’t allowed to open them till after breakfast.  Well he’s only 33 so we must make allowances.)  Presents apart, it’s a time when, in spite of the pre-Christmas angst and grumble, we think about pleasing people we love (and ourselves too if we’ve got any sense) and hope for opportunities to enjoy their company.  And isn’t it nice (even if a little stressful sometimes) to have that excuse to set aside the daily grouch and welcome people with open arms and merry greetings.  I do love the post -Christmas glow of good feeling  (and the PRESENTS of course).  No wonder we do it all again every year even though we have to run the September – January gauntlet* in the High Street.

And moving right along, since it’s now dinner time, seasonal veg.  (Of course I’m not talking about supermarket veg because nobody proudly presents you with bags of airlifted strawberries or tomatoes – that would be silly since you can get them yourself at any time of the year).   It’s the carrier bags of freshly grown goodies, left on the doorstep, or handed over generously when people drop in for coffee that I’m thinking of.  For instance, runner beans, a good example of vegetable excess.   When they’re in they’re in in a big way.  Neighbours, friends, corner shops and supermarkets alike, offer you huge bags, bulging with beans and, frantically, you eat and  blanche and freeze and years later there are still one or two little bags lurking at the bottom of the freezer.  Fortunately, theirs is a shortish season.  And then there are lettuces,  for a few weeks, everyone you see seems to have a bag of lettuce that they’re delivering or have just been given.  Tomatoes on the other hand, come in tiny baskets, like a very special offering of precious jewels.  And if we’re very lucky, there might be the delight of fresh peas – a rare and heavenly gift if you happen to love peas (I do).  Frouts**, traditionally loathed by children, have a sensibly short, intense season between frosts.  Other veg and fruit too, come in happy bursts and are joyfully gobbled (don’t even think about Tesco strawberries please) and preserved and brought out to remind us of the good fortune of knowing people with gardens.  (Or the wonders of growing your own).  There was one year when, not only did everyone have a glut of chillis but Barney had decided to grow them himself so we had dried and frozen chillis with everything for weeks.

Anyway.  Leeks are a totally different saucepan of veg.   Everyone grows them and all the fresh veg basket people sell them and the supermarkets stock them all year round and all our friends grow them and THEY NEVER STOP COMING!  I have no idea when their season is because there is almost no time of the year when somebody isn’t offering us a bag of leeks.  I know they must have a season because last year Next Door offered us the end of season leeks for soup.  As if we didn’t have leek and potato soup and cock’a’leekie and cheese and leek pie*** coming out of our ears and the corners of the freezer already.  And the thing is, leeks are quite nice.  A bit oniony, though they don’t really do the job that onions do.   Quite pleasantly colourful though not particularly vivid.  Quite nice with potatoes or cheese and  perfectly acceptable as a small side veg.  They’re fine.  In small quantities.   But really, one leek is quite sufficient for both of us for one meal and a whole bag of leeks will last a week and make me feel that I’ve had enough of them for a while. I do wish onions or tomatoes or peas or potatoes, all of which we use all year round because they’re so useful, came all year round in huge quantities!

So it was very kind of our friends to drop a bag of them off yesterday, immediately after we’d worked our way through the bag left by Next Door before they went off to Spain for Christmas.  (It was quite a challenge squeezing  a leek  into every meal, especially as very few of the family eat more than a mouthful or two of veg).

Well never mind.  I just stumbled across a whole lot of quite interesting sounding books at 99p on Kindle and Sally Vickers’ new book has dropped to a fiver.  Yay!

And as I said, the sun came out on New Year’s Day

DSC_3040-CS5 DSC_3076-CS5

Ooh!  I’m visiting Youngest tomorrow.  I wonder if she’d like some leeks****.

*Just checking – my vocabulary has become so unreliable that I have to do this quite freqwuently.  And I was quite satisfied with this “meaning and origin” of the term- provided by M&S of all people!!!  Another ancient custom of British fighting men was a form of punishment in which the culprit was made to run stripped to the waist between two rows of men who whipped and beat him as he passed by. These beatings were extremely severe and the victims often died as a result – and many of those that didn’t may well have wished they had, as survivors were sometimes executed afterwards. This punishment is the source of the term ‘running the gauntlet’ and was used by both the British army and navy.”

**Sorry, sprouts .  One of those memorable offerings from a small child, long ago.

***I lied – we only have leek and potato soup in the freezer.  I’ve never made cheese and leek pie , I just invented it to garnish the rant and I’ve never made cock’ a’ doodly either.

****Damn!  I forgot the leeks.

*****I’ve no idea what the title was going to be about but I can’t think of a new one.  Sorry.

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January 3, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. I was thinking of Tim’s splendid leek quiche only half an hour ago.

    Comment by Z | January 3, 2013 | Reply

  2. I’ve somehow triggered a leek-related confusion here by mixing up your post with Z’s in my brain and fantasising about, erm, leek pies … Sorry, best I shut up. But bring some leeks round and I’ll gladly make you a flan, or quiche, whichever.

    Comment by Tim | January 3, 2013 | Reply

  3. There was a Simon & Garfunkel song in the 1960’s called Beleekadoodle Day or dome such.
    I think all this leek boasting is grounds for CockyLeeky soup

    Comment by Rog | January 3, 2013 | Reply

  4. Oh leek quiche! What a good idea Z. I’m supposed to be making a quiche today. And if I use all the leeks it’ll last for a week.

    Thank you for the offer Tim. When the next batch arrive, I’ll bring them too you – does this mean you are a willing leek-recipient?

    I vaguely remember the song Rog but I didn’t know it was S&G. Actually I was just thinking of curry-leekie.

    Comment by Mig | January 4, 2013 | Reply

  5. Oh, that first photo with the sparkle on the waters and the lit up weeds–very pretty.

    As for leeks……better thee than me?
    There ARE benefits to living in the frigid midwest! The growing season ENDS. *doing happy dance!*

    Oh, but I do love fresh peas, stolen from the neighbors garden! 🙂

    Comment by Mel | January 4, 2013 | Reply

  6. Stolen fruit is the best!

    Comment by Mig | January 5, 2013 | Reply


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