Category Archives: Food

Mon petit chou

Update 14.05.2020 – Was NO-ONE going to point out the grammatical error in the title?

Biggest surprise of this week though was the delivery of advance vegetables,  in advance that is by about a week of when they were expected.

Nothing daunted*,  I have been farming out chunks of cabbage and leek, with some lovely recipes (and cakes) passed back in exchange.   To date we have had steamed cabbage, pickled cabbage, it’s going in the Scotch Broth, there’s coleslaw en route – and there’s still some left.  One chum has passed me a rumbledethumps recipe, another made turkey, leek & cabbage soup, then bubble and squeak.  The roast cabbage was a total failure and stank out the house for 24 hours.  A bay leaf was added to the steamed version, which successfully contained the odour.   There have been roasted carrots, leek mornay, banana breakfasts and clementine conferences.

Vegetable box

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I think those who had to listen to me squawking about those vegetables would detect the lie here….

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) from the French caboche – head, Latin caput.

“The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
      To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
      Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
      And whether pigs have wings.’
Extract from The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll.

Flying Crooked – Poem by Robert Graves

 

The butterfly, the cabbage white,
(His honest idiocy of flight)
Will never now, it is too late,
Master the art of flying straight,
Yet has — who knows so well as I? —
A just sense of how not to fly:
He lurches here and here by guess
And God and hope and hopelessness.
Even the aerobatic swift
Has not his flying-crooked gift.
Robert Graves

Signalling failure

Well, here’s a thing, I thought that the discovery of flat wine bottles was going to be the most amazing find in my week, but no!  Scotrail has come to the rescue of those of us who are missing a daily commute, by posting real time films of various journeys.  Admittedly there’s a difference since it’s been filmed out the back of the cab (not for anyone who can’t sit with their back to the engine) but strangely welcome all the same.  One can either have a journey where it feels like one knows every blade of grass or the rails less travelled.  Apart from the timing and the overcrowding issues, I am a massive fan of rail travel, and this is the longest I have gone in my life without an orange and yellow ticket in my pocket.

 

Weekendings

A busy and fruitful weekend: Saturday lunch in Cafe Portrait, where we narrowly missed Ali and Les.  Then we strolled along the main streets before heading up to the museum on Chambers Street to view Tim Peake’s landing craft.   Hied off to our café du jour, the Angus Fling, where Paul was able to stave off his hunger with a venison burger, whilst I had a more sedate,  and rather good, scone.  Tripped back down the road to Coda Music, where there was a new CD being launched, by Aidan O’Rourke, of LAU fame.  We enjoyed a short concert, with James Robertson reading his stories and  Kit Downes on the harmonium, plus Aidan on fiddle.  They were all kind enough to sign my CD.

Sunday began with a swim, and a serendipitous trip to Loch Ore meadows, where the cafe was open ridiculously early for a marathon bicycle race. allowing us to sneak a cup of tea and a scrambled egg roll.  A walk round the loch itself was followed by a sail on two fun boats.  “Fun” was maybe not quite the order of the day since there was no wind to propel these sail boats, but we had a good time and the staff at the park could not have been kinder, or more helpful.

We had to wear wetsuits.  No pictures exist of either of us in that garb.  Nor will they.

Tim Peake: Soyuz
Paul with Soyuz
Swans on Loch Ore
Calm
Last of the bluebells
Heron at Loch Ore
Pinkfoot Geese at Loch Ore

Carpe-ing

I have little to add about the events of this week, save this link shared by Rosemary this morning.  We watched the reading earlier.  My thoughts are with everyone.

So, in a mindset of “Let’s carpe the @&!# out of this diem” we have met up with loads of chums, as usual everything happens at the same time.  Curry in Dundee with Jacqui, Cathy, Phil and Chloe, tapas in Edinburgh with Team Lyceum*.  The last play in the series, Glory on Earth, took a while to gel with me but I ended up really enjoying, it I have seen many plays about Mary, Queen of Scots but this is the most that I have empathised with her position.  The staging helped hugely, it lifted the dialogue into drama.

Andrew not hugging Sandra…

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra hugging Paul …

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew and Nigel ….

 

 

 

 

 

School chums stick with what they know

 

 

 

 

 

Chloe on guitar
Very dark Burgesses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28 years ago, just before I met Paul, Caroline, Nigel and I took out a season ticket for the Lyceum theatre in Edinburgh. We’ve been going ever since, joined by Paul, Andrew and Sandra. Nowadays we have a meal after the last show in the season.

Widdershins

On Saturday we continued on our mini project of walking the Loch Leven Heritage trail one metre at a time, this hejira was from Vane Farm to East Brackley viewpoint and pavilion.  Along this whole route there are many benches, most carved with local lore set in rhyme.  One of my favourites, which I am sure I have put here before is “Droning hum, orange bum, blaeberry bumblebees buzz busily to meadow flowers with pollen-laden knees“.  It sits above the wild flower meadow which itself is adjacent to the Carden hide on the reserve.  The pavilion (we’ve discussed all weekend what to call it, that’s the official title) has sculptures by David F. Wilson.  I had to Google them to find that out, we could not see any accreditation at the site, which is rather naughty and I know one Fife champion of the arts, and artists, who would be spitting feathers if I told her.    Anyway,  I liked the works very much.  It was a crystal clear day so the views were forever, and the gliders at Scotlandwell were taking full advantage of their opportunities.  Very few birds were in evidence and those which were, were too far away to identify but at least included the first Whooper and scaup of 2017.  Widdershins – our out bound route was anti-clockwise.

Afterwards we went up to Tormaukin for the Mincers’ annual nicht oot.  Unfortunately we couldn’t all be there for the meal, thoughts are with those concerned.  There has been some negative input on TripAdvisor lately, have to say we found the place to be fine, staff were cheerful and helpful, food was lovely and the drinks interpretive.   I have never minded waiting to be attended to when the staff acknowledge that there is a delay, and deal with it – it’s being ignored that really riles me.   Suffice to say we plan to return and have pre-booked the accommodation above the dining room so that we can play without bothering anyone.

Bumblebee bench
Bumblebee bench
East Brackley pavilion
East Brackley pavilion
East Brackley pavilion goose sphere
East Brackley pavilion goose sphere
Stone benches
Stone benches
Roof
Roof
Carved silhouettes by Carden flood
Carved silhouettes by Carden flood
Frozen patterns on the flood
Frozen patterns on the flood
Skein of geese descending over Loch Leven
Skein of geese descending over Loch Leven

AAT 1

The inaugural AAT was held on Sunday, I am not putting the full description here because it will just draw traffic from search bots.  Suffice to say, it was won handsomely by Emily Sanderson,  with a gallant runner up in Julia Sanderson.  Diana, Caroline and Nigel took the Mary & Paul rôles (harsh but fair, I felt ) and then we all had too much cake.  And scones.

Runners - Diana winning
Runners – Diana winning
More runners lining up
More runners lining up
Beautiful boat "Ragdoll"
Beautiful boat “Ragdoll”
Sandersons
Sandersons
Nigel with Julia's Christmas Jumper Biscuit
Nigel with Julia’s Christmas Jumper Biscuit
Julia's Christmas Jumper Biscuit
Julia’s Christmas Jumper Biscuit
Paul with his artwork
Paul with his artwork
Emily with winning entry
Emily with winning entry

Salty eyebrows …

…were what we all had yesterday, after an energetic trip to the Isle of May,  on board the RiB Osprey.  Conditions were interesting on the outward leg,  suffice to say that there is nowhere to hide from that salt water spray, even if you are wearing RNLI standard dry suits. Once we had landed, disembarked, stripped off, bought cups of tea, established a beach head and eaten our picnic lunch,  we recovered ourselves sufficiently to note that all our eye brows were indeed encrusted with salt.  Given our junior audience on the day, since we stole Caroline’s daughters for the trip, I award me a bronze star for not swearing when the entire rack of waterproof clothing fell on top of me,  no damage done, and likewise a silver star to Paul who could have been forgiven for being similarly aggrieved when a passing Arctic tern defecated on his sandwich.

Diana led us round the best sights of the island, and our expectations were rewarded, with impressive bird sightings and evidence of lives lived in fairly inhospitable but beautiful surroundings, and some surreal ironwork.  Tally for the day: grey seal, guillemot, razorbill, Arctic tern, fulmar, kittiwake, eider duck and of course puffin.

The terns had just started to lay and were beginning to get aggressive, hats and brollies now required if you plan to visit anytime soon.

The journey home was still a bit wet but the light on the Forth was spectacular.  I wasn’t risking my camera when I needed both hands to hold on, so you will just have to remind yourself of one of those days when slate grey skies have schisms which allow the golden light to bounce off the water, showcasing the Fife cottages with their white walls and orangey red pantile roofs.  Those tiles were just ballast brought back from the Low Countries, you know.  A happy accident from our trading heritage.

So our fast wee skiff put us at the head of the queue for the Famous Anstruther Chip Shop, then we hied round to Diana’s house, there to enjoy a splendid repast and a blether.

And today we get to wash all our clothes.

Group of puffins
Group of puffins
Three Jolly Jill Tars
Three Jolly Jill Tars
Female Eider nesting
Female Eider nesting
Loch with Eider ducks and puffins
Loch with Eider ducks and puffins
Emily, Diana and Julia
Emily, Diana and Julia
Compressed air tanks for the foghorn. Disused.
Compressed air tanks for the foghorn. Disused.
Poser
Poser

Dunroamin

I have looked back at the most recent pages of btw and it seems that I keep apologising for not making regular updates.  I shan’t do that this time, therefore.

Instead, some pictures.  We went, ironically as things turn out, to Bo’ness for the first time, and dropped in at the Motor Museum.  It has a most interesting selection of cars from the movies and tv, some de luxe, some .. not so much.  We really enjoyed the visit, there are an awful lot of artefacts in a small space and the cafe was shut,  but for persons of our vintage it brought back loads of memories.  Many pedal cars but sadly no Lightning.    I also include a couple from Aberdour beach, after we had some very good soup and chowder in Sands.  Facebook link here, they don’t have a website.

Flotsam
Flotsam
When tennis balls go bad
When tennis balls go bad
Guild of Lapidarists
Guild of Lapidarists
Some bloke's Aston Martin
Some bloke’s Aston Martin
No prizes
No prizes
My 1960s
My 1960s
Me neither, but it made me laugh
Me neither, but it made me laugh

Degustation

Ah, foot cramp.  Such an effective way of waking up, I really should market it.

Just checked my last post, October 10th, crikey, we have been busy celebrating Mr Holmes’s significant birthday.  As you might expect, there was a food theme here.  We met John and Yvonne in Berwick, at Foxton‘s, and had lunch with Rosemary, Sarah, Michaela, Daniel and Alan at a new-to-me Chinese buffet in Edinburgh, which to their eternal credit had loads of fresh fruit and vegetables on the menu.     So, it was off to the Weeg  last weekend, with Rosemary and our chums the Burgesses.  We stayed in the very new Premier Inn at the SECC, and had great river views, I will frankly be gutted if I stay there again and get one of the car park.  We ate at the Chip, and had a most enjoyable meal.  The staff were very gracious around the fact that a six seater cab ordered two hours in advance failed to turn up, making us 15 minutes late, (yes you, Glasgow Taxis) and that I forgot to tell them that one of our party was 12 years old.  Some establishments can be pretty sniffy about that but a children’s menu was swiftly proffered, from which Chloe calmly chose the most grown up option of mussels.   Next day in appalling weather we strolled all of 400 yards to the Glasgow Science Centre which kept us all royally amused until we had to go our separate ways.

A selection of pictures below – we were so busy talking in Berwick that I forgot to take any shots.  I did put some of these on FB already.

Bell's Bridge, Armadillo and Hydro
Bell’s Bridge, Armadillo and Hydro
Armadillo
Armadillo
Room vista
Room vista
At the Chip
At the Chip
Sunday weather
Sunday weather
Reflections
Reflections
Me at Science Centre
Me at Science Centre
After Chinese lunch
After Chinese lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And lastly just to see if you read this far, one of me with the band and Peaches from last Friday, thank you to every one who came along to Dalgety Parish Church where we were allowed to play on a real stage, and the lovely ladies served us big pots of tea and slabs of cake.

Bill, Ian, me & the bear - A8M 24 10 14
Bill, Ian, me & the bear – A8M 24 10 14

Serendipity

Pictures below from Starbank Road, Newhaven at the start of the month.

Flowers in the Dirt 1
Flowers in the Dirt 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see them as the triumph of the biological drive to blossom and so procreate, or pretty flowers growing in the rubbish.  The choice is yours.  Poppy petals seem to me to be about one micron thick, and their seeds are similarly tiny,  yet despite this apparent fragility they plaster themselves across the land every summer, and I for one (you will have gathered by now) am rather glad that they do.

Flowers in the Dirt 2
Flowers in the Dirt 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is incontrovertible proof that Belgium has moved

Tesco nil points
Tesco nil points

 

 

 

 

 

Good news from Kincraig with the announcement of red panda cubs.  Maybe a black and white one soon for Edinburgh?  Who knows, but a licence for RZSS to print money if there is.

Lastly,  big sky over the Forth, looking towards home.

Big Sky
Big Sky

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which brings us neatly on to this.