Tag Archives: parsnips

Carrot & Ginger Soup

Parsnip Soup

The shortage is over, and we now have more parsnips than we need. That’s not a hard problem to balance, as I have just made parsnip and lentil soup. It’s possible that I didn’t need the lentils but, at the back of my mind, I always have the idea that a varied diet is a healthy one.

I am now wondering whether to make a hash or a vegetable stew for my next dish of the day. I’m favouring hash at the moment because we are out of flour and stew without dumplings is just a bowl of boiled vegetables. That is OK in summer but not so good in winter.

Really, I should get a new menu as I seem to recall writing similar blog posts before.  I was going to try pilaff after one of the neighbours brought one round for us, but I never quite get round to it. I’ve made it before, but suspect it was so long ago I wasn’t married.

Tidying my desk has gone unevenly. There’s definitely a difference, but I’m not sure it’s an improvement, being more of an exercise in relocation than in decluttering. It’s going to be an 9nteresting conversation with Julia when she gets back. That’s why I’ve just been messing around on Whoosh, the TESCO short-notice delivery service. I meant to order flour, but the system defeated me. I did remember chocolate cake, so there’s a chance I may be able to buy her off. I will, of course tell her it’s a birthday treat, rather than draw attention to the carnage around my table.

I’m trying to cut down on portion sizes. It hasn’t really worked with the soup, so I’m going to try again with the hash. The only trouble is in cutting down the corned beef. What do you do with half a tin of corned beef that has been extracted from the tin with more force than skill? It might slice in this weather but in summer it can end badly, at which point I just shovel it all in.

I just had my Whoosh delivery. That is going to be a whole new post. Drop by later for that. It will be worth it. For now, imagine my surprise at opening it up and finding I had a lettuce in my shopping. A lettuce🙹 (That’s an interrobang, by the way, it really is proper punctuation.) Not sure if it looks better than ?!, which is one of the alternatives.


Pennies, Parsnips and Prime Ministers

Julia has just returned home bearing parsnips. She managed to find some in Marks & Spencer, which means tonight’s meal can have a proper balance of root vegetables. I cannot believe we are actually short of something I have taken for granted over the last 64 years. It’s very unsettling, next someone will be telling me that the Conservative party is no longer the home of fiscal responsibility and safe hands for the economy . . .

Talking of which, Liz Truss has to last another 78 days to avoid becoming the shortest serving British Prime Minister in history. George Canning currently holds that distinction, but to be fair, he was hindered in his premiership by dying. I’m not sure which way I would bet if called upon to make a wager on her chances of survival, but you have to wonder if it’s worth her ordering her official Christmas cards just yet.

Discussion in the shop today included whether the questions on University Challenge are getting easier. We think they are, because we are generally finding them easier to answer. As none of us are getting younger or brighter this tends to suggest that the question quality is declining.

At the moment, people seem to be wanting to sell things. We bought a great accumulation this morning. It had belonged to the father of the two brothers who brought it in, and had lain dormant for about twenty years. It wasn’t a collection as such, he had just kept all the coins and other similar junk he had come across aver the years. We were surprised to find a half sovereign amongst the clutter of old copper coins. Not very surprised because it’s happened before, but it’s always nice when it happens. However, we were more surprised to find another half dozen spread through the layers of junk. It ended up well into four figures.

Then we had a collection of modern sets, which was reasonable money, though not as interesting, and while that was in progress a lady came in and sold us a few other bits. It was a more modest selection in an old biscuit time, but she still walked out with an extra £50 in her purse.

Just to balance things up we had a couple of good coin sales to replace some of the cash.


Parsnips, Migrants and Social Media Influencers

So, what did I learn this week?

I learnt that we might be short of parsnips for Christmas. It is due to inclement weather at planting time and through the growing stages. Or, in other words, all year. This is a refreshing change from it being the fault of Covid or the war in Ukraine. I also learnt that glasshouse producers are shutting down production because they can’t afford to heat and light the crops. If I was producing something that needed lots of electricity I like to think that I would have solar power or a windmill by now. Half of me says that if they haven’t already thought of that they deserve to go out of business, so they probably did.  You have to wonder if this has more to do with restricting supply to make the supermarkets pay more. I’m ambivalent on that.

I like cheap food and I like the ability to buy food out of season. I also like being able to eat tomatoes and cucumber with my lunch, as it cuts down on bread and gives me a selection of nutrients. On the other hand, I could eat carrot sticks. Or eat less. Supermarkets do take the mickey when they are buying from farmers and I would like to have a planet left to leave to my kids. If this means cutting down on hothouse crops, going seasonal and paying more for food then it’s a price worth paying.

Vegetables – Carsington Water

I also found out that in the UK we are losing food due to labour shortages. I may get a bit political from here. I voted to stay in the EU. It isn’t perfect, but I think life inside the EU is marginally better than life outside it. Most of this can’t be quantified, but food lost by labour shortages can be.

I’m also intrigued by the fact that we have more job vacancies in the UK than we have unemployed people. I’m sure there will never be a perfect solution but it does strike me that we could improve on the way we are doing things now. The trouble is that if you have vacancies for rocket scientists and are only capable of educating social media influencers there will always be a mismatch. On the other hand, if you need people to work in fields picking fruit and veg, even a social media influencer should have the brain cells for that. They may not have the motivation, but being paid piecework will sort that out.

Also, as a radical solution, if people have the drive to travel half-way round the world and cross the Channel in a rubber boat, they would probably welcome the chance to work. We could even set up an exchange system. We will take refugees and export social media influencers. I know which I’d rather have.  Scripted reality TV shows may find itself a little short of self-publicising airheads but that’s one labour shortage I’d be happy to see. I loved the Gary Oldman quote inn that link, describing reality TV as “the museum of social decay”. Oh yes!

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