Winter Veg Warmer
Hello again, lovely readers! Duncan assures me that Saturday 1st December was the meteorological start of winter. I don’t know about anybody else, but we have already had plenty of nights with sub-zero temperatures in our village. Duncan is looking forward to making snowmen in the garden again – and Reiver, for all we know, is anticipating re-creating his unique, feline ‘snow-angel’ by once again tripping off the step beneath the cat flap…
Ø Famous Vegetables in Literature; entry one. The protective properties which the author, Bram Stoker, gave to members of the garlic family – enabling them to help humans ward off the attentions of his most infamous villain; Dracula. Have to say I know how the villain feels here, because it ‘wards me off’ just as effectively!
This week was not a ‘normal’ week. Two of our wonderful SDA volunteers and Susan were away for the weekend using ‘Cook-Inn’ skills, they’ve learned in our classes, to help with healthy vegetarian and vegan food preparation in Lendrick Muir Kinross. How were we to provide hot food for our expectant masses? Fortunately, due to the influx of winter vegetables from last week, we were able to keep some by, and the soup was (unusually) made a couple of days ago, and frozen. This left us to reheat it when we reached Granton Church with today’s donation. We had some lovely, large potatoes given to us this time, great for baking; and a crate of nice carrots to mash. We even had turnips, and brussels sprouts – still on their stalks! A quick ‘sprout-sword-fight’ ensued before we got on with the more serious business of packing the veg bags.
Ø Famous Vegetables in Literature; entry two. That brave giant pumpkin who gave his life to become a carriage, safely transporting Cinderella both to, and from, the royal ball. What was in it for him? I wonder…
A great upgrade for us packers is that the church has these lines of long tables, all parallel to one another. This enables two of us to stand on each side of one, fill the bags balanced on all the chairs with whatever’s in the crate at the time – and then just ‘swing’ the crate round to continue onto the next table, and its matching rows of bags. This is much easier than bagging up the food in the Morrison’s car park, as it entails no real lifting or bending down. With such a system in place the two boys were done in half the time, while I heated up the soup. Tiny little gasps of ‘Whee’! could occasionally be heard from the workforce as the crates swung around onto their next table. A second added bonus of this new venue is the CD player! I found some music with a strong beat, in order to help us get things done in style.
Ø Famous Vegetables in Literature; entry three. The naughty pea who sheltered from the cold underneath one of the princess’s many mattresses, keeping her awake at night and thus identifying her as a true royal personage.
Soup time came, and we all settled down to eat. No onions in this particular batch meant I could eat just what the boys were having. Then George and I quickly delivered the local Granton run, while Duncan started the clearing up. Feston and his two girls arrived as we returned from the run, and they began helping with the chores as we set off for the cats.
Ø Famous Vegetables in Literature; entry four. This is none other than the artistic carrot whom Raymond Briggs employed to form an integral part of ‘The Snowman’s’ familiar appearance, being as it is his nose!
Both cats were dozing when we got there, but at our arrival Reiver jumped up and started mewing as if he hadn’t been fed in days. His regal older brother, Romany, just used the opportunity to hog the entire heat pad for himself. He got fed from his position on the couch, because he is a very old wee man and deserves some spoiling. I settled down to start the Blog while Duncan and Feston, in their respective cars, divvied up the last three runs. Feston got to help Adele (the Pedestrian Powerhouse) with the biggest Musselburgh run, and Duncan took on the other two. He came home in time to offer some critical appraisal of this Blog for me.
Ø Famous Vegetables in Literature; entry five. This is a team effort, as many noble edibles became prey for the insatiable appetites of Eric Carle’s ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’! Reminds me a bit of Reiver…
That’s all, folks! Hope the coming week is good for each of you. See you next week with another Blog full of fascinating facts and maybe the odd story about the adventures of Sherlock Romes, the Great Feline Detective!
Janine, Duncan and the cats. xx