A sideline project for an IT guy who likes to cook

Author: akeerie (Page 1 of 8)

With a Bump

Woke to find the BBQ upside down.  So kind of the wind to make a visit and take the BBQ on a trip.  Amazingly didn’t hear it in the night or perhaps I did but didn’t realise.  On inspection it looked ok and other than a dust off  and the longing for warmer days it looked ok.

First full five day week in a while and it’s been ok.   The dark mornings have been hard, beaten by strategically placing an alarm (my watch) on the other side of the room in order that I have to get out of bed to switch it off.  If I’m not quick enough this will awaken the teenage beast. With it the peace in the house which is to be enjoyed at this time in the morning.  The early routine has given me time to do some stretching, reading, fresh air and an attempt at writing before the work starts.   I’ve lost track of the length of time now working at home and it’s going to feel strange when finally we return to the office. 

Until then though, coffee is served early with the view of the sun rising through the trees.  A gradual orange hue that merges into a crisp blue.  As my wife pointed out the birds are tweeting in the background if you listen carefully.  Surely a sign of breaking the back of the short days.  I’ve seen the first snow drops of the year, always a good sign and we have a bunch of daffodils on the kitchen table that are definitely brightening the mood.  A tiny bit of happiness, a snip at the price of a pound.

I’ve got my head around a few recipes that I intend to try this weekend catching the online shop so I’m well prepared this weekend. 

From the Home Cookery Year.  A couple of winter dishes. 

  • Mushroom (no meat) balls.  
  • Chicken with Prunes Stew.

The veg box came with a huge ugly looking thing called a celeriac, so I’m going to be a little creative in the soup department by adding a few Cannelloni beans and Pancetta.  

In amongst that there will be a quiche, a salad and the browsing of Grannies Recipe box. After collecting some dust in my virtual filing system I need to get on with bringing them up to date, and writing them up.  There are never enough meals or hours in the day!


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

220114 – 2 of 52

Happy New Year 2022

Back to it, Green lights

I’ve been mulling over my first blog post since the start of the year and welcome return of the coffee share to add that impetus to complete post!

The first nights sleep of 22 was broken and hard work. I could feel the headache enveloping my brain.  Try as I might, I wasn’t going to defeat the fog of that extra glass of fizz!  Although it was enjoyable at the time!  New Years day wasn’t going to be the day the resolutions kicked in!  The potential for the new me revealed as quickly as Clark Kent in a photo booth just wasn’t going to happen.

I’ve not been on the scales for a few weeks, I knew the answer.  Heavier than I wanted to be.  I do it anyway I want a baseline.  I try to convince the scales to give me a different answer by having a go at it a few times even employing the post number two technique later on which made me a pound or so heavier.  Go figure!

Breakfast is a refreshing grapefruit, followed by a couple slices of Panettone.  A lovely melt in the mouth kind of Brioche that toasts really quickly and makes the kitchen smell of heaven.  A choice of spread, Jam or Chocolate, both full of calorific goodliness and so there is no sympathy required for the weight headline. 

The article in the Guardian is apt,  New year, same old you! The secret to self-improvement is embracing your messy, imperfect life It’s only when you learn to accept who you are, flaws and all, that you can make real, worthwhile change!

As I was having a second cup of coffee I watched the hour long special on Quentin Blake.  I’m left in awe of the man and the legacy of his work.  I’m inspired to try some drawing again, another thing to add to my dreams list.  A good watch if you can, but suspect only available in the UK.  YouTube though, I just found a treasure trove of things to add to my watch list.  How to draw Willy Wonka with Quentin Blake

We’ve also been working through the Beatles and the McCartney programs on Disney+.  Again a level of creativity that is just so inspiring.  Particularly enjoying how McCartney is breaking down his music with the mixing desk and Rick Ruben.

……Fast forward to day 7, and I can safely say the week has flown by.  A return to work and some semblance of routine kicks in.  The habits and thoughts around 2022 are still there but starting to become a little more realistic as I battle with the day job versus the aspirations I’d set out for myself. 

I’m close to starting my 49th year and one of those sliding doors moments appears, I’m asking myself who I want to be next year when I look in the mirror and so I’m using the power of intention to try and direct me.  It hasn’t made getting up in the pitch black on a cold and icy morning thirty minutes earlier to try and kick start the mind any easier.

James Clear dropped into my inbox yesterday with his words of wisdom and I’m not surprised Atomic Habits is in the top 10 globally.  Possibly the state of the world at the moment causing everyone to reflect and think about who they want to be. He’s got a free 30 day course to supplement the book at the moment.

So lots of habit stacking, intention defining and reading on the agenda. I’ve just put up my current list of cookery books that I’m working through. and I’ve made the first coffee share of the year!

Heading into the weekend and I’m looking forward to a bit of free time to double down on my thinking.  I’ve to return my son to his University flat, fed and watered ready for a second term.  I’ve asked him to get up early so I don’t lose the whole day!   I can but ask, and make lots of noise as I get ready 😊


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

220107 – 1 of 52

Cookbooks for 2022

The start of the year is a great time to reflect on the books that are on the shelf or gifted over the holiday. Thought I would share my choices at this point of time, listed in order of entry into the house.

A list of books that I’m choosing to guide me with a view of changing my habits and patterns with food. The intention of trying to work through them learning as I go.

TitleCoverNotes
A Cooks BookA Cook’s BookReleased in September 21, I waited for Christmas before I even took a look at the book. Beautifully written and a great read rather than just a bunch of recipes. The friend you always want by your side. There is a great podcast that runs alongside A Cooks Chronicles Podcast
One, Pot, Pan, PlanetOne: Pot, Pan, PlanetThe latest set of recipes from Anna Jones, a vegetarian cookery author with an ethos on the environment. Instagram

Five Soup Recipes
Cook, Eat, RepeatCook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes and StoriesThe queen of the kitchen latest revelation, an ethos around food with some great recipes. I’ve been dabbling with Anchovies ever since and the black bread a repeat recipe for life. There is a 6 part TV series that featured in the UK and a luscious Instagram feed.
Home Cookery YearHome Cookery Year: Four Seasons, Over 200 Recipes for All Possible OccasionsThe home cooks year,  follow Claire on Instagram as she shares tictok style posts of her recipes and food throughout the year. Just reminding me to go back and look up the recipes and see how useful they are for ever changing house routine.
Salt, Fat, Acid, HeatSalt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good CookingA mighty tome of wisdom that was just too big to take in when I got it. A wealth of upfront thinking before the recipes started. I’ve had a revisit and the buttermilk chicken is a revelation to me. There is a four part series on Netflix that sits alongside.

A great podcast from the honey and co food sessions

https://youtu.be/2oKbs4jAf7M
A Cooks Tour of ScotlandA Cook's Tour of ScotlandMore a wild card in my list, a pick from my shelves with a view to exploring the hood and growing my knowledge. Sue Lawrence on twitter and a BBC presence.


Old bulbs in a Christmas tree

Certain things seem to be part of the universes laws of physics.  The screw driver you left in that drawer for the moments you might need a screw driver will always be the opposite kind you need for the job.  Be it a Philips or a flathead.  For me they seem to congregate together, I tried to have more than one type in the same drawer.  I swear they switch type!

There is another law with Christmas tree lights, those with filament bulbs.  Doesn’t matter if you put them away working,  every year without fail there will be a few bulbs that don’t work.  I know I put them away working, I do it every year.  With the power of modern technology slowly the problem has gone away our main tree now using LEDs and from the window you can’t really tell. However up close and in the room the sparkle isn’t the same despite having warm in the title. 

We’ve not quite got rid of the problem, the  one of our decorations is a small sideboard Christmas tree light.  Made from tiny filament bulbs.  Every year I put it away working and without fail we pull it out the box and a bulb has gone.   Which means a branch or two is out and a good ten to fifteen minutes of fiddly searching for the dead bulb ensues.  We love the light and it will be a sad day when we no longer have any spare bulbs left.  Habitat, the chain of stores long gone from the high street and with it the chance of replacement bulbs long gone.  It’s a small problem in the grand scheme of things and the worries that seemed to be with us today.  It’s become an act of mindfulness now searching for the dead bulb and a moment to reflect as a search through one by one ensues.

It’s the last coffee share for the year and I just want to thank everyone who popped by and said hello and thank those folk who put a little of themselves into the world each week.  Pictures of warmth, pictures of the cold but with a warmth that isn’t visible, stories and anecdotes.  I’ve tried, though not always had time to visit or reciprocate,  clicking on the links one by one at certain parts over the weekend to find the vagaries of life eating into the time available.  It’s been lovely to be welcomed into the community of regular bloggers.  Thank you.

From getting my booster last Sunday it’s felt like a long week with folk at work trying to finish things off, squeeze things in and hand things over as though getting the demands to me now will mean they will be ready for their return when they get back.  With zero appreciation for the fact my team will also be on a break, except for a select few who will be keeping the lights on.  Despite the demands, I’m grateful as the media rolls out more doom and gloom.  The latest variant taking it’s tole on the revelry that comes with this time of year, the impact on jobs and lives as the pandemic rumbles on is truly sad. 

We managed to see Spiderman – no way home, one of the demands of the returning son from university who was desperate to see it on it’s opening night.  The cinema was packed, with all four screens sold out, totally at odds with the global situation.   With an audience that was half my age (ok slightly more than half) and full of die-hard fans, I was whisked away as the audience screamed and cheered during some fairly excellent story lines (no spoilers here!)

The bowl has been completed by son number two and I’m very impressed, and at Natalies request I share a picture with you.

Food wise I had hoped to be able to share various bits and pieces on the menu for Christmas, the planning isn’t quite there yet and I’ll be dashing about like most people as we get closer. I intend to write a bit more about that as part of the battle with my book.  Needless to say though going on long walks over the next few days and weeks is a must as I loosen a belt notch!

My intention and hopefully by writing it here (as a commitment) is to pull together my thoughts on planning and the run up as a way of guiding a fellow traveller in the kitchen.

On that note I’m going to sign off and that just leaves me with wishing you happiness over the holiday season and I hope your Christmas lights shine bright this year.


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

Young Man

It’s a morning of reflection, Eighteen years ago a tiny baby came into the world and changed it forever, for me anyways.  Today, officially he becomes a young man.  I take a pause at that statement and reflect on where I was at that time.  My final year at school no idea where I was heading, a part time job at Lakeland (they only had three stores at that point) and the head office in Windermere.  My memory is vague, but I do remember a night at the Aquarius the local nightclub eight miles away.  I’d managed to blag a lift off a pal so I could have a couple of drinks, probably all I could afford, and honestly I wasn’t bothered about drinking anyway.  There might have been a few school pals dotted about in the darkness, purely by chance and no gathering as such to mark the occasion.  There is one moment of clarity on the dance floor the mega mix of Dressed for Success by Roxette.  Not sure I was dancing with anyone in particular just enjoying the moment in my own anonymity and a tune I loved. 

Today though, we head over to Glasgow in amongst the cancellations and the calls to stay safe.  We’ve booked a table at The Butchershop bar & grill, determined to mark the day and bring some excitement to the occasion.  Eighteen a strange number to mark but a number none the less to hang your hat on and say wow……happy birthday.

It seems a long time since last weekend and the expedition my younger son and I took in order to source his wood block and a Christmas tree.  A circular route, one of those we’ll be out for an hour or so turned into the whole afternoon.   Skirting around the coast there was no sign of a snow storm.  It was just rain.  The wood block was picked and in the bag in a good thirty mins.   Then we started to head in-land, we’d heard of a community woodland that sold Christmas trees for a reasonable amount and supported the wood itself.  A charitable act at the same time as bringing something local into the house.   We came within about 2 miles of the wood.  As we headed inland the rain turned to snow, beautiful in nature but to the road and those people trying to get through it turned into a real problem.   We were doing fine until the car in front stopped, which meant I had to stop and then disaster struck the traction control kicked in and we couldn’t move forward.  My son the hero of the day in his football shorts, put on the boots I’d brought for the wood got out and started to push.  Wheels spinning like crazy and with a good ten minutes we made it to the crest of the hill.   We bailed at that point, headed back into town and accepted the markup at the local garden centre grateful to have made it home alive!

The woodblock I got to see half way through it’s transformation and I’m impressed.  I wish I’d taken a picture before it went back into school.  It’s not come home again although I’ve been informed it’s nearly done, raised grain and all.  His mum is going to love it.

Food….arrrghh, we have all manner of things arrive in the veg box from potatoes (we ask for no potatoes!), cauliflower, fennel, leek and cabbage.  I haven’t really given it a second thought.  It will be tomorrow’s job.   I fancy making some kind of gratin with the fennel.

Media…We are slowly making it through the Get Back Beatles documentary on Disney, completing part two last night.  A fascinating insight into the last album the Beatles made a few years before I was even born.  The restoration of the footage is amazing.  Aside from a little spat with George there is no evidence of a breakup looming.  Although it is very bizarre having Yoko there day in day out.


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

Advent

It’s the start of December and it feels like a light switch has gone on, a ramp up to make the days brighter as we head to the big day of the year.   Normally there is a gradual build up and here in Edinburgh there are establishments that light up there entrances from October which typically get a shake of my head.  Working from home and staying away from the town has stopped me from being that frog who doesn’t notice the gradual build up of heat in the pan.  All of a sudden it’s here and bang we are on the count down, the radio is now in open season as the annual songs get played and Whamageddon begins (you get a free pass surely if you heard Last Christmas in November).   My email is a constant fight,  I’ve had no end of last chances to buy something, as it grows and grows.  How many ‘really this is your last chance really’ emails can I get.

As I visited various blogs over the last few days several celebrating thanksgiving It’s made me pause for thought about where we are heading this year and what might be.  A single advent candle got lit yesterday, normally we have two, one for each boy.   It’s absence marking that there are one three of us at the table each night.   This advent our eldest son is at university which is another change to our cycle of tradition.  We have a wooden tree, that we’ve been bringing out since he was two.  It’s obviously seen lots of chocolate, little toys and tiny bits of Lego.  One year I distributed a Lego Christmas scene across the days so it got built up gradually.  Latterly we divided it up by four in a kind of lucky dip, where favours, little notes were to be shared if you got that day.  This year it’s just back to chocolate….and I guess it will change again.  As I hopefully grow older and wiser I’m starting to learn to take each year as they come and enjoy them for what they are.

A football/soccer match to get out the way, whilst I deal with messages (heading to the shop and the library) is the plan this morning.  Then my fifteen year old, son and I are off to get the Christmas tree from the community woodland and his mums Christmas present.  He’s after a wood block that he’s going to turn into a bowl using the school lathe.   So bit of an adventure today.

I’m starting to think about the food over the holiday week and there are certain things that I’m looking forward to such as a cured salmon that we eek out our lunches over the break.   A trifle which to be honest I would have every other day if I could in the same way my wife would choose a crumble.  We typically though save the trifle for Christmas and it marks a special time, it brings back memories of my grandma’s buffet table.  It’s also something that my mum taught me how to make.  My plan is to write this up this weekend….for some reason my writing has been blocked by a simple task and I need to break through.

On that note it’s time to get the jobs underway, thank you for the coffee and I’ll be round later.


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

Arwen

Come on in, lets get you out the wind. What a night! The bins have moved as though they had legs of their own and the garden bench strewn across the lawn. Amazed we slept through the noise that bellowed up and down the blocked chimney that is just behind our bed rest.

I was about to get another sleep cycle in when the door bell went. The postman still out in these weathers. 6:50am and its pitch black out there. Made coffee for two but the boss is still sound asleep as well as the big guy. I’m amazed they didn’t hear the bell or the door being opened and closed. I almost thought I was imagining it. There was no one there when I opened the door and peered out into the black. Thankfully a couple of items in the corner put my mind at rest.

I made it into the office this week on my bike. Pitch black both ways and I’m so out of practice. Possibly the last time before the end of the year. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, the building is being packed up as another way of consolidating operating costs. We will see what the new year brings in terms of the routine, a promise of new space in the building I started at a good twenty years a go.

Food is mainly about naughtiness this week, I made a Christmas cake using the recipe of my wife’s mum (the black box), and in case we get through that I started a brandy dried fruit soak for the next one (which should have been done in October!). Also picked off the Millionaires Shortbread recipe that had been staring at me from the black box for some time. Your definitely welcome to a piece, I will abstain on this round having already had two and I feel I need a 5 mile hike before my next one!

The veg box this week was heavy, a huge turnip, sweet potato, cabbage and carrots with a few other things thrown in for good measure. It’s that time of year where the root veg are really kicking in. For some reason we have red onions coming out of ears and we might be eating turnip for weeks….I can feel a sausage, onion and turnip affair for tea this evening.

The house is starting to stir and so I will call time, another week in the bag and hopefully the madness around Black Friday will stop, and a new madness will take it’s place! Thank you for popping by.


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

Ray and an Onion

Mighty Joe
Mighty Joe

If we were having coffee I’d apologise for cutting short my Ray Harryhausen update from last week….see it more as a teaser to this week’s share!

I had a friend up to stay, using the exhibition at the Modern Art Gallery as an excuse for a long overdue get together.  The exhibition started off with a brief who is Ray and how did he get into Stop Start Animation.  He went to see King Kong 31 times!  That is some commitment.  Talked through his dedication and love of technique and then worked through his various input to movies ending in the culmination of the models from Clash of the Titans and Jason & the Argonauts.  Really nice couple of hours looking at a lifetimes work of ingenuity.

We followed it with lunch in the Museum garden, a rare spot of sun cutting through the dreich days which was welcome.  Then we went to see Dune where my sons joined us.  A great treat for the eyes and the effects in stark contrast to those heady days of Fay Wray screaming from the top of the Empire State Building. It only covers half of book 1 apparently and I’m left wanting more.

Dune Trailer

On the writing front, I’ve been stretching my legs by thinking about the humble onion:

Many recipes begin with the humble onion and so it feels right that we start here.  Onions form the flavour basis of so many cooked dishes that I get nervous when we don’t have one in the fridge.  For me they are the unsung hero of a dish, a supporting actor that barely gets a mention but makes the story whole and complete.

There are many ways to chop an onion, the best is the one you feel most comfortable with.  The only instructions I got from my gran was to ’peel and slice’ it.  So that’s what I’ve done over the years.  Gradually I just got in the habit of top and tailing trying to cut as close as I could so as to not waste any at the same time as making it easier to peel.  I’d then slice it in half down the now exposed root, which will give two halves to peel.  From that point you can either slice or dice.

This modest vegetable can take you on a culinary journey, and with a tweak here and there you can jump from flavour base to flavour base.  A simple complimentary flavour through to the back bone of a stew or a curry paste. 

Work in progress which I hope to tackle over the weekend.  On the menu, it’s fairly simple I’m planning a simple cream, onion and pasta dish to aid with the writing. Possibly a roast chicken.  The idea of this weekend is just to take it easy, there’s a few moments where I will no doubt be a taxi driver for the footballer in the house, other than that a weekend of refresh is required.


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

a Map or Instructions

Come on in and grab a coffee, I hope you don’t mind I’m on my second cup. We’ve just recently bought a filter coffee maker which is great for that second helping but not good for the caffeine intake!

It’s been a quick week, posted a recipe on Beetroot and Chocolate brownies (there’s still a piece left if you don’t mind it being defrosted from the freezer). I received all manner of feed back from the writing community I’m part of which fuelled my second post on the matter.

In an effort to use some of my holiday entitlement up we took Monday off to shoot the breeze, which coincided with Nigella Lawson being in town.  Thought provoking and fuel for the procrastinating wannabe writer of a cookbook.  She talked about her book, released a good year a go now.   This the start of her shortened tour to promote it, catching up due to the world events we all know about.  Aside from the first five minutes of reading from the front pages of the book she talked from the heart about food.  Taking questions from the audience via a mediator who sat at the side.

What is a recipe?  A good section in her book…..but my thinking and I’d love your thoughts on my metaphor:

Broadly and I know this is a huge simplification.  I think there are two kinds of recipe or lets call them journeys that we can go on.  There are those journeys, that follow a set timetable.  Must leave the house at 9am, to catch the 9:15 bus at the end of my street that will get me to the train station for the 10:04 to London in order for me to get there for a 3pm meeting.   This is very prescriptive set in stone, you know the specific outcome you need, miss that first bus or a connection and the plan is ruined.  Typically this is a baking recipe which has a science to it.  You can make the odd substitution a bit like several busses going from the end of my street to the train station so it doesn’t matter which bus I get on.  Take the wrong train and use a different flour and you know you might end up elsewhere.  These are the recipes you need to stick to the rules.

Then there are the journeys that are about exploring, you’ve made it to Edinburgh for the day and you ask me how to get to the castle.  I present you with a street map, more as a guide.  There are many things I don’t know about like if you’ve been here before, your energy levels or the weather on the day.  Do you want to go the scenic route, via a bookshop or pick up a coffee on the way.  I can guide you to the destination, but do you want to go to the gardens on the other side of the castle or straight up the royal mile.   The map or the recipe is really a guide or the inspiration for the destination and you don’t have to follow it by rote.  If you deviate from the path you will have a different day out, a different adventure and a different learning of your choice.  Don’t have an onion or the street is blocked you can pick up a leek and go round another way.  Bramley apples look tiny  today but the pears look special you can easily make a swap. 

Learning to cook is a journey, its about being able to read maps with a view of getting from A to B.  A recipe is essentially a vessel of knowledge, a memory of how someone took that journey before.  Although some recipes are infallible like the Swiss transport, they probably haven’t accounted for your pans, the oven you use and most of all your experience in the kitchen.  

The rest of the week, was spent ducking in and out of meetings and searching for some daylight when I could. Really starting to feel the dark come in during the day. I can be in one call and suddenly the monitors switch off as an energy saver, I’ll still be on a call and it’s at that point my face is plunged into darkness and I realise I need to switch a light on.

The weekend has been dry weather wise, and with a long time friend up for the weekend welcome as we ramble about town and visit the Ray Harryhausen exhibition. Really something in a time when CGI wasn’t even a twinkle in someone’s eye. Town is more than busy as Scotland take on South Africa at the rugby. Edinburgh feeling like it’s old self in the hustle and bustle. Although I’m keen the world moves on and I with it….I’m nervous.


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

Beetroot

I just recently posted a recipe for beetroot brownies and I also popped it into the writing forum I’m part of which provoked a few comments that I wasn’t expecting. I was just trying to get something out there.

The questions were generous in nature, but made me realise I’d taken something for granted in that I thought everyone knew what a beet root was.  For me they were part of my childhood and I hated them. They came out of a jar and sat on the buffet table at Christmas, all vinegary and sour. They were sliced and prized out with a fork. Extra special when they came out the jar crinkle cut, providing variety on the plate and a change in conversation along with the colour of the napkin.

They never seemed to feature in my Grandads vegetable garden so I never knew until late in life that we could buy these in bunches, typically 5 or 6 at a time, usually the same size for equal cooking time. They sometimes appear in the veg box, caked in mud, but different varieties my favourite being the golden. Once cooked and sliced in a particular way you get an amazing effect visually.

It’s only now through learning to cook that I realise this an awesome sweet root vegetable that provides many nutritional benefits. The tops providing the leaves for many of our pre packed salad bags and the strips of purple that you often find added. Then the root, a ball of purple, similar to a turnip, grown like carrots. Hardy in nature which is good for the Scottish weather.

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