I am bad at spotting potential significant blogging moments. I somehow convinced myself that this blog was a full month and a bit older than it really is and so missed the opportunity to mark its momentous first birthday (Jan 7th as it turns out. No flowers, really). I think I once managed to write a ‘wimmins issues’ type post just a couple of days after International Women’s Day, which wasnt bad going, but now here I am on about resolutions on the eve of February.
But I am writing off January. Bad-health luck has left me in bed, a&e and emergency dentists for much of it. Work has suffered, I have suffered, the kids have suffered, and there’s been a sudden rush on number-recognition telephone buying among those I rely on for help. It’s been pants, but with last week’s root canal work I seem to have turned a corner. I feel well and healthy and vital for the first time since before Christmas, so – rather than melodramatically taking to my bed and writing off the whole year – I am setting January coolly aside and starting my resolutions afresh. And here they are:
1) Go back to netball – I managed this once before the tooth pain floored me. It was great – no, really! – and if I say it here I have to do it.
2) Stop saying ‘bugger’ – I seem to have lit upon this as acceptable now that my expletive of choice is out of the question, but it is almost as unedifying as The Bad Word, when a big-eyed, blonde, be-ringletted three-year old takes a liking to saying it. A lot.
3) Go out into the garden more: and hopefully – by extension – blog more frequently. Gardening alone is always a kind of meditation and clears the mind to let ideas in. When I don’t garden I don’t blog, and I’d like to blog more often. Wont make rash promises on that one though, given my past form.
4) Tackle the veg box head on, the moment it arrives on the doorstep.
While I was ill there was an inevitable slowing down of cooking from scratch, and we have ended up with quite an alarming root veg backlog, which is something no-one wants. And every thursday – ill or well – more parsnips arrive. I have been making a sort of curried parsnip soup like it’s going out of fashion, but I decided to try something fancy the other day and make some root veg crisps, like the ones you buy at huge expense on long train journeys. I thought it might make the kids eat root veg. Ha…
So, here comes the third in my very occasional series of recipes I made from the veg box* or allotment (here’s one and two). I took two beetroots, two oversized carrots, and two parsnips, sliced them up as fine as I could (you most probably have a fancy attachment on your fancy food processor that will do a better job), tossed them in a bit of sunflower oil sea salt and pepper and arranged them on separate trays (so they didn’t all turn beetrooty: no flies on me) in a hot oven. This, I think now, was a mistake. The ones on the edges burnt, the ones in the middle were soggy. I wonder if a low, slow oven might be better, to dry them out a bit and cook them more evenly. Thoughts welcome.
Despite their shortcomings and their dissimilarity to those posh packet ones, they looked beautiful, and tasted delicious, and it strikes me only now that they would make a perfect topping to lift that nth bowl of parsnip soup to another level. As it was the kids wouldn’t touch them (you saw that coming, dintcha?) but some friends happened to pop in at that moment and I looked like one of those proper mums who always has a healthy, home-made, organic root vegetable-based snack on the go. Always a bonus.
*If you are in the Bristol area (or even if you’re not) and if you happen to see this post before the 1st February (I know, this is getting less likely, but still, bear with me…) this is your very last chance to invest in The Community Farm, an exciting new Bristolian community funded agriculture venture and the people from whom I buy my very fine veg box. Buy! Support! Members get discounts on the very fine veg boxes too…