Monthly Archives: April 2016

An answer for Celi

Celi at The Kitchens Garden, has issued a challenge to her huge following who read, comment or become part of the Farmy Fellowship: The deal is to post an image of where we write their posts, our comments and responses.

In my case it varies like Irish weather, I no longer have a fixed desk. In winter it is normally in my living room where I can see and warm my tootsies by the open fire.

At the other end of the L shaped room is my dining table and if I need to use my printer, that is where I work.

In the preparation for hip replacement back in 2009, I purchased a bed table on castors. It has become the most used piece of furniture in my house. I can move it from room to room as I wish, the castors on the base frame slide in under my bed and allows me to type away to my hearts content without the weight on my legs.

When cooking or baking, I can access my recipe folder on the laptop by wheeling the laptop through to join me. It sits neatly under the counter top until I need to check something.

My corner for several weeks now has been in a comfortable armchair near the window for the light and surrounded by my latest crochet project – More on that another day.

Food Monday ~I am partial to a Swede.


This time I am not talking about you Anders, I am in the mood for food.

Deep in concentration on my crochet the other week at Parlour Yarns… I realised the conversation had turned, as it often does, to food. Suggestions for dinner were asked for or shared. I cocked my ear to listen more intently.

They were talking Turnips of the Swedish variety. It is often known as yellow turnip, Russian turnip, or in America, rutabaga. In Scotland it is known as ‘neeps’.

I never knew it was a member of the cabbage family.

My only problem is cutting off the root, then peeling, and cutting the tough flesh into chunks.

It appeared on our table regularly while growing up, always boiled in chunks.

Jack liked it boiled with the potatoes and mashed – I now use it this way for the roof of my Shepherd’s pie with a little sprinkling of crushed crisps to finish it off.

Back to the Parlour…

Ray had the floor and was describing a simple way to produce wonderful golden yellow flesh without any peeling or chopping!

“No need to wash or peel it”. She intoned. “Bung it in the microwave and cook it for 20-25 minutes and there you have it!” 

When the laughter stopped someone asked how you knew if it was cooked?

Never stuck for an answer Ray said:

 “Stick a knitting needle in it!”

Jennifer, agreed that it worked well and I don’t think she had the sale of more needles in mind. 😉

Well, you know what is coming… I had to give it a try. I pulled out the swede/turnip from my Vegetable box.

Raw Turnip

Raw Turnip

I weighed it 900 grs. Placed it on a plate with a layer of kitchen paper over the top, set it in the Microwave ( mine is an E 1000W) on High power for ten minutes… I did not want any explosions. I tested it with a metal skewer at that stage and decide it did need more time. Two sessions of five minutes later (Ray was right!) I lifted it out onto the counter and let it sit a minute. There was a bread knife on the counter and I lifted it and cut the turnip in two as easily as a loaf of bread.

Microwaved turnip halved

Microwaved turnip halved

The flesh was soft but not soggy. I spooned it out onto the plate and it mashed easily with a fork.

scooped out turnip flesh

scooped out turnip flesh

There was more than one helping for me so I bagged the remainder and froze it. I had it yesterday with dinner and it was perfect.

I’ll do it this way in future, No struggling to peel or chop the raw turnip and the cooked shell of skin is as soft as a coarse baked potato skin.

Who pulled the plug?

Well that is what it felt like. Invisible plugs in the soles of my feet were pulled and all my energy drained faster than a full bath scented with my favourite bath oils.

No need to worry it is just a blip… CFS/ME is something that has been part of my health package for about fourteen years. It happens suddenly. Unexpectedly. Elly is one of the few people that can read the signs. She has seen the colour drain from my face and my body suddenly droop to a wobbly jelly. This time she was nowhere near me and busy with work and her own life – that is as it should be – I gave her life and not a life sentence to be tied to my apron strings for life.

Over the years I learned to read the signs, slow down and rest.

This time I had other things on my mind and blamed the ‘tiredness’ on what I was trying to do, so kept going.

  • My friend recovering from a fractured hip, returned home on 10th February. She needed some help with shopping etc., and my daily visits did mean that I actually sat for at least an hour to chat.
  • I was expecting visitors (Post for another day.)
  • I cut my finger badly. It has healed well on the surface, but internally it will never be the same. So now I have two index fingers that refuse to work on a touch screen – First World Problems
  • Regular weekly appointments to attend.

This is NOT a ‘pity me’ post, it is an explanation for my absence from blogging. So no sympathy comments or I will unfriend and block you. SERIOUSLY!! I do not need sympathy, it is energy I need.

In these circumstances the longer I push against the grain… the harder the recovery time. It took me all my time to getup, wash, dress and make my meals. Thankfully my freezer was well stocked with home prepared meals allowing me to thaw, heat and eat them.

There were aches and pains in all my limbs and back. Even reading made my eyes heavy and concentration evaporated.

Thinking. Thinking of a few words to put on a page became impossible. I actually closed down the laptop and put it away. I almost returned to pre technology days with only the odd visit to Facebook so family would know I was alive.

That might explain my lack of posting in the last few months:-

  • January: 6 posts
  • February: 12 posts

Tuesdays are when I go to Parlour Yarns for my weekly injection of fun people happily knitting or crocheting, nattering & laughing. I normally come home full of ideas, stories, high energy and good spirits.

Two weeks ago I had to push myself to attend. During my morning I managed three rounds of a crochet granny square… it was all I could do. Before I came home, Jennifer our leader encouraged and gave me an idea. A simple idea. It was just what I needed to get back on track.

Once home, fed and rested, I gathered all the odd remnants of yarn, the half used balls and all the odds and sods lurking at the bottom of a large see through storage crate. They were every colour of the rainbow and more.

I began a corner to corner (C2C) crochet throw in random colours, a first for me. Each line was a different colour and the early rows used up the little scraps of colour. The different textures and colours worked well together.

C2C Shrug

C2C Shrug

It became like a drug. I sat in my corner at every opportunity… my plan was to work to fifty rows before beginning the decreasing, with a finishing border all round the edge to complete it.  It was so relaxing and distracted me from my aches and frustrations.

I have worked the fifty increase rows and now am ten rows down on the decreases with all this yarn still to play with:

Oddments of yarn

Oddments of yarn

I feel the energy slowly returning. No way am I ready to climb Cave hill, but by the time the rain stops and the throw is finished… I might be ready to take my camera for a dander.