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09 October 2005 @ 10:50 am
Got the banner for the iconartistic competition now :)

banner for third place in iconartistic

I never did do the dishes yesterday - I managed to successfully procrastinate till J came home, and then it was time to cook lunch (bacon & eggs & beans) :) After lunch we were virtuous and went and did stuff to the garden. J mowed the lawn (it hadn't been done in rather too long) and I got rid of a bush that had inconveniently come back to life (part had died, so we'd hacked it back to the stump a year or so ago, and planted a sage plant to one side of the stump) and cut back some of the leylandii. I hate those plants, but getting rid of them is probably even more trouble than brutally hacking them back once a year (or slightly less often). I've done half, and should probably do the other half sometime soon - possibly next weekend as the garden waste bin is very full now and it won't be collected till Friday. There's a spiky evergreen to the right of the lawn that I'd like to get rid of - when we moved in three years ago it was about J's height, it's now twice that at least, and quite spread out, too. And it's spiky. I think we could still manage (with J's Dad's help probably - I think we might be able to do it ourselves, but J's not so sure) to cut it down ourselves, but getting rid of the stump might be harder. I think there's stuff one can paint on tree stumps to make them rot, which would seem useful. A job for next summer though.

As well as reading a bit more of Programming Perl1 I started to read our historical atlas, "The Penguin Atlas of British & Irish History". I was reminded of it while we were in Bamburgh Castle because one of the parts of the exhibition was about the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. And I like looking at maps.

Dinner worked well last night. Although - half hour prep time, I think not. Took me nearly that long to dice the bloody turnip2. There must be a knack to it that I don't know. Though once I'd hacked off a chunk so I had a flat face I could set the thing down on I managed OK hacking slices off to be 'peeled' (more bits hacked off) and diced. More turnip with lunch, mashed, so I get to hack at the bastard thing again in a bit.

Title: Vegetable Casserole

Servings: 4

Source: BBC Food Website

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 12 button onions, peeled
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 350 g. swede, peeled and diced
  • 300 ml. vegetable stock
  • 400 g. tinned tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbs. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. tomato puree


1. Heat the oil, add the onion, leek, carrot and swede, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes.
2. Add the stock, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, soy sauce, tomato purée and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

I served it with mashed potato & dumplings. Does that make it a balanced meal? Mind you, I'd be tempted next time to add some nice diced pork :) It also felt like about half that amount would work well on top of pork chops (J hates chops though, so we'll not be doing that).

1. Which went on to discuss scope at more length. I'm figuring it's something to bear in mind, especially if I'm trying to track down bugs. But otherwise I'm not worrying too much about it as an abstract concept.

2. Where turnip = swede if you're from southern England.
Current Mood: contentcontent
J: cooking experimentsrethought on October 9th, 2005 10:11 am (UTC)
That casserole sounds lovely. :)
Margaretpling on October 9th, 2005 10:14 am (UTC)
Mmm, it did taste nice :)
Onyxonyx_uk on October 9th, 2005 11:02 am (UTC)
Are turnips and swedes not two different things? I thought turnips were the large orangy vegetable which Balrick had an obsession with and swede the smallish white vegetable which has a totally different taste to swede.
Margaretpling on October 9th, 2005 11:06 am (UTC)
I thought that in Scotland (and Northumberland) both are turnips (according to my parents, and J), just different sorts. In the south of England the big orangey ones are swedes (that's what the shops sell them labeled as) and the little white ones are turnips (again, according to the shops).
Onyxonyx_uk on October 9th, 2005 11:11 am (UTC)
Hehe, even I got confused :) I know my grandparents refer to them different so may be County Durham has taken up the southern trend for turnip and swede terminology :)
John: sparklejarel on October 9th, 2005 11:17 am (UTC)
Not the bit I grew up in, but then that was a bit remote ;)
magidmagid on October 9th, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC)
I don't think we get big orangey ones over here. We get huge monster ones that are beige and generally waxed, purple-topped ones, and smaller white Hakurai ones (that have a much lighter crunchy texture).
Margaretpling on October 9th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
They can be a pretty pale orange - so we may mean the same thing. There's a picture here that looks about right for the sort I was cooking with this weekend.
magidmagid on October 9th, 2005 03:08 pm (UTC)
That looks about right, except that the skin is so dark; the equivalent ones I've seen here have looked more like this, while purple-topped ones are these.
Margaretpling on October 9th, 2005 03:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's more like what I'd see in shops (I went for the first swede picture I found, rather than search for a really close one ;) ). So both are turnips in Scotland, but the first are swedes in the south of England.
Jenylla on October 9th, 2005 10:38 pm (UTC)
In Scotland you might also call them neeps, especially if eaten with haggis and potatoes.