Winter Warmer – Nutty Turnip Soup

Inspired by traditional Scottish, and Zimbabwean everyday cooking, this soup blends the flavours of turnip (orange swede) with crunchy peanut butter (dovi). For a more authentic African flavour, substitute pumpkin or butternut squash for the turnip. Served very hot, thick and roughly mashed for texture and crunch. This is a tasty and filling dish – perfect for cold winter days.

1 medium turnip (or pumpkin, or butternut squash) cubed

1 bunch fresh celery, finely chopped

1 quarter small white cabbage, finely chopped

1 handful of golden lentils

1 chunk (about 3cm square) of fresh stem ginger, finely chopped

Fresh herbs to taste (coriander or basil work well)

Optional – enough stock (minimise the salt), or water to make it soupy but thick

3 large tablespoons of unsweetened crunchy peanut butter

Lots of roughly ground black pepper

Sweat the vegetables and ginger in a large heavy based pot until starting to soften. Add water or stock depending on your taste (vegetables have a naturally sweet taste which changes when you add salt or salty stock). Cook gently until the turnip is cooked but is still slightly firm then add the lentils. Cook for around 20 minutes more until the lentils are soft then mash roughly with a potato masher. Stir in the peanut butter, heat through then stir in the chopped fresh herbs. Add black pepper to taste. Serve with a swirl of fresh unsweetened cream.


Pie ‘n’ Chips

Pie please.

Scotch pie. Pie ‘n’ chips.

Salt and vinegar, just the job.

Wrapped in the news, it cost two bob.

 

Doon Kirk Loan an roon’ the bend, clutched tae my heart like ma best friend,

Ah fund a bench, and there ah stopped

Spread the feast across ma knees.

Wished ah’d remembered tae ask fer peas.

 

But now ma frozen fingers pick, first the crust and then a chip

Burnin’ haunds an scalded tongue, salt n’ grease upon my lip.

On frosty nights there’s nothin’ better,  pie and chips and bein’ tegether.

 

A chip fer you and twa fer me.

Hot and steamin’ now the meat, pastry-crusted what a treat.

Lick yer fingers, gies a kiss

Ah love ye doll but widnae miss

Ma Friday nights wi’ pie ‘n’ chips.

Scotch Pies
Scotch Pies from Bell’s Bakery

My Sister’s Life

Extract:

I was twelve years old when I first realised I was walking on water. Before that I was home-schooled and no-one had much hope for me. But I survived. My sister was at private school and would have stayed there had I not hung on. The cost of my tuition was sucking the funds from her education pot so our parents had no choice but to dismiss my tutor, and pull her from the posh school. That is how we ended up at the local academy where normal kids go, and that is when I saw how much her life differed from mine.

MVJ2014

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