Thursday, 29 September 2011

Boilin' ma heid wi' a neep

I think sometimes, I'd be better to boil my heid (head) with a neep (turnip/swede) than try and negotiate with my children, or in this case 'the cellist'. Boiling ones head with a neep, roughly translates as being on a hiding to nothing, talking nonsense.  I'm currently huffing (sulking) in a corner, OK, I've got my favourite magazine which makes my sulk a bit more tolerable. I do like the New scientist, don't be put off by the 'science' bit, its a great read, I've always loved it since being introduced to it and being dyselxic I've found the snappy short bits of text and the longer articles quite engaging - it works well to pick up and put down. Having bought a full price treat of a magazine I was also heartened to find a reduced price neep for 6p, which got brought home too. I love mashed neep. We do like our reduced shopping in this house, it helps the food budget!

Back to the huffing, we've slightly fallen out over pesto. The new batch anyway, the old batch was 'Ok, *sigh* but needed more cheese', she is my fiercest critic, she knows her own mind and is stubborn (which I secretly love, but don't tell her that). The fact that we've grown basil ourselves on a windowsill in the north of scotland, which I think is quite a feat, is nothing amazing to her. Often the phrase in this house which is the height of thier insults/critique and cuts me to the core (when referring to home grown or produced food) is 'Its OK but not as good as shop bought' or if I've really pulled a blinder and got something right, I might even get a 'its almost as good as shop bought', which is tantamount to a noble prize for cooking in this house, children, I tell you - bah!
I thought I'd really got it sussed, having done the traditional basil pesto with my home grown windowsill basil, I'd considered the large pile (bucket) of home grown parsley with apprehension, I've already a freezer full of parsley already. OK, I thought to myself - with the great parsley mountain of 2011, what about a go at Parsley pesto - I can try that - I used local Orkney mature cheddar (a nice mix with parsley), walnuts and a nice big glug of cold pressed rapeseed from the mainland. Another local food triumph, or so I thought.
I'd considered it an absolute coup that I could produce something yummy from almost entirely home produced ingredients.
 It even looked the part and tasted, to my mind, quite delicious. Off it got popped into a jar and put in the fridge for the 'pesto police' to try out later. I don't think thats a harsh statement, she's very addicted to pasta and pesto and therefore would be a good critic. Or so I thought, expecting a gold star and a kiss on the head for great effort and lateral thinking, I couldn't have been more wrong.
I'd been excited to show her my efforts, revolutionising my own pesto in a local Orkney sense, we can grow far more parsley than basil, this I thought is it. How wrong could I have been. I might have made it from concrete bricks, engine oil and dead dandelions. Whilst it looked like proper pesto I was informed, it tasted very good combination of cheese and herb, consistency and texture were marked well. All good I thought, but then I got the look. You know the one, the 'we'll humour you, but you know what, its really not going to get eaten'. Pesto condemned, nose wrinkled. Not a hope that it will be eaten by the pasta guzzler, she prefers basil pesto that jar just will not do. No offence, she told me, she doesn't like the idea of parsley pesto, seemingly its just wrong. End of, full stop. Now I don't mind (much) that I've failed in her eyes, its quite delicious. Her loss and basil pesto preference is my gain. Last night I had a dod of it with home made trout fish cakes, and it was a lovely accompaniment. In fact it was delish, so keep your hands off cellist.

I'll only sulk with my magazine for a bit - after all its a very good read. The reduced neep will be used up without being boiled with my head! On the other hand I may place it under her pillow as revenge for such a hard review. Italian style.
Live by the pesto, die by the pesto.


  1. Oh dear! (but more pesto for you!) You do make me laugh :) xxx

    (and how's the soap coming along??)

  2. Hmmm - I used to have those conversations, but now he is specialising in Food Science at university on the mainland. Interestingly my son too is dyslexic and got on very well with science.
    Our parsley is a spectacular success, and i have toyed with the pesto idea - might just get on with it.

  3. Hurray to more pesto for you! Tho sadly I can understand the cellist's point of view, as a fellow addict to basil pesto ... they're not the same. Parsley is nice tho - multispecies nice. I planted some at my last house, and never got to eat it - the cats kept rolling in it, ignoring the catmint all the while :)

  4. Sorry, the cellist has my vote. It has to be basil for pesto. Maybe you should rename the parsly mix...but it does sound ideal with fishcakes!

  5. I approve of the neep;- and your gain her loss!

  6. I wonder if boiled, reduced neep tastes better with parsley or basil pesto ...

    Fay - Please could you delete my comment from your previous post, because I typed my e-mail address instead of my name by accident. Thanks

  7. Each to their own is all I can say. I would never have thought of parsley pesto. It has taken me a while to even consider red pepper pesto! Loving the thought of italian style revenge, how wicked

  8. Revenge is indeed neep flavoured cheri! I'd read about using other herbs or pesto, the cellist clearly did not approve of any such articles!

    B-a-g done :) and parsley surely, neep and basil, bleurgh!

    Gillibob exactly. Glad you like the neep, we've called him baldrick.

  9. Janet, twas gud - I hear the dorric festival is nr you this weekend!

    Jan, I knew you'd side with the Vivaldi playing teenager. Confused cats?

    Barefoot, she's undecided as to her future career. When small she wanted to be a pilot, then an astronaught...........there are alot of famous dyslexic scientists, thankfully, iv hung up my science lab coat, well for the now anyway. Good luck with the parsley

    Cheery, she's very wilful. Oh and the soap, very exciting, used the first 'cake' beautiful!

  10. I hope you don't truly think you're a failure. I remember how fussy I was as a teenager...wouldn't have even deigned to try pesto :o

    My poor mum!

  11. Oh no! I love the look - and sound - of your parsley pesto. I find it great as a sandwich filling, perhaps with cheese or cold meat, and it is a great accompaniment to chicken. Bad cellist to be so closed minded ;-)

  12. Vix once I've popped the neep under her pillow, we will be grand. Not really think I've failed just get frustrated sometimes. But we are all different. :)

    Bad cellist indeed Janet. Good ideas there. I wondered about coating fish in it and baking it. But chicken, yum!