Friday, 21 October 2011

The laceration of the leeks and the smug cabbage

The peedie dug (small dog) and I have been lying low with the lurgy, indoors today chewing the fat, or the rag, or the cud if you like (to have a friendly chat) about how this years veggie growing has gone. 'No bad beuy'*  said the Peedie dug, (my dog is Orcadian and talks to me in local dialect) in rough  translation, he thinks its gone quite fine. We pondered the indoor growing, which I'll write up when I'm feeling better, I can hardly get enthused and do the great indoor windowsill growing of 2011, and it has been brilliant. We'll do the post harvest anaylsis of the indoor growing another day when my head aint addled with cold medicine. In between times the leeks are being lacerated, massacred in the recent winds, I feel quite bad sitting here inside on the sofa.
The outdoor veg growing this year, we've also been quite happy with. Carrot fly aint got the carrots, parsnips look OK and the beetroot is small but beautifully formed. *Does a little dance* Aside the rude slugs, which ate the neeps (swedes) and the onions being a bit peedie, we've had a very cold season here-  so far so good. Anyhow, we continued to yarn, that peedie dug and me and the subject turned to the leeks. He's not a fan of any onion type veg, but I quite like them, they're a nice 'winter' veg. Living here - I've opted for a variety which is known to sit well over the winter (Musselburgh) allow us to have fresh veg later in the season. I don't think I  should have bothered. I don't think they'll last the month at the moment. They are being lacerated in the wind and its only October, more and worse weather to come, I might be better to cut my losses and lift them all.
The peedie dug observed and got bored (began to eat a sock, he likes sock eating alot) as I tried to take a photo of the lacerating dancing leeks, I did this through the window, I'm NOT going out there today anymore than I have too. When I finally managed it I watched bits of the leeks fly past the window. OK maybe I didn't actually see them woosh past, but they do *honest*.
Peedie pooch and I continued to discuss our options, 28 leeks out there. Do we leave them in and let them get more shredded in the winds and hope by the time we eat them there is a petit morsel left? Or harvest them now and eat them all, in one gigantic October leek fest. OK, we might not eat them all at once but if we harvest them I guess they can go into the tardis of a fridge and keep using them up one by one, or in  freezer altogether, if we chop them up? Either way thats alot of yummy leek and tattie soup!
We're still chewing the fat over that one, the peedie dug aint fussed, not being a leek fan, he's happy if they keep lacerating them selves in the wind. I think they'd be best pulled while they can be. Not today though, I'm sellotaped to the sofa with a blanket. The leek s can be lacerated for another night, I'm still deciding, but I think they'll need pulled sooner rather than later.

Curiously, the cabbage (F1 hybrid  stonehead, a cabbage  so hard you can stand on its head) looked on without sympathy,  stoney-faced,  firmly  sat  still in the bed next door to the leeks, watching them dance.  However, I don't think I'll grow such a stoney-faced-smug-non-dancing-cabbage again, not very neighbourly to be that smug and laugh at the leeks. Although it does look like a fine cabbage, should have known by its name it was quite aloof.
Now listen here, pesky Orkney wind, leave me leeks a peedie blink (a wee while)  yet beuy*!

*Beuy definition - Orcadian slang for 'boy' but not necessarily meaning the male sex. Often miss-spelt as 'Buey'. Used in place of the persons name.
Some examples :
#1: What Like The Day Beuy? (How are you today my fine friend)
#2: Am Grand Ta Yoursel? (I'm fine thank you, how are you?)
#1: No Bad Beuy. (Not bad, thank you kind person)

When you have an Orcadian speaker in the household, it pays to learn a few local words to be polite, Orcadian is quite different to scots or English.

Edited in for Elephant Eye and anyone might like a peek - A few nice youtube link in Orkney dialect:


  1. Ah, I love your Orkney tales! A good friend of mine is Orcadian (now living in Fife) and when she's had a glass of wine or two her Orcadian accent is a lot stronger and she uses these peedie phrases!

  2. Could put in a little audio clip for us? Or a link to something on youtube in Orcadian??

  3. It's like my husband's Swiss, a spoken not a written language. Yes?

  4. Here you go!

    I've linked it in the main text now too!

    Frugal wife - I know a few folk like that!

  5. hi
    what a wonderful garden you have. great blog!!!
    i will visit again!
    have a wonderful cosy weekend,

  6. Great, fun post, your veggies are definitely better than mine. One thing about the Orcadian accent, its a lot less harsh than the Aberdonians, your guys sound as though they are singing when they talk to you. Peedie obviously means small, I have never heard it used here. I will look forward to seeing your plant collection thingy with interest. Alistair

  7. Poor leeks! I think they are a rather wonderful vege, making lovely stew, enriching stock, great added to mash to top a nice pie, lovely sauted in butter... I imagine you could blanch them and freeze them, though only when you are feeling a lot better, that's a lot of leeks to preserve - or a lot of soup to make.

    BTW, any advice on preserving beans? I was really happy to get more beans than we could eat, it was the plan, so that I could blanch them, freeze them, and we could still be eating our own lovely beans in the middle of winter. Well, sorry, yuck! I have always hated the slightly soggy texture of most frozen veg when cooked, but I hadn't expected my own lovely beans to be the same, whether boiled or steamed from defrosted or frozen. Is this just inevitable?!

  8. Regina, welcome :) did have a cosy weekend ta!

    Alistair, that's so true, the accent thing. Peedie is very north talk for 'wee' it's Caithness as well as Orkney. Shetlanders say 'peerie', I love the accent here. They do indeed sing to you. :)

  9. Janet. A wonderful veg indeed. Progress is thus, hens fed a quarter of their portion. The scraggy leek ends chopped finely (scissors) and bagged up in freezer (unblanched). The posh leeks, of non conformist sizes clean, trimmed and in a basket in bottom of fridge. I'll use them slowly, watch their progress and will freeze if I need to.

    The blanching stuff, hmm, I don't to be honest, lifes too short. I know we are told too, but I just don't. I try keep things fresh (hence 28 leeks in fridge, well 27 we ate one for tea) I've a larder fridge (5ft Tall) half of it full of veg. My freezer has been, for years full of unblanched veg and I'm happy enough.

    Beans and peas, I freeze, but I know what you mean, didn't alys fowler recommended pickling or brine to keep the crunch (?) but I'll look. Mushy veg, not good.

  10. I think left to myself I would skip the blanching too, but MIL gets very concerned about food hygiene. Maybe if she didn't know... Am going to do some investigating about how to stop beans going 'orrid in the freezer...