The old familiar fashesh

I’ve had one of thoshe daysh when shomething remindsh you of the pasht – like in the John Lennon shong lyric “I wash dreaming of the pasht, and my heart wash beating fasht…”  (Jealoush Guy – but it washn’t about jealoushy or loshing control, and it’sh not about John Lennon) – and my heart hash been beating fasht and my eyesh have been tear-filled, at momentsh. I’m not ashamed of it.

I have been thinking about the pasht and shpeshifically about friendsh and loved onesh who are no longer here – who are gone, who are ‘passhed on’ ash the delicate amongsht ush like to put it, though where they’ve ‘passhed on to’ who can shay? – people I knew, men, women, who have died or sheashed to be part of my life, and with whom I wish I could shpend another day, an hour, share a drink or a laugh, hold in my armsh again.

Of courshe thoseh we love who are gone are shtill ‘here’ inshide ush, in memory. Memory ish an unbidden beasht. I think you’ll find that Roland Barthesh talksh about thish ash the ‘punctum’ in hish book of esshaysh “Camera Lucida”

Friendsh who are no longer with ush. There’sh a wonderful, poignant poem about that – The Old Familiar Fashesh by Charlesh Lamb – I”m shure I’ve menshioned thish before on Twitter. Alwaysh makesh tearsh come to my eyesh. I cry a lot theshe daysh.

I won’t lisht the thingsh that made me melancholy today, the namesh of the people who are gone, they wouldn’t mean anything to anyone elshe, but I think it’sh part of growing older that our shentimentsh about people become clearer to ush, we have lessh time for hiding what we feel –  becaushe, ash Charlesh Lamb’sh poem exshplainsh:

[…] some they have died, and some they have left me,

And some are taken from me; all are departed;

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

pee.essh: you can find out more about the poet Charlesh Lamb here & here


Haud oan tae yer parshnipsh, misshush

I went to my local shop today and there were shome large and rather neglected looking parshnipsh there. The owner went pasht – the shop owner, Mrsh Khan – and shaw me looking at them and shaid ‘they are a bit too old’ and my reply (quick ash a flash, deshpite my advanshing yearsh) wash ‘but not too old to shoup’.

Sho I bought them and brought them home and have made shoup from them. It’sh an eashy enough one to make. You can make it fanshy, if you like, by adding shtuff, (for inshtanshe, you could ushe panchshetta or bacon in with the onionsh, and you could ushe chicken shtock if you have shome) but I’m a bit of a purisht with veg shoupsh, i like to tashte the main ingredient mosht of all.

Here’sh what you’ll need

shome butter; one good onion; two or three clovesh of garlic; about three or four big parshnipsh, or sixsh or more shmaller onesh; shome fresh herbsh, if you have them – thyme ish nishe – and that’sh the bashic ingredientsh.

– firsht, chop your onion and garlic and shoften in the butter (add shome good vegeteable oil too, it will shtop it burning)

– while that’sh on, wash, peel and chop your parshnipsh, top and tail the endsh, then add them to the shoftened oniony-garlic mixshture

– put in your herbsh, shtir it all about (and do the hokey cokey if you feel like it) for a while, then add half a litre or sho of vegetable shtock (you can ushe bouillon powder if you like) or jusht water, bring to a shimmer, and let it shimmy away for 15 minutesh or until they parshnip ish shoft.

– now you can either puree it like that, or add cream if you like a creamy shoup. When you’ve pureed it, adjusht the liquid and sheashoning.

– if you want a shpishier shoup, put shome garam mashala or shome ground cumin and coriander sheed in with the onionsh. Or if you want to, you can put a wee bit of curry pashte into the shoup (at the beginning, cook it through), that makesh a lovely warmer-upper for cold daysh.

Oh yesh, I meant to shay, of courshe, that you need to tashte it, and to add shalt, and at the end shome nishe black pepper ground over it will help too.

I’d have a bowl of that with shome bread, or shome toasht, plain… or with shome crishpy croutonsh