It's only 9.o'clock but it's as black as Newgates Knocker outside. I've had to turn up the heating, put on a grey fleece, close the windows and drink a mug of something warm. It's 14 and a bit weeks until Christmas and I am not the only one who thinks we've been robbed of a summer. I can't blame the weather so I'm going to blame David Cameron - why? Because I can.
I am sorry for the silence but my lovely blog publisher has been up to his neck in it, and even though I've only been away 4 days, it does feel like I've been away four months.
Before we left Sussex Jim and I walked the dog round the houses, we nibbled on the blackberries, which are huge this year, kicked over the acorns and collected up a fistful of conkers, all shiny, new and brown. The first conkers of 2007. I brought four back to London. They are sitting on my desk staring at me looking good enough to eat. It's a pity they're inedible but conkers are poisonous, they contain an alkaloid called saponin. So I then wondered what IS the purpose of a conker? Is it their lot to be boiled in vinegar, strung up on a string only to have their heads banged together. Does anybody know? Does anybody care? Does anybody play at conkers any more? or have the health and safety police banned that too? .
The conker must have some use, I thought, so I 'googled' them and there were pages and pages of info on them. Dear deer are able to break down the toxins and eat them safely and apparently they're meant to be effective for horses with wind, but please don't take my word for it and start giving your gassy nag a diet of conkers, I cannot be held responsible for all your equine losses, although we whoomans do use the saponin too - in supplements for varicose veins, edema and sprains, and the little conker was also used during the two world wars, as a source of starch. So there we are, apart from looking dandy conkers are really helpful little nuts. I knew it. You don't get to look that good and be a complete waste of space do you? Although Paris Hilton may be the exception to the rule.
Our local farm shop is now selling cob nuts, which is a dead-give-away that Christmas is a-coming and the merry marrons is on its way. My childhood was full of nuts, brazil, monkey, walnut and my father. The yuletide house was full of nutty bowls and baskets, the nutcracker was never too far away although my macho father broke more than one nut between his teeth. My mother was far too genteel for that kind of sport I don't think nuts ever passed her lips.
I have a party trick though: Take one walnut, place your left index finger over the seam, whack it very hard with the other hand and watch that nut split in two. Ok it does hurt sometimes, if the walnut is too green, but mostly it just breaks in half. Have a bowl of Greek honey nearby and dip in that healthy walnut - delicious. Remember your 'Dictionary of Signatures', if it looks like something its probably good for it. So what does a walnut look like? Correct, The Brain. And no Marmite Girl we do not want to know what a leek reminds you of!
I am now exhausted having driven for two hours, written to you lot, walked the dog, made supper, done the washing and all on three hours sleep. Tomorrow I'm in town doing me voice over bits, attending a charity do in the evening and all without the aid of the Victoria Line as there's a three day strike. Whatever their gripe I'm sure I'm on their side, but it does bugger up my morning, Hey Ho. I'm alive and that's all that really matters. Hello again to you all. Cu2morrer.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
Hi Jeni, glad to have you back! I was lucky enough to have some time off work last week and managed to catch a few re-runs of GFL. What a treat! In particular, sherry cocktail making with Olly Smith. It was a classic "Jen & Olly" moment. He couldn't get the top off his shaker, you couldn't stop laughing (neither could I) and Alex had to come to the rescue! It really made my day. Oh how I miss it. Ah well such is life. Come back soon Jeni!
Take care x
Gosh bit of a trip down memory lane for me. My childhood house was full of nuts too! My Dad used to buy Monkey Nuts in their shells, he used to sit and shell them while he watched telly and then place them all in a row on his 'little shelf' next to his armchair! I often wondered why some were red and some were white but hey ho they tasted OK (I was a child and used to pinch them when he wasn't there). It was only some years later I found out that he used to sit and suck the 'red' skins off and put them back in the row!!!! Yes my Dad was nuts too!
Now i'm afraid Suggs (as nice as he is) is just not acceptable as PM. Maybe he is too nice. No I think you should try looking at the Female Option. What about Germaine Greer, what about you? Can you imagine it. Yes I can.
I've started giving our old Lab (well all our Labs - we've got 2 1/2 )my cod liver oil capsules, do you think they will help her old limbs (You seem to know about these things)!
Be good out there.
Nice to have you back!
Sooooo, tell us all about the charity do!
Chrissie carcase x
your not the only one who thinks we Brits have been robbed of summer - cos I do to, it's rediculous we had two weeks of summer in April this year, does that mean Food Poker is a not go then Jen???
Hi, Jeni. Could only listen to the last half of your show and was gutted to have missed Prue Leith. If only your show was repeated somewhere - but I should be grateful for it at all! Anyway, the water part was really interesting. I am very annoyed with the Beeb as they have had 2 progs now saying that we don't need to drink 2 litres of water and really rubbishing the healthy message. My last job before I had to take early retirement was in Health Promotion and it does make it difficult to persuade the public to take on board health education when there are conflicting messages out there. Anyway, that's my rant for today! Also, I will try to catch all your show this week!