Three things: sukuma wiki, weather, and food in books

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A few years ago I learned from a fellow community gardener that the Swahili word for ‘greens’ (as in the broad term for collards, or kale, or mustard, etc, greens) was sukuma wiki. I haven’t remembered any of the other words she taught me, but I love the meaning of this one: the vegetable you have at the end of the week (ie, when the money is tight). Sukuma wiki, kale in this case, is really the only thing in our garden that is edible right now and I am grateful to know that it is there when there’s not a lot of other things in our fridge. The way our family likes it best is simply sauteed in butter with loads of garlic.

Is anyone else in Aberdeen feeling a bit ‘meh’ with this dreich weather we are having? Been thinking of this Portlandia sketch… but if only there were a tiny patch of sun somewhere in this city to chase…

We have been reading a few longer stories to our four-year-old recently, and he has been requesting all sorts of ‘exotic’ foods from them: peaches (James and the Giant Peach–still wondering where on earth I will find one that doesn’t taste like a bag of ants any time of year here), toad in the hole (‘it’s got to be like bubbling mountains on the top, Mum’, from Danny the Champion of the World), and corn bread (and colonialism from Little House on the Prairie). It’s bought back lovely memories of having Wind and the Willows read to me by my dad… and that amazing picnic:

‘There’s cold chicken inside it,’ replied the Rat briefly;
‘coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrollscresssandwiches
pottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater—-‘
‘O stop, stop,’ cried the Mole in ecstasies: ‘This is too much!’

I must admit, I also loved finding out that you could run words together like that. And that you could eat tongues.

 

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