The Lost Words….. Next Read….Seasonal Foods….

by Bernie Bell - 07:59 on 13 March 2023

The Lost Words…..

Presented bi-lingually - which is  A GOOD THING!  ……


Where it all began..… https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/10/03/book-review-the-lost-words-by-jackie-morris-and-robert-macfarlane/

Welsh words were nearly lost, too…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2022/05/20/language-domination-or-one-way-to-squash-a-culture/


Next Read….

After ‘Bachelors Anonymous’ by P.G. Wodehouse – ‘The Name of the Rose’ by Umberto Eco.  Very different – set in a different era and using a very different style of writing.  I first read it about 40 years ago and remember it being well written and the gist of the story, but not the details.

I also remember seeing the film of the book, starring Sean Connery as the main character.  Sean Connery – sigh.  Then going to the pub with the friends that I’d been to see the film with and someone not ‘getting’ the ‘Name of the Rose‘ reference – that was easy enough to explain -  “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a well-known quote from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – but in ‘The Name of the Rose’ there’s also a weave about names, symbols, words and how much they matter, which I remember producing some discussion too.

I’ll now step into a very different world to that of P.G. Wodehouse, and to the world of  today – though politics is politics and I remember there being  a lot of politics in the book – Medieval monks and politics?  Church and politics – ‘twas ever thus – take a look at Anthony Trollope’s ‘Barchester Chronicles’.


I’d written the above, when I read this piece by Steve Sloan in ‘The Orkney News’……


….and commented, including the words….

”What occurred to me when writing the last paragraph was – you could replace the word ‘church’ with the word ‘media’ these days……….

…….We need a new word for the level of corruption in the Conservative party in recent years – ‘corruption’ simply doesn’t cover it.”

Words – can be useful – can be trixy.


Seasonal Foods….

I was eating a little ‘Easter’ cake, they come in boxes of 4 from the Co-op and I like them.  But it got me thinking  - this is what’s seen as being seasonal food now – what Supermarkets choose to present to us as such.  Easter cakes and Hot X buns weeks before Easter, and mince pies months before Christmas.  We have a rule that we don’t eat mince pies until at least the 1st of December, but they appear in the shops in September  - if not before!

It used to be that certain foods were seasonal,  and if you wanted to be able to eat them out of season you needed to dry, smoke, salt or pickle them.

Except for the recent – Brexit and Climate Chaos induced – shortages, most fruit and veg has become available all year round and we got used to it – eating habits adjusted to it.

In the Bell household we’re still quite seasonally orientated – salads in summer - stodge in winter - but still expecting to be able to buy mushrooms, peppers, courgettes etc right through the year to go in the cold weather pies and casseroles.

It looks like truly seasonal foods are a thing of the past, having been replaced by what appears in the ‘seasonal‘ isles in the shops.

Maybe we need to regain an awareness of what we eat being seasonal, as well as the other seasonal variations in our lives….


Maybe if more people start to grow their own fruit and veg they’ll come to have more of an awareness of what is seasonal – and of the seasons.

Meanwhile, here’s a seasonally stodgy recipe  -  the tatties, carrots and garlic are home grown - from last year’s crop – and the courgette is out of season!

Bean & Veg. Pie

Tin of baked beans

2oz Marge

1 clove garlic – chopped

2 fluid oz veg stock (possibly homemade - https://theorkneynews.scot/2022/02/05/waste-not-want-not-2/ )

1 tblsp tomato puree

½ tsp mixed herbs (dried or fresh – depending on the time of year)

Salt & pepper

Pinch of sugar ( optional)

2 carrots – chopped

2 courgettes – chopped

4oz grated cheese

A little milk

Enough potato to top


Heat oven to 200 C

Boil carrots & courgettes of about 10 minutes then place in ovenproof dish greased with some of the marge.

Start potatoes boiling.  Melt about two-thirds of the marge in a small saucepan and fry garlic.  Add beans, stock, puree, herbs, salt & pepper and sugar if wanted, and simmer gently.

When potatoes are cooked mash them with salt, pepper, marge & milk. Pour bean mixture over veg already in dish and sprinkle with most of the grated cheese - spread mashed potato on top.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for about 25-30 minutes in the oven until golden.

Having written this – the snow will probably go away, Spring will arrive and we’ll move on to lighter fare – maybe the Almond & Raisin Pilaf mentioned as a ‘Pingback’ to the recipe for Stock.  I hope so!


Speaking of Spring - Mad March Haredom – yesterday evening – 20 past 6 - looked out the window - two hares chasing each other round the garden - then exit - stage left.


As chance would have it - I then saw this is 'Emergence' magazine....

"Seasons of the Monastic Table

An Emergence Magazine Production


Inspired by monastic food, this cookbook is an invitation to gather people together to celebrate the seasons through a shared meal."


Here’s one I made earlier….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/09/16/waulkmill-bay-on-a-sweet-september-day/


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