When The Potatoes Ran Out

There comes a time when conditions become so bad – so unremittingly awful- that you have to find previously undiscovered inner strengths to help you get through it. Call it primeval, call it survival instinct, call it a circle of life kinda thing. And for a Scot, it presents the ultimate test. 

Two days ago we ran out of potatoes. This is the sort of unexpected mental torture which you don’t read about in newspapers or on Twitter. And I don’t think The One Show has done a special on it yet.

While we had paid particular attention to maintaining essential supplies such as wine  it would seem we had taken our eye off provisions you expect never to run out of.

I’d always thought pasta was mainly consumed by people who either couldn’t cook, or couldn’t be bothered to cook.  But pork chops, beans  and pasta? What sort of madness is that? I’m all for experimental cooking and new recipes but there just comes a time when you have to say no no no. Unless you’ve very hungry. And there’s a foot of snow outside.

My wife was very sympathetic to this highly sensitive issue. “Get it down you, caveman” as another spoonful of vermicelli was ladled onto the plate.

It was OK.

Thankfully a new batch of King Edwards have been secured at The Asda, and life has returned to normal.

Well not quite. One of the little reported side effects of all this bad weather for country types like me is what I’m calling ‘greenery deprivation’. It’s an affliction caused by a sudden and dramatic loss of anything of an olive hue. We miss it. It’s why we live in rural areas.  Apart from the unusual smells that is. As we enter our fourth week of ‘white hell’ (copyright all newspapers)  monochrome views still dominate and show no sign of giving up the green fields below quite yet.

There is an oasis of greenery. It’s under our trampoline. I’m thinking of hosting a party for those suffering from ‘greenery deprivation’. No tall people allowed though. We could drink cider and look at photographs taken last summer. Can you get scratch and sniff grass cuttings? That would be nice as well.

This current cold snap brings unexpected new tasks to while away an afternoon. We’re having parsnips tonight. Our parsnips. Nurtured in our soil since last May. There’s just one problem. I’m not quite sure where they are under the snow. A new and exciting garden adventure is taking shape. Hunt the root vegetable. Perhaps those still under the trampoline could help.

And there’s one new job to do. Hacking down icicles so enormous our house looks like it has jagged teeth on both sides. And these are proper icicles….the kind knocked up by Mexicans on a very poor day rate in the Disneyland back lot and tacked to buildings for their snow season in Orlando.

Must go, blackbirds are at the window requesting more food. Now where’s that boiled pasta when you need it. Maybe it’s a bit like Red Bull…it gives you wings.


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