a-scrumping we will go

We have had a very strange day. Our neighbour the Laird of Towie rang up a little while ago, to say, ‘You know that vegetable garden at F— Castle? They just leave the produce to rot in the ground. It’s a bloody disgrace. We’re going to steal some. You coming?’ What can one say but yes? Thus we ended up in the late morning of Christmas Eve in the grounds of a National Trust property prising miscellaneous root vegetables from the frozen earth in hard frost, beneath a milk-glass sky — we have a celeriac, some sprouts, a red cabbage, enough cavolo nero to keep the River CafĂ© going for quite some time, beetroots, a swede, and brussells sprouts. Quite a haul. We had to give up on the parsnips because the ground was frozen solid, but we have done pretty well. On the way out, a pheasant scuttled across the road the way they do, slipped and sat down with a bump, its feet straight in front of it, and skated across the rest of the road on its bottom. I’ve never seen that happen before. We ended up having a triumphalist burglar’s lunch at Towie, which is why, at quarter past four, we have only just got home though we had expected to be back around twelve. It is the first time in months that there has been enough leisure to permit that kind of thing, which made it particularly nice.

7 Responses to “a-scrumping we will go”

  1. Andreas minor Says:

    A very festive scrumping season to you all.

  2. The Canadian Professor Says:

    I am a bandit at heart, as you know or suspect, and so, as you know, is my daughter. I will e-mail the photos of the dog she liberated.

  3. The Canadian Professor Says:

    I am a bandit at heart, as you know or suspect, and so, as you know, is my daughter. I will e-mail the photos of the dog she liberated.

  4. Eleanor Says:

    Why is it they always taste better when swiped?

  5. Jane Says:

    Certainly, the stolen brussels sprouts were nicer than any I have had before. On the other hand, they had got the frost good and proper which in brussells sprouts eating circles, is always held to be a Good Thing.

  6. carol Says:

    Alas that the parsnips still need a good liberating along with the rest! Some Tv gardening guru with hidden piratical sympathies should invent (or popularise) a patented expanding trowel gadget with a battery in the handle to heat the blade for effective speed-thawing of the soil around root veggies deserving of stealth harvesting. Or could the Gamekeeper rig a little something up out of a Boy’s Box of cunning widget offcuts?

  7. Dr Biswell Says:

    Ah, yes. The old frost problem. How about a blowtorch — I’m sure we have one to hand among the collection of Useful Tools — and a sharp implement such as a machete? Mind you, the wind and the rain are the chief enemies in these parts at the moment. We have no frost but there is a good deal of wet mud. But if the foulness of the elements means that the gamekeeper (or the guardian of the root vegetables, who might be an altogether different individual) is inclined to stay unvigilantly at home in the warm, so much the better.

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