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28 March 2011 @ 08:51 am
The Answer  
   The Welsh for Daffodil is Cenhinen Bedr or 'Peter's Leek'. Who'd have thought? Sounds like a medical condition.

   On the subject of leeks, last night I ate the first one I've ever cultivated myself. It was delicious. I intend to slowly work my way through its contemporaries, savouring them individually like the final pages of a good book.

   I now see why the Welsh chose the leek as their national emblem, they need no tending (meaning mine didn't receive any) and are very graceful. What nation wouldn't want to be associated with independence and beauty? I would recommend them to any horticultural ignoramus like me who wants to experiment with a vegetable patch. They're impervious to frost, in fact seem to thrive on any element that is thrown at them. A friend gave me a bundle of tiny specimens to plant last summer, they looked far too weedy to make it to adulthood and I was certain that the squadrons, battalions and armies of slugs that eat virtually everything else in my potager would polish them off in no time. But no! They clearly possess some kind of chemical slug-deterrent; maybe that's what makes them so tasty.

   Leeks also remind me of a verbal exchange I witnessed many years ago in a 'comprehensive' school that I attended. It was March 1st, St David's day, St David being the patron saint of Wales. During morning assembly the headmaster mentioned the significance of the day and asked the serried ranks of uninterested pupils what was the vegetable that symbolised Wales. A few hands went up (mine wasn't amongst them – too busy considering the possibilities. Artichoke? Yam? Peanut?) including, pregnant with portent, that of Andrew Leek to which the headmaster readily responded, thereby allowing Leek to declare with an airy confidence, “The daffodil, sir!”
Benbenicek on March 28th, 2011 10:35 am (UTC)
Ha! Reminds me of a bloke I worked with as a volunteer for a London homeless charity. He was an American called Doily. One day he was given the shopping list for our weekly run to the cash-and-carry and saw listed there some supplies for a birthday party: paper plates, serviettes, doilies.... "Doilies?" he said aloud, perplexed "what is a DOILY?!".
pomposapomposa on March 28th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
Excellent! You've made me look up 'Doily' – I didn't know it was an eponym.
markturpin on March 28th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
animal, vegetable or mineral?
what say you, 'monsieur ...'!
pomposapomposa on March 28th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
Re: animal, vegetable or mineral?
As you imply, the daffodil is not animal or mineral, and it's symbolic of Wales, though I suspect if he had argued the point Leek would only have dug himself in deeper (as it were).
markturpin on March 28th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Re: animal, vegetable or mineral?
I guess you also run the same risk (digging in deeper)... Indeed, is this a suitable hole for you to keep digging yourself further into???
pomposapomposa on March 28th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Re: animal, vegetable or mineral?
People in glass houses...!
Foxfeather: lookout lynxfoxfeather on March 28th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
Those look fantastic - I can't wait until I can try to grow my own! Using them for a potato-and-leek soup is my favorite way to prepare them, or just dicing and adding to soups/stews.
pomposapomposa on March 28th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
Well, if I can grow them anyone can. I steamed the first one, I think I will try your soup idea tonight.
Foxfeather: lookout lynxfoxfeather on March 28th, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC)
I would be happy to share my recipe (well, it's mostly Julia Child's recipe) - but it's super simple and absolutely delicious!

Leek and Potato Soup

3-4 cups sliced/diced potatoes
3-4 cupes thinly sliced leeks including tender green parts (I use all the way up to rather dark green but not the very ends)
2 quarts water (or chicken stock/vegetable stock for denser flavor)
1 tb salt
2-3 Tb softened butter

Heat vegetables, salt, and water from cold slowly to simmer, do not boil. Simmer gently 40-50 mins or until tender. Mash vegetables with a fork or pass through blender depending on how much texture you would like. Correct seasoning with salt/pepper until reaches desired flavor.

Off heat, just before serving, stir in the butter and mix well.

Voila! It's about the easiest soup I make and I have been experimenting with adding different herbs and vegetables - but really just the simple soup itself is fantastic. :)
pomposapomposa on March 28th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks a million! That's a much better recipe than the one I was going to attempt (Leek, water and momma's wonderful soup stone).

I'd never heard of Julia Child until recently when I saw Meryl Streep play her in a film. She seemed quite a character.