Friday 8 January 2021

Cabbages And Kings [And Puddings]

The time has come,' the Walrus said

To talk of many things:

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —

Of cabbages — and kings —

And why the sea is boiling hot —

And whether pigs have wings.'


But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,

Before we have our chat;

For some of us are out of breath,

And all of us are fat!'

No hurry!' said the Carpenter.

They thanked him much for that..

On Wednesday evening, Bob dropped me off at Sainsburys whilst he took 3 BHF parcels to the nearby collect+ agent. This is my first supermarket shop this year. The store was very quiet - and the shelves rather empty - hardly any milk, no citrus fruit except lemons, and a distinct shortage of fresh veg. Then on Thursday I took another bhf parcel to a different collect+ agent - the little Spar shop. I came back with a bag of spuds and a cabbage. These cost more than I'd have paid in Sainsburys - but just compare them

I appreciate that supermarkets have to keep things a uniform size and need to put details of origin, barcode, date and cooking tips on the plastic bag.

But doesn't the one on the right look gorgeous - like a huge emerald rose? Those dozen outer leaves would have been hacked off and discarded at the packing station - but I shall use them in stocks and soups. They do take longer to cook, but will happily combine with mash to make a buttery dish of colcannon. Or shredded and fried, will make 'seaweed' to accompany a chinese meal.

I love the Lewis Carroll 'Walrus and Carpenter' poem. It's from Alice through the Looking-Glass. That book is much less well known than Wonderland, and has some very funny bits in it. I heard someone on the radio quoting the passage about the pudding recently.

Alice... conquered her shyness by a great effort, and cut a slice and handed it to the Red Queen.

'What impertinence!' said the Pudding. 'I wonder how you'd like it, if I were to cut a slice out of you, you creature!' It spoke in a thick, suety sort of voice, and Alice hadn't a word to say in reply: she could only sit and look at it and gasp.

'Make a remark,' said the Red Queen: 'it's ridiculous to leave all the conversation to the pudding!'

I was so amused that I copied out the RQs words and stuck them on the fridge. Thick suety sort of puddings are just the thing for this weather. But only occasionally -  or we will be like the oysters [some of us are out of breath and all of us are fat] 

I haven't mentioned Kings [or Presidents]. I have nothing to say about those in authority this week. I am just sad. 



  1. I've never managed to grow a lovely Savoy like that on the right and rarely see them for sale with all their leaves - which is a shame. One of my favourite veg

  2. That's why I shop as much as possible at the local Farm shop, where everything is grown by them, and looks 'real'!

  3. That cabbage is beautiful and so vibrantly green! I'm glad you were able to find a shop with at least some fresh vegetables. I had a dream, last night, that I was in a grocery store and the shelves were rather bare! I was trying to find some onions and a box of cream of wheat in my dream!

  4. The idea occurred to me just this week to read all of Alice, which I've never done. Your excerpt is certainly encouraging me!


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