Thursday, November 20, 2008

Country Life

So friends (real not Facebook) came round to supper last night and brought a small gift of a two-foot sprout stalk. The girl walked in and I could see she was clutching something. I thought for a moment, it was a bunch of those ridiculously over-priced flowers you buy in London that look like small red cabbages. I thought: "I know I will make a joke of the fact she has brought me a flower that looks like a cabbage." So I said: "Golly, you've brought a cabbage." At this point, her partner coming in through the door behind her, said: "That's not very nice. You did invite me." We came out of the dark entrance hall into the kitchen and I realised she had not so much brought me an expensive bouquet but a walking stick of sprouts with a particularly large sprouted knob. I said: "Ah. It's not a cabbage. You've brought me sprouts. How lovely. For a moment there you had me fooled...Did you grow them yourself?" She shook her head. "No. I tried to buy you flowers and they were yellow and horrible so I bought you these instead. They're from the grocer's." I said: "Right. Well, they're lovely, I'll just go find a vase." (I counted them later, there are 68 of them.)

24 comments:

Stinking Billy said...

Isn't it amazing how our values change during a massive credit crunch? ;-)

Frankofile said...

What a thoughtful gift. I would have been charmed.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Don't feed them to the fish.

CJ xx

Arcadian Advocate said...

I am out to dinner tomorrow and had been wondering if it would be appropriate to take something from the veg garden, but I don't think our sprouts are that big yet ( now too dark to tell) and I think one gets funny reactions to sprouts... rather like Marmite or John Sargeant on Strictly, either loved or hated. Here at Prosperous Farm we like(d) all 3.
However owing to your non-plussed reaction I think it best to stick with the tried and tested present of a bottle of wine... have a good w/e

Iota said...

You don't get sprouts on Facebook. I suppose they might invent a sprout application - anything is possible. But they would still be only virtual, not real sprouts.

Swearing Mother said...

What a great and original gift. Round here people who hate sprouts a lot buy those sprouty walking sticks just because it makes us feel like we're country folk, buying proper veg instead of pre-packed ready prepared stuff.

It's a bit like buying carrots with soil on from Waitrose, they probably have a night shift especially to slap mud on clean veg just to make us all feel rustic.

Potty Mummy said...

You counted them?

Miriam said...

Glad to hear you're seeing real people.And not just because you've been missed. Here goes..Facebook is, in my view, just stupid. People believe that they are "talking" when they are really typing,and that they have "friends" when in fact those people may not be what they present themselves as. It is false, and given a choice, I think it's better to have real conversations with real people, preferably face to face. I do realise that sometimes that's not possible, but I think that all this "virtual" stuff is making us all more isolated and making society as a whole more stressed. Bring back the old-fashioned visits, I say.The kind where you just drop in to say "hello", and it doesn't matter if the house is a mess etc. Rant over, mimi

Shakespeare's Housekeeper said...

Up until christmas day, all sprouts on a stalk should be put in a vase...at least that way they have two uses.
Having had the endearing nickname of 'sprouty wench' from my darling husband for several years now, i wonder if i should be stuck in a vase or served on a dinner plate.

I think i know which one he would choose.

Shakespeare's Housekeeper x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

That was different! The most unusual thing I've taken as a gift is a loaf of bread (home made).

A

Braja said...

Bizarre. Love it.

Laura said...

If you don't think you can manage all 68 send them my way. I LOVE sprouts!

PARP

Laura

The Grocer said...

Who's this impersonator?

Pam said...

68 sprouts! Bet it'll be windy in your house.

Henry the Leaphound said...

That's country living alright and it's what I love best. I've had presents of dirty carrots, potatoes, a single beetroot, apples, pears, rhubarb, chutney, cakes and just last week six freshly baked bread rolls.

It's the practicality and thought that it could be useful that I like so much, even if you didn't expect something like a single beetroot you still make use of it and smile the whole way.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

i think Dulwich Mum has a recipe for sprout soup. you might be needing it. (or, whisper, might they go straight into the composter??)
Pigx

angie said...

just as well your mate wasn't coming to mine, sprouts were a blight on my childhood, i consider them to be the vegetable of Satan...the scars run deep!

Anna Colette said...

Are they for eating or only for admiring?

Hilary said...

You could spray them gold for Christmas...

otiva said...

Hi, stuck in bed with flu I'm reading your gorgeous book. Just got up to your getting stuck in the snow with the baby screaming in the back.
Thanks for making me laugh and cry, it's a lovely book.
We take a loaf of homemade bread of a jar of homemade marmalade as a gift for friends.
It always goes down well. Isn't it time we all got back to simple gifts based on thoughtfulness rather than value.
Just a thought, if you could use a pair of hand knitted socks this winter, let me know. Love to send you some as a thank you.

sparky said...

my favourite joke; (sad I know) 'What's the difference between snot and sprouts?' answer 'You can't get school children to eat sprouts'

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Have to confess when I first read that I thought you meant your vases (that you had 68) Though why you wd be counting your own vases, unless it was to check how the collection was going. I remember a post you wrote once about a lady in an enormous house with a 'vase' room. Thought maybe it was the rural equivalent of keeping up with the Joneses. A rival Sprout Receptacle Room

The Vintage Kitten said...

How funny, I just posted a photograph of sprouts like this on my blog (2 posts ago) and I was surprised at how many people didnt realise they grew this way. Im not sure I would have appreciated them as a gift though! I prefer chocolate!!! Im with you on the AGA, its a nightmare when you run out of oil. The cost of oil has trebled since we bought our Aga 4years ago....and dont get me started on the cost of a bag of coal! It certainly is cold where I am in the North Pennines, it was minus 7 this morning.

Mopsa said...

Fabulous - decorative one day, bubble and squeak the next