For breakfast that morning we, along with a small ensemble of neighbours, assembled outside of the local magistrates court to await the news on a retired gentleman farmer who lives less than a mile from our property on the west coast of Scotland. At the back of eleven he emerged on the steps of the courthouse to be welcomed by a loud cheer and rapturous applause. He nodded briefly, grunted, then disappeared in the direction of our local bar.

Of course, we followed.

In December of last year, two days short of Hogmanay, our retired gentleman farmer friend was awoken by the sound of splintering wood coming from the area of his storage barn. He dressed, fetched his trusty side-by-side and went to investigate the noise that had awoken him from his slumber. Throwing open his barn door he was confronted by two Lithuanian travellers. One was happily defecating amongst our friends animal feeds, while the other was busy filling sacks of sugar beets and turnips as fast as his grubby little hands could muster. To ensure that he had their full attention, our gentleman friend fired one barrel into the night sky and made ready to let go the other in the general direction of his visitors. He shouted to his wife, who then rang his son. By the time his son had arrived, somewhat worst for wear after an evenings entertainment, his father had managed to corral Mr Turnip and Mr Shite into a milking pen. Mr Shite was minus his trews, while Mr Turnip was rather unhappily holding his stomach as he squatted on the ground surrounded by the remains of rotting veg.

Our retired gentleman farmer is nearly eighty years of age. He served his country well and was once a recognised face in Glasgow. He doesn't believe in involving the polis, neither does he welcome people of a certain ilk on his property. He is old school. He merely put into play (single handed) a wee bit of Glasgow justice to those who think they can ride roughshod over innocents who choose to live quiet and respectful lives within our community. He left Mr Shite to freeze his Lithuanian knackers off, while Mr Turnip was made to eat the rotting veg that is used to feed livestock. Fortunately, our gentleman friend's wife also called the polis as well as her son. After more than an hour, not to mention a lot of laughter on their part, a fair amount of consumed rotten veg and a small, shrivelled pair of jingle balls. The polis took away the trespassing Lithuanian duo, a sample of manky veg, two fecal stained grain sacks and our retired friend. The shotgun, mysteriously, had conveniently been misplaced in the ensuing stramash prior to the polis arrival. Our man was later summoned to appear before the honorary magistrates on the charges of false imprisonment, intimidation, possible cruelty and failing to register a shotgun (never found) on his property.

Strangely enough, the case against a member of our community was thrown out of court due to the non appearance of two key witnesses. The verdict was 'not proven'. No witnesses for the prosecution, no case against the accused, case dismissed. Joking aside, it could easily have been a tragic case had Mr Turnip and Mr Shite chosen the option to overpower our retired friend. Luckily, for them, they were thoroughly humiliated instead and given a sample of Scottish justice, Glaswegian style. I had to smile when he informed me that the drinks that he had just purchased for his supporters, were funded by the sale of the body and engine parts he had dismantled from their rather shiny getaway car that had been hidden behind his barn.

We are getting kind of fond of the oul fella, although his scowl would indicate otherwise.

Lowland Turnip Broth

3 green onion bulbs, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Crushed sea salt
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup long-grain white basmati rice
Black pepper
3-4 medium turnips, cut into small bite-size cubes
3 small branches fresh rosemary – 2 whole and 1 chopped
Grated parmesan cheese

Add the olive oil to a heavy stockpot and warm over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine and stock, and bring to a simmer.
Add the rice, and simmer for 10 minutes over medium-low. Add the turnips and two whole rosemary branches. Cook about 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with more salt, if necessary. Discard the rosemary branches, and serve the soup into bowls. Top with grated parmesan, fresh-ground black pepper, and chopped rosemary. Lock the doors of your outbuildings, sit and enjoy.


  1. Still LOLing at the names Mr Turnip and Mr Shite.

  2. It seemed appropriate, however I did tone down my original choice of names for fear of upsetting our dear lady Pat.

    Decorum at all times, eh?

  3. They got what they deserved, those two. Even the names. A round of rock salt peppering their arses wouldn't have been misplaced either.

    That turnip broth looks tasty. Would it be inappropriate to add a pork hock or two to the pot?

    1. Far from being inappropriate, it would be a tradition that I would be happy to endorse. Do try it with a few sides of oatcake and garlic butter.

  4. A comedy series starring Turnip and Shite would be something I would watch. And that turnip soup would be wonderful on this cold, rainy day.

  5. I'm thinking Jim Belushi and Dan Ackroyd for the two leading characters, perhaps Christopher Walken as a cameo in series II.

    Do be cautious with turnip broth, if you are not carefully you may find yourself sleeping alone.

  6. Glasgow justice, I feckin' like it.

    And that broth does be lookin' tasty my friend. I like Pon's suggestion too.
    I did some cooking meself today; along with a roast chicken dinner I made a pot of carrot, spud & smokey bacon soup. The latter delivered still hot to the Ma and my kid sister.

    Still recovering from the weekend!


  7. Now THAT'S what I call justice!

  8. So it's the cooking you're at the now, is it so? I'm welling up at the pride of it all, so I am. I do hope you told your Mammy that I was asking for herself and the family?

    A pint now is it? To tell the truth I was just sitting down to read ghods good book, but I will lay that aside so that we may imbibe a wee drap down at O'Hagans as we discuss the game and how good the lads were on the day. I don't suppose you have any leftover chicken about his, eh?

  9. Je peux penser à quelque chose qui pourrait amuser ma bouche, bon monsieur!

    1. Your ability to French exceeds my expectations on a very large scale. I look forward to the photies of your adventures in the air very soon, not to mention the ones of you currently exercising on your back with your legs in the air. Your absence will be noted, you will be missed.

  10. The Mammy taught her boys well in the kitchen, all six of her sons are the chief cooks to their respective families. She's glad to hear I keep such good company as yerself. My Drummer called and finished off the last of the chicken, along with all the other leftovers!

    O'Hagan's so. HH!

    1. Perhaps a fish supper after the gold then, eh?

    2. Fish & chips, with the mushy peas, with my best pal, after the Gold. Now (Mr. Pew) That IS heaven. :)

  11. Has the BBC purchased the film rights to this yet? I see it as the opening salvo in a long, satisfying bio-pic.

    1. UB, The BBC don't like to admit that the country of Scotland actually exists, unless of course they can show staged stills of the English monarchy sketching childlike drawings and wearing a non existent kilt design.

  12. *sitting back down to type after giving the Mature Man a standing ovation for defending his turf*

    It's a shame our global neighborhood doesn't actually share close geographical space: I just made lemon meringue tarts for the Mom-in-Law while Hubby did his famous fried chicken. We usually do that meal for her on Mother's Day but this year she wasn't feeling well at the time, so we did it for Memorial Day.

    And for the record, as a real southerner, I have to eat fried chicken once in a blue moon, even if it makes medical types swoon for the wrong reasons. (Skinless, fried in canola oil, but not tasteless).

    Imagine the table of food this group could gather around!

    1. Famous fried chicken eh? I'm intrigued doll, tell me about it, am I missing out on something authentically southern? As for meringue tarts, now you really have my attention!

  13. A new blog…

    Why? To share reflections upon life with others if they are interested, though perhaps mainly with myself – to hold on to thoughts which otherwise might remain ephemeral; the thoughts one has today but which tomorrow have been forgotten.

    I will maintain some degree of anonymity. This is not out of any fear of reaction, but because my life is led among others, who will doubtless appear (under suitable pseudonyms) in my musings; and they may not want their parts in my life made public.

    A limited profile, though: I live in the English Midlands, with Mrs Fodder; whilst my older children are now adult, there are still some Fodderlets at home. I have been Catholic for a bit more than half my life, and am involved in my church and parish; whilst I can rehearse reasons for faith in God (and find the exercise of reason a source of fascination) I need none myself as I am content with the simple knowledge of His presence. I’m a technophile with a foundation in mathematics; I find language a source of fascination.

    Let’s see where this goes Chef!

    1. Good luck with that Mr Pew. Perhaps you taking a fresh slant on life may do us both good. By the way, what are your thoughts on this latest Australian fella claiming to be Jaysus reborn? I expected a fuller beard if I am being honest. As for his wee lassie boasting that she is Mary herself, what's that all about?

    2. Scandalous claims that should be ignored and treated with the derision it deserves.

  14. I once set out my own amuse-bouche as a cream cheese oyster wrapped in palma ham and dressed with tindrels of saffron and gentle flower petals.
    It went down very well, or so I thought, that was until it started to come back up at an alarming rate at the wedding I was catering for. I've steered clear of shellfish ever since. Mr Turnip and Mr Shite, didn't they recently join forces to manage a certain blue footy team in Govan?

    1. Tony, cream cheese with anything? Are you sure oul son?

      Try this recipe for oysters, it will never fail to impress.

      16 whole live oysters
      2 cloves garlic, finely minced
      3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      3 tablespoons unsalted butter
      1 teaspoon lemon juice
      1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or substitute with dashes of Tabasco)
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      cracked black pepper to taste
      1 tablespoon finely minced parsley

      Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the olive oil and the butter. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds, no longer. Add the lemon juice, chili pepper flakes, salt, pepper and parsley.

      Compliment the dish with a decent malt whisky or a good French white wine.

    2. First time here, not a blogger, but do like to read interesting thoughts from interesting people with interesting outlooks on life. The oysters sound divine.


    3. Viv, feel free to come and go as you please, not everyone blogs, but they do have the right to voice an opinion.

    4. Anonymous9:55 am GMT+5

      Thank you, most kind.

  15. congratulations to your neighbor, sugar! and also to the magistrates who threw the case out. i've never been one for turnips, but i might have to try this one when it's a bit colder here. now, to your oyster recipe, sir. did you serve that delicious concoction over freshly opened oysters on the half shell? i'll have to share my recipe for minced pickled red onions and radishes on raw oysters! and, either beverage would suit my palate! ;~) xoxoxo

  16. Ahh dear lady, as you are more than aware, oysters must always be served on the half shell to do the flavours full justice. Please do share your recipe with me, I would like to give it a try, it sounds enticing.

    Have you tried this recipe?

    2 cups rock salt
    24 oysters, shucked
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    175g thin rashers rindless bacon, diced
    2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
    lemon wedges, to serve.

    Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Place rock salt, in a thick layer, on a baking tray or heatproof plate. Arrange oysters (in their half-shells) on rock salt.

    Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce over the oysters in their half shells. Top with bacon. Grill, on top of the salt, for 5 to 8 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon.

  17. 2 cups red wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons kosher salt
    1 tablespoon sugar
    3 big shakes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
    1 cup cold water
    1 red onion, sliced very thin
    5 to 6 large red radishes, sliced very thin

    In a medium bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, salt, sugar, hot sauce and 1 cup of cold water. Add the onions and the radishes to the vinegar mixture and reserve.

    that's the recipe i use, but instead of mixing it in a bowl, i just do the whole thing in a tall jar.

    i agree re raw oysters, but down here, people *shiver* do oyster roast and steam the oysters in the shell until they pop open. they are tasty, but i'm still a raw bar kinda gal! *cheers* i'll give your recipe a try with the MITM comes home! xoxoxo

  18. Thank you Savvy, I am now intrigued as to how the radish will work out with the crispness of the onion against the soft flesh of the oyster. I will give it a go when I return to Spain. The oysters there are second only to Ireland.

  19. Oh for Glasgow justice to be the universal benchmark....

    1. Oh Helen, if you only knew!

    2. From what my father told me of his time there in the twenties and thirties a claw hammer seemed to feature did sewing machines launched from windows onto mounted policemen...

  20. That sounds about right Helen, even up to the late 80s it housed some of the most dangerous men in Scotland. Thankfully, these days it is a city of culture and a new generation has expelled the dinosaurs and embraced very different attitudes towards violence. Sewing machines stopped being thrown from rooftops when the Singers factory closed and mounted polis were replaced by computers. I still have the odd jacket with a hatchet holster attached under the arm, but these are usually only worn for weddings and funerals or when the English come to steal land.

  21. All's well that ends well.


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