Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Leeks of Wonder!
I was over HERE yesterday, spilling the beans on a Grizz-and-Fhina type of secret! Please call in if you have time - to witness yet more mum-humiliation, Grizz-stylee...
I need to share - Lord Preserve Me!
I have joined our local pub's Leek Club...
I was brought up in a post-industrial town of leeks and whippets, coal and toil, and I'd never, (nor have any of my family to my knowledge), grown a leek.
My granda' once took me to our local Working Men's Club in North Seaton to see the, (I understand, world-famous,) Leek Show there and to enjoy some of the spoils of the produce - tasty Leek and Potato Soup, and I was blown away by the vastness of the vegetables on display... I'm not kidding you! Carrots the thickness of your wrists, leeks the size of a Strong-Man's thigh, turnips that could double as tables... Really.
And GJ and I have been going to our local pub, way out in the wilding, wintry moors of Northumberland, over the past few years once a week, on and off, and we wondered about the great intrigue and enchanting secrets of the fabled and sacred Leek Club for which we have been buying raffle tickets to raise funds for ages...
And late this summer, the air scented with leeky, onion-like smells and success, we walked in through the portal of the scarce-used Leek Club Shed (circa 1940) to view the Show Leeks.
They were beautiful. Practically perfect. Blanched-white and wondrous. Awe-inspiring, with dark emerald-cast leaves and beautiful button-shaped bases and snow-white squid-like tendrils. I was swept away by what could be achieved by a few (predominantly octogenarian) men and women in their spare time.
And then I saw the glittering prizes - Freezers and designer vacuum cleaners, top-class wellies and a Dualit toaster and kettle and I was distracted by the shiny, and signed up my name to join the club, prepared to show my three prize leeks in Autumn 2010.
To be honest, I also wanted to give the lovely, (seriously substitute Fhina-dad), landlord George, a great big laugh at my paltry efforts. And I thought, if push came to shove, I could just buy some leeks at the supermarket. Not so!
Lawd help me! I don't know where to start...
At present, I am on the hunt for baby leeks, called 'sets', apparently - I made many folk laugh when I started gibbering on about "Baby Leeks!"
And, in my capacious hand-made Karina Hesketh handbag, I've a hand-drawn Mappa Leekie from someone at work I barely know, showing a (probably non-existent), secret allotment site where apparently I've to knock three times on a paint-spattered door and ask for 'Norman'.
I just know I'm taking my life in my hands. Sssshhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Any hints and tips, my green-fingered Bloggeros and Bloggeristas??! Pretty-please!
And if you want to know more about the cold northern climes and the traditions and science of leek-growing, you need go no further than this wonderful article: CLICKIE from Dr Clive Dalton and Mr Tony Wright - This has to be a definitive, historically comprehensive and heart-warming article.
Many thanks for allowing me to reference it, bold Sirs! And if I don't see you at the weekend, I'll see you through the Leek!