Home-alone with a bed of lanky swedes

Hot buttered swede

Last Sunday I found myself home-alone for the day.

It was the day after ‘That’ Saturday, the one when horrendous Storm Imogen paid a visit and swept the country from tail to top. I’d spent the night slightly worried that the little stream (that borders my house) would flood over the top of its metre-high walls. I’d done a final torch-light survey at midnight, in dressing gown and wellies, to check that its exit  (through a tunnel under the lane) was still free-flowing. The stream had turned into a raging torrent and there was only a couple of inches left before it would hit the top of the tunnel. I figured that, if it did rise further, the field on the opposite bank was slightly lower and would oblige… But angry water has a mind of its own and does strange things.

The next morning was still windy. I emptied the Tupperware  that had been collecting the horizontal rain that was still dripping onto my windowsills.

And then it suddenly stopped still. The sun came out, there was a blue sky. My daughter’s dad turned up to enlist her in a reconnaissance to see ‘Dad’s Army’.

I was left with all round peace and a day to myself to survey my little plot and get some jobs done.

Whilst checking on the stream (it was back to its old self, fast-running but only a few inches deep), I noticed the bed of swedes. These had been languishing there for months and just didn’t seem to be getting any fatter. Had I not planted them deep enough? Had I planted them too close together? Had thinning them out been too little, too late? Their stubborn svelte-ness were starting to get on my nerves.

I decided to pull all the remaining ones out.  All four of them.

4 lanky swedes

Washed and lined up, they looked more like Creatures from the Deep, not remotely edible. Once peeled and diced, there was just enough to fill a plate. So I decided to have them all for lunch.

And as I was on my own, having them on their own was good enough for me. Steamed, and tossed in some goats butter and chopped parsley, with a little salt and pepper. Oh, and a glass of red wine.


Well, it might have only produced a one-dish-wonder, but the flavour of those swedes was superb. I ate leisurely and wondered why swedes are called swedes. It reminded me to read an article a friend had Tweeted earlier about Sweden, so I read it. And learnt two new words.


is Swedish for swede (Rot=root + Bagge=short, dumpy object)

and then there was the word


We don’t have a literal translation for it, which is a great shame, because it means ‘good enough’ or ‘just the right amount’… ‘Lagom är bäst’ means:

Enough is as good as a feast

My dish of swedes was lagom, my little garden is lagom. If we all just relax, let the storms come and go, we’ll see our lives are actually overflowing with lagom.

It’s a word I’ll be using more of, I’m sure.

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