Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A bit of good old-fashioned scrumping

Scrumping, according to the Wikidictionary, means to steal fruit from orchards, especially apples. It also has a more colloquial meaning, that has no place on this blog. For the past couple of weeks, Miss Dog and I have been doing recon in the local area looking for potential targets to plunder. Scrumping, in the broadest of terms, could involve accessing edible items (or possibly just useful ones) that are on the side of the road, not being used by anyone, apart from like minded scrumpers. So today I am going to take you for a little journey with Miss Dog and I on our morning walk.
The first thing we like to do on a walk is get doggy business out of the way. We prefer to use the reserve alongside the cemetery to attend to such things. We shall just avert our eyes while Miss Dog assumes the position and checks to see I'm not looking out of the corner of her eye. Lovely gum tree. Beautiful blue sky.
We both like to have a little look around the cemetery. Miss Dog is very respectful and carefully skirts her way around the graves.
On four of the graves are these exquisite china floral wreaths. The others were shaded by the trees, so I'll have to take a photo another time. The graves with these are around 100 years old, and look how well this has lasted.
Once we've paid our respects we exit the cemetery and head along the road. Today we found a sweet little nest. Hopefully it was well used by a birdie family in the spring. Mr and Mrs Bird had thought about waterproofing as they had little pieces of plastic woven into the natural fibres.
Now for some serious scrumping. Breakfast time. These are little cherry plums with sweet and juicy yellow insides, only slightly sour around the stone. I stuff a handful into my pocket and munch as we walk along.
Miss Dog and I disagree on the most important aspects of a walk. I believe a brisk walk and lots of interesting things to see are most critical. Miss Dog believes a leisurely wander with masses of stops for smelling interesting things, ranging from hedgehog turd to doggy scent trails, to be the best kind of walk. Today, for example, she was delighted to find the back leg of a rabbit that had met an unfortunate fate. It took a little persuasion to convince her that eating it on the spot was NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Miss Dog also loves a swim when we are out. Not today.
Look who's looking at us! We also spot a donkey and three alpacas with summer haircuts (they look ridiculously skinny and have decorative tufts around their ankles). Oh and the chookies are bathing in the sunlight in their large run as we peek at them through the hedge.
Now we're heading back into the more populated area. Time for some more scrumping, but this time I'll stuff my booty into my pocket. Rosemary for the lamb chops tonight. We have to be a bit more surreptitious now. When new subdivisions are put in around the village the entranceways are always done with huge clumps of hardy plants. Sometimes they are natives, but I prefer the herby plantings.
The lavender is also ready to harvest, but I don't see anyone stepping up to do it, so I think it might go to waste if someone doesn't take action soon. In my pocket I've got a doggy poo bag. Miss Dog has already done her business, so I whip it out and stuff as much lavender as I dare into it before I look like I'm loitering with intent. We admire the modest but highly fragrant harvest when we get home.
We head home victorious. I'm happy because I've done my exercise and so has Miss Dog. Miss Dog is pleased because she sniffed hundreds of fascinating things and is about to get her breakfast. So now you've been around the big block with us. Thanks for coming. We'll take you another way sometime soon.
Just before I go, here is today's harvest. I've very pleased with the yellow courgettes as previous attempts to grow them have failed miserably. They are more temperamental than their green cousins. The spring onions look like chopsticks. This lot are going with some slightly squidgy supermarket tomatoes and will accompany the Scrumped Rosemary Lamb Chops. No, I didn't scrump the lamb. That would be very bad indeed, and I'm still to convince Miss Dog that sheep are actually quite a boring lot who like the quiet life.


Anonymous said...

Thanks to you and Poppy for letting us accompany you on your walk. The scrumping produced a very fine haul! Hot here again today but cloudy tonight. We had a lovely salad for tea flavoured with basil parsley and spring onions from the garden, also a wee onion and tomato salad flavoured with oregano and chives. All very yummy. Love to all xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

juniorwashbourn said...

Sounds like one heck of a walk - when I read it to Katie she wanted to know why our walks weren't that interesting, but as I said to her, it's all in the way you tell a tale! Happy walking! See youn Saturday!