Saturday, January 12, 2019

I’m sorry about yesterday – I wasn’t entirely well. Perhaps the second half of the “back end” malaise? At any rate, a brief, violent diarrhoea, and a general misery all day. There was nothing in the previous day’s food consumption which could explain it.  No knitting at all, since I was last here – and this evening, again, must be devoted to Italian homework.

I can’t help with the interesting swede/turnip/rutabaga discussion. I think I have always vaguely assumed that the small round white things called “turnips” – not all that common, in supermarkets in Scotland – would grow up to be the big orange things called “swedes”. Especially because when one speaks of “neeps” here, as in “neeps and tatties”, one means a delicious mash made from swedes. Burns Night is nearly upon us, and that is an essential feature, up there with the haggis.

I don’t know what a rutabaga is. My mother was not an adventurous cook. No doubt Google could straighten all this out, if I applied myself.

I wasn’t entirely comatose yesterday. Wandering around the internet in the evening, I discovered that the Shetland Museum has recently embarked on the “Lace Project”. It sounds very exciting, and the prospect of a publication at the end makes it even more so.

I’ve had an email from the New Yorker about the digital delights available to me “as a print subscriber”. But still no magazine.


  1. I think rutabaga is a different name for a swede, or what we called turnips in New Jersey. Rutabaga come from Swedish, or so the Minnesotans have told me. Big, orange, hard to cut.

    1. Thanks so much for posting this! I've been following the discussion of "Swedes" and figured it was some sort of root vegetable, but wasn't sure. Rutabaga makes so much sense to me. Learn something new every day:)!

  2. Swede is the orange one. Turnip is the small white peppery one. Different species of a similar root veg. I believe rutabaga is the American name for swede, but don't quote me. And of course, some of the awkward tribes such as Cornish and Cumbrian like to call swede a turnip, just to confuse the incomers.

  3. Anonymous8:53 PM

    Sorry you were unwell. Hope today was better.

    Turnips do not grow up to be rutabagas. They are different, but related, species. If you let turnips get too big, they will usually get woody and stringy.

    Beverly in NJ

  4. Here is everything you wanted to know about turnips and rutabagas but were afraid to ask

  5. Anonymous3:20 AM

    Growing up on the Canadian prairies, we called "turnips" the things Americans call "rutabagas" and the English (well, southern English, apparently) call "Swedes". I'm not sure I'd seen the little white turnips until I went to live in England.

  6. I gave my husband a NYer subscription for X-mas and it (printed issues) started promptly (here in the US), but I am still waiting for the free tote bag that supposedly came with the subscription. This is my first experience with subscribing to the NYer so I don't know what kind of service one can expect.

  7. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Really sorry you are not fully recovered. Maybe you do need to chat with your family doctor?

    As for the New Yorker, try sending an email.
    Perhaps they can give you a credit for the missed weeks.