"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shock Horror - Plenty of Brussel sprouts available for Christmas despite June floods

Lincolnshire Field Products boasts a turnover of around £85 million per year, and farms in excess of 11,000 acres....despite their gloomy predictions after the June floods your Christmas sprouts (they are UK's largest supplier) look to be in good supply.

They are moving from the supplier at 85p per kilo to the likes of Asda and selling currently in store for about that price for a 500 gram sealed pack.

Known to the Romans and long associated with the Belgians , this Brassica variety was said to have needed frot on it before harvesting.

New varieties still give a crisp button ( a gemma in botanical lingo - the stalks are said to be "gemmiferous") - crossing the stem when preparing them is not necessary - best steamed or done in a microwave.

Overcooking leads to excessive and smelly sulphureous fumes - which unfortunately after ingestion can lead to both noisy and oiferous and typical effluvia - smelly farts.

Brassica crops are worth over £180m annually at the farm gate the area of calabrese (broccoli) has increased greatly to 7,200 ha in the 10 years to 1998, the area of Brussel sprouts has halved to 5,500 ha.

Carrots are now the most valuable field crop (£100m) - best microwaved (cut as julienne - narrow strips) in a Pyrex dish with a teaspoonful of water and a knob of butter, cover with film.

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