Monday, November 26, 2007

Pulses and pigs

What are pulses? They're the seeds of plants from the legume family: so chiefly beans, lentils and peas. The ones in this picture are mung beans (the green ones) with whole grains of wheat and radish seeds, which I've been sprouting on kitchen paper to go in our salads.

Mum used to sprout seeds - chiefly lentils, I think - when I was little and I'd forgotten how much I like them - they have a sort of fresh earthy taste (that sounds really enticing... but I can't think of a better description). You can add them raw to salads in small quantities, or stir-fry them.

There's info here on what you can sprout and ways to do it, but I just put damp kitchen-roll on a plate, rinsed the seeds and spread them out, put it inside a clear polythene bag near a window. I removed the bag once the sprouts had got going (about three days) and that seemed to work well. Apparently if you want your mung beans to turn into Chinese-style beansprouts you need to put a ripening banana in with them! I think that's the oddest gardening tip I've ever heard...

Sprouts, however, are small beer. This week's big news: we have guinea pigs!

Pleased but not proud

J finished building the Piggy Palace last week, and we are now the proud owners of three female nine-week-old guinea pigs.

Three sisters

This is an awfully dark photo, but as you can see, we've got one smooth-coated white one with a beige nose, one dark brown crested one and one ginger crested one. I would tell you their names, but we've yet to make the final decision.

They are, however, exceptionally cute and already making their distinctive personalities felt. The white one is extremely docile and cuddly, the ginger one is a bit skittish and bouncy, and the brown one is also bouncy, but quite bold and whistles extremely loudly!

J's quite pleased with them.

J and the babies

I start my new job tomorrow. Wish me luck. I may need it.


old_black said...

You wrote:

I start my new job tomorrow. Wish me luck. I may need it.

Best wishes from me!

I'm not sure how you respond to these sorts of situations, but on the first day of a new job I usually come home with a headache from maintaining a fixed smile all day as I'm introduced to a whole barrage of people whose names and positions I immediately forget!

Is the job far away? Do you have new travel adventures ahead of you?

Loth said...

Very best of luck in the new job, K. (And I daren't show my boys the pictures of your piggies or I will be pestered from now until Christmas!)

Rosemary Grace said...

Aw, your first babies! I say that with a purry cat standing in my lap demanding that I stop typing RIGHT NOW and pay attention to him. It's so nice having sweet little beasties to enjoy together.

I don't know why, but the white one looks like a Cressida to me.

old_black said...

I don't know about everyone else, but I expect a full report on your first day in your new job! Especially the important things, like:
- can you access good coffee easily?
- is there space in the staff fridge for a big salad?
- do you have a comfortable chair?
- are you located in a spot where you can see out a window?

[Well, they're the things I look for, anyway!!]

BTW, I'm presuming this is archivist-type that right?

PastaQueen said...

Good luck! And the guinea pigs are very cute. Nice hutch.

Shauna said...

GOoooOOOOooooooD luck comrade!!! :) :) hope it all goes swimmingly

(and that IS a nice hutch)

old_black said...

I have to ask...what do people see in Guinea Pigs? Is this one of those things where you're either a cat person or a dog person but never the twain shall meet? The ones I've seen tend to just sit, or eat, and not relate much to their lord & master who feeds them. Maybe the ones I've seen weren't given the right situation to show off their full personalities!

Carl V. said...

First of all, best wishes on the new job. Hope all goes well.

Funny to see the piggies, as we are also pig owners...albiet briefly. We are watching two guinea pigs that are a gift for a friend's daughter for Christmas. They are so spoiled and it is hilarious how they squeal as if they are being tortured when they are hungry for the stuff they like to eat, like carrots and oranges, rather than eat their guinea pig food.

K said...

Wow, 8 comments!

Thanks for all the good wishes: I think it's going OK so far.

What we see in guinea pigs: really, we're cat people. But we're deeply allergic cat people. We don't happen to be allergic to the guinea pigs - I had them as a child, and we too did some babysitting this summer (partly as a tryout to see if J would like them too).

They are not as exciting or independent as cats. True. They are also about as clever as a cotton-wool ball. But they're soft and furry, they're docile to cuddle, and they do have little personalities - you can tell who's the bossy one, who's the brave one and who's the goofy one. And they have splendidly silly faces which cheer me up.

Carl: Guinea pigs like oranges? This we must try. Ours are certainly pretty good at squeaking at the least hint of a carrot in the offing.

Carl V. said...

Evidently. These were adopted from another family who had them for a year and oranges was one of the things they told us to feed them. They sure seem to love them. Those plus carrots and lettuce have them squeeling with delight.