Right now, as I sit at my desk in my bedroom in West London there are 5,578 books released into the wilds of the United Kingdom, waiting to be caught. 16,257 books are lurking hidden in the United States and in Australia there are another 1,779 on walkabout. These books are waiting to be discovered by any one of us, left there by strangers as part of an internet-based phenomenon known as book-crossing. Book-Crossers leave books in strange places, lodge the location on the internet and wait for some unsuspecting member of the public to find them. Freddie and Alex have released books this way and dream of finding one. The website says,
"Leave it on a park bench, at a coffee shop, at a hotel on vacation. Share it with a friend or tuck it onto a bookshelf at the gym -- anywhere it might find a new reader! What happens next is up to fate, and we never know where our books might travel next. Track the book's journey around the world as it is passed on from person to person."
On the weekend I did something very similar with a bag of parsnips. I had coffee in a cafe in Hammersmith and forgot my parsnips. I went back but they had disappeared. I hope that this could be the start of a new internet phenomenon. You leave a vegetable on a park bench, register its location on the internet and then wait for someone to discover it and turn it into some extraordinary dish. At least that is what I hoped happened to my parsnips. I went back to the supermarket to buy more and brought them home to roast with some honey, served with a leg of Welsh Lamb for Sunday Lunch. Freddie gave them 8 out of 10. We only hope that our lost parsnips enjoyed the same fate...
Roasted parsnips with honey
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of sesame seeds
Cut each parsnip lengthways into quarters. If the core looks a little woody, cut it out. Cut each piece in half. Cook them in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
In a bowl, mix together the honey, sesame oil and seeds with the parsnips so they are well coated. Put them in a non-stick roasting tin and roast in the oven for around 25 minutes. They should be tender and golden brown when ready.