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Tuesday, 8 May 2018

About the Size of a Squirrel

And a happy Julian of Norwich's Day. The Beaker Saint par excellence. We can enjoy her hippie musings while being secretly glad we're not bricked into the wall of a church.

Now, years gone by have seen a terrible failure on the hazelnut front. For those of you who don't know about this (and I'll be honest you have simply no excuse), Julian had a vision of the whole of creation being about the size of a hazelnut. But her day is in May. And nuts are available in the autumn.

So after the anaphylaxis issues of using shelled hazelnuts from Waitrose in previous years, this year we decided to be prepared. We invested in a special "Hazelnut Room". Into its climate-controlled, air-cooled womb we put, last November, fully 10 bushels of the finest fruits of the Forestry Commission. And a few chestnuts. Figured they be nice, roasted. A little bit of Yule in May.

One word. Squirrels.

I regret to say that instead of rows of gleaming hazelnuts, all ready to be contemplated as symbols of the fragility of Creation and the loving hands of our compassionate God, we have a round dozen of the sleekest, most well-nourished squirrels you could imagine.

I'm not advocating anyone holds one of them and contemplates Creation. As John Cleese nearly said, contemplate that and you'll never light a tea light again.

I'm trying to think of what Julian might have had to say about squirrels. I'm sure it would have been wise, kind and godly.

Does anyone know the best way to cook them?


  1. Wrap them in mud, bake them, then peel the spines away with the hard mud crust. Careful to use quite sticky mud or they can wriggle free.

    1. Isn't that a recipe for hedgehog? Or where did the squirrel get its spines?

  2. Spit roast over an array of tea lights?

  3. Pot roast or stew is best as they don’t have enough fat to make spit or oven roasting worthwhile

  4. As someone with an allergy to Nuts, it seems that a Hazel Nut would be poison for me - but the portrayal of the whole world contained in a Hazel Nut has meant lots to those who've read Julian's writing.

    I wonder if I was locked away in a small space in a church, or anywhere else for years at a time, whether I would be inspired in the same way? God's grace would be needed and some strong smelling salts as the lack of a WC and ablutions would make for a pong to rival the smelliest place in the world

  5. when I was younger I used to sing "here we go gathering nuts in May" Maybe we were all under the influence of Julian
    or maybe it's global warming


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