Tag Archives: blogging

Our Actions are Our Future…#World Food Day… 16th October 2021.

Today October 16th 2021 the UN is making a call for action to make healthy and sustainable diets available and affordable to everyone.

For the second year running, the world marks #WorldFoodDay whilst continuing to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, the World Food Day commemorations will be jointly led by the Food and Agriculture Organisation( FAO), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, and the World Food Programme (WFP). Events will be organised in 150 countries across the globe with multiple partners and governments, according to the United Nations.

The theme this year is “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow”.

I hope this is the case as I was worried that while I have been conducting research I read that and I was astounded that despite the focus being on building sustainable and fair food systems the recent UN summit was boycotted and criticized by none other than scientists, farming groups and social movements…

Why?…instead of giving the platform to groups who were building and advocating for sustainable food systems worldwide…the summit centred around major food and agriculture companies who argue that the way forward is through proprietary tech and more chemicals.

“Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow”

DOES NOT MEAN more Chemicals!

When I read figures and percentages stating how much food is wasted around the world...I feel like weeping… particularly when I see appeals to help feed starving children and in all honesty, no parent should have to worry about where the next meal is coming from not in this day and age…but because there is so much inequality around the world it is happening children are starving and dying…it beggars belief at times…

I know wars and strife and the like sometimes prevent food supplies from getting through and of course, climate change is taking the flack as well for some of it but more should be done…I truly hope that days like today and the forthcoming COPD26 brings about that change…Our actions are our future…

Thank you for taking the time to read x

 

 

 

Fang-Tastic Friday … Chilli Con Carne and Halloween Trivia…

Halloween-Pumpkins- witches-

I am sure by now that those of you who really go all out for Halloween have got all your porches and homesteads superbly decorated…..please send your pictures I love to see them I have never lived anywhere where Halloween is celebrated…we have always celebrated Harvest festival with beautiful loaves shaped like sheaves of corn …lots of beautiful root vegetables, Apple Pies and hymns like “We Plough the Fields and Scatter” I can still hear the words in my head…Anyway enough of my maudlin…its all about Halloween…

A great chilli recipe for when it’s cold and blowy outside…I think a lovely big pan of chilli goes down well with most,  A lovely jacket potato especially if it is cooked in the coals of your BBQ or fire or my favourite was when my mum used to roast chestnuts in the ash pan underneath the fire…

Chilli Con Carne … Carol’s Way…

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped or mix all the colours I do if I have leftovers to use.
  • 3/4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh-made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

Halloween Trivia! Did you know?

The 1978 blockbuster, Halloween, was only made in 21 days on a very limited budget.

My second Chilli recipe from a friend of mine …Richard and it is his vegetarian chilli…Thank Richard it is very nice. It is Richards recipe with a Thai twist and tasty…

Vegetarian Chilli with lentils.

vegetarian chilli with lentils

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chillies
  • 125 gm mushrooms chopped
  • A handful of chopped green beans
  • 100 gm black lentils
  • 1 tbsp each of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar
  • Basil Leaves

Then cook as normal ensuring lentils are cooked through.

The instructions are as I received them as Richard obviously knows I can cook…lol

For anyone needing more details then cook as my chilli recipe above but adding lentils instead of the meat. I did add a couple more tomatoes and some kidney beans to Richards original recipe…I also soaked my lentils… he doesn’t as he likes his lentils al dente…

Cooking is all about personal taste and I sometimes just chuck it in the pot and take it from there… That’s how I cook most of the time and TASTE…

Enjoy!

Did you know?

Pumpkins are not only orange, but also white, blue, and green?

Some mocktails for the kiddywinks.

Did you know?

Hundreds of vampire clubs and societies exist and claim to have real vampires as their members.

fangs

They may have had dental work on their teeth but really vampires?? What do you think ??

Have you got any favourite Halloween recipes you would like to share next Friday if so message me and I will showcase them and link back to you 🙂 x

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week 🙂 xx

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Two – Vitamin C to K2 by Sally Cronin

The alternative shopping list by nutrient that the body needs to be healthy – Part Two

We usually compile our shopping list based on our preferences, tastes and sometimes pocket. But Sally over at Smorgasbord Magazine has a slightly different method that you might find useful.#Recommended Read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/10/14/smorgasbord-health-column-weekly-grocery-shopping-list-by-nutrient-part-two-vitamin-c-to-k2-by-sally-cronin/

The Environmental A-Z…the letter S…#Smog, Sustainable Agriculture, Solid Waste…The Earthshot Prize

Welcome to my Environmental A-Z…today it’s the letter S…I have been heartened to hear how many of you feel like I do that we need to take our own steps to avoid pollution wherever we can…

Abraham Lincoln is correct we need to act now to create the future for our families that we want…but at the moment we can only dream of…

The best way to predict your future is to create it...Abraham Lincoln.

 

The A-Z of the environment and Climate Change… letter S…

Salinisation…Salinization is the increase of salt concentration in soil and is, in most cases, caused by dissolved salts in the water supply. This supply of water can be caused by flooding of the land by seawater, seepage of seawater or brackish groundwater through the soil from below.

It is also a global problem as Salinity affects production in crops, pastures and trees by interfering with nitrogen uptake, reducing growth and stopping plant reproduction. Some ions (particularly chloride) are toxic to plants and as the concentration of these ions increases, the plant is poisoned and dies.

The solution and different types…

How farmers deal with Salinisation…they avoid over-irrigation by monitoring soil moisture to work out water requirements. good crop selection such as using deep-rooted plants to maximise water extraction. minimising fallow periods using crop rotations and break crops…

Smog…Smog is air pollution that reduces visibility. The term “smog” was first used in the early 1900s to describe a mix of smoke and fog. The smoke usually came from burning coal. Smog was common in industrial areas and remains a familiar sight in cities today. Today, most of the smog we see is photochemical smog.

What is photochemical smog? Photochemical smog is a mixture of pollutants that are formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react to sunlight, creating a brown haze above cities. It tends to occur more often in summer because that is when we have the most sunlight.

What are the dangers?
Photochemical smog can have an effect on the environment, on people’s health and even on various materials. The main visible effect is the brown haze that can be seen above many cities. The brown tinge is caused by very small liquid and solid particles scattering the light.

It all sounds harmful and scary to me…

Sustainable Development…Sustainable development can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs…Fine words but what is really the reality?

The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2021.pdf

Solid Waste…

Solid Waste” means any garbage or refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material, resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities. Nearly everything we do leaves behind some kind of waste.

It is important to note that the definition of solid waste is not limited to wastes that are physically solid. Many solid wastes are liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material.

Municipal solid waste (MSW), commonly known as trash or garbage in the United States and rubbish in Britain, is a waste type consisting of everyday items that are discarded by the public. “Garbage” can also refer specifically to food waste, as in a garbage disposal; the two are sometimes collected separately.

Sustainable Agriculture…Sustainable agriculture is farming in sustainable ways meeting society’s present food and textile needs, without compromising the ability of current or future generations to meet their needs.

Interestingly I watched “The Earth shot Prize” Repairing our Planet…Set up by Prince William it includes Sir David Attenborough who is on the committee…I downloaded it on Utorrent for me it is a wonderful idea and I am so very proud of Prince William and Sir David Attenborough you can tell how much thought has gone into this and they are committed to making the right decisions by including people from around the world…

PLEASE WATCH IT, if you can… the first one was in part about cattle and in particular how much damage they cause to the environment but most importantly how this can be addressed …I believe we can still enjoy our beef if that’s what we want to eat maybe in smaller quantities as I also believe we should increase our fruit and vegetable intake…not just for the environment but for our health… the two go hand in hand.

We need radical changes to how we farm, how we buy, how we eat and what we eat…for our health and the health of the planet…

What worried me though and it should worry you is that while I have been conducting research I read that and I was astounded that despite the focus being on building sustainable and fair food systems the UN summit was boycotted and criticized by none other than scientists, farming groups and social movements…

I was now reading this with a look of pure disbelief on my face…Why?…instead of giving the platform to groups who were building and advocating for sustainable food systems worldwide…the summit centred around major food and agriculture companies who argue that the way forward is through proprietary tech and more chemicals.

This greatly concerns me as we have COPD26 coming up…This post summed it up…Working Together For Planet…There is no Planet B…

This is important as we need to act now...Politicians need to make the big decisions now to end our dependence on fossil fuels and they need our support to do this. This is our opportunity to let our representatives know that we want them to take action NOW….MY BIG FEAR IS THAT THE SAME WILL HAPPEN AT COPD26 AS WHAT HAPPENED AT THE UN SUMMIT…The way forward is not through propriety tech and more chemicals in my mind..so please if you are as concerned as I am please act now…

Thank you so much for reading this and please, please at least have a read..we don’t need a COPD27 because nothing of use was taken forward from COPD26.

 

CarolCooks2…in my kitchen…Pulled Pork and a vegan pulled BBQ Jackfruit.

Welcome to my kitchen...today I will be showing you how to cook pulled pork and if you are vegetarian or vegan I will also give you an alternative that tastes just like pulled pork and with the same texture…

We ate ours with Pitta bread which took some practise my first ones were not so good but not one to give up I have practised again and again…

They were lovely topped with some shredded white cabbage and shallots and some sour cream…

Ingredients:

  • 2k piece of Pork Shoulder
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce…my homemade BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup ACV
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 extra-large onion or two med onions
  • 1 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil or oil of your choice
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Let’s Cook!

Put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 5 hrs or until the meat is soft end tender. Baste the meat with the juices occasionally. Rest the meat for 30 mins before shredding and putting the meat back into the juice..  or add the juice to a jug and add as you serve…

Serve in the bread of your choice rolls or flatbreads or this homemade Pitta Bread.

Pitta Bread:

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided (or 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour and 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 to 2 tsp  salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I used plus a little more for the bowl.

Let’s Bake:

In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup lukewarm water and stir in the yeast and sugar until dissolved. Add ½ cup flour and whisk together. Place the mixing bowl in a warm place, uncovered to form a loose sponge. Give it 10-15 minutes, the mixture should bubble.

Now add salt, olive oil and almost all the remaining flour (keep about ½ cup of the flour for dusting later). Stir until mixture forms a shaggy mass. Dust with a little flour, then knead the mixture inside the bowl for about a minute to incorporate all the flour.

Dust a clean working surface with just a little bit of flour. Knead lightly for a couple minutes or so until smooth. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then knead again for a couple more minutes. The dough should be a little bit moist, you can help it with a little dusting of flour, but be careful not to add too much flour.

Clean the mixing bowl and coat it lightly with olive oil and put the dough back in the bowl. Turn the dough a couple times in the bowl to coat with the olive oil. Cover the mixing bowl tightly I use a plastic shower cap then lay a kitchen towel over. Put the bowl in a warm place. Leave it alone for 1 hour or until the dough rises to double its size.

 Deflate the dough and place it on a clean work surface. Divide the dough into 7 equal pieces and shape them into balls. Cover with a towel and leave them for 10 minutes or so to rest.

Shape the pittas. Using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the pieces into a circle that’s 7-8 inches wide and about a quarter-inch thick. It helps to lift and turn the dough frequently as you roll so that dough doesn’t stick to your counter too much. (If the dough starts to stick, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour). If the dough starts to spring back, set it aside to rest for a few minutes, then continue rolling. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.

Once you get going, you can be cooking one pitta while rolling another… You have two options for baking the pitta bread.

To bake pitta bread in the oven… Heat the oven to 475 degrees F and place a heavy-duty baking pan or large cast-iron skillet on the middle rack to heat. Working in batches, place the rolled-out pittas directly on the hot baking sheet (I was only able to fit 2 at a time). Bake for 2 minutes on one side, and then, using a pair of tongs, carefully turn pitta over to bake for 1 minute on the other side.  The pitta will puff nicely and should be ready. Remove from the oven and cover the baked pitas with a clean tea towel while you make the rest of the pittas. Doing it this way didn’t work for me I prefer using a griddle pan…

To cook pitta bread on the stovetop… This was my preferred way of cooking the pitta bread…Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat.

A couple drops of water drizzled onto the pan, when the beads of water sizzle immediately your pan is ready… Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil and wipe off any excess.

Working with one pitta at a time, lay a rolled-out pitta on the pan and bake for 30 seconds, until bubbles start to form. Using a spatula, flip the pitta bread over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Flip again and cook another 1-2 minutes to toast the other side.

The pitta is ready when it puffs up forming a pocket (sometimes, with this method, the pitta may not puff or may only form a small pocket. Try pressing the surface of the pitta gently with a clean towel). Keep baked pitta covered with a clean towel while you work on the remainder of the pitta bread.

My griddle pan is quite large so I could cook two pittas at a time…I just covered it with my wooden carving board and found this helped the pittas to rise…

I tried both methods of cooking and preferred using the griddle pan  I also rolled them too thin the first time I made them and they didn’t rise at all but I also think I used too much wholemeal flour…I now use half and a half …it took me about 3 test runs before my testers approved them with no comments apart from yum…

Jackfruit…when I first cooked jackfruit I was amazed at the difference when cooked and it really does takes on the look and texture of pulled pork to say I was surprised is an understatement…I have only eaten and cooked with fresh jackfruit but am aware that many of you can only buy the tinned jackfruit but I have been reliably informed that it does indeed do what it says on the tin…I have also included a link on how to prepare fresh Jackfruit.

Vegan Pulled Jack Fruit…

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp chipotle Tabasco
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp BBQ sauce…
  • 200g can chopped tomato
  • 2 x 400g cans young jackfruit in salted water or fresh jackfruit…see link on how to prepare fresh jackfruit.

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion until very soft, for around 10-12 mins. Add the cinnamon, cumin and paprika to the onions and cook for a further 2-3 mins. Next add the Tabasco, vinegar and bbq sauce and mix well before adding in the tomato, the drained jackfruit and 200ml water. Leave to simmer gently, covered, for 30 mins stirring every 5-10 mins to help break down the jackfruit, then take the lid off and cook a further 10 minutes.

Once cooked, use a fork to make sure all of the jackfruit is well shredded.  Check to season and add another tbsp of bbq sauce if necessary for extra stickiness.

Then serve in a toasted bun with some shredded cabbage/slaw, sliced red onions, sliced jalapenos maybe some fried onion rings, potato wedges…Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me today in my kitchen I hope that whether you are a meat-eater, a vegan or something in between you have found something to like…x

See you tomorrow for my Environmental A-Z…x

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 3rd – 9th October 2021 – James Bond, 1979 Hits, Green Kitchen, Stories, Book Reviews, Bloggers, Health and Humour

Welcome to the round-up of posts you might have missed during the week on Smorgasbord.

Please head over to Smotgasbord for a jam-packed week of laughter, music, health, recipes and reviews, new book releases #recommended read

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/10/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-3rd-9th-october-2021-james-bond-1979-hits-green-kitchen-stories-book-reviews-bloggers-health-and-humour/