Tuesday, 24 June 2008

help help help

I wouldn't normally do this, but I have been working VERY hard this year, as many of my friends will know (ie. I hope you still remember what my face looks like!) Anyway, I have a balloon in Orange's balloon race. Please help me by clicking here to help speed my little balloon across the skies of the world wide web. The prize is a trip to Ibiza, and boy do I need it!

Self Sufficientish

I've started a new group over on flickr for people to post up any efforts towards self sufficiency, however big or small. Please feel free to join and contribute.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Growing Communities cont...

It is a little while since I have waxed lyrical about my love for Growing Communities, so I thought I would update you with their message from last week's veg bag. It really struck a chord - their ideals and what they are trying to do is rather refreshing, and even makes me feel hopeful about things.

I hope that GC are able to continue going from strength to strength, and don't suffer under the current problems regarding oil, food and the credit crunch. I hope that people aren't abandoning them in favour of other cheaper alternatives (although I still believe that the service they offer is really quite reasonable), and more importantly I do hope that this represents a new direction in our relationship with food and its production.

"This month's Ecologist features an interview with Julie, our director, on how Growing Communities is trying to re-localise Hackney's food system. "Re-localise" is a hybrid word we know - but it is the best way of describing what we are trying to do - which is to change the way people in Hackney are fed. We want to make sure that people here can buy food which is locally grown and produced in a low-carbon way, and distributed sustainably. As Julie says in the article we're trying to create a system robust enough to withstand both climate change and peak oil. We are getting an increasing number of people from organisations across the UK wanting our help to develop similar projects using GC the model. We do plan to do this - it's always been one of our aims to get other communities across the UK (or even London would be a good first step) to set up their own versions of GC - using our projects and our key principles as a guide. All this is good news, however, given the current climate and a combination of increased food/fuel costs and lower incomes for a lot of people - this is just the time when things could get difficult. We need our members to stay with us. It's possible that the current oil price hike is just a blip - but even so - it's one that gives an indication of what the future is likely to hold. We need people to decide that they want to carry on buying sustainable fruit and veg - and supporting our efforts to set up an alternative to the current system. By belonging to GC you are part of a real force for change. We really can't do it without you."

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Sigara Borek

When I was about 8 years old we went on a family holiday to Turkey. I have many happy memories from that holiday, but one which particularly stood out (I think for all of us) was the joy of eating Sigara Borek every evening. They are so delicious, and although I've not been to Turkey since I suppose I have tried to re-enact this little holiday ritual in my obsessive search for spinach pie whenever I go to Greece. Although this recipe from Binnur's Turkish Cookbook doesn't use spinach I recommend making it with, as we had them at the local restaurant.

My only hope is that when I make these they live up to the memory.

Friday, 20 June 2008

David's delicious dinners

Whilst I've been working away on my never-ending cycle of plan-teach-review David has been cooking up a storm in the kitchen. My favourite from last week was a supper of squid and samphire with roasted potatoes and veggies. Yum!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Eat the seasons

Anyone wanting for up-to-date information on what's in season here in England should sign up to receive weekly emails from Eat The Seasons. Each week you get a brief summary of what's good now (mainly fruit and veggies but also fish and some meat, mostly game) along with recipes and cooking suggestions. What's not to like?

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The Hackney School Cook's Recipe Book

A step in the right direction... not entirely sure I agree 100% with some of the ingredients but it's a leap on from some of the pap I've seen out there! Unfortunately there isn't a link directly to the news item about it, you can download it as a pdf from the news section on the right-hand side of the homepage.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Tomato update

In lieu of time to do anything else, I am going to have to restrict this blog to tomato updates, which are about my only hands on contact with food at the moment - other than meal times, but I'm not cooking anything :(

Only 2.5 more weeks to go, keep calm and carry on. Soon I will have a life again.

Incidentally the variety I went for is known as 'Gardener's Delight' - apparently an all round winner.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Musical vegetables

I love this. Brilliant! If only there were instructions. This guy is absolutely radio rental - managing to combine two of my favourite things, food and music. The 'radish clarinet' tops the bill for me...

Saturday, 14 June 2008

the tiniest tomato

David has gone away for the weekend - I've had to stay behind as I have so much college work, poop. Still I was able to enjoy a lovely almond croissant and cappuccino for breakfast on London Fields this morning (top pic: view from breakfast bench). And this little chap is our first tomato - obviously, he's got some growing to do...

Thursday, 12 June 2008

My happy tomato plants

I've not got much time for anything at other than school at the moment. It's pretty full on, although at least I'm now avoiding the dinners there. As I sit here at my computer, planning lessons like there's no tomorrow, looking up at these two tomato plants makes me happy. In a moment of wisdom I sowed them back in March - I can't wait to try the first of the summer.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

You are what you eat

I'm not going to lecture here, but I am going to recommend you watch this, which I stumbled upon courtesy of Knotty's blog Managed Objects.

Monday, 2 June 2008


Ok, so not exactly edible. Still, nice to see this little fella making his annual appearance.