Monday, June 30, 2008

green potato mountains with bacon

favourite dinner on a cold winter night.

potatoes for the number being fed, peeled and boiled until just cooked.

Bake two rashers of bacon per person in a roasting dish. Set the bacon aside to keep warm.
Do the rest while the bacon is cooking.

1 grated onion (more if numbers to be fed are large)
grated cheese (tasty) about half to one handful for each person
pinch cayenne
salt to taste
a large bunch of finely chopped parsley (I munch it in a herb mouli)

Mash all the above together. (hint; add cheese slowly as the mixture should be firmish not sloppy) Make into mountains dipped in breadcrumbs.
Place into baking tray with bacon fat and put a dob of butter on top then grill until golden.
Serve with the bacon.

I usually end up with about two per person. You can leave out the bacon if you want and replace with a little oil to stop sticking.

Enjoy :)

I never even got to make the mtns tonight....the boys just grabbed large spoonfuls straight from the pot. They said they were hungry!

Friday, June 27, 2008

greenish stuff

I read several serious blogs today and it's depressing how much mess can be created with one system of capitalism. I've said for years that we undervalue community and overvalue individuality without the least notion of what responsibility really means. How can you live in a community without taking care of everyone else who also happens to live in that community. By this I don't mean we need to live in their pockets but just that we should know who they are so that if they or you need help in some way (big or small) then it can be given.

A small example would be my neighbour across the street who happened to notice I'd left a car light on and told me before I got a flat battery.

It's this small stuff that will make a difference in times of recession. It will allow us to help others where we can..... I have spare linen, you need some...have this. Two doors down have too many tomatoes...would you like some. There's an apple tree here with spare some for the kids? These are the sort of values that the doom sayers don't take into account.

They are also the sort of values which will stop us from ever living in an upmarket ghetto.

A person's worth cannot be measured in money or status but only in who they are and how they act.

I think those economist types must have got to me. I've gone all preachy on it :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I hate computers. I just got to the end of a first design draw and it crashed! So much for that... an hour of work down the drain because I was so involved I forgot to save. Aaaaaaargh! And to think this was supposed to make life easier. At least graph paper stays where you put it.

Anyhow enough of that. It snowed here today, cold, cold, cold. I am so grateful we managed to get the double glazed window in this year. It gets every last bit of sunshine (between snow showers) lets in heaps of light and is draught free. My little one bar heater is now capable of heating the whole room even in these conditions. I also get great sunset views from it :)

I've got the boys catching buses from school now. It is a bit of a mission as they have to walk from one stop to the next to get the right bus. It isn't cheap either. When it gets to summer they can do half the trip by bike with my hubby as his work is en route and leave their bikes with him. At this time of the year it is too dark, wet, icy so I take them all and some of their friends as well. Pity the only suitable school is so far away.

I think I better recreate that design before I forget it........

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Sun is Shining

Sometimes winter can be wonderful. This morning it was dark as usual when the alarm went off and nobody really wanted to get up. It was very cold (we don't have central heating just insulation) and there was ice on the car cover. Hot porridge for breakfast with preserved peaches makes life worth living again and then there was the sun rise. It was beautiful because of the frost sparkling in the air and the wonderful glow off the harbour made me wish I had remembered my camera. I left the kids to walk up the hill to school because I hate driving on ice up there and then faced the most amazing golden glow all the way home.

It's at times like these that I wonder how anybody could even think about spoiling and trashing the land/air/water. No life would be worth living to my mind without the planet around us being part of our lives.

Well, I've got to hang out the the mid-winter sun!

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm sitting here wearing a daft woolly hat/scarf thingy and feeling a bit sore. The space where my tonsills were last week is still not quite healed and I still need the occasional painkiller. I do wish they had been removed when I was young but at least this year I should be free of sore throats etc which are no joke when you're asthmatic and middle aged.

I look at the pictures of some celebrities and think how can they look like that when they are my age. I suspect that some of these images are just not real but are doctored in various ways to make them look good. Fantasy land rules. The problem with this is that most of us live in the real world and have to put up with whatever we inherited. There is just no way I could ever look like Sharon Stone or Madonna even if I had unlimited access to make overs, physical trainers and surgery.

Its not that I think they should look like me. Its that I think all of us should have value whatever our appearance. One of the worst things mass media has inflicted on us is the belief that if we don't look a certain way, our value as a person is decreased. Consequently I have noticed that there is a split in our values where images are concerned. For most of us once we have accepted that we can't be perfect the world merely becomes somewhere to do your best and accept people as they are. Others unfortunately still remain in fantasy land. Wouldn't it be nice if the media stopped grovelling before the high priestess of fashion and actually reported on things for real.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Farmers Market

Yes, we have a farmers market in this neck of the woods and it is well worth the effort of getting up on Saturday mornings. It's the only reason I've managed to cut down on plastic round veges and even here I get caught sometimes... well no one's perfect!

Seriously though there has always been a tradition round here for good vege gardens and even now there are large numbers of people who grow at least a little something in their back yards. I think it stemmed originally from the sheer isolation of this place. The early settlers simply had to grow food or starve. You couldn't just go down to the corner shop so self sufficiency was a way of life. This was enhanced by the various boom and bust periods which followed. Life was lived within the local area and very little came in from outside until the advent of cheap transport.

There was also a great sense of community with family and friends supporting each other as necessary. Nobody was overly rich but nobody was allowed to starve either. My grandmother has stories about her own aunts visiting and leaving a gift of meat etc as they left. They expected no particular praise for this, it was just something to help feed the children. (There were 7 girls and a boy and my great grandfather had little work at times). Everything they had was used and reused and then passed on. Nothing was wasted.

The 2nd world war carried this vege garden tradition into the 50s and it was only in the later parts of the 60s and 70s that things began to get a little warped. I have hope for us yet as a community. It isn't that long since we were gardeners and home makers and communities. Even now we still have communities round here. Families have got too spread out and are also much smaller so they don't quite work as they did but we still know all our neighbours and we still pass things around as needed.

That's the way we need to be. "Nobody is an island......"

Friday, June 13, 2008

I can't believe I'm doing this!

As a complete technophobe this is going to be a challenge. But here goes...

I've been reading other blogs for some time now so it makes sense to try this out for myself. Unlike many of you out there I didn't grow up with computers or even TV. I can still remember the first time I saw a TV. I thought it was absolutely fascinating even in rather grainy black and white.

When we did finally get one of our own I was glued to it whenever it was on. Fortunately transmission was limited to about 6 hours a day and a lot of that was after bedtime. I now wish that it was still limited to those same hours because it seems to me that people spend far too much of their time watching it instead of doing stuff like talking or thinking or going to clubs etc. I have a suspicion that computers also take up rather too much time so I'll only be found here in the late evenings.

Everything in moderation as great-grandma used to say to grandma who said it to my mother who now says it to me so I can say it to the kids. I just hope they listen!

Anyhow , a little more about me. I am rather greenly inclined but with a techno edge here and there where I think its useful. I believe in people rather than things/business/finance. I like the ideas about local living and food and have tried some of the challenges set out by Crunchy Chicken. The first blog I read was No Impact Man and I've been trolling through the lists ever since... great fun!