We have a pear tree which produces loads of fruit every year, but these pears are not good eaters, as they are grainy and bitter, compared to our conference pears. In years gone by most of these pear end up going to waste and feeding the wasps and birds, however this year we realised how good they are for cooking with. We love chutney making and Indian food, so thought we would try a Gujarati style mango chutney, but with pears instead.
We found about 12 different mango and pear chutney recipes which we liked and created a list of ingredients and method that we thought might work well…
We decided to go with Jaggery rather than brown or white sugar, as it has a more distinctive taste and more nutritional value. To get Jaggery and the spices at a sensible price I would highly recommend visiting the part of town where you most likely to find an Asian local super/mini market. We use Paks in Normanton, Derby.
This Gujarati style pear chutney recipe turned out better than we could have hoped for. We think it is our best chutney yet and our friends and family agree. We have only eaten it days after we made it and I can’t wait for a couple of months to pass for it to mature, when we will start using and sharing it. I hope you get to make it and enjoy it too and be sure to let me know how you get on…
10 lb Pears (peeled and cored weight)
1 lb Onions (peeled weight)
8 oz Root Ginger (peeled weight)
1 bulb Garlic
1 pt of White Wine Vinegar
3 lb Jaggery
8 tbsp Crushed Chilli Flakes
4 tbsp Cumin Seeds
4 tbsp Fenugreek Seeds
4 tbsp Black Onion Seeds
4 tbsp Fennel Seeds
4 tbsp Mustard Seeds
2 tbsp Cardamom Seeds (not pods)
4 tbsp Crushed Black Pepper Corns
2 tbsp Salt
Toast all the spice until they give of an aroma (in a dry frying pan)
Add garlic, onions, ginger, vinegar and toasted spices into a very large pan, we actually used 2 large pans to help it reduce. Simmer for 15 minutes
Add chopped pears. Simmer for 20 minutes
Chop up the Jaggery, add and simmer for 90 minutes.
We would recommend not using a pan lid, to help it reduce, creating a thicker chutney.
Here are the photos that we took during the process…
A month ago I helped out prepare food for a “Freedom Feed Em” event in the Wirksworth Memorial Hall, Derbyshire. This event is what’s also known as a “Peoples Kitchen”, that are increasingly taking place all around the country.
Freedom Feed Em is a community oriented social event, organised by Miles Haplin, a local artist and self confessed supporter of copyleft. Food, along with other forms of non digital things are more challenging to apply ideals such as copyleft and free (as in freedom), however Miles has created something pretty close. Each month someone offers their cooking skills and time to create and serve a 3 course delicious and nutritious meal. Other members of the community chip in with food preparation, waiting on & washing up, as I did last month. All the food contains no dairy or meat, so is Vegan, Vegetarian & Omnivore compatible 🙂
During the meal a collection pot is passed around where the diners are free to contribute as little or as much they wish. With the generosity of the community members, after covering the hire costs of the Memorial Hall & ingredients, the excess goes to a chosen charity of the head chef.
Freedom Feed Em is held every 2nd Monday of the month and currently is organised via a closed facebook group, so to get involved you will have to search on the facebook, or if you don’t have a facebook account (good for you) email me or Miles (email can be found on his website, linked above) and reserve a place. Places need to be reserved the week before, so the chef know how many they are cooking for. Octobers event is actually tonight, so maybe you can come in November… 🙂
I would like to announce and prompt the new “Keep Britain Untidy” campaign!
George Osbourne has come up with a great new strategy to make the unemployed and unemployable pick up litter to keep them motivated and above the poverty line. With technological unemployment (jobs made redundant by replacing with more effective computers & robots) increasing year on year, we are likely to be face with the worrying issue of not having a enough litter to be picked up.
So therefore it is important that we take responsibility and ensure there is a wealth and sustainable level of rubbish. We are currently working with Mc Donalds, KFC & Starbucks to develop new strategies, taking advantage for the latest un-biodegradable materials, so they stick around and give us chance to collect by hand for the land fill. We are hoping these companies can take lead in educating our children to discard their rubbish in exciting and creative new ways, ideally in hard to reach, awkward yet highly visible locations.
Think of your children and grand children when you next place your rubbish in the appropriate bin, as it is certain that they will be faced with a future of technological unemployment and may be forced beneath the poverty line, due to there being not enough litter to go around 🙁
ON A SERIOUS NOTE!
We must begin by acknowledging and discuss the inevitability of technological unemployment and that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as we would all like to work less. Start today by asking others their thoughts and ideas on the subject!
When we live in a society where the main stream media is compromised, then the fundamental truths are unlikely to make it thought the so called news. Satire seems the only way through, certainly in the BBC…
I thought I would post a snippet from BBC Radio4’s “Bremner’s One Question Show Ep5 – Who runs Britain?” of where the “one question” is actually answered. You will here the audience laugh, but is it really that funny? If we took it seriously, we might have to question the way we live, actually do something about it and change this screwed up world we live in…
For those interested in the climate change debate I would like to recommend this US senate hearing… I think putting all of ones chips on “climate change” may be a serious mistake and back fire if it doesn’t transpire and really really damage the environment and society. The powers that be just want carbon trading and carbon taxes, of which won’t change anything. We need to promote the local and renewable energy supplies to increase the democratisation of energy, with the added benefit of reducing our need to get involved in the middle east… http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2013030153#start=613&stop=5958
Camden Junior School is to be run by the Harris Foundation, despite 91% local opposition.
Last night, as I watched a BBC London evening news a report the on that Camden Junior School was to be turned into an Academy caught my eye. Now what particularly interested me in this news items, was in despite of a landslide response of 91% (494 out of 545) of parents voted for their preference for Camden Junior School to be taken over by Greenshaw High School, with the additional support of the local council leader Ruth Dombey and local MP Tom Brake, The Department for Education has chosen to ignore this consultation and award the Harris Foundation for sponsorship.
Councillor Ruth Dombey, leader of Sutton Council, said (1): “The council, MPs and everybody agreed Greenshaw was the best option.” and “So much for localism. People feel completely disempowered some parents worked incredibly hard on that campaign – what’s the point if the decision was made behind closed doors?”
Tom Brake, the MP for Carshalton and Wallington said(1): “I’m clearly very disappointed at the outcome when the community had expressed a very clear preference for the local sponsor Greenshaw. When there is more than one sponsor for a school I think it is completely wrong for the Department for Education to express a preference. It risks predetermining the outcome.”
Now why on earth would The Department for Education ignore the democratic voice of its people and favour the Harris Foundation???
Maybe, just maybe, the fact that Lord Philip Harris has been a key financial contributor to the Tory party (2) and is close pals with David Cameron, may have influenced the decision… The BBC forgot to mention that in their report…
While looking into Lord Harris, I came across this interesting article…http://antiacademies.org.uk/2012/03/harris-federation-spotlight-on-sponsors/
My overall impression was that is has become too commercialised, with a lot of stalls mostly selling tat. There was a large section devoted to dogs and while I do like dogs it was all a bit too much for me… And the same with the horses…
Apparently, the Ashbourne and Ashover shows are better attended by the local farmers and producers, creating a better, more authentic and less commercial atmosphere.
Here are a few, what I consider, highlights from the 2013 Bakewell Show…
Transcendental Meditation is the simplest of all meditations and can be learned by any one, of which I personally practice and would recommend to everyone.
Your age will determine which Mantra you should personally use. You should always use the same mantra, not changing it as you get older. The pronunciation of your mantra is not important, so say it how you feels right for you and it may change over time. There is no scientific research performed on if the mantra makes a difference, but you need to say something, so there is no harm in using the suggested ones.
Before starting your meditation, ensure you are in a suitable environment where there are no disruptions or distractions. Turn off your phone and inform others that you are not to be disturbed.
Sit up comfortably, in an arm chair preferably. Ensure you are warm, using blanket if necessary. I wouldn’t recommend lying down as you are more likely to drift from meditation to a sleep state. Place a clock of which you can glance at without moving.
Following these simple steps
Take note of what time it is and close your eyes. For about 30 seconds let any thoughts fade, to start the process of clearing your mind. This does not need to be exactly 30 secs, so no need to open your eyes to check.
After approx 30 second has passed, start repeating your mantra over and over in your mind.
Repeat your mantra at a comfortable pace, not too fast not too slow, whatever feels right for you. Ensure you are not to moving you tongue or lips and they are completely relaxed. As you continue repeating your mantra, slowly let go of the clear pronunciation so it becomes the notion of the word instead.
As you continue repeating your mantra, everyday thoughts will arise and distract you. At some point you will find yourself no longer repeating your mantra. When you realise this, then resume your mantra again. This is a natural, continuous and positive process. You may follow a series of thoughts for many minutes before realising and resuming your mantra. This is natural to have these thoughts and calmly replacing them with your mantra will enable you to release them.
Continue this process until a total of 20 minutes have passed (Children under 18 yrs old should only perform for 1 min per year, e.g. a 12 yr old = 12 mins).
Wait until you feel a full 20 minutes have passed, then slowly open your eyes to check. E.g. If only 10 minutes has passed, then you know what 10 mins of meditation feels like, so continue for the same time again. With regular practice you will become surprising accurate at knowing when 20 mins has passed.
If you have gone over 20 minutes this ok.
Once 20 mins (or more) has passed, you should continuing sitting still with your eyes closed for a further 2 mins. But, instead of repeating your Mantra, simply let go of any thoughts that enter your mind, in an effort to keep it clear.
Perform this simple process morning and night, daily.
While I believe this information should be free, it may still be of benefit to go on one of the TM courses, as you will get the support you may require to make this a daily practice. This is no different to going to the gym, as you can’t expect to go once, get and remain fit, only regular practice will make the difference you are looking for. While the courses may seem expensive, if you can afford it they are good value, especially as the TM organisation put a lot of its money and resources in performing creditable scientific research.
I will be using this blog to help share my thoughts, ideas and experiences. I may venture into politics, environmental, spiritual, ethics and pretty much whatever is going off in my life that I feel is worth sharing. A key motivation in creating this blog is to ensure the core of my personal online presents remains free (as in freedom) and my property and is not owned by the likes of facebook, google+, twitter, etc… I will be linking my posts on these 3, to reach those of you contained with your prison garden walls.
I also run my other blog at barkengmad.com which will focus on open source technology, business and anything geeky.