This dish is great to eat in the run up to Christmas as it’s quick, easy, tasty and contains little heavy protein (after all, Advent, like Lent is associated with dietary restraint). But, it is also delightful contrast after Christmas when you are jaded from eating heavy meals and need to divert your palate after feasting on the intense flavours, spices and winter herbs of the festive season.
I’ve had a heavy cold in the last few weeks and have approached cooking with deep reluctance. Low on a lot of kitchen staples, I’ve been driven to invention, combining ingredients to make something to please my peaky palate and soothe my senses! With a yen to eat something light, flavourful and quick to prepare I searched in the fridge and found a carton of cream, a fennel bulb, some courgettes, and then spotted a bowl of lemons on the table. (As I wrote in my April recipe -Mushrooms, wild garlic and cream on toast - cream is a most useful ingredient to have in your fridge as it makes a great base for a quick pasta sauce). When I discovered I was out of parmesan cheese, I added an egg and a generous sprinkle of smoked Achill Sea salt to finish the dish.
Serves 3-4 as lunch or a light supper– depending on levels of hunger of course!
Additions or variations
recycle christmas cards
My aunt had the perfect way to recycle cards, she reuses the card top as a postcard.
Other ideas from Zoe Williams (gathered.how) on what you can make from old cards
3,000 farms to be bought out
3,000 farms to be bought out in the Netherlands in an apparent bid to cut carbon emissions is the recent news from Europe.
A good deal is apparently being offered to the farmers to stop farming in a time of food insecurity. It makes me uneasy to read the news portrayed about this story because this is what we are allowed to see. What is going on behind the scenes? That is the true story…
There is no denying this will be catastrophic for the individuals and families concerned. They have protested of course but perhaps you didn't notice. Afterall farmers have been implicated in causing the problems of global warming so.... The implications psychologically though will be felt worldwide for a long time. I often wonder if the anointed who have decided that this is a good idea were put into a position that they could not access food, would they learn to prioritise differently?
Cultures who have experienced deprivation often learn to be resourceful and bountiful. Holland has known both deprivation and bounty in the last century. So has Ireland. Nutritional wisdom has been passed down to us to help us thrive in tough times. We may need to tune in to this wave length soon.. Efforts to reduce the food supply are underway worldwide whether we like it or not. What can we do about it?
At The Urban Co-op we have worked to highlight the true value of the resources we have ourselves in this country but also conscious that we must wean ourselves off the concept of cheap food. To keep farmers in business their produce must be really valued. So, our priorities must shift and our resources more realistically managed. We are getting there, and it is with gratitude we recognise the awakening that is happening. Customers who openly acknowledge they are making conscious choices to where they will use their resources. This is zero waste in action. We see the altruism and mutual aid mentality returning as we recognise that we must co-operate to exist and thrive.
It is our goal in 2023 to become a full co-operative where we the people can own and manage access to our own food supply. Is this a lofty ideal? I don’t believe so, especially now. The process is afoot! We urge you to help us on the way though and every support counts! If you have 2 minutes to help fill out a survey on the direction of the Co-op we would be delighted to get your input…
We have an option of support that we believe is a great deal in the meantime and could be a great Christmas present if you are struggling to find your way off the consumerism hamster wheel… Our Sunshine Cultivate Membership offer is an option that can not only support The Urban Co-operative now in the interim but become a FULL SHARE option on legal changeover. Truly a gift that would keep giving and Mutual Aid in action too.
Thank you for the dedicated support of The Urban Co-op in 2022! We are very grateful that we are here in at year end in the year that has been. Moments of reflection allow us to be proud of what has been achieved despite the obstacles. The collective energy of community is rising like a tide, and we look forward to what can be achieved when this energy is channelled positively!
Have a great Christmas and see you on the other side….
domaine bousquet malbec
Survival of the Richest
)Well, this book might be just the ticket for to cure you! I love getting a personal recommendation book and this one kept me fascinated to the end. The mindset of the Billionaire (particularly those who have made their riches via the tech industry.) A digital age has spawned so many start-ups that have exploded with success. Think the Collison Bros and the growth of STRIPE.
This book delves deep into the mindset of this sector of society and quite frankly it is far from a grounded wholesome kind. The author introduces us to a group of five gazillionaires looking for advice on how to escape this world from the anticipated apocalypse. The mindset of winning is hardly a bad thing, but it comes at a cost which seems to err into a territory that doesn’t end well. In effect the success means a distinct distancing from reality!
The earth is a resource to be plundered and dominated to achieve the anticipated growth of success. When it looks like the resources are running out it is time to escape…
Ok, I cannot relate to the craziness of it all, but I do like how Douglas brings it back to us mere mortals who operate in more circular economies of co-operatives and mutual aid. Closed loops that replenish the earth and resources. We can’t fix the world, it’s a process. He urges us to engage more fully with the present. It is what we have. Perhaps my eye is tuned into finding all these links with co-operatives because it is what we do but instinctively it does feel right. No money can buy that….
cALL LADY GAGA...
Call Lady Gaga the meat war is on, and I need my meat costume battle dress…
The food industry is no stranger to making a synthetic version of a natural food. We have endured butter substitutes for 150 years with the last 50 being a continuous carousel of brands to which we are more than familiar. Butter is reclaiming its rightful place as a health food ( I make no apology for its role as a superfood) after a concerted effort to justify its place in our diet. I could go on but suffice to say I get very nervous if my supply dwindles at home. My food insecurities kick in big time.
Now to the fake meat industry which has galloped into the arena in recent years. From lab grown and 3D versions it is staggering the technology that has been employed to create a fake version of the real thing in the name of saving the environment. It would seem there were hundreds of companies getting in on the game. After all, creating a fake version of a chicken nugget is perhaps not that much of a stretch. Investors wrote big cheques with promises of a sure thing. The returns were in sight. Initial sales were very promising. Stock prices rose excitedly... but then guess what…the repeat sales were disappointing. Shock! Maybe real people liked real meat after all…
Beyond Meat is one such company that has been, well, beyond failure. Serious losses, a share price that has tanked... I would like to think they would all just give up on the idea. But no fake meat has too much invested in it. How to make this more acceptable to the masses? Remove the competition!
What if real meat becomes prohibitively expensive? Fake meat becomes readily available.
Watch this space. There are ways of making you eat it…
Pan Fried ‘Stuffed’ Cremini
Mushrooms are wonderful ‘meaty’ food, and that coming from a vegan 😉! In fact, they are often a substitute for meat as they can have strong flavours, good chewiness and are high in protein.
I just think they are a super food and with only a little salt, can taste so good.
When you want to make them part of a meal, perhaps the easiest thing to do is to add a nice dollop of Hungry Soul vegan cream cheese. I know you may think I am biased suggesting the use of the Hungry Soul cream cheese, but just try it, I think you will agree that the choice is the right one.
Of course, the added fresh garlic and herbs are necessary for the overall final burst of flavour.
Makes enough for 4 servings
Serve two or three to a plate along with a nice serving of piping hot mashed potatoes and wilted greens such as kale or spinach.
Bon appétit !
@HungrySoulVegan - Changing the Culture
Recipes from Katie Verling & Jacques