Hugh’s War on Waste and Crowdfunder have created a site where local community food projects working with waste can post fundraising appeals.  There are many and will be more.  You can really get the feeling for a movement developing, and appreciate how hard so many people are working on this problem.

This is place to ask and to give.  UK readers, please add your group, support some others if you can, and share the link:



I felt so fortunate to have the opportunity to eat with my daughter at Mazi Mas in London– to taste delicious Ethiopian home-cooking and to support a project that is all about extending lovingness and help to newcomers in our communities.  You can taste the love in that food.  If there’s a way possible, let thyself experience a Mazi Mas meal. Read the rest of this entry »

Drought in El Salvador. Photo ©Sean Hawkey

I’m linking to an important response to some of the greenwash that takes place around the discussion of agriculture and climate change. The big United Nation Conference of Parties on climate change is about to take place in Paris, yet extremely significant greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are not even on the agenda (!!!). (And this.)  Nonetheless there will certainly be a lot of conversation and media attention to issues of food and climate, and “Climate Smart Agriculture” with all its public-relations backing might get lots of airplay in the discussions that surround the central negotiations.

So many of us hope against cynicism that the urgency of the climate crisis can see a joining together of people and concerns.  When you scroll down to the list of signatories to this letter, you get an idea how vast our social movements can be.  We need people, not corporations, at the centre of decision making, envisioning and enacting a better future.  Our messages must be powerful for our language to be so coopted and coveted by them.  Please share this letter in response to agribusiness rhetoric, and as foodies concerned with climate justice.

SEPTEMBER 2015 Read the rest of this entry »


I am re-blogging this “Kraut-funder” to support and share information about an exciting partnership between fermenters and food rescuers.

Originally posted on OCTOPUS ALCHEMY:

Octopus Alchemy are crowdfunding ‘kraut-funding’.

OA Workshop - 15.11.15-35 Fermented ‘Night-Shade Free’ Salsa.

We launched on November 15th and are running the campaign right through until December 13th. The drive is to support an exciting new collaborative project between Octopus Alchemy, Silo and The Real Junk Food Project, Brighton – as well as to boost our workshop experiences with some new kitchen bling and to fund the development of a new online portal for awareness raising and resources.  We want to raise around 4K.

The project is to ‘Transform the City’s Food Waste into Superfood’ for sale. We’re basically going to hoover up surplus veg in the city and engage the community through our current workshops on food / health politics and fermentation in turning it into a lovely fermented product for sale. The proceeds of which will help nourish our mutual projects to continue making an impact on the local food and health…

View original 449 more words


Reblogging a really good round-up of social and ecological issues pertinent to British farming at the current moment of climate change and CAP subsidies. Am sure there’s lots that readers would consider arguable -some real challenges to the status quo – but well worth a read and a share.  Would be very interested to hear responses.

Originally posted on Nature and the common good :

Food and the Environment

A guest post from environmental campaigner and writer Miles King, who blogs on nature here.

We all need to eat and most of us want to see at least some of our food produced in Britain, if it can be. Who knows, with climate change already with us, English banana crops might not be so ridiculous an idea in 50 years.

Self sufficiency is not a realistic prospect and it should not even be considered as an appealing principle to aspire to – what is the point of Britain producing sugar beet with a higher carbon and environmental footprint than the cane sugar we import from countries who benefit from its trade?Especially when that Beet has a special subsidy and tariff system to protect its producers from competition.

Currently food production in Britain is subsidised through the Common Agricultural Policy to the tune of around £200…

View original 2,022 more words

In posting this, I don’t want to make kitsch of hunger, the haunting reality of which lies beneath the fabulous staging, filming and ingenious rhyming of “question” with “indigestion” in this scene from the musical film “Oliver!”  This was a major movie in my childhood, so of course I think of it when “gruel” comes up in conversation.

Cooking dinner a few nights ago, I heard on the radio a Tory MP referring to Cameron’s suggested EU reforms as “pretty thin gruel.”

I guess this phrase means meager, and a mockery of something that could be proferred in better form. I don’t know about the EU reforms, I have all sorts of different opinions, but I’d never heard this expression before.  I’m going to start using it whenever I can.

(Also just learned the phrase “the pips will squeak” as in “We will squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak.” Will try to use find uses for this figure of speech too.)

I do associate gruel with Victorian workhouses (the “Oliver!” brainwash), but of course it would go way back as a grain soup thinned as far as necessitated by scarcity or poverty.  And it can be make thicker as in a porridge, and dolled up with butter, and dried fruits, and perhaps sweetened or made savoury as seems to be a chef-trend these days, in which the well-off eat well yet food insecurity in UK households and child poverty is increasing.  The “thin gruel” Cameron should be called up on is his government’s pretentious effort to claim to be concerned about children and poverty.  Austerity policies mean the pips are really going to squeak as kids go to bed and school squeezed by that feeling of not-enough and under-nutrition.  That’s called hunger.   Our mental images of Oliver Twist asking “Please Sir, I want some more” are a nostalgic version of a clear, documented need now, if we choose to see and respond to that hunger.

johnnyapple3-1200x1596 (1)

I just happened upon this wonderful illustrated history of Johnny Appleseed.  Enjoy!

And here’s something that makes an interesting (and convincing) contention: Johnny Appleseed and the Golden Days of Hard Cider.


Tonight I made pakora with cold strands of spaghetti squash and slivers of spring onion, in a batter made with Hodmedod’s Fava Bean Flour— I added salt and chilli flakes and cardamom powder, and fried the fritters in coconut oil.  Children and I still remembered the tasty Pumpkin Peasemeal Pakora I’d made in a flurry of you-don’t-need-a-real-recipe, and indeed you don’t.  This time I just mixed the pulse flour with baking soda, salt, and slowly whisked in water, and then fragranced it with the warm spice I most easily found in an overcrowded cupboard in which no garam masala was to be found, or concocted.  Then I dredged spoonfuls of the squash in the batter, and sauteed whereas perhaps I should have deep fried.

I say this because I hate frying, and I don’t feel I’m any good at it. So, delicious as some of the pakora were, or parts of each that managed to get properly browned in oil, even perfectly crispy, they looked unappealing and were inconsistent.  (To be fair, wet squash is a more difficult fish-to-fry vegetable than something, anything, dryer.)

So I’m determined to learn to fry pakora because they are so delicious.

PLEASE: all advice about frying is welcome. Anything you think readers and I should know that will help me/us to get good at treats like this. THANK YOU.

Do people know this marvellous collection of recipes, Yamuna Devi‘s 1987 Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking?  It’s a labour of love, and a true gift as a document of the devotion of Yamuna Devi (nee Joan Campanella) to Swami Srila Prabhupada, with whom she travelled much through many regions of India, Read the rest of this entry »


Gateau Grand Marnier from Mary and Vincent Price’s Treasury of Great Recipes… Joining the #TreasuryCookalong…. Varying a classic cake recipe with whole grain flours and kefir…  Contemplating how a global luxury brand treats its workers in Haiti…  Being relaxed as the cake breaks just before the photo for the blog…

After the fun of #Marguerite100 I thought I’d join in on the Vincent and Mary Price #TreasuryCookalong, a book that’s been a part of my life pretty much always.  My copy, which belonged to my mother, is a first printing of a 1965 classic reflecting a view of international restaurant cuisine that was most sophisticated in its day.  Nearly from the time I could read, I sat at Mom’s kitchen table looking through her cookbooks.

IMG_1893 Read the rest of this entry »


The brilliant cake baked by students from to celebrate


I’ve decided when I see fun cakes-for-a-cause I’m going to post them with the hashtag #politicakes. Thanks to my dear daughter for that one! Hoping this will be inpiration for all of us.

I  do like this cake, photos of which I saw retweeted on Twitter:

Mother Joyce: “if you cut the cake fairly there’s enough to go round”



So far we have a #SavetheArctic Christmas cake and #axedrax pancakes.  If you see and better yet make a cake for a cause, please send it our way for documentation, hashtagization, etc.  Here’s the Pinterest page as well. Thank you!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 435 other followers

%d bloggers like this: