Archive for the 'Eat' Category

Nuts to winter

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

500g assorted nuts; pecans, walnuts, cashews, brazils…

Roast on a baking sheet for 10mins at 180 C, until golden and aromatic

2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons dark muscavado sugar

2 teaspoons maldon salt

1 tablespoon melted butter

Combine the above, add the nuts, toss very well and serve warm.

The only Nigella Lawson recipe I’ve ever known, and maybe its so good because she ‘borrowed’ it from a New York bar. These nuts are fantastic. I recommend an oloroso sherry, or a belgian beer such as Kasteel or Trappistes Rochefort to accompany.

Karen Selick: Don’t extradite Marc Emery to the U.S.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Karen Selick

An open letter to Rob Nicholson, Canada's Minister of Justice

Dear Mr. Nicholson,

On January 21, 2008, an extradition hearing will begin in Vancouver for Marc Emery, Canada’s pre-eminent activist for the legalization of marijuana. Marc has been charged in the U.S. with conspiring to manufacture and distribute marijuana, and conspiring to launder money. If convicted under U.S. law, he faces possible life imprisonment without parole.

Should Marc be extradited to the U.S.? The Canadian court will almost certainly say yes. It has little choice under the Extradition Act. Marc
openly admits selling marijuana seeds over the Internet to customers around the world, including the United States, for years. His conduct would have been grounds for criminal charges here, although Canadian authorities never chose to charge him. But that’s enough under the Act to make it mandatory for the judge to commit him for surrender to U.S. authorities.

That’s where you come in, Mr. Justice Minister. Once the court has ruled, the Extradition Act gives you discretion to refuse to surrender Marc if it “would be unjust or oppressive having regard to all the relevant circumstances.”
Here are some of the circumstances you might consider relevant.

From 1999 until he was arrested in 2005, Marc declared on his income tax return that his occupation was “marijuana seed vendor.” He paid $578,000 in income taxes into federal and B.C. government coffers. He gave Canada Revenue Agency access to his bank statements and explained all his cash flows to them. The CRA graciously accepted his money without ever taking any action to put a stop to all this criminal activity.

If you believe that all Canadians benefit from taxes being collected and governments spending that tax money (I don’t, but most Canadians do), then logically you will have to concede that Marc has been a huge benefactor to the Canadian people.

As for the money laundering charge, maybe all Canadians should face U.S. indictments for having conspired with Marc to transform Americans’ outlays on recreational drugs into Canadian outlays on health care, roads, schools, etc.

Marc has helped Canadians in other ways, too. When Canada was compelled in 2000 to legalize medical marijuana by the R. v. Parker decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, confusion reigned. Although the court had said that individuals suffering the daily pain of illnesses such as epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS could use marijuana with their doctors’ approval, there was nowhere they could legally acquire it.

Authorized users who asked Health Canada how to get their marijuana were given the suggestion that they purchase it online from Marc Emery.
For eight years, Marc sent every federal Member of Parliament a free subscription to his magazine Cannabis Culture. Every issue included a copy
of his seed catalogue. Every single MP and all of their office staff turned a blind eye to his activities, just as Canada Revenue Agency and Health Canada had done.

The prohibition against selling marijuana seeds in Canada went unenforced for years, but the benefits of those seed sales were accepted unhesitatingly by Canadian authorities. It would be the height of hypocrisy and injustice for this country to now hand over its benefactor to a foreign government for a prosecution it declined to pursue itself.

But there’s more. Go to any internet search engine and enter “marijuana seeds.” You’ll find many seed vendors still operating without prosecution in
British Columbia and other Canadian provinces. Why is the U.S. government not seeking the extradition of these vendors? Why just Marc and his two employees Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams?

I think the answer is obvious. The so-called “BC3” have taken a principled, public stand against the U.S. government’s war on drugs. Marc in particular is a highly effective spokesman for his cause. He was never in this business primarily for financial gain, and generally kept only enough of his marijuana seed profits to live on. Instead, he has donated over $4-million and countless hours to fund court challenges, establish compassion clubs for medical marijuana users, pay medical bills for activists, sponsor conferences and protests, fund ballot initiatives, fund political campaigns and so on. For over a decade, he has been a huge thorn in the side of politicians and bureaucrats who disagree with him on the political issue of legalizing marijuana.

The Extradition Act requires you, Mr. Justice Minister, to refuse to surrender a person if the request for extradition is “made for the purpose
of prosecuting or punishing the person by reason of their…political opinion….” Please consider Marc’s long history of idealistic activism and
tell the U.S. government that you won’t let them haul this politically motivated Canadian hero off to one of their jails.

Karen Selick is a lawyer in Belleville, Ontario.


National Post

The year starts off with a bang and a puff of smoke.

Food for thought police!

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

German communist in hot water after dining out on lobster

By the time she had realised her mistake – that as one of Germany’s top communists she should probably not be seen eating lobster – it was too late.There was no time to switch from the 22 (16) “rich man’s dish” to a more modest platter of kippers, because Sahra Wagenknecht had already been caught on camera in the act of betraying her own political ideals.

16 for lobster! That’s a pretty cheap restaurant… or it’s selling that awful North American ‘lobster’. Which maybe explains why she didn’t want to be seen eating it.

Anyway, I can find no diktat by Marx or Engels stating that no communist shall eat lobster. So how is this woman “betraying her own political ideals”? Should all communists wear hair shirts and practise self-flagellation? This woman is an MEP, part of the gravy train on a basic salary of 7000 euros per month. Look at her website, she wears designer clothes and has an expensive haircut (apparently to mimic Rosa Luxemburg). It’s all just image management, as pointed out…

These are sensitive times, with studies showing that inequality in Germany is growing. Shows of wealth by politicians and reports of hefty bonuses for managers regularly make for negative headlines.

So it’s OK to earn 84,000 euros p.a., but not to eat a cheap lobster in public.

“I don’t do anything that I say others shouldn’t do,” she told the daily TAZ. “On the contrary, I’m fighting for a society in which everyone can afford to eat lobster.”

Bravo! Let them eat lobster!

Anyway, this reminded me that over the weekend I saw 4 or 5 people from YAFA demonstrating outside a restaurant in York to stop the sale of foie gras. York City Council, bleatingly led by this vegevangelist passed a motion discouraging the sale of foie gras in the city. With no power to ban any sale, the coucil has banned foie gras on its own premises.

I would have stopped to talk to them, but was laughing too heartily to speak. I like foie gras, and don’t want some lily-livered nincompoop who has most likely never tased the delicious incomparable richness of a good foie gras stopping me from eating it should I choose to do so.

These campaigns have already robbed us of freely available veal – although where we would get milk from if we didn’t take calves away from their mothers I don’t know. (And lamb, of course, is no problem, is it?). There appears to be selective moralising going on – when was the last time you saw anyone protesting about battery chickens, of which there are over 20 million in the UK, requiring the slaughter of 20-30 million cock chicks? Not sexy enough… or too ‘old school’ vegan, perhaps?

Paul Blanchard is “Managing Partner of the PR and marketing company Right Angles.”

Paul, some advice.

respect the ‘troot

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Homemade bread, unsalted butter, organic beetroot & lettuce, dill dressing


Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Spore Boys

Friday, May 25th, 2007

The famous sandwich

Its not rocket science – just a simple mushroom sandwich! Although there’s nothing ordinary about the mushrooms that we use.

Each sandwich is prepared to order with lots of love and attention to detail. We use a selection of the fresh mushrooms from our stall and saute them for 4 minutes using some slightly salted butter and a smigin of garlic.

The crowd can hardly contain themselves as the sandwich is lightly seasoned and finished with delicious shavings of pecorino and garnished with a sprig of parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Of course – all our sourdough bread, garlic, parsley and pecorino are bought each day from other traders in the market.

I am for it.®™

Using Your Loaf

Monday, May 21st, 2007

General Jack D. Ripper:
Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk… ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake:
Lord, Jack.
General Jack D. Ripper:
You know when fluoridation first began?
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake:
I… no, no. I don’t, Jack.
General Jack D. Ripper:
Nineteen hundred and forty-six. Nineteen forty-six, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.

And now we have the prospect of mandatory addition of folic acid to bread and flour. The supposed reasoning behind this is the prevention of neural deficiencies in new born children, however if we look at spina bifida the incidence rate is currently 0.15 per 1000 and if my browsing is correct with a birth rate of 700,000 per year that gives 105 children per year affected which is unfortunate but hardly worth a programme which indiscriminantly affects the whole population and with a ‘dosage’ that cannot be checked. We do not ban vehicles for the larger number of deaths and injuries caused by drivers, there are road safety campaigns, likewise pregnant women should be told about supplementary levels of folic acid intake.

Aside from this there is the matter of ignoring the right of people to eat unadulterated food, certainly in the case of flours I would imagine that most people making their own food have enough basic knowledge to maintain a balanced diet with as much folic acid as would be provided with a mass fortification programme.

It is your right to be able to buy unadulterated food and that is what the Food Standards Agency should be enforcing it should not be in the business of medication or anything else.

Russian spies ‘at Cold War level’: time for Cheese and pitch bending from Slovenia

Friday, April 13th, 2007

The influx of strange demos continues. This one consists of a wedge of cheese:

The Package

Closeup of the label

It came with a cardboard stiffener and a pink post it note, with some lines about beer.


Which brings us to:

Russian agents are as active in Britain now as at the height of the Cold War, senior Whitehall officials have said.

The sources told the BBC’s Frank Gardner there were more than 30 identified intelligence officers trying to get secrets by covert means.

Targets include military hardware, scientific know-how and technology, and inside tips on Westminster politics.

Businessmen who may have access to sensitive information are also of interest, as are Russian dissidents.

Such dissidents include Boris Berezovsky, friend of the murdered former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.

‘Very extensive’

Sir Paul Lever, a former member of the Joint Intelligence Committee, said: “Russian espionage activity in Britain is very extensive.

“In scale it’s probably pretty much as it was at the height of the Cold War.”



“Russians fighting Russians is bad for Russia”.

I wish I could attribute that quote to Roman Abramovich, but it’s mine.

More on the demos; we received this VERY interesting one in the last seven days, from Ljubljana in Slovenia, which arrived with some patent application diagrams for a novel guitar pitch-bending arrangement (foot controlled) a CDR of movies featuring it and its inventor in action, a contract proposal and a nice letter. Yes, ‘nice’.

Excerpt from the patent application

“But what did it sound like?”, I hear you cry.

Like Brij Bhushan Kabra on Crystal Meth.

Junk is no good baby

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

There are so many ways to slice the story that on one hand schools outsourced catering suppliers are still trying to wriggle out of providing decent meals for schoolchildren and that on the other that children and parents are doing their utmost do gorge themselves on ‘junk’ food – as the ‘Rotherham sausage’ (Hattersly) demonstrates.

But basically it boils down to this, when schools act in loco parentis it means that the staff should be endeavouring to provide the child with the best form of pedagogy they can – as they would their own children. In regard of school meals the care of duty dictates the default meal should be nutrtious and balanced – and those of you who cook know this includes oily and fatty foods . If this means not being able to waste effort on fingerprint databases and generally treating the pupils as if they were criminals then so much the better.

Quite frankly if the people peddling the stuff that is being served to children go bankrupt then we will have all gained something, a removal of one of the loops that take (possibly) bright young minds and turn them into docile mush.

Which brings us to the children who go out of their way to sustain their bad diet – I’m inclined to say let nature/evolution take its course, however that assumes that the NHS isn’t going to assist any obesity problems later on in life. If the parents have failed in their role of dissuading/educating away the instilled desire for these non-food products then the school should be providing classes to do that which the parents should have done (giving knowledge about the food chain, food production, how to cook/assemble meals).

And this is important because study after study is showing that a good diet assists children in becoming brighter and healthier, which means they can become more self-sufficient/less dependent on the State and hence occupy a more powerful position when it comes to questioning the decisions of politicians and bureaucrats.

good corp – bad corp

Monday, March 6th, 2006

Marks and Spencer seems to be exploiting the goldfish attention span of the media today, last week it was reported;

Marks & Spencer suppliers have reacted angrily to the retailing giant turning the screw on them, just one year after demanding better terms from all its food, textile and accessory manufacturers.

“People are being squeezed to the bone. There will come a point where we will either go bankrupt or throw in the towel and walk away,” said one small textile supplier.

whereas today M&S proudly announce;

Marks & Spencer is to stock only Fairtrade coffee and tea from next month as it extends it commitment to ethical sourcing.

Stuart Rose, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, said: “Our customers have told us they care about how our products are made and we want to help them make Fairtrade part of their retail habit.” M&S, as an own-brand-only retailer, was in a “unique position” to make the change.

Call me a stickler for consistency but it seems somewhat two-faced to force UK suppliers to be barely profitable and at the same time call yourself ethical for stocking Fairtrade products from countries where the cost of being ‘ethical’ is markedly less. (Anyhow the UK suppliers are free to take their trade elsewhere – given that all the other supermarkets operate on similar lines maybe they should try local independent retailers).

An analogous doublethink situation to the government calling for ‘freedom and democracy’ abroad whilst imposing repressive legisaltiuon at home?

Say it aint so!

Saturday, March 4th, 2006

Look throught each of these pictures in turn. Astonishing cuisine!


Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Whilst I have a few condiments around the kitchen I tend not to use them that much so when it was suggested I use some old Worcestershire sauce on a toasted sandwich I was a bit sceptical – not least because I was using some nice Northumberland cheeses and not that bright orange ‘cheddar’ stuff. But I was won over by both the argument and the taste, a good compliment to the tangy taste of quality cheese rather than the overpowering spiciness I associate with the sauce.

But thinking about it this makes sense – the sauce’s recipe come from the Victorian era and is likely to have been balanced to accompany more robust foods than much of today’s processed blandness.