It is the season of mellow fruitfulness and the  local farmer’s market is full of organic pumpkins and squash. After yesterday morning’s  rant, I seemed to spend the rest of the day eating and preparing food. I am not a big fan of gluten free bread, as I think it is like vegetarian meat substitute, the work of the devil! This is about the third time this year that I have indulged in a gluten free bacon sandwich! It was heavenly – that will do for another 4 months though…a bit too many ingredients in gluten free bread for me to trust it as a reliable food source. Then soon after the sandwich it was red cabbage, carrot and orange coleslaw with creme fraiche and mayonnaise and smoked mackerel, eaten in the garden, accompanied by some neighbour’s heavy drilling – way over the allotted construction hour around these parts. …Completely stuffed by 2 pm, what with the porridge, banana and maple syrup  in the morning  there would be no feeding necessary for the rest of the day, apart from a couple of carrot sticks and some hummous.

Back to Tom Waits. Mr P. is putting together his Christmas Cake today, second year in a row. He buys the Delia Christmas cake ingredients from Waitrose supermarket for a tenner. You get all the ingredients in little bags all measured out, and you then add citrus zest, eggs and butter to the packets from the fancy box. Mr P. has swapped the flour for gluten free, so I might have a piece this year. Outside of  the cake tin was wrapped some newspaper and there I spied in the oven Tom Waits hanging  – held there only by a piece of green string…. and there you were thinking if you were in the newspaper,

you were only tomorrow’s chip wrapper. Mr P. is in competition with his landscape gardener partner who makes an obscenely wicked piece of Christmas cake. A small  piece of  PK’s annual Christmas cake ( and that is all you get!) will have any upstanding teetotal tottering in the aisles for the rest of the  afternoon. He feeds his cake everyday with fine brandy for about 6 weeks. Mr P. is now in direct competition to try and make a fruit cake that is even moister and more alcoholic. Watch this space.

SONG OF THE DAY – Tom Waits -Waltzing Matilda

It seems bad form to not post Tom Waits today, especially as he has kept our Christmas Cake in one piece,  and got really hot and dry in our oven. I wonder if this is what happened to him to get such  a  gritty gravelly voice in one so young. You will either love  or hate his voice. Lovely song.

 Today I have thrown away what looks like about 5000 pieces of paper, mostly music and old lesson plans, into the recycling of course. I now have a desk that once again looks like the robbers have been into the place and seriously trashed it. The problem with any type of renewal is that it often takes a turn for the worse before it gets better.

A bit like the old toxin clear out, where you eat apples for three days and feel utterly wretched for as long – the same can be true of all decorating projects. I usually start any clearing, painting and decorating project with a surge of enthusiasm, followed by a feeling of  complete desperation as the flat or room looks like Trinny the Tornado came to town. The same thing happens when I decide to have a ‘bit of a clutter clear’.  If I did this every week, the problem would not be so bad, but August tends to be the time, I have time, so I am in the middle of some serious doldrums. As I type this I am holding my elbows in for fear of another pile of   papers, old books, music, plastic folders, old bills comes crashing at my feet….argh the list goes on…just found a mandolin under a pile of rubbish!

Continue the mantra and breathe….it gets worse before it gets better…. breathe….it gets worse before it gets better….. breathe….it gets worse before it gets better.

SONG OF THE DAY – Robert De Niro’s Waiting

It is Robert De Niro’s Birthday so a bit of Bananarama…ha ha! One of them ( the one in the middle) uses the same gym as me…and years ago we stood side by side in the VIP Limelight bar sipping cocktails…talking about the fact that some bloke  I knew who produced their later records thought we looked like sisters…she don’t know me from Adam. He said they could sing ok and did everything in one take. So Happy Birthday Robert De Niro and well done Bananarama.

It is called Nourishing Traditions -The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats -WHAT A SUBTITLE ! I love it! This is so much more than a cookbook.  It is a whole way of life – it destroys and questions everything we have had banged into our heads by doctors and the media every since we have known. It is full of the most incredulous facts about what people eat in the world, all the rubbish we have been lead to believe about what we eat over the last 60 years. Let us take an example… The author talks about a British study where several thousand men were put into 2 groups. Group 1 were asked to stop smoking, reduced cholesterol and saturated fat and introduce margarine and vegetable oils. By the end of a year, this so called ‘GOOD GROUP’ has 100% MORE DEATHS than the so called bad group. The quote from the author of the study said ‘The implication for public health policy in the UK is that a preventative programme such as we evaluated in this trail is probably effective… ” ????

There is also such a thing as the ‘French Paradox’. Before the French discovered pre- packed food and coffee and bread for breakfast ( after 2nd world war) the ‘paradox ‘ was that they ate full fat and were healthier than people elsewhere in Europe…..Why is it a paradox, and not the truth? It seems that full fat is not the culprit. The author talks about how coronary heart disease was really rare in the 1920s in The US, and now it causes 40% of all deaths…..’paradoxically’ comparing 1910 and 1970,  in 1970 people ate 21% less fat, butter consumption dropped from 18-4 p0unds a year, but margarine and vegetable oils rose by 400% and sugar and processed food grew by 600%.  Sally Fallon’s work puts people in a huge spin. A lot of people just go into big denial, especially the purist vegetarians and diet feaks. The most regular argument against this traditional way of eating is that , we don’t move as much as our ancestors so don’t need to eat saturated fat.???????
I sometimes wonder if it some sort of conspiracy to make us eat cheap food, because there are so many more of us that we just cannot afford to feed us all on ‘good traditional food’. And we believe the hype, which is probably why  Pret  have stopped selling whole organic milk because most of their customers think taking the fat out is better as they have been totally indoctrinated all their lives to believing low-fat is better for you.  ( interesting thing about the risks to health from removing the fat from milk in this book too).

Anyway I would recommend this book whole heartedly.  A reader reviewed it thus ‘This book is an absolute must for anybody who is confused by the plethora of diametrically opposed nutritional ‘advice’ that permeates our health-conscious society. Although it describes itself as a ‘cookbook’ there is actually a tremendous amount of material that points out how far removed we actually are from sound nutrition, in spite of what various ‘Diet Dictocrats’ would have us believe. Among the many pearls of wisdom that the author points out is the fact that animal fat – yes, that substance that we have been taught to revile – is actually necessary for good health, and that this fat has been sought after for centuries by primitive peoples free of degenerative diseases. Every one of her claims, many of which contradict ‘conventional’ nutrition dogma, is backed up by reputable scientific evidence, and the fallacies of conventional dogma are exposed for the lay reader.’
There is so much more…600 pages in fact.It makes for a great read if you have any interest in the hype surrounding what we have been told is good and bad for us, and also has some mighty fine recipes and quotes from so many amazing sources.

Happy to discuss  x x x


Anais Mitchell & Ani Difranco – Our Lady Of The Underground

Heard this for the first time today…wildly good. I am now a fan.