February 13th, 2012

I’ve decided that it’s probably best if I draw this blog to a close. It was rather short-lived (20 months) and as my post have become few and far between recently it probably is no surprise.  But I wanted to formally bring this little digital adventure to an end.  I’ve decided in an effort to prioritise and free up some thinking time The Everyday will have to come to an end.  Thanks to the handful (if there even was that many!) of people who checked in on me from time to time.  I leave you with a final find: a little collection of love poems just in time for Valentines Day.

Love,

January 26th, 2012

I watched the State of the Union a day after it aired (couldn’t bring myself to stay up until 2am on a Tuesday) and though there was a lot of election-year politics, I liked the parts best when all members of congress stood up and cheered.  It’s great to see even a brief hint at unity from American politicians.

barackobama:

If you missed the president’s State of the Union last night, here’s what we’re internally referring to as “the kick-ass section.” Watch the rest of the speech and get an overview of the key points here.

January 25th, 2012

Burns Night

We successfully celebrated our first Burns Night last Saturday with a lovely rendition of the tradition in the Mess.  A night full of poetry, haggis (veggie version for me), bag pipes and whiskey - it was awesome!  In honour of the poet, on this his birthday, here is one of the poems read aloud that eve.

To A Mouse.   

 

Wee sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi bickering brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an chase thee,

Wi murdering pattle!

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion

Has broken Nature’s social union,

An justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion.

An fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve:

What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!

A daimen icker in a thrave

'S a sma request;

I’ll get a blessin wi the lave,

An never miss’t!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!

Its silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!

An naething, now, to big a new ane,

O foggage green!

An bleak December’s win’s ensuin.

Baith snell an keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an waste,

An weary winter comin fast.

An cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell,

Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro thy cell.

That wee bit heap o leaves an stibble,

Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!

Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble.

But house or hald,

To thole the winter’s sleety dribble,

An cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,

In proving foresight may be vain:

The best-laid schemes o mice an men

Gang aft agley,

An lea’e us nought but grief an pain,

For promis’d joy!

Still thou art blest, compar’d wi me!

The present only toucheth thee:

But och! I backward cast my e’e,

On prospects drear!

An forward, tho I canna see,

I guess an fear!

Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns

January 23rd, 2012

Gunga Din

My Dad, the only man who ever sends me poetry, recently introduced me to another one of Rudyard Kipling’s works, Gunga Din.  As he said, 'thought i'd shoot you Gunga Din … a classic.  has a bit of added meaning knowing that we're fighting in the same territory today, a century later.'  Food for thought.

You may talk o’ gin and beer 

When you’re quartered safe out ‘ere, 

An’ you’re sent to penny-fights an’ Aldershot it; 

But when it comes to slaughter 

You will do your work on water, 

An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ‘im that’s got it. 

Now in Injia’s sunny clime, 

Where I used to spend my time 

A-servin’ of ‘Er Majesty the Queen, 

Of all them blackfaced crew 

The finest man I knew 

Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.

    He was “Din! Din! Din! 

    “You limpin’ lump o’ brick-dust, Gunga Din!

    “Hi! Slippy hitherao! 

    “Water, get it! Panee lao

    “You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din.”

The uniform ‘e wore 

Was nothin’ much before,

An’ rather less than ‘arf o’ that be’ind,

For a piece o’ twisty rag

An’ a goatskin water-bag

Was all the field-equipment ‘e could find.

When the sweatin’ troop-train lay

In a sidin’ through the day,

Where the ‘eat would make your bloomin’ eyebrows crawl,

We shouted ” Harry By!” 

Till our throats were bricky-dry, 

Then we wopped ‘im ‘cause ‘e couldn’t serve us all. 

    It was “Din! Din! Din!

    “You ‘eathen, where the mischief ‘ave you been? 

    “You put some juldee in it 

    “Or I’ll marrow you this minute 

    “If you don’t fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!”

'E would dot an' carry one 

Till the longest day was done;

An’ ‘e didn’t seem to know the use o’ fear.

If we charged or broke or cut,

You could bet your bloomin’ nut,

'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.

With ‘is mussick’ on ‘is back,

'E would skip with our attack,

An’ watch us till the bugles made “Retire,”

An’ for all ‘is dirty ‘ide

'E was white, clear white, inside

When ‘e went to tend the wounded under fire!

    It was “Din! Din! Din!”

    With the bullets kickin’ dust-spots on the green 

    When the cartridges ran out, 

    You could hear the front-ranks shout, 

    “Hi! ammunition-mules an’ Gunga Din!”

I sha’n’t forgit the night 

When I dropped be’ind the fight 

With a bullet where my belt-plate should ‘a’ been.

I was chokin’ mad with thirst,

An’ the man that spied me first

Was our good old grinnin’, gruntin’ Gunga Din.

'E lifted up my 'ead,

An’ he plugged me where I bled, An’ ‘e guv me ‘arf-a-pint o’ water green.

It was crawlin’ and it stunk,

But of all the drinks I’ve drunk,

I’m gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.

    It was “Din! Din! Din!

    “‘Ere’s a beggar with a bullet through ‘is spleen”

    “‘E’s chawin’ up the ground, 

    “An’ ‘e’s kickin’ all around:

    “For Gawd’s sake git the water, Gunga Din!

'E carried me away 

To where a dooli lay, 

An’ a bullet come an’ drilled the beggar clean.

'E put me safe inside,

An’ just before ‘e died,

"I ‘ope you liked your drink" sez Gunga Din.

So I’ll meet ‘im later on

At the place where ‘e is gone

Where it’s always double drill and no canteen.

'E'll be squattin' on the coals

Givin’ drink to poor damned souls,

An’ I’ll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!

    Yes, Din! Din! Din!

    You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!

    Though I’ve belted you and flayed you,

    By the livin’ Gawd that made you,

    You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

 

by Rudyard Kipling

January 21st, 2012

My first recipe: feta & sweet potato stew!

Tonight I made my first original recipe (well, aside from when I saute vegetables and throw a sauce on it) and I was very pleased with how it turned out! Spicey, slightly creamy with a little bit of tang from feta and a little sweet from the potatoes.  So here it goes: my feta and sweet potato stew:

1 large or two medium sweet potato, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic minced

1 can chickpeas

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 carrot

2 stalks of celery

1/4 of a bulb of fennel

1/4 teaspoon cayanne pepper

1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 t paprika

1 t dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock

100g feta cheese, roughly chopped 

2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for roasting

Heat the oven to 350F. Coat the sweet potato with olive oil and toss with salt. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Meanwhile roughly chop the carrot, celery and fennel and put into a food processor until it’s finely minced. 

Heat the olive oil in a pot, add the onion and cook until just gone soft.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.  Add the carrot, celery and fennel mix and cook for five minutes.  Then stir in the tomato paste and spices and cook for two minutes before adding the chickpeas, thyme and stock  

Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the sweet potato and feta, simmer for five minutes more.  Taste to adjust seasoning.  The stew should be quite thick but you can thin it out with more water/stock if you prefer something closer to soup. ENJOY!

January 11th, 2012

A moving mini-documentary on one of my favourite songs, How He Loves by John Mark McMillan.  Listen to the song here.

December 21st, 2011
On our way to the airport!! (Taken with instagram)

On our way to the airport!! (Taken with instagram)

December 17th, 2011
Riley sleeping under the covers on another cold morning! (Taken with instagram)

Riley sleeping under the covers on another cold morning! (Taken with instagram)

December 11th, 2011
Winter warmer cider & gin at the pub after battling the rain (Taken with instagram)

Winter warmer cider & gin at the pub after battling the rain (Taken with instagram)

December 9th, 2011

Lovely food blog I’ve just discovered.