Saturday, 30 July 2011

Rice Salad recipe request

Last weekend the meditation group had a half day retreat with our group monk at our usual venue in Newcastle.

I made a rice salad for the lunch and it was very popular, so I was asked for the recipe.
The vegans at the end of the table were able to get extra helpings of it as they did not have any of the cheese or Quiches which had been brought by the non-vegans.

Ingredients:
(Quantities are approximate)
1 mug of uncooked organic brown basmati rice (I use Fair Trade Basmati rice from Suma);
1 desertspoon Marigold Engevita nutritional yeast flakes;
1 desertspoon sunflower seeds;
1 desertspoon frozen petit pois (small peas);
1 desertspoon frozen green beans;
1 desertspoon frozen mixed chopped peppers (Tesco or Iceland brand are what I usually use);
1 desertspoon french dressing;
1 desertspoon Mitsukan: Powdered Sushi Vinegar (Rice Seasoning Mix);
1 packet Cauldron Foods Marinated Tofu;
1 teaspoon Baron Green Seasoning;
1 teaspoon Amore Tomato Ketchup.

Cook the rice and frozen vegetables the day before, drain thoroughly, cover them and leave to cool.
Then put them into a large bowl and mix the other ingredients in well.
If you like you can add some chopped cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes, but the salad will then need to be all eaten within a few hours otherwise it will go off.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Healthy Lunches


We have been having lighter healthier lunches since our holiday. Here are 2 plates of blueberry, banana and apple, with a few nuts.

Land in Paraguay being stolen for cattle ranching



Brazilian beef barons whose illegal clearance of rainforest land inhabited by uncontacted Indians in Paraguay was spotted by satellites have now been charged with illegal deforestation. Check out the video above for more.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

update on gutters

This week I spent a bit of time on the phone with the landlord's repair contractor to see if I could find out what the progress was on the replacement to the broken gutters.
On Wednesday I spoke to a patient and kind person "Katy" who initially told me that the landlord was now dealing with the matter. When I replied that I had been told by the landlord's call centre that the repair contractor was responsible for gutters, and all enquiries had to go via the repair contractor (unless I was making an official complaint), she said she was going to put me on hold, to try to find the person in charge of the matter.

Eventually she got back to me to tell me that this person was not available at that time, and she would keep trying to get hold of him and would contact me when she had done so.

Having heard nothing since, I phoned again today. The call centre staff do seem to know what I am talking about as soon as I say the word "gutters" and my address, so I think they are keeping it up to date on the computer.

Today I spoke to "Richard", and explained that my next door neighbour and I were very concerned that there was no progress since the gutters came down last year and we were unhappy that we had not been kept informed about what was going on.
Richard apologised for this but said they could not give any more information out as there was "conflicting" information about the repair, and that he and Katy (I think) would keep trying to get through to this person in the landlord's office, this person who seems to know what is happening.

Go to any web site on the internet to find out about damp and you will get comments like these
"First ensure its not a simple problem causing the damp- leaky gutter channeling water down the wall etc, or ground water accumulating by the house wall on the ground."

Except for those sites which are selling damp proof courses!
Another neighbour has had the damp proof course replaced twice in one year, if they had looked up at the roof they would have see the cause of the damp- water running down the walls, pooling around the building, saturating the bricks.
If you look around the house you will see all the moss ad plants growing in the cracks where the water is running down the walls.

Wood Ants nests


I was happy to find some wood ant nests in the New Forest. Having seen them in Northumberland previously I was able to identify the odd pile of pine leaves in the top left hand side of the photo immediately. There are thousands of ants swarming all over the pile, each one bringing food home or busy rebuilding the nest. Just like us really.

New Forest Ponies



We had heard about the semi wild ponies which graze in the New Forest. This was one of the first places we stopped and the pony did not seem bothered by our prescence. There are also cattle grazing and in some parts I heard there are woodland pigs.

Friday, 1 July 2011

New Forest pics


We spent the whole of our holiday in the New Forest, except for the journey south, where we stopped off for a break in a Premier Inn in Harpole, and on the way back we stopped in a Premier Inn in Derby East.
The photo was taken one of the woodlands in the New Forest, where a log was becoming a frog.
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