Wednesday, 27 September 2017

What We Ate Wednesday--Cookie Dough Bites

Hello lovelies! Recently, we were invited out to dinner with friends. Our lovely friend and landlord (those two words don't usually go together, but in this case they do) owns a Chinese restaurant in town and regularly invites his friends out for a free meal. We always have an interesting discussion which becomes more raucous as the evening progresses. We talk, laugh, debate, and get silly with people who have interesting and varied views of the world. We are the only vegans in the group, but we are well respected and cared for. Sai Wu makes delicious garlic mushrooms and a variety of vegetable dishes plus firecracker rice (minus the egg) which mean we have plenty of food.

Obviously, since this meal is free I want to bring something along for dessert as a thank you. But also as vegan advocacy. I mean, when you eat delicious food that is vegan it plants the seeds that compassion tastes good.

I often bake brownies because who doesn't like brownies, right? But this time, I was short on time and ingredients so i made these bite size cookie dough bites. They come together quickly, don't need much of any one ingredient and are always a hit.

I adapted the recipe from one of my favourite blogs Oh She Glows. You can read the original recipe {HERE} I mainly just adapted to make it gluten free and used Golden Syrup instead of Maple Syrup to make it cheaper. Plus, Golden Syrup has a real buttery butterscotch flavour, despite there being no butter in it. Feel free to use Maple Syrup if you can afford it.

Cookie Dough Bites

1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1/4 cup (GF) rolled oats
1/4 cup (GF) flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 to 1.5 TB sugar
1/2 tsp custard powder (the recipe called for vanilla essence/extract, but i have none so used custard powder as it is vanilla flavoured)
2 TB liquid sweetener like golden syrup, maple syrup, agave
Possibly a splash of non-dairy milk if it seems too dry
16 chocolate chunks chopped from a 100g bar

1. In a food processor combine the cashews and oats and process until they form a fine crumble.
2. Add the salt, sugar, custard powder and flour and whizz until combined.
3. Add the liquid sweetener and process until sticky and rolled into a ball. If it seems too dry or won't roll into a ball then add a half a teaspoon more liquid sweetener and a splash of non dairy milk and re-blend.
4. Roll into 16 little balls and push a chunk of chocolate into the centre of each cookie dough ball.

That's it. They are quick and delicious. Make sure you store in the fridge as that will help them to firm up.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Murder Ballad Monday--The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia (Vicki Lawrence)

Hello and welcome to Murder Ballad Monday. Last week we looked at a rural murder ballad with a country flair. this week, we travel to rural Georgia for a murder ballad that is also a murder mystery. All the clues are there for you, you just have to put them together. That's what makes this ballad so good.
                           Image result for night the lights went out in georgia ktel
I first heard this ballad in the early 70's on a K-Tel album. Remember those? I was obsessed with the story as it had a real twist ending.  In fact, this may be the first twist ending I had ever encountered.

It was written in 1972 by Bobby Russell and is considered a Southern Gothic song. He really didn't like it and was hesitant have it recorded, but his then wife Vicki Lawrence saw its potential to be a hit and recorded it herself in 1973. To me, the strength of the song is the colloquial feel of the language used and the way it really does sound like someone from Georgia (or anywhere in the American South) talking.

It also took me years before I understood that the Vicki Lawrence who sang this was the same Vicki Lawrence that was on the Carol Burnett show and Mama's Family.


If you don't know this song, I don't want to spoil the ending for you. So why don't you listen to it first and then we can discuss it a bit more.  They lyrics are below if you'd like to follow along.

It completely knocked me over and blew me away (and all the other cliches you can think of) due to the delivery of the singer, whose voice changes from simple first person narrator to hardened killer. There were so many questions I had. What had happened? What was a "make believe trial"? Was it actual trial? A show trial? A quick lynching? That was always my impression. She says They hung my brother before I could say the tracks  he saw while on his way to Andy's house in back that night were mine. How did it happen so quickly that she didn't even have time to speak up? 

Looking at the lyrics below I see phrases like Well don't trust your soul to no back woods Southern lawyer 'cause the judge in the town's got bloodstains on his hands which now lead me to believe it was show trial. But as a child I always saw it as a lynching. Rough justice. Maybe that is because I was from the American South and things like that were in the not too distant past in 1973. 

I think the strength of the song is the ambiguity. It is the listener who has to hear it, decide what has happened, be shocked at the ending. The not knowing every detail made a better picture in my head (like the reading of book vs the seeing the film) and I think it loses its power if you spell out every detail. Reba McEntire recorded a version of the song and this is why her version (in my opinion) fails. We will look at her version next week. 

He was on his way home from Candletop
Been two weeks gone and he thought he'd stop
At Web's and have him a drink for he went home to her

Andy Wo-Lo said hello
He said "Hi what's new"
And Wo said "Sit down I got some bad news that's gonna hurt"

Said I'm your best friend and you know that's right
But your young bride ain't home tonight
Since you been gone she's been seeing that Amos boy Seth

Now he got mad and he saw red
Andy said boy don't you lose your head
'Cause to tell you the truth I've been with her myself

That's the night that the lights went out in Georgia
That's the night that they hung an innocent man
Well don't trust your soul to no back woods Southern lawyer
'Cause the judge in the town's got bloodstains on his hands

Andy got scared and left the bar
Walking on home cause he didn't live far you see
Andy didn't have many friends and he just lost him one

Brother thought his wife must've left town
So he went home and finally found the only thing
Papa had left him and that was a gun

He went off to Andy's house
Slipping through the back woods quiet as a mouse
Came upon some tracks too small for Andy to make

He looked through the screen at the back porch door
And he saw Andy lying on the floor
In a puddle of blood and he started to shake

The Georgia patrol was making their rounds
So he fired a shot just to flag em down
A big bellied sheriff grabbed his gun and said
"Why'd you do it?"

The judge said guilty on a make-believe trial
Slapped the sheriff on the back with a smile
Said supper's waiting at home and I gotta get to it

That's the night that the lights went out in Georgia
That's the night that they hung an innocent man
Well don't trust your soul to no back woods Southern lawyer
'Cause the judge in the town's got bloodstains on his hands

Well, they hung my brother before I could say
The tracks he saw while on his way
To Andy's house in back that night were mine
And his cheatin' wife had never left town
That's one body that'll never be found
You see little sister don't miss when she aims her gun

That's all for this week. Stay tuned next week for Reba McEntire's version of The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What We Ate Wednesday--High Protein Breakfast Smoothie with Golden Paste

Hello lovelies! Two years ago I developed two different flavoured high protein smoothies that you can read about {HERE} if you are so inclined.

 But since I have been making Golden Paste (see last week's {BLOG} if you want to remind yourself of the health benefits of Golden Paste) I have altered my smoothie recipe a bit.

So here is my current breakfast green smoothie. There is a bit of preparation, but once you have done it--it makes the daily smoothie go really quickly.

First, I start by freezing my Golden Paste in handy ice cube portions. I make enough to last about a month.

Then I freeze a tin of  beans in a single, flat layer overnight, then scoop them in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer. This lasts just about 6 days, so I freeze once a week.

Why beans? I want to add protein and fibre. these things help you fill up and stay fuller longer without a blood sugar crash. Why not protein powder? Have you seen the price of protein powder??? I can get a tin of kidney beans for 30p. I can get other varieties of beans for around 50p.

Also, if you look at the ingredients on a container of protein powder they can be full of nasty fillers and there is none more nasty than wheyWhey is a by-product of the cheese making industry and it is illegal to dump it in rivers and streams because it is toxic to fish and aquatic life. Why would I want to put something poisonous in my body?  But millions of people do every day because whey powder is sold to the food industry as a cheap filler in processed convenience foods. Check your labels and see if I am wrong. Rant over. Back to the recipe.

Once a week on a Sunday, I fill 7 little pots with the all the dry ingredients so I can just "dump and go" on a busy morning. My dry ingredients include oats, chia seeds, cinnamon and ginger.

Every morning I dump a jar that contains my defrosted beans and golden paste into my smoothie and then fill the jar for the next day. This saves time because it already done and I don't have to get two more things out of the freezer, open them up, get stuff out, close stuff up and put it back in the freezer. Also since my beloved Vita Mix blender died, I don't want to overtax my new, less powerful blender with really hard stuff so I prefer these items defrosted.

My other ingredients are non-dairy milk, blackstrap molasses, tahini, a banana and spinach.

But how do you make the smoothie, Spidergrrl? I hear you cry. Be patient, best beloved, I'm getting to that.  First, let's look at the ingredients and talk nutrition.

1) 1 cup (250ml) fortified plant milk
 I am currently using Soya milk to balance my hormones, but I have used Oatly in the past. 200ml is 60% of your vitamin D, 30% of your riboflavin, 30% of your B12 and 30% of your daily calcium

2) ¼ cup  beans 
That’s fibre and protein that will keep you fuller longer Kidney beans contain 4.g fibre and 3g protein, 1% of your daily calcium 4% of your daily iron and  2% of your daily vitamin C. I try to mix it up with different beans, this week it is kidneys but other beans have similar profiles--black beans contain 4.1g fibre and 3.62g protein , 4% of your daily calcium, 11% of your daily iron and 4% of your daily vitamin C and white beans  contain 2.6g fibre and 4.01g protein, 4% of your daily calcium 8% of your daily iron. Who knew?

4)  ¼ cup of (GF) oats 
Oats adds 1.9g of fibre, 1% of your daily calcium and 4% of your iron plus 3.03g of protein. Or you can add ¼ cup of something like Ready Brek which is super smooth porridge oats that have been fortified with extra calcium, vitamin D, iron, B2, B6 and B12. 

5) 1 TB chia seeds 
This gives you 2g protein, 5.5g fibre and 88.5mg calcium, 2.5g Omega 3 fatty acid. 
Cinnamon helps to balance your blood sugar and  ginger is good for digestion. 

6)  1 TB tahini paste
 You could use peanut butter as we are going for fat and protein, but why not use tahini as it is so high in calcium? I prefer the richer complex flavour of roasted unhulled sesame seeds personally as the hulls make it higher in calcium. If you don’t dig tahini then go for almond butter as it is also high in calcium. But 1 TB tahini will give you 2.55g protein, 64mg of calcium and 8.06g fat. Don’t freak out on me. A bit of healthy fat is good for you. The fat will make you fuller longer.

 7)  I TB of blackstrap molasses
This contains around  176mg calcium--seriously! That’s nearly one quarter of your recommended daily amount right there! Plus 4.5mg  iron which is nearly a quarter of your RDA. Plus 45mg magnesium and 510g potassium plus a host of trace minerals like copper and manganese! The molasses MUST be blackstrap as it has the highest amount of nutrition. Oh and one more tip. If you oil the spoon the molasses sliiiiiides right off.

 8) A frozen peeled ripe banana
One banana is one of your “five a day” fruit and veg! Plus it makes it sweeter without adding extra sugar. One banana contains the following: Vitamin B6 - .5 mg., Manganese - .3 mg., Vitamin C - 9 mg., Potassium - 450 mg., Fibre - 3g., Protein - 1 g., Magnesium - 34 mg, and Folate - 25.0 mcg.

8) Frozen spinach
 I mean greens are good for you, right? Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C, as well as phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein and choline. 
 I just fill add everything else and then fill the blender to the top with spinach. When I buy fresh spinach, I immediately divide it into ziplock bags, press the air out and freeze. This prevents spinach going all slimy in the fridge.  

Spidergrrl's Morning Smoothie
1cup (250ml) non dairy milk
1/4 cup additional milk or water (I use water)
1/4 cup beans of your choice
1 tsp golden paste
1/4 cup (GF) oats
1 TB chia seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 TB blackstrap molasses
1 TB tahini
1 small frozen banana, broken into chunks
1 heaping handful frozen spinach

Blend altogether. Drink. That's it.

This keeps me going for hours. Maybe give it a try yourself. If you pre-measure the dry ingredient pots, have golden paste frozen in portions, have your beans ready then it comes together in a snap.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Murder Ballad Monday--Country Death Song (Violent Femmes)

Hello and welcome to Murder Ballad Monday. For the past several weeks I have explored different versions of the ballad Polly Vonn, but this week I am moving into more contemporary circles.

When you think of rural murder ballads, I bet the last thing you think about is the alternative/punk band the Violent Femmes.  Their first eponymous album was raw and brash with songs like Blister in the Sun. Their second album Hallowed Ground was more reflective and had an almost country music sound in some places. There were also several  Christian songs like Jesus Walking on the Water which caused conflict between band members as lead singer Gordon Gano was a devout Christian and the other members of the band were atheists. This is an album of contrasts because it also contains the song Black Girls which contains the lyrics I dig black girls so much more than the white girls and I dig white boys so much more than the black boys. 
                              Image result for violent femmes hallowed
But what really set this album apart for me was the lead song. When I first bought this album on vinyl back in 1984, I was struck like a thunderbolt to the chest by the first song. It was a murder ballad told in first person by a man driven mad by poverty and hunger who in a moment of madness (a moment of clarity?) pushes his younger daughter down a well and then hangs himself when he realised what he had done. There is this chilling line I pushed with all my might, I pushed with all my love which really encapsulates the claustrophobic feeling of the song.

It is an exquisite portrait of the madness that can come through isolation and poverty. It reminded me of the poem School Lesson Based On Word of Tragic Death of Entire Gillum Family by Robert Penn Warren about the father who murders his family with an ice pick as his children are getting ready for school.

According to Wikipedia, Gordon Gano wrote Country Death Song while still in high school. He wrote it one day in 10th grade study hall after seeing a news article about a murder in 1862 where a father intentionally pushed his daughter down a well and then hanged himself in the barn.

I think what makes it more chilling is that it is a first person account. What also really enhances it is this fan made video. It was made as a final project for an animation class and really captures the eerie feeling of madness that compliments Gordon Gano's distinctive voice.

I have included the lyrics below if you would like follow along, but I suggest watching the video as well.

I had me a wife, I had me some daughters.
I tried so hard, I never knew still waters.
Nothing to eat and nothing to drink.
Nothing for a man to do but sit around and think.
Nothing for a man to do but sit around and think.

Well, I'm a thinkin' and thinkin', till there's nothin' I ain't thunk.
Breathing in the stink, till finally I stunk.
It was at that time, I swear I lost my mind.
I started making plans to kill my own kind.
I started making plans to kill my own kind.

Come little daughter, " I said to the youngest one,
Put your coat on, we'll have some fun.
We'll go out to mountains, the one to explore.
Her face then lit up, I was standing by the door.
Her face then lit up, I was standing by the door.

Come little daughter, I will carry the lanterns.
We'll go out tonight, we'll go to the caverns.
We'll go out tonight, we'll go to the caves.
Kiss your mother goodnight and remember that God saves.
Kiss your mother goodnight and remember that God saves.

I led her to a hole, a deep black well.
I said "make a wish, make sure and not tell then
Close your eyes dear, and count to seven.
You know your papa loves you, good children go to heaven.
You know your papa loves you, good children go to heaven."

I gave her a push, I gave her a shove.
I pushed with all my might, I pushed with all my love.
I through my child into a bottomless pit.
She was screaming as she fell, but I never heard her hit.
She was screaming as she fell, but I never heard her hit.

Gather round boys to this tale that I tell.
You want to know how to take a short trip to hell?
It's guaranteed to get your own place in hell.
Just take your lovely daughter and push her in the well.
Take your lovely daughter and throw her in the well.

Don't speak to me of lovers, with a broken heart.
You want to know what can really tear you apart?
I'm going out to the barn, will I never stop in pain?
I'm going out to the barn, to hang myself in shame.

That's all for this week. Stay tuned next week for a trip to rural Georgia.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

What We Ate Wednesday--Golden Paste and how to use it

Hello Lovelies! Golden Paste is one I have been meaning to write for a while, but having been really busy at work I hadn't had the chance to gather up all the data and compile it and type it.

I've got a bit more free time at the moment so here it is. Hoorah!

So what is Golden Paste? Well, it's a bit of "food as medicine." Basically, it is eating the spice turmeric as a supplement to help with arthritis or joint pain.

Turmeric is the yellow spice that gives curry powder its lovely, vibrant  colour.  Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and it has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a strong anti-oxidant. Studies have shown it might help prevent heart disease and some studies have said that it seems to have an effect on certain types of cancer cells. I don't know much about those claims, but it seems promising. It supposedly helps with digestion by stimulating your liver to produce bile.

I first became interested in this spice in relation to its use with arthritis. In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug.  Read a bit about that {HERE}

The properties of curcumin are not easily absorbed by the body so here are the things you can do to increase bioavailability:

  1. Combine it with black pepper. The piperine in pepper increases the body's ability to absorb the healing powers of turmeric by 2000%!!! Two-thousand percent, people! 
  2. Add a healthy fat. Turmeric is fat soluble so you need a bit of fat to help the body absorb it.  

Hence, Golden paste. 

Now it will only last a week in the fridge as it is perishable, but as I am always looking for ways to make my life easier so i do a big batch and make a month's worth and freeze it. I use specially designated ice cube trays (no one wants ice that tastes like curry!) and then pop them out and store them in a container. Easy peasy.

I have friends who just swallow the spice in a shot glass of water and have had good success with their joint pain. I am glad for them, but I have absorption issues so I want to maximise my chances. I just throw a cube in my morning smoothie which tastes delicious. I also have a strong gag reflex, so not sure I could just toss some back in shot glass. But to each his own! 

Golden paste:
In a small saucepan mix:
1/2 cup turmeric spice (I buy mine in bulk from an Asian shop)
1 cup water.

Whisk this together and heat over low heat until smooth. Then add:
2-3 TB olive oil
1 tsp coarse ground pepper

Continue to whisk until smooth and glossy.

Let cool and then spoon into ice cube trays. A heaping measuring teaspoon each compartment. This makes 28 cubes for me. Be careful--IT WILL STAIN! So have something handy to wipe up spills that you don't mind being yellow. i use the same tea towel every month.

Freeze 24 hours then pop out (again--be careful of STAINING) and store in a container in your freezer. 

Well Spidergrrl, this seems incredibly easy to make and is good for you. Is there anyone who *shouldn't* eat Golden Paste? 

Well, Spidergrrl, I am glad you asked. (Why am I talking to myself??) 

Yes. You should NOT use turmeric as a supplement if you:
  1. Have gallbladder issues or kidney stones.
  2. Are on any kind of blood clotting drug. Turmeric actually thins your blood, so you don't want to counteract the effects of your meds.  
  3. If you have stomach acid issues and heartburn or GERD.
  4. If you are on a medicine for diabetes as turmeric can lower your blood sugar levels (it is ok to take if you control your diabetes with diet)
  5. If you are pregnant--turmeric can  stimulate the uterus, so it's ok to eat in food just not as a supplement. However, it might help with difficult periods. 
So how can you incorporate it into your diet? 

I throw mine into my morning smoothie (recipe next week!) but some people make Golden Milk. Basically, it is just milk heated with some golden paste, a shake of cinnamon  and ginger and a bit of sweetener to taste. You can obviously do this with non-dairy milk as well.

Or you could make GOLDEN GRANOLA BARS using this recipe. 

I prefer the smoothie as it is less faff than standing in my cold kitchen over the stove at night making another pot to wash. 

But as I said earlier. Each to his own. Or her own. Or their own. I'm gender inclusive. 

But if you are not on the list of people who should avoid turmeric, it might be worth giving it a try. I have noticed definitely positive changes in my digestion (my IBS is much better) as well as joint pain (the pain in my broken coccyx is but a whisper these days.) 

Worth trying. And these days , I would much rather use food as medicine than support Big Pharma, if I can help it. Know what I mean?

Monday, 11 September 2017

Murder Ballad Monday--Molly Bawn by Aoife Murray

Hello and welcome to the last of the versions of the ballad that is number 166 in the Roud Folk Song index. Irish singer Aoife Murray sings this last version and it is beautifully haunting. It follows the pattern of the other versions, but there are clearly a few differences. All of the other songs mention that the man (Jimmy or Willy in one case) was out hunting but this version clearly says Jimmy went out fowling which makes the shooting of a swan even more likely.

Image result for swan swimming

Also, the ghost of the murdered woman has appeared in other version to the man who shot her, at her wake and at her trial, but I am pretty sure this is the only version where she appears to her own father who has clearly been plotting revenge since she died three weeks before. The line says: "Father, dearest father, please don't think to shoot my dear” which harks back to the traditional song The Shooting of His Dear arranged by Benjamin Britten.

I think the strength of this song is the ending where Jimmy declares that he will soon follow her in death. Other versions pay lip service to this saying he cried a fountain of tears, but this one really makes the grief real.

You can listen to it here:

Jimmy went out fowling with his gun in his hand
Fowling all day, as you may understand.
His sweetheart being out walking, he took her for a swan
And he shot his Molly Bawn at the setting of the sun.

Jimmy went home with his gun in his hand
Sad and broken-hearted, as you may understand.
Saying," Father, dearest father, you know what I have done?
I have shot my Molly Bawn at the setting of the sun,

Then up and spoke his father, although his locks were grey,
Saying," Son, dearest son, do you not think of going away.
Stay in this country until your trial is on,
And you never will be hanged at the setting of the sun.

It was in three weeks after, to her father she appeared.
Saying, "Father, dearest father, please don't think to shoot my dear
My white apron being around me, he took me for a swan
And he shot his Molly Bawn at the setting of the sun,

Now Molly, dearest Molly, you're my joy and heart's delight,
And if you had lived, my dear, I'd make of you my wife.
But now, as you are gone to me, I'll sail away and mourn
And soon I will be following you, My own Molly Bawn.

That’s all for this week’s Murder Ballad Monday. Next week we will take a look at murder ballad by the alternative pop group the Violent Femmes.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

What We Ate Wednesday--Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats

Hello lovelies! I am really jumping on all the trending bandwagons at the moment. First it was Amazing One Pot Pasta and now it is Overnight Oats. 

If you don't know (and seriously...if you have any kind of online presence you will have been bombarded with images of this concept) overnight oats are oats you don't cook. They sit in your fridge over night quietly minding their business and absorbing the liquids you chose so the next day they are ready to eat. Sorta like what the title implies. Overnight oats. Oats you make overnight.

I decided to make chocolate cherry flavour oats. But how could I do this? I found versions that made a chocolate flavour, but how to add the cherries? Would cherries alone be enough to make this have the *wow* factor I was looking for?

At Lidl I discovered a jar of maraschino cherries in syrup for around £1.49. I took it home and drained the cherries (reserving the syrup! Do not neglect this bit!) and laid the cherries in a single layer on a plastic lid and froze them in my freezer. This prevents them from sticking together later. The next day I  scooped up all the cherries and put them in a ziplock bag. and popped them back in the freezer. There were approximately 100 delicious, tart cherries.

I also took the drained syrup (you mustn't forget the drained syrup, oh best beloved!) and froze it in 1/4 cup portions. You could use ice cube trays (indeed I do use ice cube trays for freezing garlic puree and golden paste--recipe coming next week!) but if you can get a hold of one of these babies they really are great. They are a silicone compartmental doodah meant for freezing homemade baby food if you are a yummy mummy. I got mine from a charity shop for £2 and we use it #allthetime. 

(look at me being all kool and down wid da kidz using a hashtag) 

Anyway....I froze the cherry syrup and it made 9 little cubes. 

That may seem like a lot of prep, but really it took 5 minutes, plus freezing overnight and now I have enough for nine--count 'em NINE delicious bowls of chocolate cherry goodness.

At night before I go to sleep, I put the following in a small plastic container with a lid. Feel free to use glass, but I was taking this to work to eat as second breakfast (since I am small and hairy, I must be a Hobbit, right???) so plastic was more sensible.

In your container:
1/2 cup (GF) porridge oats
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp chia seeds (optional--helps absorb the liquid and adds omega, protein and vitamins etc, but it may mean you have to add a splash more milk in the use it or don't)
1 tsp sugar (optional...the syrup is still quite tart so I like a bit of sugar)
1/2 cup plant based  milk of your choice

Give it a big ole stir to mix it all together and add:
1 cube cherry syrup (1/4 cup)
10 frozen cherries

Then pop it in the fridge overnight and when you wake up in the morning--BAM! Breakfast.

Or second breakfast.

 By the morning the cherries are defrosted and the syrup is melted and there is big cherry puddle in your chocolate oats that needs mixing in. It will need a bit of a stir and then you are good to go.

This is *delicious*. Just the right amount of chocolate...a huge flavour burst of cherry. Yum.

I don't seem to have a photo of the end product because I always seem to be eating it when I remember I should have taken a photo.

Once you do the main prep on the cherries, it is easy-peasy to put together. And fairly economical as well as the jar lasts 9 meals.

I am often someone who likes to go against the flow, but sometimes copying everyone else's good idea works too.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Murder Ballad Monday--Polly Vaughn by The Dillards

Hello and welcome to the penultimate version of the Murder Ballad Mondays about the folk ballad Polly Von. This week I am looking at a version by a band called The Dillards from their 1963 album Back Porch Blues.
Image result for swan river bank
This version touches on elements we have seen in other versions. It begins like the Dubliners version with the line “Now come all ye hunters who follow the gun” and several lines are straight out of the Peter, Paul and Mary version such as “And a fountain of tears for his true love he shed. For she'd her apron wrapped about her and he took her for a swan, Oh and alas it was she Polly Vaughn.” It ends with the line comparing Polly to a fountain of snow much like in the Martha Tilson version.  When her ghost appears at the trial everyone, including the judge and the lawyers, mistake her for a swan and so Jimmy’s defence is clear. 

What also sets this one apart is that it is a bluegrass version. You can listen to it here:

Now come all ye hunters who follow the gun
Beware of your shooting at the setting of the sun
For Polly's own true love he shot in the dark
But oh and alas Polly Vaughn was his mark.

For she'd her apron wrapped about her and he took her for a swan
Oh and alas it was she Polly Vaughn

He ran up beside her and saw that it was she
Cried "Polly oh Polly have I killed thee"
He lifted up her head and saw that she was dead
And a fountain of tears for his true love he shed.

For she'd her apron wrapped about her and he took her for a swan
Oh and alas it was she Polly Vaughn

In the middle of the night Polly Vaughn did appear
Cried "Jimmy oh Jimmy you must have no fear;
Just tell them you were hunting when your trial day has come
And you won't be convicted for what you have done.

For I’d my apron wrapped about me and you took me for a swan
Oh and alas it was me Polly Vaughn.”

In the middle of the trial Polly Vaughn did appear
Crying "Uncle oh Uncle Jimmy Randall must go clear"
The lawyers and the judges stood around in a row
In the middle Polly Vaughn like some fountain of snow
For she'd her apron wrapped about her and they took her for a swan

Oh and alas it was she Polly Vaughn
Oh and alas it was she Polly Vaughn

That’s it for this week’s Murder Ballad Monday. Stay tuned next week for the last version of this ballad sung by Irish singer Aoife Murray.