Thursday, 31 May 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--Ladle Rad Rotten Hut (1940)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.

For the last two weeks we have looked at poems in dialect. The first week we looked at a poem in Hoosier dialect from Indiana, then last week we looked at one in Yiddish.

 Anguish Language is a whole different ballgame.

Image result for ladle red rotten hut
According to Wikipedia:

The Anguish Languish, an ersatz language constructed from English language words, was created by Howard L. Chace, who collected his stories and poems in the book Anguish Languish (Prentice-Hall, 1956).[1] It is not really a language but rather a homophonic transformation created as a work of humor. 

Example: "Mural: Yonder nor sorghum stenches shut ladle gulls stopper torque wet strainers." This means: Moral: Under no circumstances should little girls stop to talk with strangers.

Chace offered this description: "The Anguish Languish consists only of the purest of English words, and its chief raison d'être is to demonstrate the marvelous versatility of a language in which almost anything can, if necessary, be made to mean something else." His story "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut" is "Little Red Riding Hood" re-written with similar-sounding words substituting for the original folk tale. A professor of French, Chace wrote "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut" in 1940 to demonstrate that the intonation of spoken English is almost as important to the meaning as the words themselves.

If you struggled with the last two weeks of dialect, this may be harder. Personally, I find this one the most fun as you really can make other words sound like English if you put the right intonation and inflection in.

To help you I am including a video where someone recites it. But why not give it a go and try to read it yourself before you listen?

Ladle Rad Rotten Hut 

Wants pawn term, dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner ladle cordage honor itch offer lodge dock florist. Disc ladle gull orphan worry putty ladle rat cluck, an fur disc raison, pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.
    Wan moaning, Rat Rotten Hut 's murder colder inset.
    "Ladle rat rotten hut, heresy ladle basking winsome burden barter an shirker cockles. Tick disc ladle basking tutor cordage offer groin-murder hoe lifts honor udder site offer florist. Shaker lake! Dun stopper laundry wrote! Dun daily-doily inner florist, an yonder no sorghum-stenches, dun stopper torque wet strainers."
    "Hoe cake, murder," resplendent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, end tickle ladle basking and stuttered oft.
Honor wrote tutor cordage offer groin-murder, ladle rat rotten hut mitten anomalous woof.
    "Wail, wail, wail," set disc wicket woof, "Evanescent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut! Wares are putty ladle gull goring wizard ladle basking?"
    "Armor goring tumor groin-murder's," reprisal ladle gull. "Grammar's seeking bet. Armor ticking arson burden barter an shirker cockles."
    "Oh hoe! Heifer gnats woke," setter wicket woof, butter taught tomb shelf, "Oil tickle shirt court tutor cordage offer groin murder. Oil ketchup wetter letter, end den — oh bore!"
    Soda wicket woof tucker shirt court, end whinny retched a cordage offer groin-murder, picked inner windrow, an sore debtor pore oil worming worse lion inner bet. Inner flesh disc abdominal woof lipped honor bet, paunched honor pore oil worming, an garbled erupt. Den disk ratchet ammonol pot honor groin-murder’s nut cup an gnat-gun, any curled ope inner bet.
    Inner ladle wile, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut a raft attar cordage, an ranker dough ball. "Comb ink, sweat hard," setter wicket woof disgracing is verse.
    Ladle Rat Rotten Hut’s entity bet rum, end stud buyer groin-murder's bet.
"O Grammar!" crater ladle gull historically, "water bag icer gut! A nervous sausage bag ice!"
    "Battered lucky chew whiff, sweat hard ," setter bloat-Thursday woof, wetter wicket small honors phase.
    "O Grammar, water bag noise! A nervous sore suture anomalous prognosis!"
    "Battered small your whiff, doling," whiskered dole woof, ants mouse worse waddling.
    "O Grammar, water bag mouser gut! A nervous sore suture bag mouse!"
   Daze worry on-forger-nut ladle gull's lest warts. Oil offer sudden, caking offer carvers an sprinkling otter bet, disc hoard-hoarded woof lipped own pore Ladle Rat Rotten Hut an garbled erupt.

That's all for this week. Stay tuned next week where we explore some humorous versions of this tale.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Lemony Lentils (two ways)

Hello lovelies! Several times recently, I've cooked a big batch of  lentils and split the meal over two days. In case you are not a lentil aficionado, there are several kinds of lentils and they are used for different sorts of things. Red lentils sort of lose their shape and dissolve  into a lovely mush and are perfect for throwing into a soup to thicken it or making an Indian dish like dal. Brown lentils are a sort of khaki colour and my favourite are green lentils which have a greenish/blackish mottled colouring and a slightly peppery taste. Both green and brown hold their shape better than red, but all varieties of lentils cook relatively quickly (30 minutes or less) and are really good for you. I use lentils all the time, but especially in dishes where the recipe calls for ground beef. Lentils make a perfect "meaty" substitute.

I like to cook my lentils in a flavourful broth that gets absorbed by the lentils and then match the side dishes to the taste of the broth. This particular broth is based on a recipe from Dreena Burton's cookbook Let Them Eat Vegan. Her recipe called for ingredients like capers and olives and pine nuts. I left all that out as well the fresh cherry tomatoes as I can't find any that aren't over-packaged. Hello, do we really need a plastic tray and a plastic wrapper? Why can't I find any loose? Or with a compostable tray?

We had it the first night with lemon roasted potatoes and roasted broccoli and the next night with pasta and kale. I should say that I often use lemon from a squeezy bottle instead of a fresh lemon. I bought a real lemon for 35p and used it in the recipe so could get the zest. Then i used bottled lemon for the potatoes. If you can afford a real lemon, that's great. but if all you have is bottled, don't sweat it.

Lemony Lentils
1 cup of brown or green lentils
1 TB oil
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon, divided (about 4 TB)
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried basil
1.5 tsp mixed herbs/Italian herbs
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 cups of vegetable stock
1 tsp liquid sweetener like agave, maple syrup or golden syrup
5 oil packed sun dried tomatoes, blotted and snipped into bits
salt and pepper to taste

1. Zest your lemon and set the zest aside if using a fresh one. Juice your lemon or just measure out 4 TB juice.
2. Heat the oil in a medium sized pan. I used the tomato oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes, but use whatever you have.
3. Add the lentils and stir to coat. Add 3 TB lemon juice, the garlic,sun dried tomatoes and the herbs and stir to coat. Add the vegetable stock. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for around 30 minutes. (The original recipe said 35-45 minutes, but my liquid was nearly absorbed at 30 minutes and the lentils were tender.)
4. Add the remaining lemon juice, the lemon zest (if using) the tsp of liquid sweetener. Taste for salt and pepper.

While the lentils are cooking:
1. in another pot cook one onion sliced into rainbows and a few mushrooms if desired. You can also add half a chopped red pepper if you've got one in your fridge. Add half of the cooked lentils to the this and put the rest aside to cool. Then refrigerate overnight for tomorrow's meal. The next day, do the same thing. Cook the onion, mushrooms and half a pepper and then add the remaining lentils and heat until piping hot.

If you are having the pasta option:
While the lentils are cooking, boil your pasta according to package directions (use GF pasta if you need to) and add 100g/4-5 cups of kale or spinach to the pan with the onion and cook until the greens are reduced. Add the lentils and the cooked pasta and stir to mix.

If you are having the potatoes and broccoli option:
Before you  start the lentils, preheat your oven to 220C/425F and lightly oil your biggest roasting pan.

400g/ about 6 egg sized potatoes, cubed
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TB starch (I used tapioca, but arrowroot or cornflour/corn starch would work too) 
1 TB oil mixed with 1 TB lemon juice
salt and pepper

Some broccoli. About 20 pieces (I used about ten florets cut in half) 

1. While the lentils are cooking put the potatoes in a large bowl and stir over the garlic powder and starch until all of the potatoes are coated.
2. Whisk together the oil and lemon and pour over the potatoes and stir until fully coated. Pour the potatoes into your greased pan and season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast in the hot oven for 13 minutes, then remove the pan. Stir the potatoes and slide them over a bit to make room for the broccoli.
4. Add the broccoli to the side and mist with oil and add salt and pepper. Roast for another 14 minutes.
5. Serve with lentils cooked with onion, mushrooms and pepper.

The lemony potatoes were out of this world and I plan to have them a side dish more often. Plus it was super easy to roast the broccoli along side them.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--Sturry from Rad Ridink Hoot (1926)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.

This is the second in a series of Little Red Riding Hood variations that feature dialect. This gem is one I found in the book The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood edited by Jack Zipes. It is written by American cartoonist and animator Milt Gross who was famous for his Yiddish inflected writing. This story entitled Sturry from Rad Ridink Hoot was published in the book Nize Baby in 1926. That same year, he also published Hiawatta Witt No Odder Poems, a 40-page Yiddish parody of Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha.

This poems reminds me so much of a favourite short story (later expanded into a book) from my childhood entitled  The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N by Leo Rosten (published under the pseudonym Leonard Q Ross) about a night class to learn English in New York during the 1930's. The extroverted Hyman Kaplan is an immigrant from Kiev and speaks in a broad Yiddish accent and his interactions with his long suffering teacher Mr Parkhill are delightful. It is well worth finding this if you can.

There is not much I can say about this piece except that I love it. I love the very conversational tone of the tale as she feeds the baby wheatinna (which I presume to be a form of Cream of Wheat).

Like last week, it will help to read this story aloud to help with the tricky language.
Image result for baby being fed

Sturry from Rad Ridink Hoot

Whoo! Nize baby!!! Itt opp all de wheatinna--so momma'll gonna tell from "Leedle Rad Ridink Hoot!" Leedle Rad Ridink Hoot was going wid a weesit to de grenmodder wot she leeved in de woots! So it came along a beeg beeg wolf und he sad, "Goot monnink, Leedle Rad Ridink Hoot--to where do you going?" So she sad, "I'm going to mine grenmodder wid a beeg beeg Strubbery-Shut Cake!!" So de doidy wolf he snicked in de house and he ate opp de grenmodder--(Nize baby, take annoder spoon wheatinna). So in de min time dot doidy wolf he put in on de grenmodder's nightgown und he laid down in de bad. So Leedle Rad Ridink Hoot reng de bell, so de wolf sad, "Come in dollink." So Leedle Rad Ridink Hoot sad, " Grenmodder, wot a horse woice you got!!" So de wolf sad--"Hm--don't esk! A whole night long I was cuffing and snizzing--I tink wott I'm getting de greep!!!" So Leedle Rad Ridink Hoot sad, "Bot Grenmodder--Sotch a beeg harms wot you gott!" "Hm--de batter I should hog you weet dollink." "Bot Grenmodder --Sotch a beeg mout wot you gott!!!" --"De batter I should itt you opp."--So he jomped out from de bad do doidy wolf--itt opp Leedle Rad Ridink Hoot. So it came in a honter wid a bow und harrow und he keeled de wolf. (Hm! Sotch a dollink baby--ate opp all de wheatinna!!) 

Stay tuned next week for a story written in Anguish Language.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--A Sort of Coronation Chickpeas with Roast Potatoes (2 ways)

Hello lovelies! Have you ever heard of Coronation Chicken? It is a British thing, apparently. It was invented (as the name suggests) for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Basically, it was cold chicken in a creamy sauce (some recipes specify mayonnaise others crème fraîche) mixed with curry powder and something sweet like flaked almonds or raisins. This was pretty radical in the 1950's. Curry powder would have been quite exotic.

Jack Monroe, my favourite budget blogger had a recipe for a CORONATION FRICKIN' BURGER that looked good, but I couldn't be bothered to faff about finding Gluten Free breadcrumbs and making burgers. So, I just used her basic recipe and made Coronation Chickpeas.

I was attracted to Jack's recipe because there was no mayo in it. I was never one for eating mayonnaise even before I was vegan. It has a lovely sharpness due to the turmeric and garam masala and a sweetness due to the raisins and the mango chutney. Yes, this recipe uses mango chutney for a fast flavour punch. We buy one that costs 89p a jar from Lidl and is as good as the Geeta's brand that costs around £3. If you are a purist (or a Royalist) then feel free to add some soya yogurt or or vegan mayo, but I promise it is absolutely gorgeous without it.

I made it two different times, once with peas and once with kale. Both times the green vegetable went nicely with the yellow/orange colouring of the turmeric and chutney. I also used dried cranberries as that is what I had on hand.

I also served mine with roast potatoes. 400g potatoes cut into chunks. Coat with 1 TB tapioca starch (or cornflour or arrowroot), 2 tsp garam masala, salt and pepper and I TB oil. Roast in a greased pan at 220C/425F for 13 minutes, stir then 13 more. But you could just as easily serve it with rice.

A Sort of Coronation Chickpeas

1 onion, chopped
1 tin Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
50 g raisins or cranberries (handful)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp chili flakes
3 TB mango chutney
A few handfuls of kale (or spinach) if you have it, 1 cup frozen peas if you don’t.

1. Cook the onion in oil or a splash of water until soft.
2. Add the dried fruit and spices and stir to coat. Add chickpeas and mango chutney. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally.
3. When potatoes or rice is nearly done, add the peas or kale/spinach and cook until peas are defrosted or kale/spinach has softened.

As I said above, you can add a few spoons of something creamy if you must. But it is gorgeous as is. 

You don't even have to be a Royalist to eat it. 

Friday, 18 May 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--Mayme's Story of Red Riding Hood by James Whitcomb Riley (1899)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.

This is the first in a series of Little Red Riding Hood variations that feature dialect. When I think of poems in dialect, I automatically think of James Whitcomb Riley. He was know as the "Hoosier Poet"  for his poems in the dialect of his native state of Indiana and the "Children's Poet" for his poems for young people. The most famous poems (and by far my favourites) are LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE published in 1885 and  THE RAGGEDY MAN published in 1888.  They are terrifically fun to read aloud and try to get your mouth around all the sounds.

Reading dialect can be tricky. Many things are spelled phonetically and  whole syllables can be replaced with an apostrophe. Grammar lovers will be appalled at the lack of subject verb agreement.

 I was really surprised and pleased to find that Riley had written a version of Little Red Riding Hood. However, I am sad to report that I don't think it is his best. There is a strange substitution of the letter D every time a G is called for (e.g. Red Riding Hood went to visit her Dran'ma (Gran'ma) and brung a nice basket full o' dood (good) things t'eat). I genuinely can't get my head round this idea and can't work out why it was done. He doesn't include this strange quirk in any other poem that i am aware of. It is a bit like the way that British people substitute a J for a D in words like Juty (duty) and Juran Juran (Duran Duran).

Despite this glaring flaw, it is worth looking at. "Maymie's Story of Red Riding-Hood,"  was originally published in The Works of James Whitcomb Riley: Vol. X -- A Child-World in 1899 and republished in The Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley, collected and edited by Edmund Henry Eitel, vol. 4 in 1913.

It has a funny way of telling as if the story teller were telling it "live" to the reader because the narrator continually reassures the reader with tags like "she did" for emphasis as well as stopping himself and making corrections in the narrative. For example, when Red Riding Hood promises her Ma not to run so she won't trip and fall, he has her skipping away and then swiftly corrects himself.

[She went]A-skippin' off--away fur off frough the
Big woods, where her Dran'ma she live at.--No!--
She didn't do a-skippin', like I said:--
She ist went walkin'--careful-like an' slow--
Ist like a little lady-

Or later when the little girl meets the wolf  and he says "Dood morning," the narrator corrects his own grammar (which is still incorrect!) 

An' nen Riding-Hood  say "Dood-morning," too--all kind an' nice--
Ist like her Ma she learn'--No!--mustn't say
"Learn," 'cause "learn" it's unproper.--So she say
It like her Ma she "teached" her.-

The ending is conventional in that the girl is rescued by a woodcutter, who thankfully was alluded to earlier in the poem. I really hate when a man appears out of NOWHERE to save Little Red Riding Hood at the end of the story. But the tale ends in a rather blasé manner. The woodcutter brings Red Riding Hood home to her Ma who seems completely unbothered by the fact that her mother is DEAD. She's pleased to hear the wolf had his old brains split out  and gives the woodcutter all the food in the basket that would have been Dran'ma's which she can't eat because she is DEAD. 

So her Ma wuz so tickled an' so proud, 
She gived him all the good things t' eat they wuz
'At's in the basket, an' she tell him 'at
She's much oblige', an' say to "call ad'in." 

I guess it is a case of "Waste not, want not" but I find it really weird. 

I would suggest reading it aloud to help you work out the tricky bits. If you are having trouble, look back at the links above to Little Orphant Annie. It will give you a bit of decoding practice.

Image result for red riding hood rural

Mayme's Story of Red Riding Hood

W'y, one time wuz a little-weenty dirl,
An' she wuz named Red Riding-Hood, 'cause her--
Her Ma she maked a little red cloak fer her
'At turnt up over her head.--An' it 'uz all
Ist one piece o' red cardinul 'at's like
The drate-long stockin's the storekeepers has.--
O! it 'uz purtiest cloak in all the world
An' all this town er anywheres they is!
An' so, one day, her Ma she put it on
Red Riding-Hood, she did--one day, she did--
An' it 'uz Sund'y--'cause the little cloak
It 'uz too nice to wear ist ever' day
An' all the time!--An' so her Ma, she put
It on Red Riding Hood--an' telled her not
To dit no dirt on it ner dit it mussed
Ner nothin'! An'--an'--nen her Ma she dot
Her little basket out, 'at Old Kriss bringed
Her wunst--one time, he did. An' nen she fill'
It full o' whole lots an' 'bundance o' dood things t' eat
(Allus my Dran'ma she says ''bundance,' too.)
An' so her Ma fill' little Red Riding-Hood's
Nice basket all ist full o' dood things t' eat,
An' tell her take 'em to her old Dran'ma--
An' not to spill 'em, neever--'cause ef she
'Ud stump her toe an' spill 'em, her Dran'ma
She'll haf to punish her!
An' nen--An' so
Little Red Riding-Hood she p'omised she
'Ud be all careful nen, an' cross' her heart
'At she won't run an' spill 'em all fer six--
An' nen she kiss her Ma doo'-bye an' went
A-skippin' off--away fur off frough the
Big woods, where her Dran'ma she live at.--No!--
She didn't do a-skippin', like I said:--
She ist went walkin'--careful-like an' slow--
Ist like a little lady--walkin' 'long
As all polite an' nice--an' slow--an' straight--
An' turn her toes--ist like she's marchin' in
The Sund'y-School k-session!
She 'uz a-doin' along--an' doin' along--
On frough the drate-big woods--'cause her Dran'ma
She live 'way, 'way fur off frough the big woods
From her Ma's house. So when Red Riding-Hood
Dit to do there, she allus have most fun--
When she do frough the drate-big woods, you know.--
'Cause she ain't feared a bit o' anything!
An' so she sees the little hoppty-birds
'At's in the trees, an' flyin' all around,
An' singin' dlad as ef their parunts said
They'll take 'em to the magic-lantern show!
An' she 'ud pull the purty flowers an' things
A-growin' round the stumps.--An' she 'ud ketch
The purty butterflies, an' drasshoppers,
An' stick pins frough 'em--No!--I ist 
said that!--
'Cause she's too dood an' kind an' 'bedient
To hurt things thataway.--She'd ketch 'em, though,
An' ist play wiv 'em ist a little while,
An' nen she'd let 'em fly away, she would,
An' ist skip on ad'in to her Dran'ma's.

An' so, while she 'uz doin' 'long an' 'long,
First thing you know they 'uz a drate-big old
Mean wicked Wolf jumped out 'at wanted t' eat
Her up, but dassent to--'cause wite clos't there
They wuz a Man a-choppin' wood, an' you
Could hear him.--So the old Wolf he 'uz 'feard
Only to ist be kind to her.--So he
Ist 'tended-like he wuz dood friends to her
An' says, "Dood morning, little Red Riding-Hood!"--
All ist as kind!
An' nen Riding-Hood
She say "Dood-morning," too--all kind an' nice--
Ist like her Ma she learn'--No!--mustn't say
"Learn," 'cause "learn" it's unproper.--So she say
It like her Ma she "teached" her.--An'--so she
Ist says "Dood morning" to the Wolf--'cause she
Don't know ut-tall 'at he's a wicked Wolf
An' want to eat her up!
Nen old Wolf smile
An' say, so kind: "Where air you doin' at?"
Nen little Red Riding-Hood she say: "I'm doin'
To my Dran'ma's, 'cause my Ma say I might."
Nen, when she tell him that, the old Wolf he
Ist turn an' light out frough the big thick woods,
Where she can't see him any more. An' so
She think he's went to his house--but he hain't,--
He's went to her Dran'ma's, to be there first--
An' ketch her, ef she don't watch mighty sharp
What she's about!
An' nen when the old Wolf
Dit to her Dran'ma's house, he's purty smart,--
An' so he 'tend-like he's Red Riding-Hood,
An' knock at th' door. An' Riding-Hood's Dran'ma
She's sick in bed an' can't come to the door
An' open it. So th' old Wolf knock two times.
An' nen Red Riding-Hood's Dran'ma she says,
"Who's there?" she says. An' old Wolf 'tends-like he's
Little Red Riding-Hood, you know, an' make'
His voice soun' ist like hers, an' says: "It's me,
Dran'ma--an' I'm Red Riding-Hood an' I'm
Ist come to see you."
Nen her old Dran'ma
She think it is little Red Riding-Hood,
An' so she say: "Well, come in nen an' make
You'se'f at home," she says, "'cause I'm down sick
In bed, an' got the 'ralgia, so's I can't
Dit up an' let ye in."
An' so th' old Wolf
Ist march' in nen an' shet the door ad'in,
An' drowl, he did, an' splunge up on the bed
An' et up old Miz Riding-Hood 'fore she
Could put her specs on an' see who it wuz.--
An' so she never knowed who et her up!

An' nen the wicked Wolf he ist put on
Her nightcap, an' all covered up in bed--
Like he wuz her, you know.
Nen, purty soon
Here come along little Red Riding-Hood,
An' she knock' at the door. An' old Wolf 'tend-
Like he's her Dran'ma; an' he say, "Who's there?"
Ist like her Dran'ma say, you know. An' so
Little Red Riding-Hood she say: "It's me,
Dran'ma--an' I'm Red Riding-Hood an' I'm
Ist come to see you."
An' nen old Wolf nen
He cough an' say: "Well, come in nen an' make
You'se'f at home," he says, "'cause I'm down sick
In bed, an' got the 'ralgia, so's I can't
Dit up an' let ye in."
An' so she think
It's her Dran'ma a-talkin'.--So she ist
Open' the door an' come in, an' set down
Her basket, an' taked off her things, an' bringed
A chair an' clumbed up on the bed, wite by
The old big Wolf she thinks is her Dran'ma--
Only she thinks the old Wolf's dot whole lots
More bigger ears, an' lots more whiskers, too,
Than her Dran'ma; an' so Red Riding-Hood
She's kindo' skeered a little. So she says
"Oh, Dran'ma, what big eyes you dot!" An' nen
The old Wolf says: "They're ist big thataway
'Cause I'm so dlad to see you!"
Nen she says,
"Oh, Dran'ma, what a drate-big nose you dot!"
Nen th' old Wolf says: "It's ist big thataway
Ist 'cause I smell the dood things 'at you bringed
Me in the basket!"
An' nen Riding-Hood
She say, "Oh-me-oh-my! Dran'ma! what big
White long sharp teeth you dot!"
Nen old Wolf says:
"Yes--an' they're thataway,"--an' drowled--
"They're thataway," he says, "to eat you wiv!"
An' nen he ist jump' at her.--
But she scream--
An' scream, she did.--So's 'at the Man
'At wuz a-choppin' wood, you know,--he hear,
An' come a-runnin' in there wiv his axe;
An', 'fore the old Wolf know' what he's about,
He split his old brains out an' killed him s'quick
It make' his head swim!--An' Red Riding-Hood
She wuzn't hurt at all!
An' the big Man
He tooked her all safe home, he did, an' tell
Her Ma she's all right an' ain't hurt at all
An' old Wolf's dead an' killed--an' ever'thing!--
So her Ma wuz so tickled an' so proud,
She gived him all the good things t' eat they wuz
'At's in the basket, an' she tell him 'at
She's much oblige', an' say to "call ad'in."
An' story's honest truth--an' all so, too!

Stay tunend next week for a tale in Yiddish. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Coffee and Walnut Cake

Hello lovelies! Two  months ago at the Carmarthen Vegan gathering at the Waverley cafe I had my first slice of coffee and walnut cake.  It was love at first bite for me. I was like Where have you been all my life??? as I scraped my plate clean and vowed to go home and make one for us.

Now, here's the thing. I love coffee. Well, to be more specific, I love coffee flavoured things. Coffee ice cream? Check. Coffee flavoured cake? You betcha. Actual coffee? No thank you.

You see, I am EXTREMELY sensitive to caffeine. I once had an espresso and thought I was having a heart attack. Then I when I realised it was just the effects of caffeine that were making my heart pound on my rib cage like an armed policemen, I went to visit Spiderman at work and walked around his desk at high speed 247 times. He counted.

I was like this:

So i am only allowed decaf now.

To be fair, I can't stand black coffee. It needs to be sweet. That's why coffee flavoured cake and ice cream are so good.

I had some walnuts left over from last week' delicious meal and so i decided to try out a coffee and walnut cake using decaf.

Coffee and Walnut Cake
Don't freak out about the vinegar--it makes egg free cakes (especially gluten free egg free cakes) rise sky high.

Also, you need to make your coffee in advance. You need one cup for the cake and a few TB for the icing. The night before I add 2 heaping TB of instant decaf  coffee crystals to a jar and add 1 1/4 cups boiling water. When cooled, I pop in the fridge for the cake the next day. If you drink coffee, just make extra and save some back.

You need:
1/4 cup applesauce or plain soya yogurt I used to use yogurt, but now I swear by applesauce as it comes in a jar not a plastic container)
1/4 cup oil
1 cup cold coffee
1 cup demerara sugar (or do what I do--use half a cup Tate and Lyle sugar with stevia) 
note: you can totally just use half a cup of oil, but I like to replace half the fat in my cakes. they still taste great, just less fat.

1 3/4 cup plus 1TB flour (if using gluten free flour, add 1 tsp xanthan gum if not already in your flour blend)
1 TB custard powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking SODA --not baking powder)
1/2 tsp salt

right before it goes in the oven:
half a cup of finely chopped walnuts
2 TB apple cider vinegar

1.Preheat your oven to 190C/375F and grease an 8 inch square pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl blend the oil and the applesauce. I like to use my immersion (stick) blender to puree this up smooth. Then add the coffee and the sugar and beat with a fork
3. Sift the dry ingredients straight into the bowl over the liquid. Mix with a fork until combined.
4. Spoon into your cake pan and fold in the walnuts then add the 2 TB vinegar and stir. Pale swirls will appear--this is normal. Get it mixed in and then quickly pop it in the oven. The vinegar reacts with the bicarb and makes the cake rise high and makes it tender.
5. Bake 25-30 minutes--27 minutes is what I always do.
6. remove from oven, let cool.
7. Ice your cake.

1 cup plus 1 TB sifted icing sugar
whole walnuts for decoration

Add your coffee a spoonful at a time and beat with a fork until all the sugar is no longer dry and a thick glaze has formed. Use as little coffee as you can to create this effect. Spread it on the top and slice into 8 rectangular slices and top each slice with a walnut.

This cake is delicious. We've had it twice. It is my favourite cake of the moment.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--Little Polly Riding Hood from Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf (England, 1955)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.
Image result for clever polly
This week we are looking at a chapter from the very funny book Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf  by Catherine Storr.

This book was originally published in 1955 and was written as a response to Storr's daughter Polly's genuine fear of wolves. Five year old Polly had seen wolves at Whipsnade Zoo in their tree filled enclosure and developed a phobia, so her mother wrote these hilarious tales where in each chapter the increasingly  misguided and foolish wolf is defeated and outsmarted by young Polly.

The chapter I want to look at today is entitled Little Polly Riding Hood. Here, Polly is on her way to visit her grandmother. The wolf, who has recently read Little Red Riding Hood becomes increasingly exasperated when Polly's answers do not match the exact dialogue from the book.

When he asks Polly "Where does your Grandmother live?" She answers "Over the other side of town." This makes the wolf frown, because as we all know the answer should be "through the woods." When he asks how she will get there, Polly replies "First I take a train and then I take a bus." This makes the wolf howl in outrage and stomp his feet. "No, no no!" he shouted. "You have to say something like 'By that path winding through the trees' or something like that. You can't go by trains and  busses and things. It isn't fair!"  When Polly explains that there is no other way for her to get to her Grandmother the wolf replies:"But then it won't work,"said the wolf impatiently. "How can I get there first and gobble her up and get all dressed up to trick you into believing I am her if we've got a great train journey to do? I haven't any money on me, so I can't even take a ticket. You just can't say that."

The whole book is as funny and surreal as this. It is well worth checking out from your local library.

I have found a PDF version from the Norton Anthology of Children's Literature that you can read. You'll need to scroll past the title page, but the story begins on page four (a quick biography of the author is on page three if you would like to read it.)


Stay tuned next week when we begin to delve into versions of Little Red Riding Hood written in dialect.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Buckwheat Salad with Roasted Veg, Kale and Walnuts

Hello lovelies! This is a recipe I don't make very often.I don't know why. Every time we have it I am like, "This is amazing! Why don't we eat this more??"  It makes a huge amount--like 5 bowls worth of food. We ate it, had seconds and packed some away for lunches.

I am not sure where the original recipe came from. Definitely a cookbook I got from the library. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, perhaps? I adapted it to make it vegan as well as cheaper. So, basically I own it now.

Buckwheat is an underrated grain. Despite its name, there is no wheat in buckwheat. It's actually related to rhubarb. Who knew?

This is made with UNROASTED buckwheat groats not Kasha (ROASTED)  buckwheat groats. It cooks quickly and is hearty and filling.

The original recipe called for squash, but i always use my trusty sweet potatoes. It also required fennel which can be more expensive. If I can I get fennel, but if not I just do two white  onions with 1 TB fennel seeds. It's all good. It also needs Parmesan cheese. Luckily I have a vegan Parmesan which is to die for (to live for?) as dairy Parmesan cheese is not even vegetarian because of the method used to make it. Ever wondered how they turn milk into cheese? They use rennet. Not always, but often.

According to the Vegetarian Society website:

Rennet contains the enzyme chymosin. Rennet can be sourced from the abomasum (fourth stomach) of newly-born calves where the chymosin aids digestion and absorption of milk. Adult cows do not have this enzyme. Chymosin is extracted from slaughtered calves by washing and drying the stomach lining, which is cut into small pieces and macerated in a solution of boric acid/brine for 4-5 days.

Parmesan is always made with dead baby calves. But don't worry, I've got you covered.

Buckwheat Salad with Roasted Veg, Kale and Walnuts
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F

In a big roasting pan add:
2 chopped sweet potatoes
1 chopped fennel or 2 chopped white onions and 1 TB fennel seeds
1 pepper, chopped
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 TB oil
salt and pepper

Get ready but don't add it yet:
4 cloves garlic, crushed
50 grams/half a cup walnuts

Roast for 20 minutes, remove and stir. Add the garlic and walnuts and roast a further 10 minutes.

Make your Parmesan:
In a spice grinder or small food processor blend this until mixed and powdery.
3 TB nutritional yeast flakes (nooch!)
3 TB ground almonds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Cook your buckwheat according to package directions. Mine says:
1. Rinse in a sieve
2. Add 100 grams buckwheat to 200ml cold water and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes then remove from heat and let stand until all water is absorbed.

Add to the buckwheat:
1/4 cup Parmesan
2 TB lemon juice

When the roasting is almost done:
In your largest pot:
Cook 100 grams of kale (4-5 handfuls) in a splash of water until bright green and reduced. Mix in your lemon-Parmesan buckwheat and your roasted vegetables.

We like to top with extra Parmesan. This dish is a great combination of sweet, salty, earthy and yum.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--Flossie and the Fox (Tennessee)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.

Image result for flossie and the fox
This week we look at one of my favourite books of all times: Flossie and the Fox written by four time Coretta Scott King award winner (three books and a lifetime achievement award) Patricia McKissack. It is also superbly illustrated by Rachel Isadora. 

 Kirkus Reviews wrote "Isadora's watercolor, ink and pencil illustrations fully realize the spirit of the text, with Flossie's sturdy, self-reliant stance and the fox growing progressively more tentative and defensive. Mellow green, lemon, rust and earth tones fill a safe, sun-dappled world." and called it "A perfect picture book."

The introduction tells us that this story was told to McKissack by her grandfather while sitting on the front porch with her family during hot summer evenings in the South. This story does not begin with: Once upon a time.  Instead, Grandfather would open with a question: “Did I ever tell you about the time…”  which engages the reader so much more. 

This is the tale of young Flossie Finley from Tennessee, charged with safely carrying a basket of eggs to Miz Viola's place because a fox has been worrying her hens. Just like many versions of this tale, a young girl must travel alone on a mission through the woods and encounter a beast. Young Flossie is not given a path, only a destination. (She chooses the woods because it is shady and cooler than the main road.) She is told by Big Mama to watch out for the sly fox. Flossie "disremembers" ever seeing a fox, but Big Mama explains "Chile, a fox just be a fox." And here is where our adventure begin, not with a wolf but with a very overconfident fox.

As in other tales of this sort, Flossie is approached in the woods by the enemy animal. He is extremely proud of himself, but Flossie refuses to be frightened until he can prove that he is who he says he is. Her cleverness and ingenuity mess with his self esteem and he becomes a quivering wreck trying to prove that he is a fox. Every argument he puts forth (a bushy tail or pointed nose) is met with a counter argument he can't refute. Flossie tells him a squirrel has a bushy tale and a rat a pointed nose. It is only at the end when she is safely at her destination does she reveal that she knew all along. 

This is a welcome version of Little Red Riding Hood. In a sea of damsels in distress, Flossie is a plucky heroine and role model. 

You can watch a video here where someone tells the story and shows the pictures. 

And just for fun, a close up of my favourite illustration in the book--the final page.
Image result for flossie and the fox

Stay tuned next week for another clever heroine and a rather foolish wolf.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Peanut Butter Granola

Hello lovelies! I have been on a granola kick recently. I can't seem to get enough of it. It's easy to make, filling and good for you. Plus the possibilities for different tastes are endless.

Maybe not *endless*, but certainly varied.

Last week I made MARMALADE GRANOLA but this week i am eating Peanut Butter Granola.  It is another recipe by the wonderful, frugal foodie Jack Monroe from her blog.

You can read her version HERE. I used her ingredients, but used the cooking times she suggested for her Marmalade Granola to help it get crispier. It never will be as crispy as my first love Marmalade Granola (the sugars in the marmalade make it unbelievably crunchy), but it is a close second.

I made one batch and added 100 grams of  chocolate chopped into chunks and half a cup dried cranberries. The chocolate makes it taste like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and the cranberries give it a PB&J vibe. I bet it would be awesome with a banana and some COCONUT BACON --like a bowl of Elvis cereal. (In case you didn't know peanut butter, banana and bacon was supposed to be a favourite sandwich of The King.)

If you like peanut butter, I think you will love this. If you are allergic to peanuts...wipe your tears and make some marmalade granola.

Peanut Butter Granola

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Grease a large roasting pan.

You need:
300 grams (3 cups) oats (use GF if needed)
2 TB oil
4 TB golden syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice.)
4 TB peanut butter
In a large pot melt oil, golden syrup and peanut butter. Stir in the 300g oats and stir to coat. Spoon into your greased roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 160C/325F and set the timer for 10 more minutes. You don't need to do anything--no stirring, just lower the temp and go about your business.

When the timer goes off and the granola has baked for 30 minutes, take it and out and let it cool completely then store in an airtight container. 

Add ins:
Chocolate chips
dried  cranberries (or other dried fruit of choice)
Coconut bacon
Substitute 2 TB blackstrap molasses for 2 TB golden syrup for something higher in iron
Add in some Chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom.

I will definitely try it again with some of the above suggestions. 

What do you like in your granola?