Monday, 12 September 2011

Lest we forget.

Yesterday was the 10th Anniversary of September 11th.  Yesterday, a decade ago an atrocity was perpetrated against innocent people by other members of the human race.  Yesterday, 10 years ago just under 3,000 people were killed in one foul swoop.  This doesn't take into account those injured by the events of this day.  It doesn't touch on those who have suffered psychological trauma as a result of that terrible day.  The children who lost parents or spouses who lost partners are not covered either.

We must never forget those people and their families.

A few weeks later as a response, on 7th October 2001, a war was started in Afghanistan.  It still goes on.  

Figures as to how many people have been killed during this war are difficult to work out.  However, figures could be as high as 47, 000; Military and Civilian combined. 

We must never forget those people and their families.

Iraq then came back in the radar of the world's superpowers.  Inspections for 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' were hindered in Iraq.  So on the 20th March 2003 Iraq was invaded by the US and UK.  No such weapons were found, the WMD programmes had been abandoned by the Iraqi government. 

Figures for deaths during the Iraqi war are extremely high.  As many as 111, 937 Civilians have been killed in Iraq.  The number of Military is nearly 6,000.

On top of the number of people killed are the numbers of those injured; both physically, psychologically or both.

We must never forget those people and their families.

This one event has led to a lot of deaths.  It doesn't matter to me whether the people who have died are from one of the 115 nations on that dreadful day, from Iraq or Afghanistan.  Innocent people are no longer with us.  As a Christian this kind of event and the subsequent wars need to make me focus on my attitudes to others.  Jesus tells us that we must love our neighbours.  Sometimes they will look like me and sometimes they will not.  I cannot think wrong of a person just because of the country they are from.  Jesus loves all people everywhere.

I didn't agree with these wars but I also firmly believe that once you invade another country you have to stay until the end.  I didn't agree with these wars but I will support the Military and their families.  (Well those that are doing their job within International Laws anyway!!)

Anyway, these are my thoughts.  Well, except Guantanamo Bay and you don't want to get me started on that!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Fancy a Blackberry?

I don't mean the phone version either!  In fact, I have to confess I don't really know what it is or looks like.  But that is not the purpose of this little blog.  The purpose of this blog is to show-off if I am being brutally honest. :)

This morning we got up early (nothing new about that in my house) and went out to find some good old-fashioned blackberries.  You know, the deep black-purple kind that grow in abundance in hedges.  We live near the country so it was obviously going to be a doddle.  Except it wasn't.  Thankfully, after risking life and limb, fighting off over-playful dogs, and stopping our youngest daughter from overreaching across a large precipice we managed to find some.  Enough to make a pie anyway.

Recently, I have stumbled across this blog:  It is in my Google-Reader and most days it comes up with delicious looking recipes which I want to try.  One which tempted me enough to make it was a Blackberry Pie recipe, hence the Blackberry finding expedition.

I came home; made the pastry and as is usual when I do that something didn't quite go well.  So I did what I always do and managed to squash and squeeze the pastry into a flan dish.  Who will know once the filling is put on it??  The blackberries were washed and the custard made.  The pie was ready to put together which I duly did.

So after over an hour in the oven and constantly checking on my pie, I am pleased to say that I was pleased with the finished look and, more importantly, the taste.

So for just a little boast some photos for you.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Getting into a pickle.

I used to make a lot of jams and chutneys.  Then we moved and our garden is a great deal larger but doesn't have half the fruit trees as our last one.  In fact, we have one pear tree that will produce 3 tiny fruit this year!  Our last (relatively small) garden boasted a plum tree, an eating apple tree, 2 cooking apple trees and elderberry tree!  We were near to good supplies of blackberries.  Each year my husband grew tomatoes which never ripened so we were able to make green tomato chutney.  For years, we rarely had to buy jam or chutney!  

Our move here meant I stopped making supplies for various reasons, some of which were the lack of fruit-producing trees in the garden.  So for 3 years nothing has been pickled or jammed from my kitchen.

However, this year I have made 3 jars of green tomato pickle as well as 5 ordinary jars and 1 large jar of rhubarb and sultana chutney!  I have loads of blackcurrants in the freezer and none of us are keen on the taste so I am planning on making some jam.  A friend has a large supply of apples which could easily be chutneyed.  My problem:  is a lack of jars to put the stuff in.

I have had a wonderful time making this stuff and it is good to be back in the home-producing business again. :)

Just some of the finished products, they wont last long in my house!