Foodie Friday: Warming Winter Veg Soup

winter-veg-soup(Serves 4)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
Pinch of cinnamon
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
250g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1.1lt hot vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
400g can butterbeans, drained

1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion for a few minutes to soften. Add the coriander and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds.
2. Add the carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and squash, pour in the stock, season and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
3. Add the butter beans, warm through and serve. If you prefer a smooth texture, use a stick blender.

The British Isles: A Musical Tour – Ireland

Ireland’s strong folk tradition makes it hardly surprising that composers, both of classical and pop music, have drawn widely on the country’s musical heritage. Inspirational landmarks are hardly few and far between either – whether you prefer to imagine Bax and Stanford living it up in a packed Dublin bar or, perhaps, hiking along the deserted, windswept Antrim coast is up to you!

Charles Stanford’s birthplace
Stanford was born in Dublin on 30th September 1852 and was educated there until going up to Queen’s College, Cambridge. Chiefly known as a teacher and for his sacred choral music, in particular his settings of the evening service, Irish influences can be widely seen in many of his other works. Shamus O’Brien, for instance, is undoubtedly his most successful opera. However, given that a fair percentage of Stanford’s operas went unpublished, this is perhaps not saying much.

The Derry Air
Perhaps the most famous Irish folksong of them all – certainly to those from outside the island – has provided material for many a composer, not least Grainger and Frank Bridge. The former’s setting is for either piano or chorus and orchestra, while the latter’s is for string quartet. But do they capture the magnificence of the River Foyle, the formidable sight of the city walls or the drama of the surrounding countryside?

Continue reading ‘The British Isles: A Musical Tour – Ireland’

Wordless Wednesday: Catfight chutzpah

Storytime: The Very Noisy Foxes

very-noisy-foxesYear: 2014
Author: Amy Husband
Illustrator: Amy Husband

In a very noisy house in a very noisy city lived three noisy foxes.

‘Wouldn’t it be nice to be quiet sometimes?’ asked Fox Number One.

‘Perhaps we should move to the countryside,’ suggested Fox Number Two.

‘What a good idea!’ replied Fox Number Three.

So they packed up all of their very noisy things, and caught the very noisy bus, to find a place to live in the very quiet countryside.

Buy to find out more!

Shifting the Mood

moodnotesWe all have days when we are faced with chores, errands, or responsibilities that we don’t want to do. At times like these, it’s easy to get into a bad mood and stay in one as we tackle these tasks. However, given the fact that our bad mood will not change the fact that we have to do these things, and will most likely make things worse, we could also try to shift our attitude. Many wise people have pointed out that it is not so much what we do as it is how we do it that makes the difference in our lives.

It’s important when we’re facing something that’s really hard for us, whether it’s doing taxes, paying bills, or visiting a challenging relative, that we lovingly support ourselves through the process. The more supported we feel, the easier it is to open our minds to the idea that we could change our way of looking at the situation. In truth, most of the chores we don’t like doing are intimately intertwined with our blessings. When we remember this, we feel gratitude, which makes it hard to stay in a dark mood.

We can shift our attitude by considering how much we love our home as we clean it and how lucky we are to have a roof over our head. Any task can be transformed from a burden to a necessary aspect of caring for something we love. All we have to do is shift our perspective, and our attitude follows shortly behind.


Month at a Glance

October 2016
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