Tag Archives: Macmillan Coffee Morning

A lot to be thankful for

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Our corner of Fife, bordering onto the Tay, is very fruitful and there’s been a lot of pickling and potting going on. Above is a bowl of windfall pears I was gifted, and made into chutney. More on that later. Meantime, over the weekend, I’ve enjoyed a bunch of events which were set up as fundraisers so here, for the record, are some details:

At work (Lindores Abbey Distillery) we joined in ‘the world’s biggest coffee morning‘ and raised £250 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Lots of people brought in some home baking and our visitors put a wee donation in the box.

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In the TICC (Tayside Institute and Community Centre) there was the usual Saturday coffee morning which on this occasion was to raise funds to fight our cause to have our railway station reopened: and we raised £600. A couple of weekends ago a small group of us also put on a wee music-and-words event, with the support of the artist in residence, and raised £150 for the same cause. It would be brilliant to have the line open again. The picture below is of a hamper put together by small individual donations – just normal day-to-day stuff that makes all the difference.

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And last night the Troubadour and I attended a concert in Dysart, near Kirkcaldy, to support our singing friend Alan.  We were entertained by two great community choirs – Healthy Harmonies, an NHS staff choir; and Capital Voices, from Edinburgh. The minister made a few introductory comments about having attended ‘Food Crisis Summits’ over the last 20 years – her first was in Botswana in 1998; the most recent in Kirkcaldy. I honestly don’t know what to say about people going hungry in this day and age, either in Africa or in Scotland – or anywhere else for that matter. It’s not just about poverty, it’s about politics. We could all be doing far better in sharing out the bounty. Anyway for the record, those two choirs last night raised £1,200 for the Kirkcaldy Food Bank, and that was a brilliant result.

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Finally – here is a beautiful loaf, handformed and baked like a sheaf of wheat – complete with wee mousie having a nibble. It was made by Barry and his staff, of the Wee Bakery, and gifted to the church for Thanksgiving. I’ll use the words of Robert Burns to sign off and wish you always enough food to enjoy and share:

May the moose ne’er leave your girnal wi’ a tear-drap in its e’e’

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Teamwork, Tarts, Type 2 …

Well our big Macmillan effort made £350 on Friday afternoon, thanks to a great team effort. My new pedometer/watch registered 11,500 steps or close on eight miles – my highest yet, and that was just walking round the kitchen, up and down the corridor to the tea rooms, filling tea and coffee pots and dodging round our cheerily chatting customers to pass the buns. Big shout-out especially for our youngest baking donor, Eilidh, who at the tender age of 14 made a huge batch of beautifully, neat, uniform Empire Biscuits such as I could never do in a thousand years.mackerel pate ragged smile

Sorry about the negative note in the title … I am strongly exercised by the need to avoid developing Type 2 Diabetes as the years go by.  So now that the sugarfest is over, it’s back to the healthy stuff. I said on Friday night that I’d never eat cake again … naturally that barely lasted the evening! However – the time has come. Here’s a ragged smile on a plate of smoked mackerel pate which I hope demonstrates my joie-de-vivre at the prospect.

slow-roasting tomatoesAnd here’s a good and easy – and healthy – thing to do if you have a greenhouseful of lovely tomatoes and are running out of ideas: just cut them in half through their equators, scoop out the seeds, sprinkle with olives and herbs of your choice, and dry them (you could hardly call it baking or roasting) at 50 degrees or as low as you can get your oven to go. After several hours they should be tastily chewy and not too charred (stop when they char as they’ll taste bitter). Put them in a screw-top jar and fill it up with a nice oil. A mixture of your best olive and a common-or-garden sunflower will do fine. Add a garlic clove or two, a chilli if you like it hot,  a sprig of rosemary for visual effect, and any other herb you fancy. They’ll keep for up to three months, and give an instant, gorgeous oomph to a fresh tomato sauce. Here’s health!