Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


In celebration of Zero Waste Week (2-8th September) I made this casserole – well, it turned into more of a pie – adapted from this one from Rae Strauss for ‘Accidental savoury bread and butter’. There are masses more recipes and ideas for saving food waste on the Zero Waste Week website.

  • Line bottom and sides of a pie dish – I actually used two small ones – with left-over bread slices, buttered with olive oil spread.
  • Dig out an onion from bottom of veggie drawer and slice
  • Fry in a bit of olive oil until soft
  • Then add selection of whatever other veg you might have left over, chopped. Mine were:
  1. half each of slightly shrivelled red, yellow and green peppers, i.e. three halves
  2. 2 cloves of garlic
  3. the remains of a tin of red kidney beans from the fridge
  4. a few slices of beetroot from the bottom of a jar
  5. a couple of tomatoes
  6. half a large tired mushroom
  • Season the mixture and fry on low heat for about 15 minutes until everything is nice and soft
  • Put the mixture into the pie dish/dishes
  • Beat four eggs and mix with some milk
  • Pour over the mixture in the dishes. It gets soaked in and disappears.
  • Grate cheese leftovers (mine were dry knob of cheddar and similar of parmesan) and sprinkle fairly generously over the top
  • Cook in medium hot oven (180 degrees) for about 15-20 mins until firm-ish to touch

The result was a bit like a thick omelette with nice crispy bread surround. Enjoy with salad!


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Schumacher Centenary 2011

E. F. SchumacherE.F. Schumacher 1911-1977

“If you look at it this way, you find that if one could make visible the possibility of alternatives, viable alternatives, make a viable future already visible in the present, no matter on how small a scale … then at least there is something, and if that something fits it will be taken … If the little people can do their own thing again, then perhaps they can do something to defend themselves against the overbearing, big ones.

So I certainly never feel discouraged. I can’t myself raise the winds that might blow us, or this ship, into a better world. But I can at least put up the sail so that when the wind comes, I can catch it.” – E.F. Schumacher  Good Work

Alias Papa: A Life of Fritz Schumacher by Barbara WoodExtract from Robert McCrum’s foreword to Alias Papa: A Life of Fritz Schumacher by Barbara Wood, published by Green Books

‘What if this present were the world’s last night?’ asked the poet Donne at the beginning of the 17th century. This question haunts the modern age like a classical curse. The disasters in Japan and the revolutions in the Middle East reiterate the most urgent questions about the future of fossil fuels and nuclear power. As 2011 unfolds, the author of Small Is Beautiful looks set for rediscovery as a man with a plan whose hour has come. But who, exactly, was E.F. Schumacher, and what was his inspiration?

When he died in 1977, E.F. Schumacher was not just a secular guru to countless admirers, including Governor Jerry Brown of California, who called him ‘a prophet’, but also the author of a way of looking at the world ‘as if people mattered’. Perhaps The Times came closest. ‘To very few people’, it declared, ‘is it given to begin to change, drastically and creatively, the direction of human thought. Dr Schumacher belongs to this intensely creative minority.’

He was born into the German middle-class, a world of knickerbockers, coal fires, cavalry charges and steam-powered battleships. Young Fritz’s first memories of the hardships imposed by the Great War and the catastrophic hyper-inflation of 1923 shaped his mind. From the beginning, he understood that economics is about putting food on the family table. Ambitious and outward-looking, he won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, where he met some of the people who would influence his career, especially David Astor, who would commission him for The Observer, and Adam von Trott, who lost his life in the Bomb Plot of July 1944. Like many young Germans, Schumacher had to negotiate the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, but he always insisted that England was the only place from which to fight for the Fatherland. In 1937, he emigrated there for good.

Schumacher’s belief in his English future was fulfilled, paradoxically, in May 1940. The Battle of Britain had begun; a Nazi invasion threatened. Across the UK, enemy nationals were interned, many of them on the Isle of Man. Schumacher was lucky. The police took him to a hastily assembled canvas encampment on the Shropshire-Wales border, where every kind of refugee was herded together in terrible conditions. His life would never be the same again.

At the intersection of the A41 and A49, Prees Heath is three hundred acres of common land. To the casual observer, the heath looks like an unfenced stretch of rough grass, wild flowers, and scrubby trees dotted with boggy pools and derelict military buildings. Many English forces have mustered among its gorse and broom. There’s a record of King John manouevring against the Welsh from Prees Heath and, later, of Prince Rupert assembling a Royalist army. In World War Two, as well as the internment camp, there was an airstrip and a military hospital.

Schumacher had need of the hospital. Amid the summer rain, mud, squalor and deprivation of the camp, he fell seriously ill, but somehow pulled through, stoically observing that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Indeed, in the longer term, the camp was the making of him. His experience of Prees Heath in 1940 transformed his perception of society. If there is a source for his everyday philosophy of life, and for his belief in sustainability, intermediate technology and human scale, ideas that would flourish in Small Is Beautiful and its companion, A Guide For The Perplexed, it is Schumacher’s experience of this dreary stretch of West Midlands common. Among some rare British butterflies, including the Purple Hairstreak and the Meadow Brown, Schumacher the cerebral statistician forged a rapprochement with the humane socialist. Many colleagues would later comment on his extraordinary concern for the well-being of the individual in society and his generous, inclusive, open-minded nature.

Elected camp leader, Schumacher set about organising Prees Heath into a hygienic regime. The camp, he discovered, was a microcosm of society: the oppression of the imprisoned many by the privileged few. Meeting the Marxist, Kurt Naumann, among the refugees there, Schumacher, the Oxbridge intellectual, found his perception of social and economic relations transformed. He would return to his family like a man released from a seminar on life itself, burning with new ideas.

At first, he concentrated on far-sighted macro-economic ideas, notably a plan for a multilateral clearing office to regulate the world economy in the cause of world peace. This prescient scheme collided with J.M. Keynes’s own plans for post-war stability (which later matured as the Bretton-Woods agreement of 1950). Young Schumacher came to understand that his forte in postwar Britain might be to explore ideas for the future. He told a friend, with his customary equanimity, that ‘I have the reputation of being unorthodox and even a bit of a crank.’ For the rest of his life, he enjoyed a maverick identity, the good German you couldn’t quite pigeonhole.     ROBERT MCCRUM   Associate Editor, The Observer    April 2011 

Published by Green Books:

Alias Papa: A Life of Fritz Schumacher by Barbara WoodThis I Believe and other essays by E. F. SchumacherSmall is Beautiful in the 21st Century by Diana Schumacher

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Pam Lintott and her daughter Nicky are an extraordinary success story, in both the publishing and quilting worlds.  Their jelly roll quilting books have sold a phenomenal over 250,000 copies.   Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts, published in May, is their fifth book.

The book cover of Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts

Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott

This new book will both delight their thousands of existing fans, and entice new quilters to experience the joys of using jelly rolls (for the uninitiated, a jelly roll is a roll of 40 different strips of fabric, 2½ inches wide, which can be used to make a complete quilt).

A Jelly Roll consists of 40 strips of fabrice, each two and a half inches wide

A Jelly Roll

Pam and Nicky give instructions for making five entire sampler quilts, around the themes of Classic, Big and Bold, Snowball, Star and Basket, with five pick ‘n’ mix variations. Details are given for making over fifty different blocks in different sizes, all showing exactly the number of strips required to make each block.  Each quilt can be made from just one jelly roll.

One of the beautiful quilts in Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts

This Rhubarb and Custard Quilt is nice and bright

This quilt from Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts uses a taupe Jelly Roll

This elegant Star sampler quilt uses nine different star blocks

Plus, visit www.jellyrollquilters.com, the website for passionate jelly roll quilters, for information about the Jelly Roll Dream Challenge – a competition with prizes of $5000, three sewing machines and fabric to be won, as well as the chance to have your quilt featured in a new jelly roll book.


This Big and Bold sampler quilt uses 5 sampler blocks and 4 connector blocks

Big and Bold Sampler Quilt

The authors:

Pam Lintott (right) and her daughter Nicky

Nicky and Pam Lintott

Pam Lintott opened The Quilt Room in Dorking, Surrey, in 1981. She and her daughter Nicky have co-written four previous best-selling books: Jelly Roll Quilts which has sold over 100,000 copies, Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts, Jelly Roll Inspirations, and Two from One Jelly Roll Quilts. Pam and Nicky now run The Quilt Room together although Nicky has taken over the day to day management, giving Pam more time to look after her sheep and chickens in Cornwall. They are both much in demand in the quilting world and travel widely to international quilting shows and events.

The book cover of Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts

Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott

Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott is published by David & Charles on 26 May 2011 in paperback at £15.99.  The book can be bought from RUCraft.
Editors: for  a review copy, more information, extracts and images, request for author interviews, or to set up a discounted reader offer, contact Susie Hallam Marketing and PR  susiehallam1@gmail.com  T: 07761 836782

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HRH The Prince of Wales has agreed to become President of the Heritage Crafts Association. See full release here and HCA Chair Robin Wood’s blog here.  This is fantastic news for this energetic association whose aim is to keep Britain’s traditional crafts alive and to develop them to pass on to future generations.

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Ruth Binney's new book explores English nature and landscape

Ruth Binney's new book is a quirky take on the English countryside

What is a ‘Snake Stone’ and does it have special healing powers?

œ How would you date an English hedge?

œ Who is the Witch of Wookey Hole?

œ How did the yew tree become sacred?

œ Can the hedgehog forecast cold weather?

The English countryside is a truly remarkable place.  Its secrets include hoards of treasure buried beneath farmers’ fields, carnivorous plants, beetles that fight each other for a mate, strange big cats that prowl the fields and moors, and mysterious ley lines connecting ancient sites.  And among its wonders are the spectacles of thousands of starlings wheeling at dusk, the glow-worm’s green sex signals, wild plants with healing powers and immense figures chalked on hillsides.

Bestselling author Ruth Binney has called on her vast knowledge of English nature and the countryside to create a fascinating and entertaining celebration of the amazing and extraordinary flora and fauna, landscape and customs that give the English countryside and natural history its unique charm and special identity.

The author:

Ruth Binney has been studying the countryside and nature for most of her life.  She holds a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University.  Her work has appeared in many magazines and publications and she is an experienced and respected broadcaster on rural matters.  She is the author of the Wise Words and Country Ways books published by David & Charles.  She lives in West Stafford, a village near Dorchester in Dorset.

Amazing and Extraordinary Facts: The English Countryside by

Ruth Binney is published by David & Charles on 14 April 2011, £9.99, hb.

More Amazing and Extraordinary Facts books coming soon:

Amazing and Extraordinary Facts about Great Britain, British Prime Ministers and Kings & Queens

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Room with a view

After spending a whole day assembling a flat-pack desk and another couple of hours at Staples this morning, I am happy to say that my new office is open for business.

Susie Hallam Marketing and PR office

Susie's new office

And even better, this is my sea view:

View from office of Susie Hallam

The view from my office

And now, down to work…….

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view from window of La Belle Etoile

Mont Blanc at sunset

Back from energetic and enjoyable skiing holiday in Le Bettex, Savoie, France.

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