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Christmas Menu – Sweet Potato and Pear Soup

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That over priced time of year has arrived, no sooner than having paid for the last one, the next arrives, oh joy. But hey brighten up your Christmas day by cooking something a little different, go on make a statement and change tradition. Ask yourself – why do we have turkey every Christmas day? You can eat turkey all year round, why pay more for one at Christmas?

So try my roast fillet recipe and have something really different this festive time. If you are one of those who choose not to eat meat, try my nut roast instead ‘tres delicieuse’. All that said have yourselves a great Christmas and Prosperous 2016!

Sweet Potato & Pear Soup

We use this soup as a special occasion soup, and especially as a treat on Christmas Day for our hotel guests.

It is really easy to make and is full of flavour.

For four generous portions you will need:

  • 25 g butter
  • 1 – onions – chopped fine
  • 900 g sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 750 g pears – peeled, seeded and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 500 ml home made vegetable stock
  • 250 g crème fraîche

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Natural grey sea salt and mixed peppercorns to taste

  1. Melt the butter slowly in a saucepan add the chopped onion and simmer for about 3 minutes until the onion is opaque. Stir frequently to prevent them from burning.
  2. Add the potatoes and pears and cook for a further 2 minutes stirring to prevent sticking and burning. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the pears tender.
  3. Use a hand held food blender to chop it all up, add a little of the salt and mixed peppercorns and process until smooth. Return to the heat and stir in the crème fraîche. Find out more info here.
  4. If you don’t have a hand held blender, allow the soup to cool a little then put into your liquidiser, in small amounts, add a little salt and mixed peppercorns and process until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan, return to the heat and stir in the crème fraîche.
  5. Sprinkle a little ‘crompton’s kitchen’ winter spice mix over the top as you serve the soup. Top of page

Fillet of Beef with a Mustard Sauce

This is a fantastic main course for Christmas day. It makes a change from over farmed and pumped with water turkey, which is so readily available all year, it has little flavour and is quite frankly becoming boring so it is a special treat to eat fillet, and a whole fillet tastes very special. You will probably need to see a proper butcher to source the best cut.

For 5 to 6, depending how generous you want to be!

This recipe is designed to cook in a frying pan that can go into the oven, so no plastic or wooden handles or namby pamby non-stick pans. A cast or black iron pan is the best to use. And don’t forget that when the pan comes out of the oven it will be extremely hot. DO NOT touch the handle without a thick oven cloth. George an old kitchen porter of mine took hold of the handle on one occasion, ouch, and very easy to do in a busy kitchen.

  • 1 beef fillet, about 1.25kg
  • 2 tbs oil, ½ & ½ good olive and sunflower
  • 2 tbs crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tbs red balsamic cream
  • 2 tbs Armagnac
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 150 ml crème fraîche

Resource:

WannaPasta.Com

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The Different Genres of Journalism

Journalism is defined as the discipline of gathering, verifying, reporting and publishing of information regarding current events, issues and people through newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the new medium, the internet. People who practice journalism are identified as journalists.

 
Journalism is sometimes referred to as the first draft of history. Its main activity is to report major events and latest developments while answering the basic “W” questions of who, what, why, where and when. It focuses on covering institutions like government and businesses, as well as, the cultural side of the society like arts and entertainment.
Journalism comes in different forms but the common ideal setting is to inform the public. Among the known genres of journalism include investigative, muckraking, civic, business and photojournalism.

 
Investigative journalism is a genre of journalism that concentrates deeply on a single topic of interest. It typically demands a lot of investigative work in order to yield results. Reporters employ several means like going undercover, using whistleblowers or studying of neglected archives. Usually the topic involves crime, political corruption, environmental violations and corporate wrongdoings. The classic example is the reporting of the Watergate Scandal by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein for The Washington Post which earned a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1973.

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Muckraking is a type of investigative journalism that is reform-oriented. The journalist in this genre strives to search for and expose scandals and abuses and acts to perform a watchdog function. It was popular in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its rise corresponded with the Progressive Era. The influence of muckraking was great. In fact, Ralph Nader’s article, Unsafe at Any Speed in 1965, led to reforms in the automotive manufacturing in the U.S.

 
Civic journalism (also known as public journalism or citizen journalism) is journalism work that is produced by ordinary people. Readers and members of the community are encouraged and empowered to participate and play an active role in the collection, reporting and dissemination of news and information.

 
Business journalism is a journalism that is dedicated to covering every aspect of business. The coverage includes workplaces, companies, economic indicators and personal finance. This type rose to popularity in the 1990s. One of the top newspapers focusing on business journalism is The Wall Street Journal.

 
Finally, there is photojournalism. Photojournalism focuses on and utilizes images to convey the news story. It usually refers to still images but may also refer to broadcast videos. The main qualities of timeliness, objectivity and narrative set photojournalism apart from other branches and type of photography.

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Medical Marijuana Ideas

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Growing was a lot harder than people thought it was, when all this legalization stuff began and everyone and their dog started growing, I knew it was just a matter of time before their ignorant bubbles were going to burst. I’ve heard people say, “You know why they call it a weed right? It’s because it grows like a weed, it’s easy”. Yeah, we’ll see what tune you’re singing in a year after you realize this isn’t something a novice with no appreciation for the process can succeed at. The legalization of medicinal marijuana has been a good and a bad thing for many different reasons. It was bad for people like myself who relied heavily on income produced from growing and selling it because the market was flooded now and  the avenues for procuring it were opened wide. On the other side of the coin though, we’re in a recession and people are hurting. I’m all for what’s good for the people though, so if legalization is economically bad for me but good for Colorado, then I’m going to support what’s good for the people of Colorado.

 
I originally was able to continue to grow and supply dispensaries with my product but as more regulations were put into place and the rules were solidified, I was cut out because I wasn’t doing it legally. I had gained a valuable skill though and was almost immediately able to get a job growing legally for a dispensary and was getting paid very handsomely to do so. I’d say it’s safe to say that things worked out pretty well for me.

 

I wasn’t the one who had a problem, in my opinion. People for thousands of years, who’ve gone against the grain of society, have suffered and been ostracized for living outside the lines of what was considered socially unacceptable behavior at any particular time in our history. This was just another juncture in time when the ignorance of the general populous was intersecting with more progressive thinking and common sense and eventually, common sense was going to win out. I owned a dispensaryin Denver and because there was a church up the street from me, I was getting crucified by the local the self-righteous, religious right.

 

I thought that christians were law-abiding citizens, I was legally able to do business here and my storefront was getting vandalized weekly and they were trying everything with the media to vilify me. Now, I know that there are religious people out there with some common sense and that’s fine but intolerant extremists of any kind are particularly dangerous and illogical if you ask me. The fact is, no matter what you think for whatever reason, medical marijuana does indeed had legitimate medical value and applications. That is more you can say for alcohol other than using it as a cleaning or disinfecting agent, otherwise it’s effects have been wreaking havoc on our families and society for hundreds of years. I just don’t understand that if a society has a tolerance for something as destructive as we know alcohol is, then how can you tell me that it makes any sense to legally, hinder someone’s ability to use something that is far less harmful to their family and society.

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Fashion, 400 Years In The Making

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The past, has always held a certain fascination for me. I love learning about history (in a way which does not involve analysing sources like the school taught type) and I suppose that may be why I adore vintage fashion. It is like owning a tangible slice of that era gone by – the aftermath or legacy of a generation as it were. Thompson Reid has tons of vintage styled clothing like these beanie hats for men.  I honestly believe you can tell a lot about an time period through the dress they chose to wear; not only that, but vintage styling seemed to be more elegant – something the modern world lacks I often feel.I’ll admit to not feeling fully confident on my ability to look at a design and say “oh yes, very reminiscent of 1920s Paris” or some similar mumbo jumbo, but I reckon I’m fairly versed up on at least the basics (i.e. not in depth, but a general jist) of the 1900s – present day (this book helped). So, in a bid to go that one step further with learning about historical dress, I purchased Four Hundred Years of Fashion a short time ago.

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The book is, as the blurb states:This lively history of fashion has become a classic in its field. Based on the V&A’s world famous collection, it tells the story of men’s and women’s fashionable dress through the ages right up to the present day. Over 200 illustrations cover clothes for all occasions and include a wide range of fashion accessories. The expertise of the Museum’s Department of Textiles and Dress gives the text unequalled authority and makes it indispensable for students and anyone with an interest in fashion.Considering the fact that I had not read the blurb or seen the book prior to purchasing (amazon & all), it’s hardly surprising that I was slightly shocked when I received it. My first impression was that it was a heck of a lot thinner than I imagined it to be. Couple that with the somewhat drab look of the pages (I’m a fairly visual person and though I love reading novels, for books of this nature, I’m always more enticed to read when the presentation is interesting) and you may be able to grasp why I ended up not reading much of the text.

 

Accessories pages featured toward back Despite the downfall of the layout, the book is informative and well written (what I did read of it that was, I am planning to read through all the text in small sessions, so I do not get bored or overwhelmed with information). There are a fair few images of the V&A collection which allows the reader to actually see the clothes – I would definitely LOVE to see them in real life. It is structured, as it’s split into sections covering pre-1900s, post-1900s, men’s, women’s and accessories. I like the fact that it covers menswear, something which is often neglected in fashion books, but is just as essential to know about when studying historical wear or fashion in general. It’s all inspiration at the end of the day – you can easily take a technique or idea from menswear to translate into womenswear and vice versa.

 

 

Menswear through the ages Of course, as it frequently states throughout the text, the collection of women’s clothing is rather more comprehensive than the men’s, simply due to the typical nature of women and the typical nature of men. There were some absolutely beautiful clothes featured! It’s astounding, especially when you consider that the majority of the pre-1900 clothes are hand-made – no machines whatsoever, just a needle and thread. I found that, especially with the post-1900 stuff, I could picture wearing it in the present day. Maybe it’s just my aesthetic which means that I can easily picture wearing something 1940s-esque today (clearly I like looking like I just stepped out from a different time!) or maybe it was just that I could imagine elements of certain outfits being incorporated into modern dress. Either way, for some of the styles, they did not seem outdated in the slightest – they seemed rather timeless.

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Some of my favourites within the book Four Hundred Years of Fashion is, as the blurb states, an “indispensable for students and anyone with an interest in fashion“. It strikes me as a very useful reference tool as opposed to something which will literally spell out the components of vintage style. I love the fact that this book not only looks at ‘fashion’ (as in 20th century – present day, when the concept actually existed) but at styles of dress older than that (pre-1900s). I’d recommend it to mainly those who may be studying fashion or costume in some way (as I wish to be someday…), but if you’re like me and have a love of history & fashion, then it’s probably worth  at least a flick through.

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