It’s the season to love your brassicas. No it’s not a dirty word, it’s a family of vegetables. Included in these are the brussels sprout and this is what I did with some this week.
Brassicas are a fantastic family of vegetables and if you’d like to learn loads about them then click here.
Lets not fuss about though, you either love or hate brussels sprouts and according to the link above, that relationship is down to your genes.
All I know is that I ruddy love these little green snotballs as they are affectionately referred to in our family. All of us do. Come Christmas Day when we were growing up Mam & Dad struggled to keep enough on the table to satisfy myself and my siblings.
It can be hard to judge when sprouts are cooked just right and you can end up with either hard, impenetrable little bullets or balls of slush that have been overboiled.
Prepare your sprouts by trimming the ends and peeling off the outer leaves until you’re left with pale green, firm brussels sprouts. Then cut a small “x” or cross into the bottom of each one. Some people argue that it makes no difference to the cooking but it’s something we’ve always done in our family so I’m happy to continue the tradition.
Try braising your sprouts (a net bag of about 250g) in 100ml of water and 50g (I know I know artery clogging) of butter with 3 shaved garlic cloves interspersed between them in a shallow baking dish, covered in greaseproof paper. Pop your dish into a warm fan oven of about 125 degrees Celcius for at least 1 hour. Check the edges of the dish often in case you need to top up with a dribble of water to prevent them from drying out.
For extra flavour use ham water instead of regular tap water for the braising liquid.
On Christmas Day, once the oven is turned off and your bird is resting you could pop a dish of prepared sprouts into the base of the oven to braise in the residual heat. This is a great idea if you have an Aga or similar.
Serve by tipping the dish upside down so that the sprouts nestle in the paper that covered them during cooking, season and sprinkle with slivers of freshly cut hot chilli if you dare or perhaps even some torn preserved lemons.
I have this shiny new editor experience and frankly, the jury is out; what can I say? I don’t know.
It’s 19 December. Less than a week to go before Christmas. 2 days to go before my Day of the Year. The Shortest Day of the Year. The turning of the year.
I find the dark evenings hard; although this year I barely noticed them; December is as though it never happened. It may be a factor of age; it may be a factor of this year’s workload. But normally, I am attached to the shortest day of the year; for me the start of the lengthening of days is more in line with making me feel happy, and more a starting point than Christmas or New Year
Last weekend I went to Basel to see the Christmas market there. I occasionally drop into Switzerland; I love the country although I find it terribly expensive. I loved the Christmas market in Basel, in particular the MarchenMarkt section where all sorts of craft stalls were teaching kids how to do things like wood turning, glass etching, soap making and the like. Brilliant idea. There were also a couple of guys demonstrating woodsculpture using chainsaws but not necessarily letting the kids try that.
I went to Basel in the hope of finding snow; but it did not materialise; had I stayed in Luxembourg, snow would have found me.
Most Sundays there is a market that himself likes to visit. It’s not too far from home, as the kids would say it’s “a spin”. Normally he rambles around with the kids and sometimes picks me up bits for photographs and at the end of his stroll he always drops by the vegetable stall. Most of their vegetables are either grown in the next county or sourced fairly locally and they are cheap.
Day 18 of my Christmas with Caitríona series is a classic Christmas recipe!
On Sunday he couldn’t believe his luck when he got a big red cabbage bigger than his head (this is very big) for €1. Score! He also picked up buckets of other vegetables including some fresh kale, carrots, apples and parsnips for under a fiver.
What better side dish to put with turkey than braised red cabbage? It’s lovely hot or cold. In fact, I had some cold today with some cheese on toast for lunch.Braised Red Cabbage Ingredients
- 15g of butter
- 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger, cumin and coriander
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped
- 300g shredded red cabbage
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of white wine/white balsamic vinegar
- 100ml water
Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Sprinkle in the ground spices and stir for about a minute so that they toast in the warmth. Add the apples and coat them in the spiced butter. Stir around for 5 minutes until they soften.
Take the cabbage and add it to the saucepan, stir so it’s mixed with the apples then add the sugar, vinegar and water. Stir well until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat to medium low, cover the saucepan and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
Bear in mind that we are a low-salt family so I don’t add seasoning. You may like to add a half teaspoon of salt with the sugar.
Braised cabbage can be eaten immediately and is a great side dish with pork, turkey or game. Alternatively spoon the cabbage into a sterlised jar and allow to come to room temperature before sealing. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
This year, I chose to buy the Bear In Sheep’s Clothing Advent Calendar. I ordered back in October and anticipated its arrival. Irish post has been overwhelmed and there was some confusion with how to ring my doorbell, so the...
The post Bear In Sheep’s Clothing Advent Calendar Show-and-Tell & Fade Pattern Ideas appeared first on EvinOK.
BEST PRACTICE IN OPEN EDUCATION starts by hearing #oep advocates like Catherine Cronin explain how her work complements this essential community value. I captured Catherine in a half hour recording and asked for her insights about making Open Education Resources part of my work.
Open Education Resources enhance online communities of practice and they also improve the academic work I do at third level in the Limerick Institute of Technology. Catherine shares several deep insights during this fast-moving Congversation. Several of Catherine's observations will complement the Ideas theme of the ICT in Education Conference in May 2019. The thoughts also fit into the Community theme of the 2019 Congregation.Listen to "The Essence of the Open Education Community h/t @catherinecronin #cong19" on Spreaker. Shownotes of Congversation 09
00:52 The five word search phrase leading people to the work of @catherinecronin.
01:50 The best known item related to Catherine Cronin’s work.
03:20 To “flow across lovely online spaces” …
03:40 Catherine Cronin’s world class idea of 2018 revolves around open practices and what they mean for individuals.
06:20 Concepts of critical advocacy as presented at the OER Conference.
07:00 How Plan S and open access affect researchers.
09:20 Could you describe the most vibrant community of practice in your professional or personal life?
10:10 The iCollab Community of Practice
12:30 We often dive deeply into special work when we seclude ourselves in third spaces. Catherine Cronin shares details about her own third space.
14:50 The critical importance of face-to-face connections.
16:20 Creative Commons and Congversations.
17:40 What is the most important digital literacy for a third level educator?
20:30 Mike Caulfield and The Four Moves of Digital Literacy
21:00 Kinzen and user-validated recommendations
21:40 Coding and Computational Thinking
[Image of Catherine Cronin and friends from Flickr. Photo by Leigh Graves Wolf. Image of solo Catherine from Diana Caulfield on Twitter. Image snapped in Cambridge. Recorded using Zoom.us by Bernie Goldbach. ]
If, like me, you’ve got that slightly rising panicked feeling about Christmas Dinner and what the last shop before Christmas Day will cost, stop now and have a little read of Day 17 of my Christmas With Caitríona series.
That last shop for us is probably my most stressful shop and this year I am cutting back on Christmas shopping. I’ll do it at some stage before the end of the week ahead, and then pick up the fresh fruit and vegetables, along with the meat on Christmas Eve. You would think that the shops won’t be open for nearly a week, as was the tradition years ago, but in truth the shops will barely close for longer than 36 hours all told and the local supermarket will reopen on St Stephen’s Day. The reason why I do a large shop before Christmas Day isn’t that I’m trying to stock up the cupboards, it’s so that I don’t have to go near a shop unless I absolutely have to. There is great escape in shutting the door on Christmas Eve and knowing that the next couple of days are for family only.
This trip to the supermarket before the main day though is the one where we are prone to the most amount of impulse buys. There are Christmas traditions in our house that revolve around food. For example it was always a treat for my siblings and I to have Sugarpuffs on Christmas morning; there were always tins of chocolates to be scoffed along with bags of King crisps in hubby’s house (always King at Christmas from a cardboard box); and tins of premium biscuits, nevermind bottles of lemonade and alcohol for visitors.
If I’m typing this and the pressure is rising in my chest then I can imagine it is for you too. So here are a few, short bullet points for you to try and bear in mind for the next couple of days so that you can try cutting back on Christmas Shopping.
- Make your list & check it twice (if it’s good enough for Santa, it’s good enough for you).
- Go without kids (no attacks of the gimme-gimme to spend more money).
- Know your budget.
- Only buy what you need.
- Be brutal, if there are items that you rarely eat or you always have in the cupboard for months afterward then scrap them and don’t buy.
- Make sure you have storage space so you’re not falling over a Turkey or the Ham hasn’t taken up all the fridge.
- Likewise make sure your oven can handle all this food you’re intending to cook.
- Many hands make light work. Sometimes one of my sisters and I do the big shop together and each push the trolley through the supermarket side by side. It makes the shop easier for us and we have a bit of a laugh too.
Above all, don’t panic!
PAM O'BRIEN shares the enthusiasm and the energy she gets from Ireland's Youth Media Team. During a 24 minute Congversation Pam explains how some of that energy percolates out into community spaces like CESICON, the ICT in Education Conference, and Congregation.
00:04 Who is Pam O’Brien? If someone used five words to find you on Google—and one of those words was Pamela—what would the other four words be?
00:24 Pam O’Brien is synonymous with a red poppie.
03:10 World class idea spotted by Pam O’Brien.
03:35 Getting energy from engaging creative audio moments.
05:12 Catherine Cronin’s analysis of open practices.
05:50 Awesome YMT.fm skills at the Leargas Conference in Dublin.
10:25 Pam’s special Third Space is like the sofa cited by Mags Amond.
11:40 Pulling back from online spaces.
12:40 Twitter as a touchpoint.
14:45 Coding and computational thinking for teachers
16:50 On Pam O’Brien’s bookshelf
18:55 Timeless Learning and other titles on Pam O’Brien’s bookshelf
19:25 Mags Amond and Factfulness
22:10 It’s #cesicon during the first weekend in March 2019 and ictedu.ie on 11 May 2019
23:00 Thanking @pamelaaobrien on Twitter and Instagram
You can subscribe to Congversations and hear an entire series of interviews.
[Bernie Goldbach produces Congversations in support of the 2019 Congregation about "community".]
This is a great recipe to use up your leftover meat from the Christmas dinner. This is a tray bake that can be lifted from plain and simple eating (not a bad thing after Christmas excess) to a meal with a zing from some flavoured salt.
Turkey and ham are staples on our dinner-table on Christmas Day. Yet when the main meal has been cleared away there is still a turkey to break down, stock to be made and the ham to be divided into portions. There is always leftovers. The generosity on the day itself led, last year, to me having over 20 meals worth of cooked meat in the freezer for the weeks beyond. While we all love turkey and ham there are only so many times we’re happy to eat a classic roast dinner and yet I don’t fancy having to be too inventive in the kitchen with leftovers because I prefer not to make work for myself.
This flavoured salt theoretically should keep until Christmas if you make it now and keep it in a clean dry jar.Flavoured Salt (makes enough for at least 10 meals) Ingredients
- 50g sea salt
- 2 stalks of fresh rosemary
- Freshly grated rind of 1 organic lemon
Spread out the ground salt on a flat surface lined with baking paper and leave in a warm dry spot. I used the oven after cooking dinner a few nights back. I left the salt in the cooling temp of the oven overnight and it dried out a good bit.
Store in a dry container with a tight seal on the lid. Sprinkle as flavouring on your meal or bread of choice.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used rapeseed oil here)
- 1kg of small potatoes with the skins on
- 4 red onions peeled
- 3 generous handfuls of cooked turkey/chicken meat
- Flavoured salt
Preheat your (fan) oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Take a large ovenproof dish and pour the oil into the bottom. Slice the potatoes to 2cm from the bottom, Cut the onions into quarters. Toss the potatoes and onions in the oil then reposition so that the cut sides of the potatoes faces upwards. Put the ovenproof dish into the oven for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, remove from the oven and add the turkey meat. Gently stir so that they are coated in the cooking oil and won’t stick to the dish. Return the dish to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
This is the kind of gift that a small child can make, and actually they’d probably love the feeling of squishing the oil and other ingredients together. We used organic ingredients because we’d rather use them where we have the option.Ingredients
- 250g Raw Organic Coconut Oil
- 200g Organic Sugar
- 50g Coarse Organic Sea Salt (I like using Oriel Sea Salt, a local producer)
- 1 Organic Vanilla Pod
Into a large bowl, weigh out the coconut oil, sugar and sea salt. Split the vanilla pod down the middle and using the flat end of the knife, scrape out the seeds into the bowl.
Take a fork and mix all the ingredients together until well combined and/or wearing rubber gloves, squish everything together into a paste. Decant into 1 large tub or smaller jars. 500g of this scrub should do quite a number of hand scrubs!Body & Bathing Lotion Bars
These are fantastic. You can see a couple of them have pink glitter in them. We were experimenting and used some edible pink glitter in the end of the mixture. Something we won’t do again. Pink glitter aside, the lotion bars are made using just 3 ingredients.
They are very stable in cool temperatures but don’t leave them by the radiator! To use in the bath, pop 1 into a mug of boiling water and stir until dissolved, then pour the mixture into a bath with hot running water. To use as a body lotion, hold in your hands for a couple of minutes until the oils start to release and simply rub in. I use small silicone moulds to make these little bars. The circular bars are about the size of a €2 coin in diameter and twice as thick. You can certainly make this mixture in bigger bars though. Silicone moulds are the way to go here.
Just to note on the beeswax options. You can pick up organic beeswax from your local certified beekeeper (let me know if you find somebody locally as I’ve found organic beeswax hard to source), you can buy it online in bar form or if happen to have a suitable hive source you can use the raw beeswax from there providing you don’t need it later on in the year. I couldn’t find a suitable source locally so used bars that I bought online.Ingredients
200g Raw Organic Coconut Oil
100g Organic Beeswax
1 Organic Vanilla PodMethod
Fill a large saucepan partway with hot water. Put this on a low heat then sit a glass bowl on top of the saucepan, ensuring that the bottom doesn’t touch the water below (if it does then pour some water out). Put the coconut oil and beeswax into the glass bowl and allow to dissolve into oil. The beeswax takes longer than the coconut oil and this does take a while. Don’t worry!
Once the wax and oil have melted together, cut the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds using the flat side of the knife and stir them into the oil mixture. Allow to infuse for 2 minutes before carefully pouring the liquid oil CAUTION HOT into silicone moulds. Cooling time depends on the size of your silicone moulds. Mine were small and only took 2 hours. If you use larger cupcake sized moulds then expect to allow about 12 hours or overnight cooling before you pop them out.
Store the bars in a cool, dry spot, away from direct sunlight.
This is a quick reminder that this recipe is Day 12 of ‘Christmas with Caitríona’ which is a 24 day series of Christmas content across my blog/YouTube channel etc aimed at saving you time and money in the run up to Christmas. I hope you like it and if so please do share the tips and tricks with your friends and family. Cxxx
Not everybody is a fan of desserts with dried fruits in them. However, I really love the appearance of a Christmas pudding. So we get around this by making a chocolate biscuit Christmas pudding cake. I like to lace mine with crunchy malteasers but you can add in any chocolates, sweets or nuts that you like!
As this recipe has no baking to be done I think it’s a brilliant one to make with children with little supervision. Once again I have a video to go along with the recipe on YouTube!
Chocolate Biscuit Christmas PuddingIngredients
- 500g digestive and rich tea biscuits (or similar)
- 100g butter
- 100ml golden syrup
- 75g caster sugar
- 50g plain or dark chocolate
- 1 large packet of malteasers (share pack works best here)
Take 2 large heavy duty sandwich bags and put one inside the other. Fill the inner bag with the biscuits and channel the anger in your life at the moment batter the bejeepers out of it with a rolling pin or wooden spoon.
Get a big heavy bottomed saucepan, stick it on top of a weighing scales and measure out the butter, golden syrup, caster sugar and chocolate directly into the saucepan. Put the saucepan on a medium-low heat on the hob and stir occasionally.
Line a pudding bowl really well with cling film.
Once the contents of the saucepan have turned to a liquid and the sugar has completely dissolved, pour in the crumbled biscuits. Stir well until they are well coated with the liquid. Take the coated biscuit mixture and press it firmly into the lined pudding bowl along with the malteasers; layer by layer.
Cover the pudding bowl and chill for at least 4 hours before decorating with melted chocolate and serving. Alternatively, this recipe will freeze well for up to 1 month so it’s a great one to make well ahead of the big day!
Day 10: This is a twist on the traditional mulled wine, it’s a mulled cider! To make an alcohol free version for kids/non drinkers, substitute the cider for pressed apple juice instead. There are some beautiful Irish apple juices to be bought at this time of the year. Personally I love both Stameen Farm and Llewellyns Orchard juices for local juices (and ciders) but whatever you can get your hands on is fine. Do yourself a favour though, don’t use juices made from concentrate, you just won’t get the same flavour.
- 1 litre of cider
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 pieces of star anise
- 3 cloves
- 2 all spice berries
- 1 lemon
- 1 apple
Take a large saucepan and put it on a low/medium heat. Fill the saucepan with the cider, and add the aromatics above. Slice the lemon and apple into thin slices and pop them into the saucepan too.
Stir with a wooden spoon and allow to warm through for about 20 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t come to the boil. Once warm through, serve immediately in mugs and enjoy.
This mulled cider recipe goes perfectly with blue cheese and crackers. The blue cheese is the perfect counterpoint to the sweet and tart drink.
Obviously the children had the non-alcoholic version which is actually my favourite.
If you have a slow cooker, pop all the ingredients in the slow cooker on high for 90 mins before serving.
ARMED WITH MY Rode Smart Lav+ lapel mics, I caught up with two friends in Cong who were sharing ideas while thinking about community. You can hear the Congversation with Joan Mulvihill (above) and Tracy Keogh (below) by playing the audio clip below or by subscribing to a special podcast series in the run-up to #cong19 on the 22nd of November 2019.Listen to "Enjoying Painting and Distributed Workplaces" on Spreaker.
- 01:51 Last week: @brendanhughes
- 02:17 Call-in from Robbin Milne
- 02:57 About Revolut
- 04:50 With @joanmulvihill, ex-Irish Internet Association chief
- 05:17 Centre of Cloud Computing
- 05:37 Painting by @joaniem6
- 10:43 Grandmotherly Advice
- 11:51 Grateful for Rode Smart Lav+ mics
- 12:28 With @Tracy_Keogh
- 12:45 @GrowRemote IRL
- 17:08 Next week is @sodshow
- 17:58 Show notes at http://insideview.ie/podcasting
This episode was recorded using HiQ MP3 on a Sony Xperia Z5 handset attached to Rode Smart Lav+ microphones. We share the technical skills of mobile journalism with the Irish Youth Media Team as they support education and cultural events in Ireland and Europe.
ALTHOUGH I KNEW the importance of making and holding eye contact with people, after talking to Mags Amond about the most thoughtful kinds of engagement, I became more aware of the possibilities of enjoying better teaching and learning just by focusing on eyes around a table. Mags introduced me to this idea during a Congversation I had with her on a windy day in Ireland.
I'm trying to produce 100 Congversations before #cong19 starts on the 22nd of November 2019 and you could be part of the flow if you've submitted your idea about community for the next meeting in Cong or if you've been in Cong for a previous unconference. Just shout out in the comments below and I'll be in touch.
Here's a short outline of things Mags and I discussed:
- 00:25 The handle @magsamond
- 01:19 Images of round tables
- 03:08 Johnson’s Theory of Cooperative Learning
- 05:11 Cooperative learning and artefacts.
- 07:22 We need to teach people to listen
- 07:57 Third Space of Magsamond
- 10:28 Google Keep as a Third Space
- 12:28 Bianca, a Digital Champion
- 16:09 Digital literacies for teachers
- 18:14 Advice from DermotCasey
- 19:30 What is Mags reading?
- 19:43 Hans Rosling Factfulness and Raymond Williams Keywords
- 21:53 #cesicon
- 22:42 @Pamobrien is next
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business in the Limerick Institute of Technology. You can download the Congversation with Mags Amond from Spreaker. You can subscribe to Congversations by using this link: https://www.spreaker.com/show/3263384/episodes/feed.]
The beauty of this stuffing recipe is that it can be made well in advance. No more faffing around the day before Christmas, if you make this stuffing this week and lash it into the freezer then it’s all good to go on the big day.
I was only chatting to Mam about this last night. We really love our stuffing in our family. This is the most basic, simple stuffing recipe that you can make. There’s nothing wrong with changing the spices or adding dried fruit to the mixture, we just like to stick with the classics!
To make life easier I’ve recorded this video to go along with the recipe below:
homemade stuffing recipe
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 100g butter
- 300g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 pack of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, picked fromthe stem
- Salt & Pepper
Put the butter and the diced onions into a large saucepan. Cook on low until the onions become translucent (see through) and soft. Once the onions are cooked, pour the breadcrumbs into the saucepan and stir so that they soak up the butter and onion mixture. Add the chopped parsley and thyme, then turn off the heat. Stir well so that everything is mixed together.
Decant into a large freezer proof container and freeze for up to 1 month in advance of cooking the stuffing. Allow to defrost in the fridge for 24 hours in advance of cooking.
If you made it this far! This is a quick reminder that this recipe is Day 8 of ‘Christmas with Caitríona’ which is a 24 day series of Christmas content across my blog/YouTube channel etc aimed at saving you time and money in the run up to Christmas. I hope you like it and if so please do share the tips and tricks with your friends and family. Thank you as always for reading. Cxxx
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
In Starbucks, Westmoreland Street, Dublin, Ireland.