Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fife Diet's AGM

Fife Diet's AGM.
Below as events unfolded.

The Board introduce themselves and disclose the agenda for the day.

To the gathered assembly of Fife Dieters who will have enjoyed the free soup and breads beforehand applaud Wendy Gudmundsson and Colin Lindsay for being on the board for many years. Wendy gifted with a wee gnome to keep her company as she gardens.

The venue was split into two parts, the upper hall used for an open space session to share ideas about continuing elements of Fife Diet work and developing new ones. What members would like to see happen and what part they could play. Resilient Grassroot movements need a life of their own and not be just grant dependent. To this end members minds were focused.

Downstairs 2.00 - 4.30 board members were available for advice, above is Mags at the tables of free donated books on food.
Seeds from the Seed Truck initiative, free for the use of.

Jam Art and tasters. mmmm nice.

Charlotte Duffy, paper pods and cardboard sculpture.

Catherine Brown author of many Scottish focussed Cookery Books promotes Bere Flour, a Neolithic Barley still grown on Orkney but once a staple grain throughout Scotland. Superb taste, I'm delighted to be made aware of its existence.
Mrs Mash, entertains with story telling prior to cooking.

Meanwhile, starters of Savoy Cabbage Parcels with winter roots and Vegetable Falafel are prepared by many voluntary hands ( yes well washed ones ).

Others find the seed bank.
Sampling some of  Catherine Brown's food delights and they were truly delightful, it was no wonder that people bought signed copies of her many publications.
Catherine Brown grew up in Glasgow, her mother's home town, but also spent much of her early life in an east coast fishing village where her father's family lived. Two very different food cultures which provided vivid food memories of distinctive Scottish food traditions. They sparked her quest to celebrate and develop the potential of Scotland's rich and varied larder. She has been a chef in hotels, a teacher, a researcher, a journalist as well as a presenter of STV and Grampian TV's Scotland's Larder. She became the Guild of Food Writers' Food Journalist of the Year in 2001 for her investigative food columns in The Herald (Glasgow). She now divides her time between a small village in Perthshire and an even smaller one on the shores of Loch Torridon.
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Falafel production.
Bicycle powered flour mill.

Upstairs, split into 4 groups, ways forward were considered, written down for further debate.

All coming together to meld the various proposals.

Meal time came round,  I was so hungry I demolished several Cabbage Parcels and Falafels that omitted to photograph them. The main course was Beet Bourguignon, Potato and Celeriac Dauphinoise, Puy Lentils. ( recipe from.

Dessert was:- Crowdie and Heather Honey Ice Cream with Rosemary Shortbread and Fruit Coilis. ( ice cream recipe from the Gardeners Cottage restaurant Edinburgh ) Shortbread made by Fiona Wallace.

At the end of the AGM and before the Ceilidh Lesley Riddoch gave a talk, pushing at open doors in the main. A wonderful affirmation of how some people feel. Lesley spoke of the Nordic model, so very different from the English whereby a few inherit the wealth and deprive the many. Such is the overbearing class system in operation.
“Blossom is an account of Scotland at the grassroots through the stories of people I've had the good fortune to know – the most stubborn, talented and resilient people on the planet. They've had to be. Some have transformed their parts of Scotland. Some have tried and failed. But all have something in common – they know what it takes for Scotland to blossom. We should know too. So this book poses a question as important as the one Scots must answer on 18 September 2014. Why is Scotland still the most unequal society and sickest man (and woman) of Europe despite an abundance of natural resources and a long history of human capacity? Facts and figures are a vital part of any story. But they don't bring Scotland's dilemma alive. They don't explain why people with choices act as if they had none. They don't explain why Scots over the centuries have put on weight, not democratic muscle. They don't explain why cash and socialist tradition have failed to shift poverty. They don't explain why some Scots trash Scotland while others tiptoe round the place like it's only rented for the weekend. Why don't ordinary Scots behave like the permanent, responsible owners of this beautiful country? Is it because we are not the owners – and never have been?!"


Every Scot should read Blossom by Lesley Riddoch before they vote. This book will arm them with all the information they need to fill in the blanks. I'm reading Blossom right now and every paragraph crystallises the nebulous sensations of deep divide inequality and snobbery I have experienced my whole life. We have to make a new more equal Scotland by having our own Scottish value system to aspire to and not a middle British set which asks us to adopt ways foreign to our sensibilities. If we can't build a new fresh Scotland filled with opportunity and without prejudice it might be time to walk way and leave this country to its final disaggregation. --Des Dillon

Reading Lesley Riddoch's Blossom is like inhaling fjord air after being trapped in a sweaty backroom. Just brilliant. --Pat Kane

It's brilliant, every politician in the land should be made to read the chapter on inequality. I love the human stories in the book, but it's rich with evidence too. The most engaging social policy book I've read in ages (ever?) --Jenny Kemp, Zero Tolerance campaign

About the Author

LESLEY RIDDOCH is an award-winning broadcaster, writer and journalist. She writes weekly columns for The Scotsman and Sunday Post and is a regular contributor to The Guardian, Newsnight Scotland and Scotland Tonight. She is founder and director of Nordic Horizons, a policy group that brings Nordic experts into the Scottish Parliament. Lesley presented You and Yours on BBC Radio 4, The Midnight Hour on BBC2 and The People's Parliament and Powerhouse on Channel 4. She founded the Scottish feminist magazine Harpies and Quines, won two SONY awards for her daily Radio Scotland show and edited The Scotswoman, a 1995 edition of The Scotsman written and edited by its female staff. She lives in Fife and is married to an Englishman who grew up in Canada. 
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