Toulouse Sausage and Spanish Butter Bean Soup…

It’s Tuesday, but to save me having to go all the way through this updating the timeline, assume that …

It’s Saturday night, and I’d intended to make this during the day, but the pain in my leg has been truly terrifying, so I’ve stayed off my feet as much as I could. Didn’t improve matters but at least it stopped it getting worse.

This is an old favourite recipe which, for some reason, I’ve never written up. Today, though, this is the simplified version. It still uses my home-cooked Judion de la Granja butter beans, and their stock, but to reduce the time I spend on prep, and on my feet, I’m using Aunt Bessie’s frozen carrot and swede mash.

It works very well as a soup base, with the addition of a little flour to keep it in suspension rather than have it sink to the bottom of the bowl (mainly cosmetic), and I can toss in some frozen diced celeriac too. When I have a good day (ha!), I really must buckle down, fire up the food processor, and prep and freeze soup base veg. It’ll make life much easier.

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Addendum to Leg ulcer getting worse but treatment is still primitive…

Checking the circulation in my leg is likely to be futile.

I do have circulation problems, but they originate in my heart, not my leg. I have heart failure, that’s a given even if the cause is uncertain. That’s because I have two conditions that can cause heart failure, a calcified and, in consequence, narrowed, aortic valve which, I suspect, is responsible for the persistent cramp in my hands and feet as it can impede blood flow to the extremities. And I also have COPD.

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Leg ulcer getting worse but treatment is still primitive…

This morning, in a discussion with the nurses about my deteriorating leg ulcer, all they can offer is compression – for which read MORE PAIN! Before they can do that they have to run an ultrasound test, and to do that they also have to check my lower leg blood pressure. And guess where the blood pressure cuff goes – yep, right on the ulcer. And that is just not going to happen.

At the moment I have a lightweight dressing on it, covered with two layers of very light tubular bandage. That, primarily, is sufficient to stop my leg swelling as well as keeping the dressing in place. It’s also staggeringly painful.

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Coming soon to a JC+ near you – Death by Sanctions…

If the government gets away with forcing people with MH problems to undergo treatment in exchange for benefits (my experience both as carer and victim is that what treatment there is inadequate, already overstretched, and hard to access**), this will undermine the basic right of patients to refuse any treatment they feel is inappropriate or harmful.

**I also feel very strongly that many of those afflicted by mental illness need the services of a skilled clinical psychiatrist, not some numpty with a gold star in counselling.

It will then, I’m sure, be only a matter of time before the whole toxic scheme is rolled out across the entire disability benefits spectrum – no treatment, no money.

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Ascaso l-1 Coffee Grinder

A burr grinder with 54mm flat burrs. Heavy, cast-aluminium body, powder-coated in a variety of colours – mine’s matt black.

First impression – broken. Damaged in transit, the top cover rear locating lug was broken off. Vendor Another Coffee replaced the cover immediately, which threw up another glitch – intact, the new cover didn’t actually fit, so I put the broken one back and called it done.

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Break the law and get paid for it?

According to the Bristol Post “The cctv changes are part of several motorist-friendly moves the government are working on, one of the others being offering a 25% discount for drivers who appeal against a parking ticket but lose.”

Seriously? Get rewarded for breaking the law? WT absolute F?

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Today’s loaf is a Rye Bloomer…

Marking what I hope is my return to breadmaking is today’s mostly organic loaf, a rye bloomer. Flour, as always, is from Shipton Mill, and I always use a stand mixer, in my case a 1200W Kenwood Premier Silver Chef (current version has been downgraded to 1000W for some reason). Without it I couldn’t bake at all – it does all the grunt work for me. You can, of course, make it by hand if you’re able.

My normal loaf is 50-50 white and some form of wholemeal. With rye, which doesn’t rise particularly well, I use more white than usual.

These are my scales, sitting on the cooling rack while my loaf bakes. Very accurate, £49.19 including a mains adapter. Runs on 3 AA batteries or the adapter. I’m still on the original batteries after 2 years or more. Go figure. If you bake a lot, it’s probably worth getting the adapter, it’s only a fiver.

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Induction hob update…

Well, I still have absolutely no idea why the induction hob caused me so many problems 2 years ago when I first got it. It is, in fact, very easy to use, will simmer nicely, if a tad gently (which, of course, contributes to the food not sticking and burning). There is simply no problem with it.The problem was with me.

The only thing I can think of, based on how, recently wiped out by pain, I just couldn’t remember how my digital camera worked (when I’d been familiar with it for well over two years), and looking at the date I bought it (the hob, not the camera), October 1, 2012, I was already deep in the crisis that would put me in hospital the following March. I was just too sick.

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Unemployed Man Suing PM For £1 Million In Freedom Of Speech Battle

Originally posted on Same Difference:

An unemployed Holton-le-Clay man is suing Prime Minister David Cameron for £1 million in a battle over freedom of speech.

Jobseeker Harvey Stone claims he was unlawfully prosecuted for sending the government an email protesting against their treatment of the unemployed.

The father of one,of South View, says his struggle to find a job has been made infinitely harder after he sent a “protest email” to the government over George Osbourne’s “Help to Work” scheme, and was charged with a criminal offence as a result.

Mr Stone, who is married with a 16-month old daughter, says he was charged with an offence under the Malicious Communications Act 1988, after sending the email, protesting against the Chancellor’s controversial plans to make the unemployed perform unpaid labour.

The family man, who says the Tory leader has “allowed his government to discriminate against and criminalize the unemployed”, through the much-criticised policy, claims his…

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The end of my veggie days?

Veggie or omnivore – which diet is better for me? Right now, omnivore. This is why…

Back in March I once again reverted to vegetarianism and, this time, I stuck with it (previous attempts have ended in boredom quite quickly, except for my original 20-year-plus stint from ’85 onwards). I’m still enjoying the food, which is the main thing, the recipes I’ve published have been mostly well received, and there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s saved me a hell of a lot of money, but there’s one unavoidable aspect of it that worries me greatly – my health has deteriorated savagely.

Things are so bad I can barely function – and yes, I admit I’m also depressed, many people who are seriously and chronically ill are – so it should surprise nobody that my first thought most days is “Is it worth carrying on?”.

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