Home-made morcilla, Mark 2…

I took down the original recipe as it needed tweaking. As it turned out, it made a decent morcilla-style black pudding (without the paprika, which I forgot), but I felt it could be better. This is the revised version.


Read the addendum, here, before diving in, it’ll save you a lot of mess when washing up. Pics of the finished product, too.

This is my recipe for a Morcilla de Burgos-style black pudding. Yes, I know that here in England, we have a long tradition of blood-pudding making, but without the traditional pork back fat – unobtainable by normal mortals – I had a look at what Spain had to offer (or, rather, stumbled across it watching TV).

They, too, have a long tradition of blood-puddings, called morcilla. The standard morcilla has back fat, so that’s out, but the Castillian town of Burgos has its own take on it, using rice and sweetly-fried onions instead of fat – problem solved. Other regions of Spain have their own versions, some highly spiced, others with fruit, like apples and/or raisins, which I want to try at some point.

Normally morcilla are made in Continue reading

The truth about how we’re deprived of benefits, from inside Atos…

Exclusive: ‘Sick firm told us to catch out disabled people’

The ruthless Tory drive to remove thousands of seriously ill and disabled people from benefits was exposed this week as a nurse employed to assess them spoke out to Socialist Worker.

Jean, a former employee of Atos Healthcare in Scotland, exposed a process she described as a “sham”. Atos is a multinational firm contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions to screen patients.

“I worked for Atos as a ‘disability analyst’ thinking I would be helping vulnerable people to access their benefits,” she said.

“I soon discovered Continue reading

Ashamed at the privatisation of the NHS? Why the hell should we be?

We can be a lot of things – angry, fearful, frustrated, pessimistic, even happy, for the dyed-in-the-wool Tories who think this is somehow a good thing. But ashamed? No way in hell.

There’s a blog post here which starts with the writer telling us he’s just turned 64, and going on to end with the assertion that we should all be ashamed at what has been done to the NHS. Seriously? Jesus wept!

I recently (well, OK, last October), turned 67 –  big deal – and I take very great exception to the idea that we should all be ashamed. It was not done by me, or for me, or on my behalf, nor did I want it – wherein lies my shame?

I, along with many others, devoted hours to Continue reading

Chronically sick and disabled? It’s now, more than ever, time to fight back…

(Previously published June 2011 and more relevant than ever now.)

Great Britain is diminished by its leaders, and we have to take a stand against the tide of prejudice and bigotry that is set to overwhelm us.

And this, among many other reasons, is why – Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson’s horrendous account of  abuse in the Daily Mail Continue reading

Christians in Parliament versus the Advertising Standards Authority…

Three MPs, Gary Streeter (Con), Chair, Christians in Parliament; Gavin Shuker (Labour),Vice Chair, Christians in Parliament; and Tim Farron (Lib-Dem), Vice Chair, Christians in Parliament (the temptation to make smart-arse remarks about a lot of vice in parliament is almost overwhelming, but I’ll resist), are trying to get the Advertising Standards Authority to admit that god can heal.

To which the only sensible response from the ASA would be “Prove it.” Any claim that god heals must be Continue reading

Lord Patten is a non-story – focus on nest-feathering, lying, MPs and peers instead.

I’m getting peeved with the ill-informed rubbish littering the Internet the past couple of days (and still rumbling on today), regarding Lord Patten of Barnes (Chris Patten as was), particularly this  which has spawned lots of imitators, especially on Twitter.

The basic argument seems to be that because Patten has business links to a bunch of  healthcare companies, that he might possibly profit from the carpet-bagging of the NHS. However, ending the “argument” against Patten with:-

Lord Patten of Barnes didn’t Continue reading

Home-made pork sausages…

Finally, I’ve made a pork sausage that (a) I’ve resisted the temptation to tinker with (last batch got a splash of cider at the last minute, instead of water – didn’t improve them, though they’re good poached in a herby tomato-based sauce), and (b) didn’t leave me a total basket case afterwards (I wrote that last night – I was wrong, though the clock change didn’t help either). Still going to be in a lot of pain tomorrow but, for now, just tired. You’ll find out why below.

Normally I use Sainsbury’s Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart addendum – running out of Candesartan…

If you’re taking Candesartan, aka Amias (and can tolerate the side effects!), I have a word of advice – do not ever run out.

On Tuesday night, putting my meds together for Wednesday morning, I realised – though I will swear til hell freezes I should have had a sheet left, and the date on the box confirms that (I think I need to look to my security) – I had no Candesartan tabs.

So, just after 4 o’clock on Wednesday morning, I faxed an urgent repeat scrip  request to my GP, so it would be there, waiting, as soon as they opened up and would, I hoped, be delivered later in the day.

Given the seriousness of my situation – depending Continue reading

Another £10bn welfare budget cut. Could this be how?

Since the cuts currently in the system will reduce many people to penury, just where is that dishonest fuck Osborne going to find another £10 billion to strip out of the benefits system?

Short of having disabled people put down – a solution which no doubt appeals to his boss, whose obsession with and hatred of the disabled is positively insane  – I can see only one possibility. As well as ESA making it almost impossible for a disabled person to get into the support group – if you’re terminally ill you can work to you snuff it, stop whinging! – I suspect that the entire system – or perhaps DLA/PIP – will be closed to new applicants.

Further, if Cameron Continue reading

Revisiting Twitter’s retweet censorship…

Some time ago I complained about Twitter deleting retweets of contentious tweets and tweeted blog posts – they still are.

Since then, though, I’ve set Twitter to email me whenever someone retweets anything of mine, and it’s become apparent that not only are retweets still being deleted, some aren’t even reaching me at all.

Some, but by no means all, of the missing Tweets are still visible on Android Twitter, but are gone from web Twitter, MetroTwit (which I normally use), and TweetDeck, which Continue reading