The last few weeks has seen a smörgåsbord of cooking classes taking place.
Jeff came back to teach us that low-carbon food need not be laborious and prepared ‘fast food in the kitchen’. His recipes are undoubtedly tastier and better for you than more conventional forms of fast food: if you want to find out exactly what goes into your food we recommend Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation or any of Felicity Lawrence‘s excellent books.
We had a host of chefs from the One World Society teaching us a range of exciting dishes: from homemade gnocchi to tofu and ginger beer (although perhaps not all on the same plate!). Fife is the home of the potato: the Kingdom even has its own potato day. You can’t get much more local or low-carbon than that!
Elena from the Greek Society also kindly hosted a class. She made the most scrumptious spinach and feta pie and topped it off with a Greek Salad. As the sun shines on St Andrews today, it seems that winter might be finally over and we can vary our diets and indulge in some healthy and nutritious (and now carbon-guilt free) salads. To keep up to date with what is in season, check out this great Scottish seasonal calendar from ‘Whats on your plate?’
Last, but by no means least, we also had Clare teaching us delicious vegan baking: proving that you don’t need eggs or dairy to make a darn fine cake. If you are looking for some more vegan recipes we suggest the excellent blog of Joy the Baker who not only has a whole host of regular baking recipes but also caters well for vegans and gluten-free diets too.
The good news is it is not too late to take part in all this fun. Clare will be joining us again tomorrow (Friday) to cook up some tasty vegan moussaka (which will mark my first foray into the world of vegan cheese!) and today we will be joined by Emilia (SD lecturer) and Lisa (another OneWorld-er) who will host an action packed session of Bolivian Soup; Conversations about Food; and ideas for left-over vegetables (please feel free to bring some along). Class details can be found in the usual place.
All the recipes used in the classes are also available online.
On Monday afternoon we were joined by the famous Fife Diet to learn how to cook exciting (some might say ‘weird’) vegetables!
Mike and Lisa cooked us some deliciously simple celeriac soup and a selection of root vegetable salads. They were completely scrumptious and almost entirely locally sourced. Recipes can be found here. They also regaled us with some of the exciting work being done by Fife Diet including more cooking classes; local food shows; recipe sharing and a community garden.
Many of you already know about the community garden which is part of Transition University of St Andrews (an excellent source of local veg) but did you also know that St Andrews has a community orchid too? I didn’t until I met the very enthusiastic Henry at Saturday’s Sustainability Fayre. Click here for more information on the St Andrews Community Orchard Group.
Today’s event, however, was all about the vegetables. We learnt that celeriac is a very tasty substitute for kohlrabi; jerusalem artichoke is quite like water chestnut when eaten raw and that fennel grows very well in these parts! All of the veg is available from Pillars of Hercules or Bellfield Organics. We discovered that availability wasn’t always the issue and some participants just felt overwhelmed by how to prepare these new veg. For those of you who couldn’t attend the class, here are some youtube videos to enlighten you on preparation of some of this season’s weird veg .
If you’d like to sign up for one of our other classes, the current schedule is available here.
Join the Students’ Association Green Week team and your societies in a wide range of exciting and innovating events, from cycle powered movie screenings to tours of ‘Hamish’ the composter and our Community Fayre. For more details see this page: https://www.facebook.com/greenweek2012
For the full schedule click here.
photo credit: http://www.no-tar-sands.org/
It was one of the best feelings ever to see a room full of hands go up in favour of the motion to change bank accounts from RBS last night. All the anticipation and worry about presenting the motion at our Student Representative Council (SRC) meeting melted away.
It’s not like it was an easy decision for the SRC to change the Student Association bank account from Tar Sands funding RBS to a greener alternative. The motion was contentious, and met criticism from a part time RBS employee and a geology student, admitting to be a potential oil company employee. After a long debate, it was clear to most members that the Students Association needs to “put its money where its mouth is”, something our Student Association President, Patrick O’Hare, strongly believes in, and to stand up against the Tar Sands and the devastation they are causing to our planet
and its people.
The motion will be taken to the Students Association board in March after the financial managers have done some research into more ethical banking. I hope that they will see the symbolic significance of making the change, as well as the importance of the UK wide shift from RBS, in favour of the financial risks.
So, now St Andrews Students Association is on its way to becoming ‘Tar Sands Free’, and I am very proud to be represented by such an institution. I am optimistic that other Students Associations can also change, which will empower young people across the country to lobby RBS to withdraw its investments from oil companies working in the Tar Sands and make a transition towards renewable energy investment!