Before the most recent round of atrocities in Gaza, the Evening Standard declared that freekeh had begun to ‘elbow out quinoa from the super-grain spotlight,’ appearing on the most modiish menus. Yotam Ottolenghi uses it for making pilafs and in salads, accompanied by feta, mint, leaves, roasted lemon, cherry tomatoes and toasted almonds. M&S has incorporated freekeh into three salads as part of its Summer Food range.
Freekeh – pronounced ‘free-kuh’ or ‘free-kah’ - is a young, green wheat grain that is harvested early, then dried, burnt and rubbed or thrashed, causing it to crack. It’s easy to cook with and has a nutty flavour and smoky aroma. Because it is harvested young, freekeh retains its high protein and vitamin content, plus it has a low GI index. “It’s an amazing grain, really. It’s a very nutritional grain too. It’s got a lovely earthy, robust taste to it. It’s hardy. It’s hard to overcook it. It’s always al dente. It’s multi-purpose too,” explains James Walters, director and executive chef at The Arabica Food and Spice Company.
FareShares stocks freekeh from Palestine, via Zaytoun, and, in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians, we don’t put any mark-up on the wholesale price.
#WTF? Vegan Hot Dogs!
Sometimes, happy accidents occur, such as the time the wholesaler delivered a case of Taifun organic tofu wieners, which we hadn’t ordered. We put ‘em in the ‘fridge anyway and they sold out, like, immediately. “They are just like real frankurters,” one recent Fareshares volunteer remarked, ingenuously, while another said she can’t see the point of mock meat. Well, yes, but it is BBQ season and sometimes it’s nice to mingle with meat eaters on their terms. Not that barbecuing these critters is recommended, necessarily.Their German manufacturer recommends, ‘simply heat in a hot water bath for three to four minutes. Excellent also in soups and stews. Enjoy them hot or cold!’
Fat Gay Vegan, flushed with the success of his beer festival, recently asked Facebook friends to ‘share photos of your latest vegan hot dog accomplishments in this thread. I wanna see them all!’ He provoked quite a response, including self-proclaimed ‘Vegan hot dog queen,’ Laura Stevens, who admitted, ‘My obsession with sauerkraut on vegan hot dogs is slightly out of hand.’ She sounds like our kind of gal!
Recreate the classic hot dog by griddling the sausage and serving it in a toasted bun, with mustard + sauerkraut. Because it is incredibly good for you, Fareshares stocks at least two types of ‘kraut, one of which is kept in the ‘fridge and is overtly raw ‘n’ healthful. You’d probably be better with a jar of Biona ‘kraut off the blue shelf if you plan to warm it up before serving it with your hot dog.
No doubt the craze for tofu wieners will wane with the Summer. Anyway, we probably won’t stock them much longer now it’s been pointed out that they are cheaper at Waitrose!
Broad Bean Pod Soup recipe
When you’ve enjoyed your broad beans, don’t throw away the pods! Use them to make a tasty soup:
1 onion, chopped
pods from at least 8oz broad beans
1 litre vegetable stock
large sprig of rosemary
Sauté the onion in a little oil. Remove as many strings as you can from the pods, and chop them roughly, discarding any bits that are really black. Add them to the pan, sauté for a few minutes, then add the stock, bayleaf and rosemary (other herbs are also nice e.g. thyme, sage). Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Blend and pass the soup through a sieve, or ideally a Mouli. This is essential to get rid of all the remaining bean pod strings. Reheat and serve, stirring in a dollop of oat cream if you fancy it.
A reminder about the Sutton Community Farm’s VegBox scheme.
If about a dozen FareShares shoppers can commit to collecting their VegBox from us every week, FareShares may become a designated pick-up point. If you want to subscribe, please let us know in the comments under this post on our web site, or in person when you come to shop.
If you want to try their service, Jamyang, the Buddhist centre in Renfrew Road, which is close by, across Kennington Park Road, already acts as a pick-up point and they also have a wonderful courtyard café, if you haven’t tried it.
FareShares August Meeting
FareShares’ regular monthly meeting will be held on Friday 15th August at The Pullens Centre, 184 Crampton Street, SE17. As several new volunteers have recently joined us, it will be nice to meet you all.
If you are thinking about becoming involved with FareShares, or you used to be, this is an opportunity to meet the people behind the scenes, or to catch up with old friends.
A pot luck supper is served at 6:30pm before the meeting at 7:30pm. Please bring food to share. Last time, Zoé brought these Black Bean Brownies with an extra sprinkle of oven-roasted grated coconut on top!
All prospective and past members of Fareshares are welcome to eat with us, but only current members of the collective may participate in its business meeting.
See You In Cyberspace
If you haven’t already liked our Facebook page, you may want to review your priorities! If you do FB then you need to like us. And, reciprocally, we need you to review us and say how much you appreciate the service we provide. That way, FareShares can persuade our landlord, Southwark Council, that we are nobody’s business and don’t need to pay business rates, because FareShares is not a shop, but an experiment in community.