Thursday, July 25, 2013

30 Days of Giving - Days 17 to 30

Days 17 to 30

I tried, I really did, but blogging on a daily basis is not for me.  I thought I would manage it for 30 days for this project, but it didn't work out.
One of the problems was the task itself, to donate £1 a day to 30 different charities.  I simply don't come across that many charities in my daily life.  It feels really mean donating £1 at a time in anything other than a charity collection box.  Those are designed for small amounts of money.  Giving on-line, my concern is that the money is consumed by the administrative costs involved in using an on-line service. After just over two weeks I had exhausted the local charity boxes within my daily orbit. 

My Mam does a huge amount of charity work, especially knitting for 'shoe box charities'.  She is currently making 'glove puppet' mittens for the shoe boxes.  This gives the child two toys, but also warm hands.  

I used the remaining £14 from the '30 Days of Giving' to buy a large selection of sew-in craft eyes.  My Mam and her team of helpers will use these eye to add life to the glove puppets, and toys they make for children in poor circumstances.  

It actually feels better making this £14 donation than the previous sixteen £1 donations.  Whilst my Mam isn't running a registered charity, I know she will be putting those craft eyes to good use, and that final products will be given to registered charities.  Lots of little bits of good will come from this donation.

It is also good to say 'Project completed', even though I had to change the rules part way through.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Oat Bread, second version

I was in a bread-making mood recently and thought "I know, let's make oat bread!" But, this time around I didn't have nearly enough oats. This is the modified, modified version of Oat Bread. We like it better than the previous version.

Also in the previous version I had cut the quantities in half. This time I have doubled them up again. It fitted into three small loaf tins, and the slices of bread came out at about the size of half a slice of shop-bought bread.

The gluten-free breads I can buy locally lack body and texture. If you squish a slice of gf bread between your fingers it almost turns back into a dough. In gluten-bread, this would be a sign that the bread was undercooked. The addition of oats in bread gives a great deal of body. When you bite into the oat bread it actually feels like you are biting into bread!

200g of gluten-free oats

2 (14g) sachet of dried yeast
360ml of warm water
120ml of oil
4 tablespoons of sugar
360g of Dove Farm gluten-free flour
2 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1 tsp of salt
big pinch of cinnamon
4 eggs

In a food processor,  turn the oats into oat flour.  Add the yeast, sugar, flour, xanthan gum salt, and cinnamon.  Mix in the processor.  In a jug, break the eggs and mix, add the oil, and mix, then add the water.  Once combined, add to the dry ingredients.  Beat for a few minutes until fluffy. Turn out into a well greased loaf tin.  The dough will be a sticky mess at this point, not the beautifully smooth dough ball of gluten bread.  Place the tins in a warm place and leave to rise until it has doubled in size.  Sprinkle the top with a few oats, and bake in the oven at 175°C. 


Dove Farm flour is a great multi-purpose flour.  It is made from rice, potato, tapioca, maize & buckwheat.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

30 Days of Giving - Day 16

Day 16

Riding for the Disabled is today's charity.    Many years ago, I had a friend who was horse mad, and who volunteered for Riding for the Disabled.  She would accompany the novice riders, helping to ensure that they were safe.  She spoke of the joy, contentment, excitement and exhilaration on the children's faces as they realised that they were able to control these huge beasts.  Suddenly their closed worlds exploded and possibilities presented themselves.  

RDA is a charity that expands the world of people with disabilities.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Thirty Days of Giving - Day 15

Day 15

Crossroads Care is an organisation that seeks to help carers.  So often the needs of carers are overlooked and they can become isolate and exhausted.  Crossroads Care provides more than 50,000 hours of respite care to people on the island, as well as providing other support and advice.

The charity has a number of charity shops. These have some very useful functions including providing low cost clothing and goods, to recycling items no longer wanted/needed by their owners, and providing much needed funds for the charity.

Thirty Days of Giving - Day 14

Day 14

Today's charity is the Manx Diabetic Group.   Their aim is to "press for the right of all diabetics in the Isle of Man to receive the best possible care necessary to help them maintain good control of their condition and to be able to live a fulfilling life."