Monthly Archives: April 2019

Queen Bean Burger

Bean Burger Queen

Tasty, home-cooked versions of a classic treat

When my son was young, holiday food was a bit hit and miss for us as vegetarians, but we did develop a bit of a ritual of going to motorway service stations for a Burger King Spicy Bean Burger. Things have changed a lot since then, but although there are many more options on sale both in restaurants and in supermarkets, I often still struggle with plastic packaging. Making your own veggie burgers requires a bit of planning, but if you have a freezer, you can make a batch that will last a while.

From the Garden!

This week, Iโ€™m using some onions and spinach that Iโ€™ve brought in from the garden, along with carrots, peppers, garlic and of course, beans! As well as red beans, I’ve added some broad beans, again from my garden. They’re my absolute favourites, and so delicious when fresh that I’m only using a few as a nod to seasonality. If you have loads to spare, feel free to use more.

Broad Bean Harvest
Broad Bean Harvest

To be clear about planning, this process started a couple of days ago, when I soaked some red beans overnight. The next day, I let them simmer along happily while I cooked dinner, then today I made time to process them and make patties. If youโ€™d like to give it a go, hereโ€™s the recipe. I’m secretly hoping my son will try it out too, ‘cos he does love a spicy bean burger!

Dried Chilies
Dried Chilies

ps. During this last stage, I had listened to a beautiful talk by meditation teacher Jess Huon, but it might just as easily have been a radio play or podcast. You might even try one of my own Meditista podcasts! Happy burger-making ๐Ÿ™‚

Queen Bean Burgers

1/2 kilo of dried red beans
To prepare, soak for at least 12 hours, bring to the boil and then simmer until soft

A cup of fresh or frozen broad beans, lightly boiled or steamed

Then

Lightly fry
2 medium onions, diced
Garlic, chopped
Red/ green/ yellow pepper, diced
A cup of finely-ground oats
Salt, black pepper and chili to taste

Add fried vegetables to broad beans and red beans in a food processor or big bowl and mash until mixture is soft and pliable. Add oats until mixture is dry enough to handle.

Use a little more of the oat flour to dust a chopping board. Take evenly-sized spoonfuls of mixture and roll in oat flour to make burger shapes.

To cook, shallow-fry in oil of your choosing.
To freeze, wrap in paper or foil and lay carefully flat in the freezer

Enjoy!

 

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Singing Bowl

An Oestre Ritual

Leaving my house, I feel the breeze whip my hair across my face. In the treetops, a gusty wind plays, spinning leaves through the air like dangerous thoughts. What on earth did we invite, when we said we would do a ritual for grief?

I’ve been feeling out of sorts all day. Activated. Unable to focus. As though something is stirring in my deep self. When I finally get to speak to Cheryl, my co-host, she says she has been thinking of cancelling, so great is her own sense of disturbance. But as well as being a little scary, it is exciting. What’s the worst that could happen? That we might feel sad? Shed a few tears? And what is the best thing that could happen? Some form of liberation? We choose liberation over comfort.

Creating a Space

Over Cheryl’s garden, the sky hovers gray and foreboding. We consider gathering our circle inside and begin to move the chairs around, but I am drawn back to the trees. To the green grass and the billowing clouds. Nature is a part of this show and will not be excluded.

We set blankets on the cool ground and our centrepiece statue in place. Recently acquired, it is a sculpture of people standing together, holding each other in circle. Flat hands against each other bodies, they touch the heart chakra where it opens in the back of the body. It will be our emblem for this evening.

Statue circle of friends
Statue circle of friends

As women arrive, I find myself making my singing bowl sound a long, mournful note. Mentally, I am calling in the ancestors. Calling in the spirits of this place. Calling in all those who need to witness this happening. They float in silently, taking their seat in the circle.

Gathering with Intention

The details of this ritual ceremony are unimportant. We made them up, suiting them to our purpose. For we are orphans of spiritual practice. We have grown up in traditions depleted of meaning and have sought out significance in different places, different religions, in cultures other than our own. No matter. Our intention is to gather in service of our own inner path. To give voice to that which needs to speak. To listen faithfully to what is said. These intentions are what guides hand and heart.

At the end of the evening, we stand for a moment, mirroring the statue, holding each other in a sacred circle of trust and care, before heading inside to drink hot tea and eat cake. In this way, we follow the path of witches and shamans as they ground the energies of their practice and feed life, but really, don’t all good gatherings end with food and drink? The wisdoms we seek are grown within human bodies and cannot be known outside of our embodiment. About this simple fact, the Buddha was clear, but we are not only Buddhist, not only pagan. Following the Christian tradition of Maundy Thursday, we make an offering to charitable causes and I feel a profound awareness of the cycle of giving and receiving. Without opening to give, we remain closed to possibilities of receiving.

In bed that night, I feel my heart settle into a peacefulness that comes from knowing I have been met well. I have connected. With my own deep self, with my friends on this inner path and with Mother Nature herself. The wind has dropped. The trees are still. I sleep the sleep of the blessed.

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