Friday, 20 March 2009


10 policemen beat 2 handcuffed students on the pavement, in Nicosia, Cyprus. Click here to see the video (Politis newspaper). Yesterday these thugs were found innocent by a Cypriot court. The court did not accept the video, filmed by a local resident, as valid evidence. Once more the rights of citizens are brutally violated. May I remind you of the Menezes case? Nobody went to jail. Nobody was given the sack. And let's not forget Carlo Giuliani (video contains blood & violence), shot by police in Genova in the riots against the G(reedy)8 in 2001, or the shooting of 15-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Athens in December 2008. Or, for that matter, the thousands of others not mentioned here, but whose cases are no less important. Overzealous police are still among us, ready to defy more than 60 years of Human Rights, trigger-happy and proud.

Police are there to 'serve and protect' citizens. Indeed, time and again we see that it is these very citizens who suffer from surveillance, intrusion, torture and death. And we're not talking about Zimbabwe anymore-this is the so-called civilised Europe, the same Europe that assumes the patronising role of 'protecting' the Zimbabwes of the world. Nonsense. Hypocrisy. Give a man a badge and a gun and they will abuse their power to satisfy whatever darkness lies in the depths of their soul.

Wake up. WAKE UP!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Mediterranean Lamb

1 lamb shoulder, cut into large pieces
2-3 onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1kg of ripe tomatoes, chopped (or 2 cans of tomato)
Red wine (dry)
Ground cinnamon
Fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

In a large, deep frying pan with a lid (or a saucepan) sautee the lamb in olive oil until it turns golden brown. Add the onions and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of your ingredients (except the parsley) and stir. Add a bit of water, until all is covered and bring to the boil. Turn the fire down low and allow the food to simmer gently with the lid on for 1 1/2 -2 hours. When the lamb is really tender it's ready. Add the fresh parsley, mix and serve with rice or bulgur wheat and natural set yoghurt. The rest of the sauce can be used as a pasta sauce, lovely!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Samoobsluga-Universes of Me

It stands for 'do it yourself' in Polish.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Risotto with Butternut Squash

A lovely recipe plagiarised from my friend Federica (who is from Romanziol, near San Doná di Piave).

Ingredients (serves 2-3 hungry people)
1 medium-sized butternut squash (peeled, cleaned from seeds and diced)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 cups (or glasses) of arborio rice or pudding rice*
Vegetable stock (roughly double the quantity of the rice)
Olive oil
A splash of white wine
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

*It may be anathema to my Italian friends, but I have been using pudding rice instead. This is for two reasons: firstly, it's a nice, thick grain rice and does a similar job. Secondly, it's infinitely cheaper and you can get it anywhere in the UK. Arborio is a bit of a middle class thing, therefore expensive, right up Nigella's alley.

Put the diced squash in a saucepan with boiling water and boil for about 30 minutes or until nicely cooked. Drain and put aside. In the meantime...

Lightly fry the garlic and onions in the olive oil until beautifully translucent (or cooked as I like to call it). Add a bit of white wine and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and give it a stir for a few seconds until it's nicely coated with the juices. Add the stock until the rice is covered, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer. Add your seasoning and keep an eye on it. When it's beginning to absorb most of the stock, check if it's sufficiently cooked. If not, add more stock until you're happy with the rice. When you think it's cooked, take it off the fire and cover it for 5 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb all the juice. Add the squash and parsley and serve it topped with parmesan cheese. If you want, you can serve it with natural set yoghurt instead, turning it from a risotto to a Turkish pilaf. Enjoy!