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Category Archives: Consumables

Eating Veg: Day 1

I’m wary that what began as a website designed to effect the radical transformation of society is fast becoming something more akin to a Delia Smith spin-off, but nonetheless… After a five hour train ride from Germany, I forced myself to go to the supermarket and buy the ingredients for this gooey, less-than-aesthetically pleasing veggie delight:


Not even sure what you’d call it (mixture of onion, carrot, courgette, chickpeas, tomatoes and rice…plus gone-off wine). But it was done in 30 mins flat and tasted somewhere between average and just a tiny bit above average, so ’nuff sed’ really. Saturday is organic market day so all being well I’ll be grilling the local farmers on their standards of animal welfare.

Now I’ll get back to more traditional politics for a while…till next time, Delia.



What’s in season: end of Jan/ Feb (and a recipe for emancipatory apple and pear pie)



This is a link I found for England, but I think most of central Europe will be similar.


beetroot*, brussels sprouts*, carrots, cauliflower*, celeriac*, celery, chicory*, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke*, kale*, kohlrabi, leeks*, onions, parsnips*, potatoes (maincrop)*, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, rhubarb*, rocket, salsify*, shallots*, spinach, swede*, turnips


apples, blood oranges*[i], clementines*[i], kiwi fruit*[i], lemons*[i], oranges*[i], passion fruit*[i], pears, pineapple*[i], pomegranate*[i], satsumas*[i], tangerines[i]


chives, coriander, mushrooms (cultivated), parsley (curly), truffles (black)*[i], walnuts*[i]


Recipe for Pear and Apple pie:
Melt 250g of butter in a fryingpan.

Add sugar to taste (but quite a bit)

Cut all fruit into a large chunks.

Add to to mixture and leave for a while (40m maybe), stirring in between the chapters of whatever book you’re reading.

Add cinnamon, muscadet and a touch of lemon juice.

You can add more butter/sugar if you want and if it gets too thin then add flour to thicken it back up.

Take mixture of heat and leave to cool a little, during which time you can preheat over to gas mark 5 or 6.

Grease pan, add pastry base (for how to make pastry I’ll comment on this later).

I made a lattice for the top (pictures to follow).
Oven it until the top is brown then cover with tinfoil and leave for  40m.  Leave to cool and serve.

I’m eating a slice now and it’s like sugary heaven (which for me is a bit like hell as I’m quite sensitive to sugar, but sod it).

Metal water bottle: if you haven’t got one, it is now time.

Only the coolest way to drink water around.  Seriously, stops you having to ‘buy another bottle of water’ because your current one is too beat-up.  Tap water it up…


Factory farming

I imagine that out of most people contributing to or visiting this site, I’m the least motivated when it comes to actually engaging in small, day-to-day ethical activities: things like recycling, buying second-hand or Fairtrade clothes, buying local food produce etc. Since a lot of what The Night Shift is about is precisely these small acts, I’ve decided to make an effort to get stuck in. But I shall need the help and support of fellow Night Shifters (in return for which I can offer some startlingly original interpretations of Proust, plus a fine line in Frankie Boyle jokes).

Inspired by many discussions with friends over recent months, plus these two extracts (link in each word) from Jonathan Safran Foer’s book, Eating Animals, I’d like to try, if not to become an out and out vegetarian, then at least massively to reduce the quantity of meat I eat on a daily basis, and to make sure that the meat I do eat is sourced locally and produced in animal-friendly conditions. (I should point out that writing that last sentence already inspires in me a wave of antipathetic lethargy just at the thought of how much effort finding those ‘local sources’ will take – I live in Amsterdam and don’t speak Dutch).

So, how can you help me? Well, I have a few questions to which those in the know could respond:

  1. If you live in Amsterdam, where can I get my ethically righteous meat?!
  2. I stress a lot about not eating sufficient quantities of whatever it is that one is supposed to eat to stay vaguely healthy. In this case, what should I eat to replace the proteins I’d be missing from the meat?
  3. I’m not a good cook at all (I’m more your chips and beans sort of guy): do you have any very simple vegetarian recipes you could suggest?

I’ll keep you updated with my progress and inevitable lapses…

Dan Hartley

Food: bread

(My first loaf)

Food: bread:

I thought I’d start with a staple – Bread. I live in France, so I have good bread on every corner and it comes from the locals, but for all of you in England (and I guess elsewhere), this is a luxury you don’t have access to.  A big part of cooking and baking, besides an oven, is taking time. Hammam was discussing this in his comments, and I feel that taking time to bake (like taking time to read a poem), is a nugget of ‘action’/’praxis’.

Bread recipes are super easy to come by and I’ve inculded a recipe at the bottom for good measure.

Anyway, I won’t rant – it’s just bread.


RECIPE FOR – “Dee’s Health Bread”



  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 7 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1/4 cup cracked wheat
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. In a large bowl, mix remaining 3 1/2 cups warm water, honey, molasses, oil, eggs and lemon juice. Mix well. Add yeast mixture and stir.
  2. Gradually add 5 cups whole wheat flour beating well after each addition. Add the flax, cracked wheat and sunflower seeds, stir well.
  3. Let stand for 20 minutes, until mixture is very light. Stir in salt and the rest of the flours until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Knead 10 to 15 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Put into a greased bowl and cover, let rise in the oven with light on until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Punch down and shape into 6 round balls. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Form into loaves and let rise covered in oven until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) 25-35 minutes.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 97 | Total Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 6mg

Nutritional Information
Dee’s Health Bread

Servings Per Recipe: 72

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 97

  • Total Fat: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg
  • Sodium: 133mg
  • Total Carbs: 16.7g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3.1g

Powered by: ESHA Nutrient Database


This is an introductory blog concerning the consumables in our life.


I intend this to be the start of a discussion on our many daily consumables, both of the edible and non-edible variety. There’s lots of things to be included here – the article from a local farmer outside Paris should be one.  This needs to have a place for recipes, the veggie/vegan/bio discussion, buying high-street/buying second hand ad infinitum.  I (we) want to appeal to a range of people, not to exclude.  To do this, we have to be wary of the pitfalls inherent in many of these issues (nobody likes a ‘hippie’, it seems), and yet articulate the problems of the current structure of consumer capitalism with both aggresive critical accuracy and grace.  Recipe for cheesecake?  Where to buy decent, cheap and second hand clothing?  What things to avoid if turning Veggie?…etc.

As for my (personal) ‘manifesto’, it is simple and obvious: buy as much as you can from local, independent producers and distributors.  Buy second hand.  Reduce, Re-use, Repair, Recycle.   Be aware that almost all meat/eggs/dairy you can purchase comes from factory farming, unless stated otherwise.  (I will include a few links at the bottom to various articles on these issues).  I appreciate that consuming fair-trade is only akin to a ‘band-aid’ on standard (implicitly ‘un-fair’) trade and that consuming in this manner should not allow me to become comfortable or lax in my critical faculties (the very critical faculties that stopped me drinking at Starbucks when I was younger – though now they have gone fairtrade perhaps someone wants to defend them – though it won’t be me).

If it is all so obvious, then, why bother mentioning it? For I’m sure lots of people have similar manifestos, but the point being that it is not in any way easy.  It’s very hard, and my family and acquaintances often jibe at me even when I try to stick by my rules (and often fail).  I count myself pretty good on most accounts, and can become quite militant too (as a humorous aside: an ex and I broke up when, as the culmination of various issues, she didn’t like my cynicism regarding her recent job proposal – from the Disney channel Spain), but if we share and learn from one another then this is an area in which theory can very easily be made practice.  Perhaps – for those of us who, occasionally or often, bow under the pressure of social injunctions to consume in a certain manner – the ‘consumables’ category, can help us stick to our own rules and come up with more.