International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action - whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women's Day has been occurring for well over a century - and continues to grow from strength to strength. It was such a pleasurable experience to be part of such exciting events over the course of celebrations marking this special occasion. Special thanks to Barbara Shelton, Project Manager of United Partnership Group, Melanie Knox, Head of Community Partnership, Hammersmith United Charities and Jacqueline Boyce, Centre Manager at Edward Woods Community Centre, as I had the pleasure of adding value by means of providing organic food, juices and natural body products.
On the morning of the 7th March, Edward Woods Community Centre held a day of workshops for women to engage in activities whilst I cooked up a storm making crepes adding delicious toppings for everyone to indulge in. Once the ladies joined me in the dining area to enjoy social engagement I was honoured to be offered cultural food the ladies had brought along and especially loved the flavour of Nunor Bora a popular morning/afternoon snack in Bangladesh, Nunor Bora are commonly served on the day of Eid (Muslim celebration and is a recipe passed down from families.
Here is the traditional simple and delicious recipe for Nanor Gora you can enjoy too! (I will be trying out this recipe using alkaline ingredients; if successful will post this in ‘recipes’ J nonetheless a delicious snack!!).
1 ½ Cups Ground Rice
1 ½ Cups Rice Flour
2 ½ tbsp Ginger Paste
1 Medium Onion Blended
Salt to Taste
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Vegetable Oil
2 Cups Boiled Water
1. In a large pan, over a high heat add your boiled water, ginger paste, blended onion, turmeric powder, vegetable oil and salt, wait for it to start bubbling and the onion to become translucent
2. At this point you want to add both rice flour and ground rice to the boiling mix, when the flour mix begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low and give everything a good mix with a wooden spoon
3. Once your mix resembles something like large breadcrumbs, put the lid on and leave for 10-15 minutes on a low heat
4. Transfer the mix to a large bowl and let it cool for 5-10 minutes if you feel the mix is too hot to handle
5. By hand start to mix until it forms a firm dough ball
6. Using a rolling pin roll the dough to a thickness of 3-4mm and using a small cookie cutter, cut your shapes out
7. Bring the off cuts to a ball again, roll out and repeat the process until you have no dough left.
8. Deep fry over a high heat and wait for the Nunor Bora to rise to the top and puff up, allowing it to develop some colour, remove from the oil pan and let it drain on kitchen paper towels.
Edward Woods Community Centre is a hub of social engagement for local residents and a venue I often hire to run cooking workshops and recently making natural body products and remedies. The ladies expressed particular interest in the cooking workshops and were keen for me to organise a new programme they could take part in during school hours. Pleased with their enthusiasm, this is something I shall run again considering another of my programmes of ‘organic on a budget’. It was a pleasant afternoon of laughter, social engagement and sharing my knowledge of remedies, and answering questions on general health issues.
The following day was full of excitement precise preparation for two events held at Charecroft Hall in the morning and Askew Road Church later that afternoon. I started the day welcoming our local resident ladies with a choice of organic juices, my morning breakfast tonic was a popular choice people enjoyed most!
Here is the recipe for a great pick me up in the morning.
Makes one tall glass.
1 knob of ginger
3 small apples
1 sprig of fresh mint
Juice all ingredients together and enjoy.
What great feedback on this juice! One lady remarked it tasted so good and made her feel alert, that she could ditch the coffee for this juice in the mornings.
Once everyone arrived at Charecroft Hall and was settled Barbara opened the event based on the theme ‘Breaking Bread’ where each person brought along bread representing their country of origin. It was amazing to see taste and smell some of the many textures and varieties including, Eritrean, Jewish and South American among others that were heartily enjoyed by all with oils, spreads and dips.
There was fresh fruit in abundance and Ethiopian coffee that smelled delightful, I broke my coffee fast for just a taste and thoroughly enjoyed it. Gathered around a large table setting there was an intimate atmosphere and we each in turn introduced ourselves and told our stories, I think this for me was the pinnacle point of my day, hearing these wonderful stories from women from all cultures and walks of life was heart-warming and thought inspiring.
This community gathering attracted at least 11 nationalities made up of Kurdish, Canadian, Eritrean, Caribbean, Ethiopian, British, Chilean, Ukrainian, Venezuelan, Colombian, Brazilian and American, a wonderful mix of cultures gathered together, each of their own unique qualities. A thoroughly good time was had by all and we ended the morning event on promises to engage again in the near future. I left feeling this event had achieved what it set out to do, which was to capture the real essence of community engagement.
The afternoon event at Askew Church was pretty awesome having met more awe inspiring characters and being introduced to the Mayor of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham Councillor Mercy Umeh who took much interest in the works of Carol’s organic Kitchen.
A talented creative young woman known as Ella Golt aka ‘Ella The Great’ was also inspiring and of warm character, I was particularly intrigued by her artistic talents as a Circus Party Event Clown ‘Ella The Great’ artist Performer. Stilt walker extraordinaire & elegant Unicyclist. I had read an introduction of her work on Hammersmith United Charities’ Facebook page and was so delighted to meet her in person. Much was going on in terms of workshops with inspirational speakers, how to start up your own enterprise, poetry and more.
I hosted a table offering sample testers of my natural body creams and handmade infused oils, attracting the interest of many who visited, commenting on the aromas wafting from my table and they chatted excitedly at the prospect of me re-running my holistic product making workshop having, sampled each item and listening intently about the benefits of all the natural ingredients that went into making the products from my garden such as eucalyptus, rosehip and rosemary.
Budding chef, Glenda Collu, kindly assisted in making my delicious crepe recipe using 100% organic ingredients consisting of spelt flour with various toppings to choose from. There was a good variety of activities and stalls hosted by various organisations and something for all with food, hand pressed juices and a variety of freshly replenished refreshments provided and a resident DJ! Good social engagement and added value made this an event that was enjoyed by all.