HARVEST TIME

It’s harvest time in the northern hemisphere. Compared to last year my own small garden is much more abundant. From a patch of weed infested ornamental gravel to an experimental vegetable plot there is sufficient evidence that next year could be even more fruitful.

The first borsch of the autumn/winter season included red beet and carrots from the garden. This was the first thing I ate in Ukraine on my initial visit in November 2000. Just a few months later I was making this classic dish myself. There are literally millions of Ukrainians and Russians that during winter eat borsch almost everyday. At that time of year this healthy soup is a great thing to always have just ready to heat. Now so confident that I have perfected the recipe, I will share it with you.

These days I’m lucky to have a large Aga frying pan which is ideal for making most dishes. If you don’t have something similar best to use your largest saucepan. There are so many different opinions how to make borsch. My first teacher recommended chopping then boiling the main ingredients and included potato among these. Depending on how you want to cook the red beet it is sometimes preferable to start by boiling this. You can grate the beet raw but it’s hard work and you don’t have a nice pan full of beet juice to add to the cooked veg later. I now tend to start by boiling the beet in a small pan. While this is happening, you can do all the rest of the preparation.

Next job is to grate carrot and fry this on butter in the main pan. Butter is my frying preference in the UK. It’s the cleanest and most natural substance available. In Ukraine and Russia, they tend to use the ubiquitous sunflower oil.  I have often used olive oil or butter ghee. The choice is yours.

Usually, I go with 3 average size beets and 2 large carrots. For today’s borsch I used a whole small cabbage. This was quartered to easily remove the solid core, then thinly sliced and chopped before adding to the already simmering grated carrot. Once the beet is soft, not super boiled, it can be easily grated and added to the carrot and cabbage and continues to simmer. If you do notice the mash starting to stick add a little of the retained beet juice.

A few years ago I made the mistake or what I thought was the mistake of not buying potato for the borsch. I made it without and thought it was much better. I then suspected that this is the correct way all along. That borsch is fundamentally a trinity.

Now in a separate frying pan, fry a large onion, large red pepper and 3-5 cloves of garlic. Once these are soft you can add 150g of tomato concentrate, passata, chunks or if you really want a special borsch grate 2 or 3 large tomatoes.  

Once this mixture is simmering nicely add it to the still cooking carrot, cabbage, beet mixture. At this stage you can now add the remaining beet juice and some water taking care to ensure you maintain the proportion of juice to veg that you prefer. It’s easy to add, difficult to remove. If you have kiddies, they almost always prefer the juice. This can now be left to simmer for up to an hour. By this stage you should have added salt and pepper as required.

There also seems to be a general consensus that, if possible, you make the borsch a day before you want to serve it. I have noticed the same thing with curry, make it the day before you eat it.

There are a few serving suggestions but none more important than smetana. Smetana is sour cream in Russian language. War has almost started and great friendships have been strained almost to breaking point by the failure of someone to buy smetana. Borsch without smetana has become almost unthinkable although I’m sure in the past many people never knew borsch with smetana.

Russians and Ukrainians have a reputation for being able to consume a substantial amount of vodka without showing much visible effect, something in the genes it has been suggested. One former acquaintance only drinks vodka with borsch. There is no doubt they compliment each other. Remember to keep your vodka in the deep freeze. Vodka can never be too cold.

Raw garlic with bread is another essential. In Ukrainian cafes they often serve pampushkas which are little baked dough balls soaked in garlic oil. Lovely Ukrainian recipe here.   

In Ukraine salo is almost legendary. This is pure white pork fat. Most people simply eat it raw. It can be salted for preservation. An alternative is to mince the salo with garlic which creates a butter like substance to spread on bread that is incredibly tasty.

Last but not least a sprinkling of fresh dill, dried if it’s all you have.

Davai, let the party begin…….   

Serious stuff now…….      

On September 12th Dr Douglas Gabriel of American Intelligence Media published an article entitled ‘Rudolf Steiner on the question of vaccinations’. Steiner it seems had a fairly good idea of what was coming when he wrote about public health in the years before WW1. He speculated that in the future there would be pressure to accept a medication that would destroy any possibility for mankind to awaken consciousness. There is a link to the article here.

A few days ago, while writing the article ‘St Andrews and beyond’ I was saddened to see a claim on the University of St Andrews website that allegedly 97% of the students there had succumbed to participate in the current worldwide pharmaceutical experiment. Miles Mathis wrote a piece back in April on this subject entitled ‘Boycott the Universities’. Read the article here.   

Of course, the great tragedy in all of this as ex KGB operative, Yuri Bezmenov described here, once the subversion is complete you can present the most conclusive evidence to the majority and they will not believe it.

Most of us are familiar with the idea that the Rothschild family are among the wealthiest on the planet and that they exercise tremendous influence in world affairs. Less is known about their origin. In ‘Who are the Rothschilds?’, Miles Mathis comes up with some surprising results here.

Last but certainly not least is an introduction to Geert Vanden Bossche a man whose entire career has revolved around research and development of vaccines including a period of time working with the Gates Foundation. During this year he has become one of the most qualified and vociferous critics of the so-called Covid vaccination programme. Visit his website here.

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