Blog Archives

‘Our Daily Bread’

This programme has been on Radio 4 all week. I only caught episode 3, but it was worth it for this introduction which I have transcribed. I thought it was beautiful. If this is it, then life is far more simple than we like to make it.

When you are holding bread… you are holding the cosmos in your hands.

Bread is a microcosm of the macrocosm.

In the bread, is the sun; if there is no sun, there is no bread. In the bread is the moon. In the bread is the rain. In the bread is the soil. In the bread is the farmer. In the bread is the baker. In the bread is the eater. In the bread are all the elements because the bread is made, only, by all the elements put together. So, when you make the bread, bread makes you.

This complete non-duality and complete wholeness of life is represented by bread. Therefore, in Buddhist tradition, also in Hindu and Jain tradition, annam (food), which is bread, is very holy, very sacred, very precious; and through bread you can find your salvation, your nirvana, and your moksha.

Satish Kumar, Editor, Resurgence Magazine and former Jain monk.

Monday Morning Moorish Recipe

I tried to shoo Monday out the front door but, as usual, it was having none of it.   So I am left with the task of sharing a Monday morningish recipe from a collection by John the 4th Marquis of Bute, published in the mid 50s. 

Khubz al Jarade / Locust Bread

The best way to catch locusts is to repair to the nearest wall, the higher the better.  Here, if the season be propitious, numbers of these insects will be found flying with such force against the wall that many will fall senseless to the ground.

Of those that fall, pick up the females – they are easily distinguished from the males in being somewhat larger and rather lighter in colour.  Pull off the head as the head is pulled off a shrimp.  The squeeze the body and there will exude the eggs, like dark and diminutive caviare, to the amount of nearly a teaspoonful from each animal (I think he means insect).  When half a kilo of this spawn has been obtained (how many teaspoons would you say that is???) in a small basin, mix with half a kilo of flour and bake into small loaves.  (I am a bit concerned about the Marquis of Bute’s bakery skills now.)

Those who wish to enjoy this dish should be careful not to let an opportunity pass, as these little beasts make their visitation to the North of Morocco, at least, every nine years only.  The last swarm occured in Tangier in A.D. 1947 (th year of the Hegria, 1367).

So now you know.  And if you are short on swarming locusts  perhaps you could improvise with flying ants or something…