Last night the Strangers' Circle met up at Elena's and Alan's in Keswick for our May meeting. We were celebrating two birthdays (Elena's and mine) and a wedding anniversary (William's and Naomi's), and we were also divvying up our first food order as a co-op, which Tully had collected earlier in the day.
The food was awesome. Elena's Indian-style tomato and lentil soup with tamarind and cassia bark silenced us all, and we're not a quiet company! There was freshly baked bread, just-picked asparagus, Naomi and William's pasta bake, Tully and Angie's spinach roulade, fluffy baked potatoes and Alan's homemade cider (pure nectar). All delicious. There was more to come, but first to work.
With quick and nimble fingers, Charlotte, Elena, Tully and Naomi set about weighing rice, chick peas and lentils and packing them in old margarine tubs and used plastic bags. Dusk was falling and I darted about with the camera, trying to keep things focused and not use the flash, with varying degrees of success. I tripped up and splashed licorice tea over Elena's cushions and some of Naomi's order, which they were both extremely nonchalant about. William did the washing up, Alan checked the football results for Naomi on the internet, Tully checked the figures on the order, Charlotte and Elena poured and packed. And it was all done in about half an hour.
Back in the kitchen Charlotte raised a toast with the champagne Naomi had brought and we sang a version of Happy Birthday, which we altered on spec to include wedding anniversaries. And we ate the stunning chocolate birthday/anniversary cake Charlotte had baked all with organic ingredients, creme Chantilly and last year's blackcurrants, and decorated with local strawberries and the edible wild and garden flowers of the spring. On the top we put tiny beeswax candles with holders Angie had made on the spot out of tin foil. It was lovely. We decided to host a Transition Circles Midsummer picnic on 21st June at Mangreen in celebration of our low-carbon year in TN2. There'll be a carbon cutting quiz and Naomi will be Quizmaster! Everyone is welcome.
We also decided to look at Resilience in our next six meetings (beginning with a discussion about this key transition concept) and Tully spoke about the feasta report in respect to current non-resilient systems. Then Charlotte briefly mapped out a joint project for our low-carbon cookbook... because we couldn't stay off the topic of food for too long!
Pics: The Strangers' Circle celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and co-operative food buying; A Transition Wholefood Circle of organic rice, chick peas, lentils, peas, gluten free pasta, ring of fire chillies and a bay leaf, by Charlotte