Friday, 19 December 2008

Vegetarian Mince Pies

We served mince-pies at last Sunday's kirtan and a couple of people asked for the mince-meat recipe, not having realised that most mince-pies are not vegetarian (they contain suet). So, it being the season, here it is. (It's very easy!):

350 g (3/4 lb) fairly sharp eating apples - peeled and finely chopped

25 g (1 oz) 1 tbls candied peel

2 tbls (50 g) 2 oz almonds - skinned, blanched and cut into fine slivers

125 g (1/4 lb) 2/3 cup green (seedless) grapes - halved

225 g (1/2 lb) 1 1/2 cups raisins

225 g (1/2 lb) 1 1/2 cups currants

125 g (1/4 lb) sultanas

grated rind and juice 1 lemon

2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon

2.5 ml (1/4 tsp) cloves

little freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup (125 g) 1/4 lb Barbados brown sugar

2 tbsp (25 g) 1 oz butter

120 ml (8 tbls) 1/2 cup red grape juice

Method: Place apples, sugar and butter in a pot and cook, stirring, until apples are soft. Combine with all the other ingredients and leave to stand for a day or several hours.

Monday, 15 December 2008

The battle within

This is not a reflection of what happens at our kirtan sessions... but thought you might enjoy this one:

...or is this what happens in our hearts when we chant? :)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

December Kirtan This Sunday.

Our good friend Ranchor Prime will be leading the chanting this month, for a heart-warming winter kirtan.

Ranchor has many years experience as a leader of kirtans - beginning as a choirboy at Westminster cathedral. He is the author of several books on spiritual life and Vedic texts, including his telling of the epic Ramayana, which he wrote in conjunction with a Channel Four series.

He is also an adviser on religion and conservation to the Worldwide Fund for Nature in Britain and India and responsible for organising the planting of hundreds of trees in the pilgrim town of Vrindavana.

Ranchor's kirtans are meditative and melodious - so come, if you can, and join the throng for resounding this!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Christian Kirtan...

Slightly old news by now - but befitting the Christmas season - is this CD brought out in May, by monks at an ancient monastery in the Vienna Woods. They sing Gregorian chant every day as part of their devotions and were 'discovered' by a recording company, when they posted a video of themselves on YouTube.

They say: "The chant opens our hearts. We hope it purifies our souls and helps us regain clarity, light, strength and peace. Where there is chaos, we hope to restore order. Where there is emptiness we find meaning, and where there is sadness, joy can return."

Here's a sample of their singing: Chant