Monday, January 24, 2011

Orange Chicken Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

Today, you don’t get a rant, or an inspiring thought, or even a poem (not that I’ve blogged a poem yet). No, today, you lucky people get a recipe! This is a recipe I dreamt up while wandering around Morrisons (other supermarkets are available, but choice is limited in Aber). I’ve cooked it twice now, and am happy with it. It's quite filling, but good and fairly quick.

Ingredients (for two people)

Chicken (I can’t remember the weight) -I used a bag or pre-cooked chicken strips, but you could used chicken breast sliced into thin strips)

2 Oranges

2 table spoons of margerine

2 large Yorkshire Puddings (The ones I used were about 20cm across – Morrisons frozen)

60g Mozzarella

Rocket leaves


Pre-heat the oven to about 200oC (Gas Mark 6)

Zest and juice the oranges and put it into a saucepan with the marg, melt it and stir.

Put the chicken strips into a oven proof dish and pour the orange-marg mixture evenly over the top so that it is all covered. (If cooking the chicken from raw, it might be worth part cooking it first.)

Place the Yorkshire puddings on a baking tray, then put these and the orange covered chicken in the oven for about 7-10 mins (until the puds are crispy and the chicken is fully cooked).

While that is cooking, dice the mozzarella.

When cooked, place the Yorkshires on a plate, put the chicken in them with the mozzarella and rocket on top. Then drizzle the orange-marg over the top and serve.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Thoughts On Christian Unity

This week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and I am going to be slightly controversial (or at least buck a trend). Let me start off my saying that I thing the different churches should work closely together, as a divided church is not only a hindrance in how the contemporary church is seen but is also against the teaching of the Bible. But I think that having different denominations has its advantages.

Last night I was at the United Service for Churches in Aber, and the message was obviously one of unity. But then I came home and read the news and saw an article on the ‘defection’ of three top Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church. ( This cause of this move is the age old issue of the place of women in the Church. (I’m going to be very careful how I phrase the rest of this, as I don’t want to offend feminist/Anglicans/Catholics or be seen as sexist.) This is a major issue in the Anglican Church at the moment, and one that won’t be answered soon. And while I believe that women have the as much right to deliver God’s word as men, and have a number of female friends who preach (including my girlfriend), I can understand that there are some people to which it is a massive issue. An argument I have heard is that due to 1 Corinthians 14v34 (Women[f] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, (NIV)) some people may feel that a female preacher would be a stumbling block in their faith. There is a lot I could say on this argument, but that’s not the point of this post. However, it does raise a point about different denominations.

If you have this ‘stumbling block’, then there is an option for you, namely the Roman Catholic Church (and I’m sure there are others). If however, you feel that you get the most from women preachers, then you have the option of other denominations. I guess what I’m saying is that denominations offer different places for different people, and help to make God’s word available to anyone and everyone. Whether it be women preachers, the importance of saints, the types of prayers said, there is a church out there for everyone.

So to sum up a bit… The Church should be working in unity, and denominational spats are very disruptive. But I would be sad to see a single Church, as we would lose a lot of choice and could dangerously limit who is attracted to the church.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Terror Threat Alerts

Welcome to 2011! Sorry there have been no posts recently, what with Christmas, all the travelling I have been doing, and a lack of things to rant about. But I have something today. Terrorism, and societies response to it.

So today the Terror Threat Level at transport hubs (i.e. Airports and London main train stations) has be raised to ‘Severe’ (meaning ‘an attack is highly likely’). What has caused this raise? Rumours of an al-Qaeda plot? A threat from Irish Republicans? Nope! Apparently nothing. According to BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera "Officials are stressing that there is no intelligence of an imminent attack. This is more precautionary than anything else.” (

So there is not greater threat than there has been, yet suddenly the treat of an attack is ‘Severe’ rather than ‘Substantial’. Why is this? I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, because I’m not. But either the security services are keeping something from the public, or there is another motivation. If the former is true, then why publically raise the threat warning? In the pass the Government/Met/Security Service has told the public of a threat. So I’ll assume that it’s the latter. What is the other motivation? Well, another story in the news the past couple of days may provide the answer.

Control orders are back in the news, and are being overhauled. Some want them scrapped, others want them kept. But what is a good way of getting the public on side to support anti-terror measures? How about make them a little bit more scared that there might be an attack. Then the measures can be marketed as a way of preventing further attacks (which they have no intelligence on anyway).

And this leads onto a secondary rant about counter-terrorism and security practices. With this increase in the Threat Level, a guy on BBC News talked about how he travelled through an airport today and was searched, as was his luggage. Even when the level was lower, we had a lot of searches, pat downs, x-rays etc at airports to prevent an attack. And at train stations… nothing. Al-Qaeda’s record of big attacks in the West, 9/11 – airplane, Madrid Bombings – train, 7/7 – train. So they last terror attack in Britain was train based. So why is there absolutely not security at train stations (other than the lack of bins). The answer is simple. It would be too difficult, and you affect too many people. Imagine the queues if every commuter in London had to go through an x-ray scanner, and put his bag through too. People wouldn’t stand for it. It would be too much of an inconvenience, and people would start pushing against it. It just shows that the true response to terrorism is tokenistic, to make it look as if something is being done.

If the threat was that real, and that urgent, then protection would be greater. So, is the threat really that bad, or is it just a mix of political and press scaremongering?