We’re looking for writers

Sun dipping over Cauldhshiels Loch

Cauldshiels Loch, Jim Gordon

The very lovely photographer Jim Gordon made me an offer I couldn’t refuse a few weeks back.  The offer was to use his photo’s for free on my blog to promote our shared interest in the beautiful Scottish Borders.   So it got me thinking that there might be lots more people out there with a passion for the Borders who’d also like to contribute.  Being a one woman show is great, but I miss working with and collaborating with others on a regular basis.

Writers Wanted

So I’m looking for talented writers who’d be interested in submitting articles [unfortunately, uncompensated for now] on any aspect of life in the Scottish Borders that would spread the word.  Topics could include: Border towns and villages; history, archaeology and heritage; culture;  books; food;  events of all kinds; cycling; walking; the outdoors and much more.

Featuring Local Businesses

I’d also like to start a feature on local businesses along the lines of a typical working day, so please let me know if you would be interested in being featured.  All that requires is a short interview with a set of questions I will send you in advance.  You would need to provide images and graphics or video that you’ve created yourself.

What are we looking for

Who?

People who want to share their knowledge of the Scottish Borders.  I’d love to find 4-5 contributors, each specializing in a different area, who love what they do!

What?

Blog posts! Original (never used before) posts with helpful content, pretty pictures (high quality photos are a must). You would need to provide images and graphics or video that you’ve created yourself.   You will be credited as the writer.

How Often?

Minimum of one post per month, ideally for at least six months.  But if you just want to write one piece we would still be delighted.

If you’re interested or want to talk about this more please email me at stephanie@thetwobees.co.uk, with your ideas.  Please pass this onto anyone you think might be interested.  If you have any other ideas for collaboration please do get in touch.

You can find more of Jim Gordon’s pictures on Twitter @jimgordon46 and buy prints on Ebay jimgordon2010.

Porridge for all seasons

A bowl of porridge

It’s officially porridge season. Despite some recent sun, I’m still feeling the effects of the long cold, dark winter.  The frosty mornings are great for walking but I’m not keen on the rainy days.  So we took the train (alas just before the new Born in the Borders coffee hub opened at Tweedbank) to Edinburgh a few weeks ago to meet friends for lunch.  We had a great lunch and a nice warming bottle of red wine at Fishers in the City on Thistle Street.  Lunch ran well into the afternoon, as it sometimes does. This left little time to browse the shops on George Street.  But however short the shopping time I always manage to find a new book, this time in Anthropologie:  Porridge: Oats + Grains + Seeds + Rice by Anni Kravi.  Now I’m a bit of a purest – nothing but oats, water and a wee bit of salt.  In recent times we have added some berries, banana or honey.  At a weekend we may occasionally have added cream and a wee drop of the uisge beatha. (whisky) – a habit picked up after a trip to the fabulous Greywalls in East Lothian.  But that has been the extent of my experimentation.
 

Finland, a porridge loving nation  

Anna Kravi is Finnish and the Finns seem to love porridge even more than us Scots.  Her  book is a feast for the eyes as well as the imagination.  Instead of thinking just about cooked porridge she offers baked, raw, and savoury porridge; snack bars; porridge with rye, spelt, rice buckwheat and amaranth.  She has recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, smoothie bowls and dessert.  Anna turns our humble national morning bowl, into a complete meal with the addition of berries, nuts, seeds, coconut, spices and even edible flowers.
 

Front cover of Anna Kravi book on Porridge

Porridge for all seasons

Anna offers sweet cooked porridge  for the dark days of winter.  As the weather warms up she suggests going sweet and raw, using apples, carrots spices and nut milk pulp.  And then there is the savoury variety, akin to risotto.  Using ingredients like sweet potato, beetroot, tofu and ‘chia eggs’.  These are  easy and quick to make, a nourishing meal, that can be packed and taken with you.  For inspiration take a look at her Instagram account @anniskk.
 

Mindfulness

Now you may be thinking that all of this takes more time than you have available. But Anni’s food philosophy for a healthy balanced diet, sees her daily porridge making  as an integral part of her mindfulness routine.  So for  the last week I’ve been following that routine and  I am smitten.  I have filled up my jars with a variety of flakes and seeds and every morning is a new adventure and a new combination.  It’s not just the Finns who are exploring using all kinds of grains – here’s a recipe or two from Nigel Slater .  Try the warm porridge cakes with banana and chocolate granola.  The  creativity with the humble porridge continues.