Posts Tagged ‘BCTF’

Last night I attended a St. Patrick’s Day party in Belcarra. The host is Irish so authenticity in my contribution to the dinner was requisite. I remembered a recipe from about 1982, obtained when I taught in Fort Saint James, that had always been well received. I even remembered (and names are HARD!) the name of the original cook, Marisa.

This recipe became a standard when, with my friend, Lynn, we catered retreats and other events for the BCTF (British Columbia Teachers’ Federation) Status of Women Committee (circa 1984). Lynn had always been the great cook and I was absolutely willing to do anything. So with this recipe…memories…lots of them…and all with smiles and strong women and world-changing ideas.

So determined to find this recipe was I. Failing fingers and eyesight not as sharp as it once was…I left the task to friend and employee, Joan. Being Irish she could hopefully both find and vet the recipe for veracity. And, of course, being Joan…calm, thorough and efficient, she found it, approved it and even noted the needed ingredients. She pointed out that it required bran – knowing my kitchen did not have that ingredient on hand. “I don’t think you need it,”  she said.  Now the intervening 30+ years made me reluctant to alter the recipe, but the thought of a trip to the grocery store was even worse so I took Joan’s advice and substituted some ingredients on hand (see notes).

IRISHbreadonPORTMEIRIONThis bread turned out great. I had made a sample loaf for the family knowing already that hosts, artists Des and Adrienne , were great cooks and I was anxious to bring something “perfect”.

It was a great evening with superb food, stimulating conversation and live music – thank you Rick and Amy! And, it turns out, that although the Village of Belcarra has fewer than 800 residents, this is my third BLOG POST with people from Belcarra featured.

 

Irish Soda Bread

2 cups flour

4 T brown sugar (I used raw sugar)

1 tsp each baking soda & baking powder

1/2 cup bran (I used 1/4 c fine oats & 1/4 c buckwheat flour

1/2 tsp salt (I used kosher)

1/2 cup Red River Cereal (In the distant past used 7-grain cereal)

1.5 cups buttermilk

(I added a handful of currants).

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°

Grease pie plate

Sift (Joan says she still does this-dates back to being taught to cook by nuns) flour, soda, baking powder and salt. I DID NOT SIFT and DO NOT OWN A SIFTER. Stir in sugar, bran and Red River Cereal (and currents if you use them). Pour buttermilk into well in dry ingredients and stir. Flour surface and knead about 6 times. Shape into a large round, place in greased pie plate and prick through deeply with a fork. (Instructions say to brush the top with milk. I did not but it would make the crust a bit softer.)

Bake 20 minutes @ 400°, then 20 minutes @ 350°

 

 

 

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The final day of my arbitration was held on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 in Coquitlam, British Columbia. I was very impressed with the lawyer for the union (for ME!) as he presented the closing arguments for our case. It was clear that he had developed personal respect for me, a deep and persoanl respect for the environmental issues surrounding the case and ultimately a fine argument in law.

The experience, although harrowing over the years of waiting ,  was indeed INTERESTING and  if nothing else, good or bad,  SCHOOL DISTRICT 36  vs BC TEACHERS’ FEDERATION  ELAINE WILLIS -DUTY TO ACCOMMODATE will ultimately set a precedent in arbitration law.

And my lawyer truly did such a fine job in the end. The professionalism I couldn’t see at all in the beginning shone through in spades.  The beginning of the journey was extremely  rough – he didn’t, I feel, see me as a person – didn’t see past my disabilities. In the end he saw more than that. In the end there was, I believe, mutual respect. He recognized that I am a teacher and quoted me several times. I was touched. His words were sincere, eloquent and heartfelt – and if I taught one person about the environmental impact of chemicals as opposed to my need for a fragrance free workplace, then I did a good thing! So I have to be happy in the end, whatever the outcome.

The battles for those of us with disabilities, and especially for those of us with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, are huge. There are many false beliefs about our abilities and the nature of our disabilities. The truth remains that we are people, to be treated as all people, with dignity, equality and respect. We are not to be shut away in our homes as society continues to demand of us.

Education is enlightenment. I WILL CONTINUE TO BE A TEACHER!  This process may enable me to do so for a living as well!