I GONE DONE DID A POLITICS

Ever since going to university I’ve found myself becoming increasingly politically minded. A few days ago I joined The Green Party, one of the only political parties that have seen memberships increase in recent years.

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My reasons for joining The Green Party are fairly obvious: their ethics stand mostly in-line with my own. More so than any other party. 

The Conservative’s latest cabinet re-shuffle highlighted their hypocrisy, charging the equality minister who voted ‘moderately against equal gay rights' with teaching your children, and appointing energy and environmental secretaries who call for cuts to wind power subsidies and claimed renewable power is damaging the economy. Labour launched us into two wars under questionable circumstance with questionable ‘return’ and the Liberal Democrats are simply liars who would have gotten my vote, had they not monumentally cocked-up in the most epic of fashions.

As for UKIP’s plethora of flaws, well, how long have you got?!

CREAMY CHICKEN AND POTATO PIE

A beautifully saucy chicken pie is exactly what everybody needs to perk themselves up. This treat is perfect in both warm and cool weather. With sauce made from real cream, this quick pie is sure to have you smacking your lips faster than you can cook it.

Ingredients (serves six):

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 large potatoes, cut into cubes (I used a whole can of canned potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 500ml chicken broth
  • 120ml full-fat milk and 120ml single English cream, whisked together
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1 large, free-range egg for egg-washing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 skinned, boneless, free-range chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 500g shortcut pastry (or pie crust)

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Instructions (10 minutes prep; 1 hour+ cooking time):

  1. In a deep pan begin by frying off your chicken. When done, drain fat off and set aside.
  2. Fry off onion, celery, potatoes and carrots in the pan for ten minutes, or until onion turns translucent. 
  3. Add a tablespoon of flour to the mixture, whisk together 120ml of full-fat milk and single English cream and pour both, along with 500ml of chicken broth into the pan. 
  4. After a short while add in a tablespoon of cornstarch so the sauce begins to thicken. 
  5. Add in the chicken, stirring well.
  6. Place the whole batch into pie-dish, cover, egg-wash and bake for forty minutes to an hour or until the crust is golden. Serve and enjoy! 

LIFE WITHOUT TELEVISION

For many people the prospect of living without television seems impossible. I haven’t watched mine in the past two months. Other than Channel 4’s trashy documentary Benefits Street which aired sometime earlier this year I can’t actually remember the last time I sat down and consumed myself in the box’s ghostly glow - although it might have been for Brooker’s Black Mirror, which is a rather ironic choice. 

Make no mistake - I still watch programmes although not nearly as much as I used to. I’m now liberated from schedules and creepy advertising, watching shows when I want, under my control. On-demand viewing figures continue to skyrocket around the world and it’s no longer a question of why. The one drawback? I don’t get to live tweet if I’m watching on catch-up although that’s not much of an issue for me as recently I’ve been using my Twitter for news related paraphernalia rather than anything else. 

I never watched television for the national average of four hours per day to begin with. Now I watch it for less than an hour a week. And as for what I do with all my spare time? I write, make things and go outside. Participate rather than spectate. Produce rather than consume. Unplugging my television might have been the best decision of the summer. Try it.