Off to Conservative Party conference, despite them trying to ban me from going…

After speaking on panels and at fringe events on food poverty and the bedroom tax, at the Labour Party conference, Green Party conference, and TUC congress recently, this Tuesday I will be entering unfamiliar territory in Manchester, to address the Tories on the rise of food bank use as the direct result of cuts to welfare and support services. I almost didn’t make it – receiving an email on Thursday morning from MP Stephen Phillips, the ‘director of conferences’ and a Queens Counsel lawyer earning almost £1m a year outside of Parliament, refusing my conference pass less than a week before the event with no explanation. After a few hours of Twitter outrage and a little intervention from The Sunday People, they ‘reconsidered’ and printed my pass. As one of my friends commented on Facebook: “A U-turn from the Conservatives? Who’d have thought?” Well, quite. The Tories may not like what I want to say in Manchester, but it appears that they cannot stop me from saying it. And quite rightly too – far from “selling out” by attending the Conservative Party conference, if anyone needs to hear about the devastating effects of the austerity cuts in today’s Britain, they’ll all be there, fresh from their celebrations of the life of Margaret Thatcher and tucking into the free buffets and sniffing around the Manchester Food and Drink festival. People like Edwina Currie, who recently claimed on Twitter that she had […]

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Ultimate Feisty Soup

Based on my original Feisty Soup recipe, I’ve made myself a batch of this this afternoon to try to combat a very heavy cold. It normally works very well; the chilli blasts the sinuses, the lemon and ginger eases that accompanying stomach ache, the onion and garlic are packed with antioxidants and the carrots and tomatoes deliver a hefty dose of vitamin C… I’d rather have this than Lemsip any day. Ingredients (Makes 4-6 portions) 1 onion 2 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1cm fresh 1 tbsp lemon juice 200g sliced carrots 800g chopped tomatoes with juice 300ml chicken or vegetable stock Pinch of dried chilli or 1 fresh chilli Peel and chop the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger and add to a large saucepan with the lemon juice. Cook together on a low heat, stirring frequently to disturb and stop them from sticking. When the onion has started to soften, add the tomatoes and drained carrots, and pour the stock over the top. Simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavours and heat through. Remove from heat, and blend using a hand blender or jug blender. Serve hot! Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack

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“For fairness, sustainability, and for the future.” #GPCONF speech in Brighton, 14th September

Austerity works, according to our chancellor George Osborne. Austerity works. But apart from the Government’s pals at Wonga, who revealed last week that they make £1 million in profit a week by lending an average of £600 to people the week before payday, who does austerity actually work for? Certainly not the 13 million people living in poverty in the […]

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“I never saw myself as a food writer or a celebrity chef, it never even occurred to me.” Interview with Daily Life (Australia)

Feeding your family for $17 a week NICOLE ELPHICK September 12, 2013 The meals chronicled on food blogger Jack Monroe’s popular website, A Girl Called Jack, would not be out of place on the menu of your closest gastro-pub. Carrot, cumin and kidney bean falafels with spiced tomato sauce, chicken and mandarin tagine, and mushroom, bacon and ale casserole are […]

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The Government are feckless, neglectful and abusive – my speech at the #TUC2013

An article in the Guardian recently claimed that ‘austerity has been hijacked by the moralisers’ – and judging by George Osborne’s latest announcement that ‘austerity works’, it seems they were right. As though it’s all just ‘cosy frugality’, as though we are all just living in a snapshot of a nostalgic poster of post-War Britain. I’m surprised the posters haven’t made a reappearance, unaltered, to back up the chancellors claims. Eat less bread. Food is a weapon. Your own vegetables all year round. Dig for victory. Home grown food. Make do and mend. Keep calm and carry on. But there’s nothing cosy and nostalgic about missing days of meals, turning the heating off for two consecutive winters and every bloody day and night in between. There’s nothing cosy and nostalgic about unscrewing the light bulbs so you can’t accidentally turn them on, or selling your son’s shoes, or drinking the formula milk that the food bank gave you because there’s nothing else. If that’s cosy frugality, the moralisers and apologisers ought to try it. For a month. Or six. Or eighteen. Turn off the fridge, because it’s empty anyway. Sell anything you can see lying around that you might get more than a quid for. Walk everywhere in the pouring rain, in your only pair of shoes, with a soaking wet and sobbing toddler old trailing behind you. Drag that toddler into every pub and shop in unreasonable walking distance […]

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Thankyou, B and A.

I am still spectacularly overwhelmed by the kindnesses of strangers – and I wanted to share this with you all. I am no longer at the Southend Echo office (postal address details to be added to my contact page shortly) – but popped in a few evenings ago to pick up any remaining bits and pieces from the office. And […]

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Mandarin & Poppy Seed Loaf

I like to make this bread in the evening to wind down and de-stress. Kneading the dough for 10 minutes may sound like a long time but it’s very therapeutic to do at the end of the day, and those 10 minutes will go faster than you think! This recipe uses half the mandarin segments from a standard 300g (or […]

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Easy peasy garlic bread.

I’m so addicted to airy fairy easy peasy soda bread, I thought I would see how it translates into a quick and easy garlic bread to accompany the mountain of pasta-and-tomatoes I eat….. I’m pleased to say it works beautifully, with a quick spread of butter. Wrap well after cooling though, as it will stale quickly – but if it […]

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