Lydia’s Yam Soup – reheated

This episode is part of a series of pilots for an updated Talking Food Radio.

Original Talking Food 2012 description – “Hackney food guru Lydia Bachelor leads a discussion about healthy eating, nutrition, shopping, markets, cooking, recipes – and any other food experience and knowledge that we would like to share”.

It was not a radio production. It was a live event, streaming what would have happened anyway – and considerably longer than this edited version.

Budget: zero.

Production values: everything must be done by older people (even if the result is below BBC standard), use only the most basic equipment (available to everyone), the background hubbub is just as important as the voices close to the microphone (the social context is vital).

Message: “If you are listening to this – STOP. Turn off your computer NOW. Please accept this invitation to join us in the real world – we have food for your body, mind and soul – and none of it is digital. Real World First!”

Identifiable voices: Ayo, Benediccta, Beverley, Bola, Chitra, Gabriella, Josh, Lydia, Myrtle, Paula, Pauline, Peter, Rick.

Recorded 10 May 2012 at ‘The Lawns’, Matthias Rd, Hackney. Remixed June 2019.

The Lawns was a lively (but acoustically-challenged) computer and social centre for older Hackney residents.

The League of Meals was a fun project that did not survive contact with reality.

That sweet potato

This episode is the first of a series of pilots for an updated Talking Food Radio. We used the same very basic equipment as the old radio show, and the same approach: conversation first, technology last. As the series progresses, we will adapt the recording method to suit the participants as well as the final goal – which requires much improved sound quality.

The pilot podcast track is a sequence of snippets from the 90-minute live recording. The discarded sections were generally the best conversation, but too noisily enthusiastic for the podcast medium.

The voices belong to: Brian, Grafton, Hyacinth, Ian, Mary, Nuala, Patricia and Rick.

Recorded 26 April 2019 at Whitmore Community Centre, N1 5NU.

Outro credit: excerpt from Horizontal Drift, Jared C Balogh –

Bags of Taste

Hands-on cooking classes that are also great fun

We teach people who are struggling with food costs to eat better, for less.

Our delicious recipes are sourced from around the world and are all designed to cost less than £1.00 per head.

At the end of every lesson you can buy bags of ingredients at a cost of £3.00 each, with enough food included for four meals, so you can try cooking it again (and again) at home.

Visit Bags of Taste

Chicken Pilaff with veg recipe!

You will need: 1 pot with lid, measuring cup/jug or scales, vegetable oil, large sieve if possible.

150g long rice (2/3 of a cup)

250ml/250g (1 cup) water.

1 Tbs (15ml) veg oil.

1 medium onion, thinly sliced.

1 stock cube (veg or chicken is best).

500g chicken or about 4 chicken pieces (enough chicken for 2 people; just figure it out how much you eat)

2 large cloves garlic

1 1/2   tsp finely grated or chopped ginger.

1 Tbs lemon juice (can be bottled).

200g frozen mixed veg.

1/2 tsp dried oregano – or try cumin.

. First wash the rice until the water runs clear, and then drain it in a sieve or as well as you can.  Add back the 1 cup of water into the bowl, and leave it to soak for at least 30 mins.  This is essential when making a pilaff to make it easier for the rice to cook.

. Thinly slice the onion into half-rings. Fry onion gently in oil or butter until soft and golden brown.  This will take about 10 minutes, don’t rush it.

. Using a sharp knife, skin the chicken pieces, & make 2 deep diagonal slashes in the meat front and back, right down to the bone, so it cooks properly.

. Peel and chop/crush your garlic and ginger.

. When the onions are soft and golden brown, fish them out and put the chicken pieces in the pan to fry and brown.

. When the chicken is browned, add all the other ingredients to the pan – add back the onions, toss in the minced garlic and grated or chopped ginger., crumble in the stock cube and add the oregano and the lemon juice.  Stir till well mixed.  Then pour the WHOLE BOWL of rice in, with all the water.  Add the frozen veg and stir.  Make sure all the grains of rice are in the liquid at the bottom (not on top of the chicken legs).

. Bring the whole lot to the boil and then cover tightly with the lid.  Turn the heat down really low ( as low as you can get) and cook for 20 minutes.


. Leave to rest 5 minutes (still don’t peek) and serve with some sliced tomatoes, green salad or vichy carrots.

Hackney Foodbank

We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why we provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

Visit Hackney Foodbank

Evelyn’s corn on cob recipe

  1. Prepare fresh green corn on the cob, cut into halves
  2. Place in a sauce Pan
  3. Add 6 pegs of cloves, 6 pimento seeds, 1 tsp of salt
  4. Cover with cold water and place lid.
  5. Bring to boil on gas mark 6
  6. Boil for 20 – 30mins until tender.
  7. Serve hot or cold. Butter [optional]