breadToday is the last day of Real Bread Maker Week, which has run from the 10th to the 16th of May 2014.

I have long dreamt of being able to make a loaf or roll as good as those I get in the lovely little Hampshire bakeries, but never thought I had the time or skill to do it! I’ve watched plenty of Paul Hollywood’s muscles ripple while throwing dough around his kitchen but it looks like a bit too much hard work!

However, earlier this year I went along to the Baking Lab of Bake with Maria to learn the art of French Bread making with a fantastic tutor, Emmanuel. We made chocolate chip brioche, baguettes and fougasse – all without breaking into a sweat!  I’ve now discovered a relaxing (and successful way to make bread) – have a look on our Facebook page later on as I’ll be posting pictures of this week’s baguettes later on…

my breadTo find out more about making bread, have a look at the website for the Real Bread Campaign – it’ll convert anyone away from supermarket bread!

If you too have tried making your own bread, please let us know and pop up some pictures on our Facebook page!

Jen x

WI Campaigning – Interesting Listening

For anyone interested in the WI’s campaigns, there have been a few interesting and topical public discussions over the last few days.

Maternity Services:
In relation to increasing the number of midwives and improving maternity care I’ve noticed lots of discussions on social networks about personal experiences of labour at home, in birthing units and in the labour ward. Recent research on the birthplace has sparked a lot of interesting discussion of experiences and opinions on giving birth. Radio 4’s You and Yours did a feature on Where should you have your baby?, BBC News have written about the undue pressure to give birth naturally  and there’s also the WI’s More Midwives Campaign. All interesting food for thought.

Everyone’s experience is different, as is everyone’s opinion, and part of campaigning with the WI is about taking experience and opinion and trying to make a difference.

Although not an official WI campaign, the legalisation of prostitution is always a topic to inspire discussion. This was a Hampshire WI Resolution. A recent episode of the Public Philosopher in the Netherlands discusses with an audience morality and the state focusing on the idea of a liberal society, prostitution, cannabis and euthanasia. An interesting listen if anyone is curious.

If you are interested in getting more involved in campaigning or proposing a resolution on something you’re passionate about let us know. It doesn’t have to be detailed, just an idea. Let us know we might be able to help, and one day your cause might be the subject of journalistic interest too!

Organ Donation

Organ_DonationThis year the WI is proposing to support a resolution on increasing organ donation. It is about having those awkward conversations to tell your loved ones what you would like to happen once you have enjoyed your life and died, and whether you want to be able to help others who would otherwise have their lives cut short or be a part of medical research.

You can read our earlier blog on the facts about Organ Donation and the WI’s fact sheet on the resolution.

The resolution being proposed is:

The NFWI notes that three people die every day whilst waiting for an organ transplant. We call on every member of the WI to make their wishes regarding organ donation known, and to encourage their families and friends, and members of their local communities to do likewise.

Sotonettes members can vote on this resolution at the May meeting on Tuesday 27th May.

For information, the resolution on female genital mutilation (FGM) came second. There are a number of ongoing campaigns associated with FGM and members, if they wish, can take action on the issue under the WI’s No More Violence Against Women mandate. There is also an online petition that you may wish to sign.