I discovered a secret last week – it’s very easy to be invisible. All you need to do is don a collection vest and stand on the High Street with a cause bucket in your hand. Hey presto, the majority of people don’t see you (or do their very best not to).
It wasn’t a good start, torrential rain and howling winds saw me soaked before I got to collection point. Never the less, it is a good cause so I soldiered on. I ended up with a two-hour slot so amused myself between donations by people watching. My very unscientific survey found that most people (95%) fell into one of the following categories:
– ran the risk of whip-lash as they turned their heads so abruptly in the opposite direction;
– were likely to walk head first into something due to staring so intently at the ground while walking very quickly;
– would potentially bump into someone as they fished around in their bags for “something”;
– needed their eyes tested as they looked straight through me.
About 0.5% of people either: gave a sympathetic look, said they had no change or said something smart.
Thankfully, another 0.5% smiled, nodded or said gidday. I lived for that segment – it’s amazing how a smile lifts you. I wasn’t there for pity or the guilt trip giving – but a smile costs nothing. The best smile came from a woman who oozed happiness through her eyes – she didn’t give me cash, but made my day.
So that left about 4% who gave actual money. Some gave without a word and didn’t want a sticker, some engaged in brief conversation, some very purposefully dug around in their handbags/wallets/pockets for something to give. What was most interesting to me, was that I had a larger percentage of men than women give – interesting on a lot of levels, but particularly because women engage more with this charity than men do.
I’m not up to speed with any formal research on giving to charity, but my two-hour snap shot sure was an interesting time. And just lovely, because I spied one or two old friends I hadn’t seen in ages. There’s a silver lining to every rainy day!
On the subject of invisibility, I’ve lost the note I jotted this recipe down on. But I think I can remember the ingredients so will give it a whirl. These chicken savouries are a great lunch time/lunch box/picnic snack. They are similar to other chicken mince recipes I’ve posted but have the gorgeous addition of Black Doris Plum Jam (you could use a chutney if you don’t have plum jam at hand).
What you’ll need
Splash of oil (eg. canola, rice bran)
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 small carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
250g chicken mince
2 tsp flour
200ml chicken or vegetable stock, warmed
1 Tbsp (heaped) Black Doris Plum Jam – I used Barker’s
3 sheets ready rolled puff pastry, defrosted
Optional: poppy seeds, sesame seeds
How to make them
Heat oil in a medium size frypan. Sweat onion for four-five minutes. Add in the carrot and garlic and soften for another couple of minutes.
Add in the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and stirring until the meat changes colour – about five-six minutes.
Mix in the flour and continue stirring for a few minutes to cook through the flour. Add in the stock and jam and mix through. Simmer for about ten minutes until liquid has thickened and reduced. Season with salt and pepper.
Once you are happy with the taste, remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool down. Set aside until it is completely cold (or almost cold – you do not want to be putting hot mince on to pastry).
Turn oven to 210°C. Line a tray with baking paper.
Working with one piece of pastry at a time, cut into six equal rectangles. Put a heaped teaspoon of mixture towards the bottom of each piece of pastry.
Moisten the edges with a pastry brush dipped in water. Turn over the pastry to enclose the mince, pressing to seal the pockets. Repeat with the rest of the mixture, giving you 18 savouries.
Put the savouries on to the prepared tray. Whisk the egg and brush egg wash on to the top of each savoury with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if desired. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit into the top of each savoury to allow the air to escape.
Put the tray in to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until sizzling and golden.
Serve warm, or cool and pop into the fridge for later.
Keep away from the husband, or there will be none left for the intended purpose.
Tomorrow is generally “charity collection day” in New Zealand. So, even if you are unable to give any money, think about flashing the collector a grin – it’ll make their day.