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One of the first things that occurred to me when I started this challenge was that it would finally prompt me to take advantage of everything the local shops have to offer, including the vegetables that I have no idea what to do with.

Today it was time to try parval, a very small gourd-type vegetable about 2-3 inches long. I found a recipe for parval curry online. I have a feeling that the parval with potato curry  might be more interesting, but I didn’t have any potatoes.

You have to peel and quarter them, so it’s not quick. I added some creamed coconut because it was a bit bland, but they have a great texture, a cross between marrow and watermelon – crunchy, even when they’re cooked.  And definitely more interesting than those bags of pre-chopped carrot, cauliflower & broccoli that you pay pounds for in supermarkets.

Me, an activist? 

10 days in, and the challenge is beginning to have another unexpected effect on me. It’s been so enjoyable to make a small difference by giving my  money to local shops rather than Sainsburys and to stop being a mindless consumer that when I came across a book called The Everyday Activist I  was hooked.  Step one: donate to the East Africa drought appeal. Step two? Watch this space.

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist