Have Your Say on the Portswood Scheme

2024-01-15, Chris

I'd like to survey the opinion of Shop Local Southampton members as to the impact they think these changes have on proposed changes to the Portswood Scheme.

The original Portswood Scheme, as consulted upon by Southampton City Council, envisaged a permanent bus/taxi/bike/delivery-only zone between Westridge Road and the St Denys Road Junction, with a larger pedestrian dwell area, outdoor hospitality, seating, greenery, extra disabled parking and crossings.

Southampton City Council are now proposing to alter the Portswood Scheme to be part-time only (0700-1000 and 1600-1900), and for the bus gate to cover a smaller area (the area between St Denys Road and the St Denys Road Spur by Trago Lounge is proposed to be open to all traffic at all times).

Have your say on the proposed changes at https://forms.gle/CbHEkMmJikzL8h6SA.

Quickest Tasty and Smooth Hummus

2024-01-07, Chris

Some hummus recipes suggest that you soak dry chickpeas, or that you cook the chickpeas until they almost fall apart before you process them - both tips are great for making 'ultimate hummus', but you can achieve really smooth and tasty hummus in a fraction of the time. This recipe is hummus in its simplest form. It is the order of adding and blending the ingredients that is crucial for a smooth result.

Makes approximately half a kilo of hummus, a good amount for a dip at a small party - scale as required. After you go through the basic recipe, you can start playing with alterations.

  1. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of tahini, half a clove of garlic, and up to half a lemon's lemon juice (according to preference) to a food processor.
  2. Blend until you get a thick paste.
  3. Drain the water (aquafaba - which can be set aside for use in other recipes) from a 400g can of chickpeas. Don't worry about being thorough when draining, a little aquafaba in the hummus only adds flavour.
  4. Add the chickpeas to the food processor.
  5. Blend well until all the ingredients form - well, basically, hummus.
  6. At this point add 4 tablespoons / 60ml of cold water, or a couple of ice cubes (but only if your blender is definitely up to the job!) and blend well again. This will make the hummus even smoother. You can vary the water / ice cube quantity to achieve your preferred consistency.
  7. Now add flavourings. For a standard hummus, add a splash of olive oil, a couple of pinches of salt, and a pinch of pul biber (also known as Aleppo Chilli) (or paprika if you don't have pul biber). You could also add cumin, cumin seeds, za'atar, black pepper... whatever you want!
  8. Blend a final time, and enjoy!

Ingredients List:
- 2 heaped tablespoons of tahini
- half a clove of garlic
- half a lemon's lemon juice
- 400g can of chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons / 60ml of cold water (or 2 ice cubes)
- a splash of olive oil
- a couple of pinches of salt
- pinch of pul biber (also known as Aleppo Chilli) (or paprika)

Love Local - Shop Local!
This recipe was made using chickpeas and pul biber from International Foods in Portswood (69p for 400g), and Sunita Light Tahini from Bitterne Park Stores (£3.99).