Monday, 9 March 2015

International Women's Day and Muriel Matters!

Most of you probably know it is International Women's Day on March 8, but some of you may not have heard of Muriel Matters.  (I mean really, what a name!)  She was an Australian suffragist, who moved to London as a young woman, and became active in the women's suffrage movement.  She chained herself to a grille in the House of Commons in 1908, and became technically the first woman to deliver a speech there.  She was also an actor, and lecturer amongst other things.  I have always been fascinated by these amazing women who blazed a trail for the rest of us, making sure that modern women ended up with rights to own property, and most importantly the right to vote, and to work. I am quite stunned and horrified that young(er) women seem to think "feminist" is a dirty word these days, often proclaiming they don't need to be one.  Mmm maybe that is because these women worked and in some cases, died for the rest of us to have these fundamental rights.  Anyway, I will get off my soap-box now:)  (But really, these young women need to get a grip.)

1917 Maryland Suffragettes picket White House.png
American suffragettes picketing the White House in 1917  (image Wikimedia Commons public domain)  

I love the colours that the Women's Social & Political Union chose way back in 1908 as their "team colours".  Purple was to symbolise justice and dignity. (my fave colour so how can I not love it?)  So as my foodie tribute, I have plated up a tasty little salad dish in their honour, celebrating the colours, and the incredible women who began the Women's Movement, back in the day.

take some beetroot 

and some broad beans 

plus some topped and tailed green beans  

add some bocconcini and fetta  

scatter over some snipped chives and pine nuts     

I used frozen broad beans as fresh were not in season.  These need a second peeling after they are steamed or boiled to get rid of the rather nasty second skin.  Though Mr Pickings tried one with the skin, and said it was delicious!  I drizzled on some walnut oil and lime juice, then seasoned with salt and pepper.  Excuse the wonky photos.  They were taken at night, Mr Pickings holding a torch over for extra light, and my semi-inebriated sister taking the photos!!  (Oh did I forget to say steam or boil the green beans too?)

The Library of Congress - London - arrest of a suffragette (LOC).jpg
(image Wikimedia Commons public domain)


  1. We should be so grateful to these strong women for forging a path for us and never forget how hard it was for them to do so.

  2. Many women have gone before us and done so much so that we can complain today about how far we have to go. Back then, they just accepted their lot in life. No more.

    What a lovely treat all those goodies make on that plate.

    1. Hi Maureen
      It was quite delicious and healthy. Yay those fab women:)

  3. I'd never heard of Muriel Matters so I'm glad you shared this post. There's certainly nothing wrong with the 'F Word' as far as I'm concerned. I'm very happy to say I'm a Feminist and yes, those women do need to get a grip!

    1. Hehe fiona- as the young ones say! I am a big fan of Muriel - yes she matters:)


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