No pictures because we ate it all! I will do a post on it in a week or so.
This date syrup is very versatile. My Husband made Himself a concoction with Tomato Ketchup and HP sauce as we were having duck leftovers as crispy duck in lettuce leaves. There were no spring onions in the shop so we used leek instead. A nice cucumber though. It’s a good low cal option to the pancakes.
Anyway I would not be able to eat the made HP/Ketchup mixture as it’s full of High GI sugar.
I made myself a quick sauce from date syrup, a shake of soy sauce for the saltiness. A half teaspoon of Turmeric, half teaspoon of garlic granulated as I didn’t have powdered garlic, and a good grating of nutmeg, as I didn’t have five spice.
Then I sat the little glass jug in a small bowl of hot water for ten minutes. It was fab yay dozy.
So I can eat a Hoi-sin style sauce. I also don’t have to buy a separate bottle of it! Yum, yum yum yum yum yum yum....yum. My tum is so very happy.
Date syrup is also mildly laxative as well as having lots of minerals and vitamins compared to sugar. So quick and easy. I will do a post in a couple of weeks on my new rotisserie oven cooking crispy duck. This was a Gorgeous British duck from Iceland frozen cabinet for £7.50.
A generous rotisserie meal meal last night.
A generous lettuce leaf crispy duck and Hoi-sin wraps tonight,
Two legs cooked in the freezer for another meal,
And duck soup for at least one main meal, which will go in the freezer for later.
That is eight meals from a £7.50 duck. Plus a lettuce, a leek a cucumber. So about a tenner. That’s 1.25p per meal. Which is also what I like!
Duck in lettuce instead of pancakes is a great way to get kids to eat greens! Plus it’s a finger meal, which kids always enjoy making instead of eating with plastic knives and forks! I never use disposable cutlery.
I just take cutlery with me on a picnic, along with some nice plastic plates. I have had mine for years. Making wraps with lettuce is much easier than taking bread and sandwiches to eat. Also it’s one of the ways I keep my weight down.
I do sometimes have rolls though. I just can’t eat winter wheat. I have to be careful what flour I make bread with. If I want rolls, I chuck the bread in the bread maker to make dough, get it out and then make the rolls in the oven. Simples! I am going to try a malt style loaf with date syrup in a couple of weeks.
I have a problem with Vacuum cleaner bags unless they are HEPA filters. My Darling Husband bought me a Kirby Vaccum Cleaner for my Anniversary present a couple of years ago. The problem is the last set of bags I bought were not genuine Kirby HEPA filters. I just got the real thing of Amazon for £16. for six bags. They last about a year.
Anyway I kept my little Miele cylinder. The bags we get at the Electricity Company are not HEPA filters, and I can’t use the cleaner unless it’s just for the car, or the stair carpet we haven’t changed yet.
Anyway, now we have a fully tiled floor, the simple answer was to get a nice soft broom from the local hardware shop. It’s brilliant. Now I don’t have to buy Vacuum bags to go in the Landfill very often. A quick flick round with yea broom and I don’t even have to get the vacuum cleaner out and use the electric!
It cost about the same as a pack of Miele bags at £6.50. I am going to paint it a funky blue to go with my kitchen. Which is exactly the same colour as Holy Spirit Blue in Icons. In fact the colours in the House are Icon Colours. The Orange Pink is very close to terra morte. A sort of burned Orange Crimson. I had the Blue from the Kitchen matched to do the skirting boards and door frame to the lounge. The Sofa is actually a Violet, but it looks more Blue. It was the same tone as the night sky last night. It was a wonderful sky for a few moments cleared to show off a stunning Moon with a little star almost cupped in its hand. Stunning.
When I got back to the car and put the new broom on the back seat I said to my Husband, it’s OK, this one is just for short haul trips. He said well you took your time, I said it was the baggage control which took ages... You have to keep on top of these things, otherwise they come out with something that leaves you speechless!
My Husband bought an excellent £10 meal deal from Waitrose. Four Potato rissoles which were delicious, but I have found I can’t eat potatoes. They are too high GI, yet I can eat My Husbands Cousins organic potatoes which we buy by the sack from His farm shop in St Martin. They are Christians and have fully embraced Organic Farming. The Gorgeous Maris Piper in my photos are £7.50 for 10 kilos, and a wonderful size for Jackets, make stunning roasties and good mash.
The Beetroots were such a gorgeous colour. I am deciding what I want to do with them. I am wondering if I can eat them raw! These were probably £1.50. The Micro Greens were £2.50 and I sprinkle them over things. I will grow my own later. The Radishes to die for. I would serve a chilled radish like this on ice as an appetiser. I think they were £1.50. In fact we bought the Radishes at the organic farm shop in St Lawrence. These veg are singing they are so fresh and full of vitality.
Yep, they sing! Something like...
‘Look at me, look at me,
take me home for your tea!
Keep me crisp and eat me quick...
my goodness wants to make you fit’!
Try it with the kiddies when they don’t want to eat their greens! You never know, it could become catchy!
Anyway, the meal deal for £10 was some very nice Steak. Actually enough for four people, but we pigged out on it a couple of nights ago. I would have preferred smaller steak, and perhaps half an avocado, or an egg, if there’s were some Maris Piper oven chips. The aforementioned potato rissoles, which we had with a couple of fried eggs on top as another main meal.
And then the lovely Mussels in a lobster sauce. These are great because they are vac packed. There are some uses for plastic I think is good. These last ages in the vac pac. We like these as a main meal with some pasta tagliatelle. I do make it, but my Husband buys the Iceland dhurum wheat pasta from Iceland when its marked down. Yes He loves bargain shopping too! We stick it in the freezer until we want it. So the pasta was 70 ish pence, enough for four portions.
The starter pack of mussels is enough for the two of us, but if I was feeding four, I would use a handful of frozen mixed seafood from Iceland to add some more dimension to the dish.
And a bottle of white wine. I dont drink white wine often. It is more sugary than the red, and I get a sugar low after it. So this is an ideal visiting present bottle.
Three delicious somebody else made it meals, for less than £10. The bottle of wine must be worth a fiver if it was bought by itself. So, just because it’s Waitrose, it doesn’t have to be expensive to eat. Just eat about half of what you eat now, and up the nutrition.
Anyway, because the Mussel shells we’re so clean, I decided to keep them because they are so pretty. My Husband gave them a scrub, and got the little muscle off the inside and put them through the dishwasher for me. I don’t think the dishwasher is the best option, it took some of the lovely lacquer finish off them. Also some became brittle and broke. I think probably a boil with a half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda would sort them out.
However, if you have a problem with the idea of little plastic canapé spoons ending up in landfill, this might be a good solution. The broken ones I am going to put at the bottom of flowerpots for drainage and natural minerals to leach out of them. I am also saving charred branches we collected, by putting them in my log burner at night as the fire burns out. These also go in the bottom of flower pots to keep the moisture in the plants, and give them nutrients. Happy days detoxing eh!
Many years ago I found out I have a bad reaction to the smell of Bleach. It’s not surprising when it is used for chemical warfare! It isn’t just chemical warfare against germs, it’s incredibly toxic to us.
There are so many accidents with household bleach. Also if you have children it is such a dangerous chemical to have in the house.
The other problem ... one of many... is that if it is inadvertently mixed with any product containing ammonia, you actually create a very noxious gas that you definitely don’t want to breath in.
I do keep a container of bleach, but safely locked away. If I do use it for some bizarre reason, I mix it with a little water outside and wring an old cloth out in it to wipe whatever I think I might need it for. It amazes me that people bleach kitchen worktops and sinks. The kitchen is the last place to use bleach.
I try everything’s else in the safer alternatives homemade handbook befor considering it.
10 volume Hydrogen peroxide is a far better chemical to have around. It also doubles up as an emergency first aid wound cleaner, and general steriliser for things like tweezers.
It is expensive to buy these days. However a little goes a long way. Worktops in my opinion are better cleaned with strong vinegar, Lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda, and yes if I have prepared or handled Chicken I will actually spray vodka around the sink and over the worktops and my hands. I put a few drops of wild oregano oil in the vodka spray, this way I can actually leave an antibacterial oil on the surface of my kitchen worktop. Vinegar would work just as well I suppose, It’s just a thing I have about using neat Spirit I suppose. Any of those chemicals will kill germs although not necessarily mixed together. However if they are, they are all edible and not toxic in any way.
This is why I prefer Laminate. Stainless steel, or preferably copper are better for worktops. At least copper has antimicrobial properties. That’s why old cooking pans were made of it. I did look at composite worktops, granite, or rather the only one I liked was a faux stone worktop. I didn’t like it enough to shell out £4,500 for it! Not when a gorgeous Duropal Laminate cost just under £600.
The other problem with the stone finishes apart from scratches and dinks, is that they have to be looked after more. They also cost a lot to have them refinished, and in my opinion look dull very quickly.
They also chink too much when you put a good glass down on them. I can’t see the point of having to protect a kitchen worktop from wear and tear.
The next consideration, is that should a £600 worktop get ruined, it isn’t going to cost a nightmare amount to have it replaced. My workto is a mat finish, although it has a slight texture to it, which looks fantastic. Both my Husband and I fell in love with it the moment we saw it, which resolved all our kitchen worktop woes.
I do do like to see wood worktops too, some woods are naturally antiseptic, although hardwoods are better for kitchens. I wonder if olive wood could be put together butcher block style for worktops. Anyway, it wasn’t the right look for my new kitchen. I wanted a very urban box look for it.
I think I described our little house as a Neoclassical Box style. For a small house, it does find a lot for me to do! It’s a needy little house. It likes a lot of attention to detail. It is starting to feel loved. I think it had a very unloved time before we got it.
It is shivering at the thought of more trauma, of having the bathroom done up sometime in the future. I think I will leave it another year or two, you can’t shock a house too much all in one go! Well not this one. I want to concentrate on getting all the details downstairs finished before tackling upstairs. Besides, I like to ring fence the money for a project. I like saving up for things, it gives me plenty of time to think through what I want to do. I just enjoy saving up!
I often do stuff like this on a lot of levels. Basically I am renovating a pair of Marc Aurel Jeans I bought for £15 in a sale many years ago. I adore these jeans. The problem was being put back on Depakote I piled weight on. So, if I am under 11 stone they fit brilliantly.... I went up to 14.5 stone. I had to cut back to 1200 calories a day to try to maintain a steady weight. I got very creative with calories and nutrition. And still allowed 250 calories a day for Red Wine! I guess that’s why I smoked, it’s an appetite surpressant.
Anyway, this is one for the girls. I am going to explain what I am doing to fix my Jeans now I can fit into them. I am also going to explain Stephen Hawking’s yet to be unpublished theory of time. That’s the tree aspects of it. Just while I remember what I call it, it’s straight line time. Refracted time, and hopping about Fecking God time that sends you round the bend. And the finale... It just so happened that I stitched myself a patch with an eye of RA on my backside!
Now tell me why Men get annoyed when we multitask!, I am just going to watch a Beeb program on people getting an earpiece and getting advice as they do life. I said to my Husband I am hoping this explains what happens to me. Except I don’t have an earpiece. I just hear these prompts. I guess Mr Hawking is going to give me the lowdown on His theory. I have already blown a hole in it! The Russians got it on a recorded bomb blast on a nearby star. I wonder where they got the co-ordinates to point the radio telescope?! Do the maths, I will catch up with you guys ina an hour or so.
Well thatwas an amazing concept program. All the councillors were wonderful. I am going to bless people more! The lady healer from Africa has perfect pitch. I ran it though fifths. Tu La Tous Mama, must translate into ‘You mean everything to Mama’. What a wonderful affirmation for a child to hear. What beautiful people. What strong Men coping with life.
Wonderful thankyou BBC. I am looking towards the next instalment!
Anyway onto a bit of sewing, some theoretical concepts of spacetime, and a little twist in the tale from subconscious memory. I did patch up the other leg with a different fabric. This was to remind myself of my genealogy. It’s interesting! Along with the memories when I go to places my forbears have been. I recognise the topology. I have senses of being there. As though I see things through someone else’s life. I just know where things are. Where to go, if an ancestor has been there before. So I am weird who cares! Just don’t say I need medicating and chuck me back in a psychiatric unit!
Ok so three phase time is serious stuff. I will put my description on Musings from the Margin!
,I am certainly working through the general detox this lent. I am doing well with finding alternatives to refined high GI sugars in my diet. I will do a couple of little posts on the things I have made.
The most exciting is washing my Egyptian Cotton sheets I bought in Cyprus 14 years ago. They feel like they have just got ten years younger. It isn’t fine satinised Cotton, but so pretty with cutwork, and a tape pattern on the pillowcases and quilt cover.
They have come up a lovely white, not an artificially brightened white. As Ken Dod would say they feel plumptious. Sadly it was announced He died today. So much part of my generation. Just a man who was happy to be alive. I think He is telling jokes to God in heaven right now. God has a great sense of humour.
Anyway I immediately noticed how well these sheets ironed. How crisp and full they feel. Not a new sort of stiff, but almost as though they had a light starch to them. I am definitely making up a killer jar of the mixture. I will have to wait until I go to France to get Savon de Marseilles in bar form to make it as a one dose product. I have this soap in liquid form, so put the savon in separately.
Once it is all mixed with a lable on it, I can let my Husband use it. My next project is to experiment with the dishwasher to see if a home made product will work. My main concern was to eliminate the synthetic perfume smell. I was wondering if I could make a final rinse for the Laundry with some vinegar water and essential oils. Lavender would help me sleep. I actually put a few drops of essential oils in the Savon, This has worked very well, and the sheets smell delicious. Very delicately perfumed with Lavender T.Tree and Eucalyptus.
It was simple to measure up. I found the recipe on a blog about home making, and making products from less toxic and environmentally damaging ingredients.
It was simple really. Here’s this delightful ladies recipe. I added two capfuls, probably 10ml of Ammonia to the dispenser drawer once I put the powder and Savon de Marseilles in. There is blessedly no smell to the sheets. I am changing the bed tomorrow, and hoping this will reduce my breathing symptoms at night. I hate the smell of laundry detergents. The update is that it does, and I am sleeping better.
half cup cup of baking soda
one cup washing soda
quater cup coarse sea salt (I am sure dishwasher salt would be Ok. I have course sea salt I buy from France which is much cheaper than here).
A bar of something like Dr Bronners Pure Castile Soap. I used Savon de Marseille, mine is liquid so I put a tablespoon to the dry ingredients. I will buy a bar next time as well so I can grate the soap in and have it all powdered. Apparantly grating it can be done in the food processor.
Then I added about 10ml of Ammonia to the wash compartment.
(I just popped back to this post, as I forgot to say how much to us).
Its two tablespoons for a heavy wash. One tablespoon for a light wash.
If I am washing wool by hand, like jumpers, I just use the Savon de Marseilles and a cap full of Ammonia. That’s a teaspoon full. I don’t stand over it and breath it in!
Use gloves for mixing and using any sort of washing. No point in ending up with chapped hands. I only buy heavy duty gloves. The black ones, because the lightweight go through the fingers so quickly. Less gloves, lest going in the waste to have to deal with. Also I can then use very hot water.
I put my sheets on a 60 degree eco wash on the soak program. The whole wash takes about four and a half hours. I always wash my sheets on hot. Sometimes on a full 90 degree wash. Kill anything!
I do have a sheet fetish. It used to be a shoe fetish, but I broke my ankle badly and spent a long time in bed on quetiapine. Having good sheets just makes life better. They were expensive, but excellent white cotton sheets last half a lifetime. They can even be mended if needed. Then when they will go no further, they make wonderful cleaning cloths. Just edge them on the sewing machine.
They are better for the environment with no fibres that don’t break down. I also started edging some old towels that have gone thin. I use them for cloths. I decided this week I will go back to these cotton cloths rather than use plastic scouring sponges. I told my Husband we will never buy them again. My Cotten toweling cloths will last for years. I can soak them, boil them and dry them. So much more hygienic. The best thing to soak dirty pans in, is some liquid soda crystals. Obviously not Aluminium.
I know I have the time to experiment, but these experiments are to see if they will save me time, work out better, or cheaper. The making of washing powder is very much cheaper than shop bought. It doesn’t stink of artificial perfume, and has left the cotton crispy and easy to iron.
I have always ironed my cotton sheets. Then about ten years ago I saw a Miele rotary iron in an auction. I managed to buy it for £53 and got the Miele repair man to check it over at the same time as fixing my Miele washing machine. The bill for the two was just under £100. I hate to think how much one of the irons would cost new, but although it’s a big bit of kit, I just get any sheets and flat stuff done once a week and do all the Ironing together.
I love doing it, smoothing things out is so satisfying! Also having crispy beautifully ironed sheets.
There wasn’t such a thing as nylon sheets when I grew up. My mother did the same thing. However eventually with Seven of us in the family, She bought nylon sheets. Understandable.
The thing is back then, it was all flat sheets. You took the top sheet and put it on the bottom once a week, then put the clean sheet on top. Half the washing and the sheets lasted longer. In fact I should go back to using a top and bottom flat sheet, so I don’t have to wash my beautiful Cypriot duvet cover so often. I am going to wear it out too quickly!
I have so many little things I want to do now I am feeling better. Taking Depakote for so long I realise I had lost all the simple pleasures in doing the little jobs. I was a bit of a zombie. I am getting my memories back of my childhood.
My next plan is to buy Pyrex storage dishes for the freezer. I don’t want to use plastic any more. Also the great benefit is to get small dishes for meals for the two of us, make things like lasagna and moussaka and freeze them in the Pyrex. Then I can simply put the dish in the oven.
I did have a look on the Le Parfait site, and on Amazon, however all the jars are round. What I want are square and oblong ones. I want ones with a glass lid so I can cook with the lid on as well. I want an easy spring release that is simple to release the whole hinge mechanism from the dishes. Shaped silicone seals to slip on and off the lids. The spring mechanisms and seals should be replaceable.
I quite like the simple plain Le Parfait jars, but I suppose they could be coloured glass. Pyrex is so very useful. It would also be a very eco friendly way of saving space in the freezer. In fact some things if they are canned properly probably wouldn’t need freezing. Better than plastic. Then if one gets broken, perhaps we could get a refund on the glass, so it can be recycled into new jars.
I like the Le Parfait jars better than Kilner Jars. So if this is a noteworthy idea, I would like the patent credit to go to Le Parfait! They can always send me a couple of dozen in samples as a gift!
I am more likely to see something like that in France. I will be keeping my eye out. A dozen or so of those sort of dishes would be a great investment.
Well less of my wittering on about my Lent house detox. I have got to go and wash algae off my Olive trees for a while. I think I must start writing lists, I seem to find more to do every day! How anyone manages to go out to work and run a home I don’t know. I suppose that’s why everyone has to live on convenience food, and not care for the home environment. When I was running my business, My Husband was at home. He had to retire because of massive heart failure. He is a miracle! Very capable Man.
OJust an ordinary girl who likes cooking traditional food for my Husband and myself and occasionally friends.