Aloe Vera and its uses

Aloe vera is an ingredient in many sun tan lotions, hair-care products and moisturising creams. The sap taken from the fleshy leaves is thought to have healing and moisturising properties. It was thought to be one of Cleopatra’s favourite beauty treatments.

Aloe vera likes hot sunshine and very dry conditions. It will tolerate very arid conditions. Aloes has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years.

These days aloe vera juice is widely available. It may have a laxative effect on the bowel.

Spicy Golden Chicken Breasts with Spicy Rice

You will need:-

A white onion, sliced
Some sliced mushrooms
Olive oil and butter

A pinch of saffron
A chicken breast for each person, preferably with skin to make it crispy
Mixed Mediterranean herbs or oregano
A handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
A pinch of sea salt….Pink Himalayan if you have it
Ground black pepper
Lemon juice and wine

Melt the butter and olive oil in a frying pan then fry the onions and mushrooms. Add the chicken, mixed herbs, seasoning, lemon juice and a splash of wine. Simmer for 25 minutes to half an hour, until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle on the coriander and serve with the spicy rice.

Spicy Rice

You will need:-

Butter and olive oil
Half an onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
Chopped Kenyan Chillies
Diced carrots (2 carrots)
A few sliced mushrooms
Basmati rice
Water to cook

Fry the onion in the butter and olive oil Then add the carrots as they take longest to cook, followed by the chillies and mushrooms. Take add the salt and pepper. Take a cup of basmari rice and stir gently into the mix, taking care not to break the grains. Once the rice is coated in oil, add a cup and a third of water. Bring to the boil and then cook on a very low heat (preferably using a heat diffuser) for about 25 minutes with no peaking. Don’t forget a tight fitting lid. Personally I like to put a tea towel between the pan and the lid to seal in the steam.

A Midweek Supper of Chicken Livers and Bacon

You will need:=

Chicken livers

4 bacon rashers, chopped

1 large white onion, diced

A couple of bay leaves

A tin of ratatouille

Salt and Pepper

1 teaspoon of oregano

A splash of Worcestershire sauce

Olive oil to cook or rapeseed if you prefer

Sweat the onions in the oil for a few minutes, then add the bacon followed by the chicken livers. Add the other ingredients and simmer on a low hob for about half an hour.

What to wear in the British Isles

Easter in the UK is usually a complete washout. In 2019 Easter was the warmest on record. In the sunshine it was warm enough to wear a t-shirt and shorts, but in the shade??? Would you, could you brave that cool wind on bare legs? I couldn’t. It seems that as soon as the sun shines, it’s “summer” no matter the temperature is less than 18C. My phone is currently telling me it’s 7C but outside in the street, people are happily going about their days without a coat. The sun isn’t out today.

I am not keen to swim outdoors unless the temperature reaches 28/29C. Lots of Brits feel differently and dive right in.

A Winter Warming Drink

Suggested ingredients:

1 orange

Several cloves

A splash of port

A cinammon stick

A teaspoon of allspice

3 teaspoons of sugar

25ml of rum

25ml of brandy

Stick cloves into an orange. Cook it in the oven for 15 minutes, on a tray, at 180C.

Cut it in quarters and put in a saucepan with port, cinammon, allspice, sugar, rum and brandy. Don’t bring to the boil if you want to retain the alcohol. Serve warm in a pretty mug.

Steam Inhalation

Suffering from a cold, sore throat, runny nose? What about trying steam inhalation for some relief?

The steam will help to open the nasal passages. You will need a large heatproof bowl such as Pyrex, boiling water, a towel, essential oils or a handful of fresh herbs.

If using fresh herbs, crush them and add a pint of boiling water. Cover your head and the bowl with a large towel and inhale the steam. Do this for 5 minutes twice a day. Why not try thyme?

If using oils, add three or four drops of the oil with a pint of boiling water. Inhale in the same way as the herbs, but probably a minute will be long enough.

You could try:-
Eucalyptus
Lavender
Frankincense
Tea Tree

Obviously, seek medical advice if symptoms persist.