Madhur Jaffrey Rogan Josh

Although plenty of rogan josh sauces are available in jars, when you have the time, cooking rogan josh from scratch to Madhur Jaffery’s recipe has the real flavour.  Yesterday was the day I found the time.


Is it time to give up the bears?

I have quite a collection of bears.  Most are in a box in storage, given names I have long since forgotten.  I am wondering if we are ever too old to be an arctophile.  Would I be better to put them on an auction site and use the money for a treat?


Do you collect anything?  Are they on display?


In Switzerland and France the proof of bear worship can still be found. In Berne (meaning Bear), the capital of Switzerland, there are still bear pits where you can feed carrots to the bears. Many bones and skulls of cave bears have been found at a site in Drachenloch in Switzerland. Why Neanderthal man began hunting the Cave Bear is not certain. It was a formidable animal, standing more than eight feet tall when reared in anger, and must have been a dangerous foe.

Teddy bear collectors are known as arctophiles from the Greek words ‘arcto’ (bear) and ‘philos’ (lover).

Theodore Roosevelt, the American President, was responsible for the first “teddy bear”. On one of his Mississippi hunting trips it is believed that his assistants cornered a black bear after a long chase and tied it to a willow tree. Roosevelt refused to shoot it saying the immortal words, “Spare the bear!  I will not shoot a tethered animal.” Clifford Berryman of the Washington Post drew a cartoon of the scene and eventually the cartoon bear became smaller and cuter. In 1903, a new stuffed toy was developed by Morris and Rose Michtom, owners of a store in Brooklyn and when they put it in their shop window they used a sign saying “Teddy’s bear” and it became a great success. Almost simultaneously in Germany Margarete Steiff, a disabled seamstress, was making stuffed teddies and selling them to the USA. The Steiff company went on to sell millions of teddies before the First World War in Germany, as well as the UK and USA.

A family business called Merrythought in the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge in Shropshire, England, have been making teddies since 1930.  In the 1980’s they made showpiece teddies, some 6ft. tall for Hamleys and Harrods.  In 1992 they won the TOBY (Teddy Bear of the Year Award) for Master Mischief designed by Jacqueline Revitt.  In 2013 they produced a special edition bear to mark the arrival of Prince George of Cambridge.

Vitamins for Seniors

There is such a choice of vitamins available.

Only last week a friend recommended my husband takes Rhodiola rosea together with Ashwagandha Maximum Strength.  They are supposed to give him energy.  So far, he feels more sleepy.  I took one Rhodiola but felt too lively that day.  It is not for me.

I just found a dusty looking bottle on my bedside table.  It’s Ubiquinol CoQ10.  I don’t remember what I was taking it for, so will need to google it as they were not cheap and are still in date.  Then there is the Glucosamine Hydrochloride plus Osteocare liquid for my joints and bones, having broken three of them.  I also take Evening Primrose Oil, Menopace multivitamins and have 5HTP to help with serotonin levels.  I live in the UK in a flat with no outside access, so my doctor recommended I take high dose Vitamin D.  Do we really need all this stuff?  I don’t take them all every day as it would be just TOO much.  I almost forgot, I now have gone back to Cod Liver Oil capules for Vitamin D!  If I feel a cold coming on, I take Boots First Defence followed by a soluble Vitamin C tablet with Propolis royal jelly thrown in for good measure.

I eat a varied diet and although I don’t like most fruit, I love lemons and limes and have at least one a day.

That Drink Thing!!!

I think my relationship with alcohol has a lot to do with stress. Yesterday I had an hour’s meeting with a solicitor and decided to eat lunch time and have a glass or more of wine, followed by a nap. I hadn’t had much sleep the night before (worrying about the solicitor thing) and slept like a log last night. I think the alcohol helped.


Today I have been sipping water and drank Earl Grey. I shall try to avoid wine o’clock, or at least delay it an hour. I am trying!!!

My super douper cocktail!!

The Dentist – Regular Check Ups?

It has been a while since I made an appointment with a dentist for a simple check up.  I have had such awful dentists over the years (and a few good ones) and have now developed a bit of a phobia to say the least.  I need to see one and if my front tooth falls out today, I am able to make an appointment, but for more serious stuff, feel I need to find out about being hypnotised.

I think fear of the dentist is fairly common.  At the moment, I have two crowns that don’t fit properly, making it difficult to eat certain foods, such as crispy bread or crispy bacon.  I don’t want to end up only eating soup or mashed potato, so must find some way of overcoming my fear.

A friend recently had implants done in Spain and the treatment is still ongoing after 18 months.  That seems a long time to suffer.

Broken Tooth, Tooth, Teeth, Dentist


A Week to be Wild – A Mills and Boon book

I am a Mills and Boon Insider and they sent me just before Christmas a proof copy of A Week to be Wild in their DARE series.

I started to read it this week and feel it will appeal to British and American people in particular as it’s set in London and New York.  It’s typical Mills and Boon romance with more raunch, bringing it up to date.  Nice to see the heroine having her own business.


Murphy Richards Soupmaker

IMG_0913I was given one for Christmas and decided to try it out with some leftover vegetables yesterday.  You can get similar results with a saucepan and hand whisk but I found the end result so much more tasty in the soup maker.  Maybe it retains all the vitamins?  The dried herbs totally melted.