This site was updated on 12/01/2011 16:13
Tips... on just about everything!
Tips on gardening, cooking and winemaking to come on this page!
F1 chicken soup!
Chicken (250g breast meat)
Cabbage (White cabbage and use about half)
Onions ( 3 or 4)
Fresh carrots or canned - use 2 cans.
Mixed herbs ( Thyme, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Sage and Basil )
Salt and Pepper.
You basically chop the raw vegetables in to a large saucepan and cook until soft. Then add the salt, herbs, and if you're using canned carrots blitz those with the hand blender and add the pureed carrots. I cook them in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes. Then add some cold water just to cool it a little and blitz it with a hand blender. Chop the chicken as small as possible. Add the chicken to your pan and cook well - around 30 minutes in a pressure cooker or 1 hour in a normal pan. The soup will keep in the fridge - and re-heat in the microwave. If you re-heat it in the microwave - beware exploding vegetables! If you don't blitz them enough - they explode! It's a good idea to cover your soup bowl!
The soup is very high fibre and so fills you up and fibre doesn't have calories and so will help you lose weight. It is also suitable for people with bowel problems. Someone came out with the F-Plan diet once and this is similar. After the soup eat canned fruit for even more fibre. That should keep you filled up and resisting snacking until dinner. This is good for lunch or supper. You can then have a reasonable dinner - although that should be low fat too. This was my experimental soup. Now it tastes nice it's F1 chicken soup! It is easy to digest and high in soluble fibre - so good for you. It is good for losing weight, good if you have any bowel problem like IBS and full of both fat soluble and water soluble vitamins. If you're vegetarian - leave out the chicken and add pulses like split peas (soak for 24 hours first) and more onions for more flavour. You can do the same - leave out the chicken - if you want to lose weight really fast
In the garden...
It's a good time to start planting now. Runner beans can be planted in grow bags or in pots using the compost from grow bags. Runner beans picked fresh are great and high in soluble fibre - good for the digestive system and general health - eat loads if you want to lose weight. Sow tomato seeds now too - you can grow tomatoes outside - a greenhouse isn't absolutely necessary but it helps! You should plant lettuce and other things for salad too. It saves you money and of course is very healthy. It's a good idea to plant up pots and put them on your window sills to start them off if you don't have a greenhouse. In the UK it's usually the end of May before it's warm enough to plant them out. I have a bag of potatoes that have gone to seed - they can go in the garden - they help stop weeks growing and improve the soil for next year.
1 litre of concentrated apple juice.
1 kg of sugar.
Grape tannin or tea.
sodium metabisulphate or Camden tablets.
Wine finings. Isinglass. A wine filter helps too.
This will make 5 litres of wine. Use concentrated apple juice it's cheap and makes a decent plonk - use grape juice once you get good at it! This is easy to make. Put the sugar in a food quality bucket - usually white plastic. Add the grape tannin that has been mixed with boiling water or just make a pot of tea with a couple of spoonfuls of tea for the tannin. Then pour that on the sugar and a little hot water - stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the litre of apple juice stir even more. Add cold water to around 3 litres and transfer to a food quality 5 litre container. A demijohn is ideal. A empty 5L white plastic bleach bottle well washed and exposed to the sun (wash it - put it on the window sill exposed to the sun and wash again) will do. Pour you ingredients in to your fomenter ( the demijohn or bleach bottle) and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the wine yeast. Seal with a plastic bag around the top secured with a rubber band. This acts as an airlock and lets the carbon dioxide produced by fermentation escape and keeps bugs and fruit flies out. Now ferment in a warm place for about a month. You can test it with an hydrometer try for a reading of 1.000 and then add your fermentation stopper (also known as stabiliser). Add 2 Camden tablets or 1/4 teaspoon of sodium metabisulphate. 24 hours later take some wine and half fill a plastic bottle - a lemonade bottle is ideal. Add the finings - preferably isinglass to the lemonade bottle and put the top on. Shake to disperse the finings. Now add the finings to the wine. leave until the wine is clear and siphon the clean wine off the sediment. Leave it again to clear and siphon it off the sediment again when it is crystal clear - now you can either drink it or bottle it. When you get good do it in 25 litre batches - much less messing around and it makes over 30 bottles. It is best to use juices like grape and apple they contain malic acid. Citric acid produces a very sharp tasting wine. You will need a siphon tube - get advice from a wine making store. Also get a couple of 25 litre fomenters when you get good at it with the money you've saved and a good wine filter. A Harris filter is good.
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