Friday, 9 December 2016

Keep Warm, Keep Well

The government is full of helpful advice for maintaining the good health of the nation. This leaflet came out recently.
It is aimed at the over 60's, those on a low income, and those with disability.
It may all seem obvious advice, but it never hurts to read through such documents. 

Apart from anything else, it lists all the useful websites and phone numbers which you [or a neighbour, friend, or family member] might find useful. I am over 60, so I read it!
Keeping warm is really important- and so hats and scarves are a good idea. We picked up new Scandinavian winter hats in the CS in Salisbury on Tuesday, as I mentioned. They are fun - and more efficient at staying on in strong winds than our other hats - and if we do go out Carol Singing, they will be better than red Santa Hats, and last past the Christmas season.
I should point out that we do not normally wear hats indoors [the Manse is beautifully warm] this was just for the purpose of the photograph. 
One other piece of advice was to eat a healthy diet, including plenty of warm drinks in cold weather.
On the left is a Waitrose Cup. Having a 'My Waitrose' card means I can get a free hot drink if I buy something in Waitrose. Last week in Ringwood I picked up a few groceries and a coffee.
I brought the cup and lid home and washed it out well.
A couple of days later, the man called to read the electricity meter. He was a jovial chap - but honestly looked well past 65 [Maybe he was 55 and his job is just very ageing] It was a Rather Cold Day and I'd just made a pot of tea for Bob and myself. I was able to offer him a cuppa 'to go' by reusing the Waitrose cup. I must say that would have done this if he had only been 25. Couriers and meter readers cannot usually stop for a drink, but this is a good way of helping them keep warm as they go from house to house.
The right hand container is full of soup. I'd made a slo-cooker casserole and there was just one portion left. I blitzed this [immediately after our meal] with some stock and it made sufficient for us to have a soup&sandwich lunch the next day. Hot food, minimal cost.
One other warming recipe - marzipan and  apple slice.
Including this because I put marzipan on the top of the Christmas cake last week and had a small amount left over.
I googled and found this recipe which I tweaked in order to use up my remaining marzipan and a tub of stewed apple which was in the freezer.

The recipe says 'serves four' - but this bowlful is one eighth of the quantity. I cut it into separate portions and have frozen some. It goes well with yogurt, creme fraiche, ice cream or custard.
Serves 4
70g cold butter, coarsely grated
150g marzipan, coarsely grated
100g wholemeal or granary flour [used plain white]
50g soft brown sugar
200g oats
35g flaked almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tbsp honey [I used demerara sugar, no honey in pantry]
400g frozen stewed apple [thawed slightly and mashed up so it can be spread out]

1 Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3.
2 First of all make the oat mixture. Rub the butter and grated marzipan into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
3 Add the sugar, oats, almonds and the cinnamon.
4 Sprinkle a third of this mixture on to the bottom of an ovenproof dish approximately 20cm x 20cm.
5 Cover the mixture with half the apples and half the honey, sprinkle over another third of the oat mixture, then the rest of the apples and honey, followed by the rest of the oat mixture.
6 Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Serve with Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche.


  1. Very cute hats! How nice that you saved the coffee cup; I'm sure the meter reader appreciated the hot drink. The marzipan and apple slice sounds delicious, too.

  2. Smart hats!The take away cups are very useful to re-use. I sometimes raise tiny seedlings in them.

  3. You two look utterly adorable in your hats (and yes, I know you are in your 60's but you can still be called adorable!!!).
    That was SUCH a thoughtful thing to do for the Meter Reader! And what a good idea for reusing the cup. My MUM has used them for germinating seeds which also works.
    Great idea to blitz the soup! You are so resourceful!!
    And yes, re your comment, I was thinking that the single shapes on their own looked pretty enough to hang!!!x

  4. I haven't made soup for "official callers" yet but I do sometimes give the postie an ice lolly. Not in December though.

  5. Just wondering if you've muddled raspberries and apple in the recipe?

    1. Aha! the original recipe used raspberries, and I forgot to change it to apples when I copied it out. Thank you!


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