Sunday, 17 February 2019

HURRY SCURRY BACK TO THERMALS

When we woke up yesterday we noticed something slightly unpleasant, it was cold and there wasn't any sunshine when she pulled up the blind.

Brr, it was chilly and dreary outside so that put the mockers on our plans to go out to the allotments.

But breaking our fast always cheers us up, she made scrambled eggs and we went back to eat these in the bedroom and think about what she would do instead of gardening.

Housework.. ugh.. she would much rather play in mud than do this but it has to be done. 

She washed, put in eye drops, dressed in comfy clothes and started in the kitchen, pans that were clean but had not yet been polished with the newly aquired Brillo pads were scrubbed until they shone, cabinets and countertops were washed, as was the inside of chilly white larder aka fridge, she took food out of frosty white larder aka freezer for supper and the floor was washed.

She put on a load of washing and cleaned the basin, bath, mirror, lavatory and floor.

The hall and bedroom were vacuumed. All done, well, as much as she was going to do.

For there is still that big fat elephant in the room.. aka the sitting room to be sorted out (rather her than me folks). 

She thought about going to the library but that would have entailed getting dressed in 'proper' clothes instead of comfy thermal leggings, socks and sweatshirt, so decided that wasn't a sensible idea as she was warm and it was mighty chilly out there.

She's still got a rattly cough and her left ear is sore which is affecting her hearing and when she saw her GP on Thursday about this, she took a swab from her left ear and said "This has gone on for too long, I'm making you an appointment to see a specialist at the ENT Hospitals in Grays Inn Road, 4pm on March 26th. You'll need to take this letter and the results of this swab with you when you go, let's get to the bottom of this and find out why it keeps recurring in this poor ear".

She returned calls and emails that had plopped into her phone which had been on silent whilst she was doing housework, then made supper.

Eaten and washed up by 7pm, we settled down for an early night in bed, there were almonds to be crunched and delicious dates to be nibbled.. what a feast of treats!

And we wished for a sunny Sunday, which has duly arrived, but it isn't that warm, I am staying here whilst she goes out to the allotments, she wants to go to the horticultural shed where they have a sale on of primroses and other plants that she wants.

I'll be back to tell you what she bought. Enjoy your Sunday.

GeeGee Parrot.
February 17th, 2019. 

Saturday, 16 February 2019

A FEW OF HER FAVOURITE THINGS..

Bird song, crocuses, daffodils, gifts, good food, great company, jonquils, rosy peony shoots, snowdrops and sunshine are some of her favourite things and they were all in abundance yesterday.

Jane, with a suspiciously full looking trolley, was already in the arcade at South Ken tube station when we arrived at 12.10  yesterday, I say we because, having been very silly and not gone with her yesterday, I thought I would venture forth today and I am mighty glad I did.

They greeted each other and went down onto the platform to catch a train to Hammersmith, a train to Richmond appeared in less than a minute and we were 'all aboard' and off on our jaunt!

The sky was a brilliant blue, nasty old and cold Mr.Wind was blowing elsewhere and it was warm, really warm! What a treat for the middle of February.

Off at Hammersmith and up the escalator to the top level of the Broadway we went to catch a 190 bus, one came along quite quickly and we got on and settled ourselves down for the journey out to the Chertsey Road.

She said to Jane to make a note of the noise when they got off the bus and walked to the allotment gate, for one of the wonderful things about the site is the near silence of man generated noise and as you walk down the steps to the plots, the noise fades away, it always makes her relax and smile.

She unlocked her front gate and invited Jane onto her plots. She came through, stopped, looked around, smiled, nodded her head and said "Yes, I get it, Debbie's right, it is an oasis, what a wonderful place".

They walked up onto the terrace, mama put me onto the table, organized shade for me on the top of my cage, checked my water bowl and went to open up the Shack whilst Jane went for a potter about. 

She brought out plates, glasses, water, napkins and the box of cutlery out onto the table and found Jane unpacking all manner of exciting things!

Delicious boxes of Japanese food, a goat cheese, some fruit, three mysterious little packages and a beautiful plant, a pink Hellebore.

They sat down and she was handed the three little boxes one after the other, the first was a set of three olive wood oval bowls, the second an olive wood soft cheese knife and then she opened the third box. It was a small Swiss retractable hard cheese knife with the handle made of olive wood, the blade is very sharp indeed.

What beautiful things to receive and absolutely perfect for outdoor living OR actually anywhere, for who would not be thrilled to receive them and a pink Hellebore as well!

Their lunch was delicious and mine was too, for I had scrambled egg, grapes, almonds and some of my tasty Harrington cubes to crunch.

Mama washed up and potted up the Hellebore into a terracotta pot and sunk it into the ground with a cloche over it, for it has been grown in a green house and she certainly doesn't think this fabulous weather is going to last.

It had been a very cold night as the two bottles of olive oil in Shack were congealed.. it's a test for good oil, pure olive oil will congeal if the glass bottle gets cold whilst oil with nasty additives will not and she never buys olive oil in plastic bottles.


After collecting gloves, two hand forks and a rake, they planted lots of red onions and fat shallots and raked up leaves, then mama walked her around the plot and introduced Jane to REALLY wild rocket which is very different to that poor stuff you buy in shops, wild garlic, self seeded mizuna and Japanese spicy mustard leaves.

The mizuna, which self seeded itself last autumn on the terrace, has been almost eaten to the ground by birds, she begrudges them it not one bit for it's good for them and she was glad to see the water bowls were full of rain water, for birds have to drink just like we do and it is much better for them if they have access to clean rain water rather than having to drink from muddy puddles.

Jane went for a wander about so mama sneaked off with a big bag to pick lots of tasty greens to give to her and managed to push it down into her trolley before she returned. They put on their jackets, mama locked up Shack, organised my travel bag and we left to catch a bus home.

They talked on the bus and Jane told her that one of her grand daughters has asthma so that decided their route home, they stayed on the little bus, getting off at the North End Road and going into Al Baydar to get Black Seed oil aka Black Cumin oil.

Whilst they were waiting to be served, the customer in front of them bought a kilo of fresh dates and then, very sweetly, gave Jane and mama one each. 

The look on Jane's face was a delight as she tasted it and she said "Now I know why people love them, I have never tasted anything so delicious, I will have to take some as well" and asked for a kilo split into two, one of which she gave to mama!

We went off up the street, where she has never been before, with mama pointing out various places for good food or services like her excellent tailor and dry cleaner.

Onto a 414 bus at Fulham Broadway and it was 'home again, home again jigeddy jig' with Jane getting off at the top of Onslow Square and us getting off three stops later.

We returned home to a quiet flat for where was Boy Burki whom we had left behind? 

He appeared after about five minutes, he had eaten and drunk water but there was no sign that he had been sleeping on her bed, he disappeared again and she found him in the boiler room, she has always suspected that is where the mice get into our flat and he obviously the same idea too!

Emi came to collect him at 8pm and we settled down for a snack of fruit and nuts with a hot drink for her and a very early night for both of us, for we were tired, we were full of fresh air and exercise and she had had a lovely day with more than a few of her favourite things!

GeeGee Parrot.
February 16th, 2019.

Friday, 15 February 2019

HUGO DIED 38 YEARS AGO ON ST.VALENTINE'S DAY.. OH DEAR.

Whilst most of the rest of the world was happy to celebrate Valentine's day, it wasn't such a 'happy' day for her and she usually spends it quietly.

Her father suffered a very severe stroke which ended his life on St.Valentine's day in 1981. She was in Spain and received a telegram from her brother telling her and it was such a huge shock.

For she had enjoyed a very happy time with Hugo only a few days before she flew out to Malaga to help a friend move house. 

And so she
said to Inez how very grateful she was that she'd seen him and that they had had such a happy time together.

S
he's now several years older than her papa had been when he died.. rising sixty nine whilst he had only been rising sixty one.

Yesterday
there is a chore to be done for a friend first and she spent the afternoon doing 'stuff' at the allotment, the fine weather we were promised had materialized!

However, I decided that I didn't want to go and stayed 'home alone', I know.. silly me, for she came home early, grabbed her laptop and shot out again to go to Raja's house.

Her old laptop of sixteen years died, he took out the hard drive and bought her a reader so that they could take all the information off it.

Yeah.. she found all the photos of the four wren babies who were born in the Shack in 2005! They are adorable photos and Raja was entranced by them.

Today we are going out to the allotments, we'll meet Jane at South Ken tube and have lunch out there, she has lots of red onions and shallots to plant and there are a lot of dead leaves to be raked up and old peony stalks that need to be cut down and burnt in the incinerator.

She's bought several bags of mixed dahlias tubers so they, together with lots of freesias corms, need to be planted.

Oh, you didn't know you could grow these lovely flowers outside? Yes, they're exquisite but you must remember to dig the corms up in the autumn and dry them off as they would rot in wet wintery earth.

We're off now as she has to get everything together. Many chirps to you all.

GeeGee Parrot.
February 15th, 2019.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

A TASTY LUNCH & A BETTER SCORE. (THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT!)

Lunch was scrummy, even more scrummy as she didn't have to cook it! 

She blew me a kiss, told me to be a good girl and left to go up the road for lunch with Barbara and the Wednesday quiz.

Oh, it's boring that she can't eat peppers for the dish of stuffed peppers looked delicious but she chose spicy beef with quinoa instead and a side salad.

Time for the quiz, the tables were cleared, a space was made for Michael's wheelchair, coffees, teas and grapes appeared and they started bang on the dot of 2pm.

She got the first ten questions right! 

Sherlock Holmes wore a deerstalker cap.
It is the Cutty Sark which was built in 1869 and is in th dry dock at Greenwich.
Samuel Pepys described the pub as the heart of England.
The photo was of Henry Kissinger.
Leo is the astrological sign of people born on 1st August.
The Collezione Peggy Guggenheim is in Venice. 
Borneo is split between Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Vodka is the spirit used to make Screwdrivers and Sea Breeze .
Mc.Donald's staff will serve people on horseback at their drive-throughs.

Sadly she left the rest of quiz papers behind or that's what she's saying!! Nudge nudge.. get my drift!

They were a merry bunch and it was warm enough to have one of the garden doors open! Let's hope that the next two days are also fine, for tomorrow we're bound for the allotments to plant onions and shallots.

And on Friday morning, Jane's meeting us at South Ken tube station, we'll take the Piccadilly line to Hammersmith and then catch a 190 bus out to the allotments.

And Jane's said she'll bring a hot lunch in a thermos! What a treat and Joska's due to be there as well.

Spring is a'coming folks and the gardening gang will soon all be back on their plots working hard to get their seeds and cuttings ready for this year's produce.   

And on our way home tomorrow, we are having tea with our Lebanese friends, Raja has said he'll take the hard drive out of her old dead laptop and transfer the photos onto a disc.

So here we are, halfway through the week with a couple of pleasant things to look forward to. We hope that you're having an happy and trouble-free week? 

Now she's got to rustle up a bowl of fruit, nuts and dried chunky yumyum for me, which is what I like to eat in the evening whilst I watch television.. as you do when you're a much beloved African Grey.

Which I am.

GeeGee Parrot.
February 13th, 2019.

BLACK SEED OIL..

She went to the North End Road to get Brillo pads, a jar of cloves and two bottles of Black Seed Oil.

Do you know this oil? It is an essential oil from the Black Cumin seed and has many properties.

Go on line and read about it.

She learnt about this oil when she asked Anissa, her hairdresser, if she knew of anything that would stop hair loss.

"Yes, you need to get a bottle of Black Seed oil from Al Bayar in the market, mix it with a good olive oil, rub it onto your scalp, leave it for at least an hour and then wash it out with a non-sls hair shampoo. Do this at least three times a week and you'll see a difference within four to six weeks" said Anissa.

Anissa is from Morocco and went on to say that the oil is also great for coughs and that she uses it to keep her asthma at bay.

So she went, all those years ago, and bought a bottle and applied it to her scalp, she also rubbed it on her face at night. 

Sure enough, her receding hair line stopped receding, the hair grew back, has never thought of disappearing again and her skin looked pretty good too! 

The only thing was that she had to go to find a navy blue pillowcase as the oil, as described in its' name, is truly dark and it stained a white pillowcase but that wasn't anything a wash with sterilisation fluid couldn't handle!

She has a dear friend called Judith who had gruesome asthma attacks so, when Anissa told her that she uses the oil to control her asthma, she bought her a bottle and gave it to her.

About ten days later, she received a call from Judith saying that she wanted to have lunch and tell her something and asked where should they meet?

Mama suggested the small Polish restaurant near to Bartek on Streatham's Centre Parade and they agreed to meet at 1pm on the following Tuesday.

Judith had arrived and 'bagged' a quiet table at the back and after hugging each other, they sat and mama said "What was it that you wanted to tell me?"

She grinned and said "I cannot thank Anissa enough.. for after taking the oil for three days, I haven't had a single attack and haven't had to use my inhaler, so here's a letter that I would like you to give to Anissa together with this" and she picked up a pretty bag which had in it a charming bowl full of dark blue hyacinths!

"And lunch is on me".

Woooo! This was amazing news as her poor friend used to have to have her inhaler with her all the time and for her to have nearly two weeks without having to use it once was amazing!

So when her throat felt scratchy and she coughed.. Black Seed Oil was put onto the shopping list!

She gets it from two shops, if she's shopping in Streatham, she buys it from a shop called MFC which stands for Mediterrean Food Centre, where she finds pure pommegranate syrup and the best yoghurt known to exist, in glass jars.. not horrid plastic tubs! They charge £3.99 for a large bottle of the oil.

If she isn't going up there and it is a fair way to go, she gets it from Al Bayar on the North End Road who sell it for £4.99.

You do not have to spend anything more than that! If you do, you are being ripped off! 

The oil has a strong taste and is slightly 'peppery' and a couple of people have said that they cannot drink it, so she tells them to mix it with fresh lemon juice and a bit of honey to disguise the taste but to drink it!

She drank some out of the bottle in the shop and has taken a large teaspoonfull every four hours, it has stopped whatever was brewing in its' tracks and she's increased her intake of water as well as 
her brews of fresh ginger and turmeric root which now have crushed cloves and lemon juice added to them. 

This combination of spices pack a mighty punch against germs and viruses and certainly any cold that thought it was going to invade her has now had second thoughts!

Ok, time to get dressed and go to New Horizons for a light lunch and play the general knowledge quiz and hopes to do better than last week.

Who knows when Elvis married Priscilla? She didn't.

It's vaguely sunny.. the sky is pale grey but at least it's dry and doesn't look to be too windy. Where's all this amazingly good weather they keep talking about?

GeeGee Parrot.
February 13th, 2019.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

EVERYONE HAS GUTS.. REAL ONES.. AND THEY HAVE BEEN CALLED 'THE SECOND BRAIN'.

Back in 1992, Dr. Michael Gershon, chairman of the department of anatomy and cell biology of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Centre discovered a network of neurotransmitters in the gut that act in a similar way to neurons and he christened it 'the second brain'.

Since then a huge amount of research has found that all manner of modern day illnesses link back to disturbances in the digestive system. 

These include joint and muscle pain and autoimmune diseases including Motor Neurone Disease aka ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Dr. Alan Ebringer of the Middlesex Hospital here in London has linked Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is a painful arthritis disease resulting in the stiffening of joints, with a form of bacteria that lives in the bowel and feeds off carbohydrate residue.

And patients found that by cutting their intake of carbs to a much lower level, their conditions were greatly improved and in some cases, resolved. 

Diarrhoea suffers are found to have a bacterial overgrowth in their gut, the bacteria alter the metabolic and immune responses of the body and they turn against the normal gut flora and this is an early indication of a condition known as a 'leaky gut'. 

NSAID stands for non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug. 

As well as being intolerant of certain types of food, caffeine and alcohol, even short term usage of these drugs can cause damage to your gut and long term usage is harmful and is responsible for leaving the gut very inflamed and permeable.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that she reads a lot.. and not just novels, travel books or biographies. 

A book which is beyond scary is 'The Case Against Sugar', yes, I have mentioned it before but it is worth mentioning it again.

For this one simple fact.

That, unless they have stopped adding it very recently, American cigarettes contain sugar. And it is the sugar that, together with the smoke, creates tar in your lungs and nasal passages which leads to lung cancer.

Today is a dreary day, she's brewing a head cold which 'ticks' her off no end.. she coughed a lot yesterday afternoon and today.. her throat is sore, she's coughing and sneezing. Drat.. BIG drat. 

She planned to go to Audiology today to have her left ear tested for her new hearing aid but with a head cold and catarrh, there is absolutely no point in even thinking about going to the hospital.

And she forgot to get pan scourers yesterday.. so she has to go out as there are a couple of pans that are clean but need a good scrub with a Brillo pad.

Yes, she's like a Magpie.. she likes shiny things!

GeeGee Parrot.
February 12th, 2019.

Monday, 11 February 2019

BRIGHT LIGHT.. AND HOW MUCH HIGHER THE SUN IS NOW!

WOW! We got out of bed at a sensible hour and went off to the bathroom to find.. a very brightly lit room! 

Had she left the lights on? No, it was sunlight, very bright and sunny sunlight.

How wonderful it is to see this, the sky is pale but there isn't a cloud to be seen and because it is now at least seven weeks after the Winter Solstice, the sun is that much higher in the sky.

What a difference it makes in our bedroom, the daylight bulb doesn't have to be switched on, nor does her bedside light, for the room is lit with glorious natural light and it's wonderful!

She started reading a book last night written by an very old friend of Constance.. aka her mother. 

Eric Newby wrote wonderful books, mostly on the travels that he did with his wife, Wanda, after WW2. The book she is reading is 'On the Shores of the Mediterranean'. 

She always has a couple of books on the 'go', for one cannot read what she calls investigative health books all in one go like you read a novel.

And Lynn McTaggart's book 'What Doctors Don't Tell You' ARTHRITIS is a far too an important book to read lightly or quickly.

She highly recommends this book to everyone, for it is proven that inflammation causes most diseases and inflammation usually starts in our digestive system aka guts.

The sun has shifted round and is no longer shining his beam directly in through our bedroom window but the room is still bright and light.. what a treat!

She has to buy powdered ginger, fresh ginger, turmeric roots, sweet potatoes and hopes to find Spring Greens in the market, so we will be back later today.

The weather forecast is good for this week but very bad for next week, so she'll be planting lots of shallots and onions this week at the allotment. 

And, some freesia corns in a pot at home. She found them in the market last week. Oh, there is nothing like a pot of home grown freesias to make a home smell simply divine.. except, maybe a pot of jonquils!

I've got BUB's kipper box to beak.. so I send you all chirps.

GeeGee Parrot.
February 11th, 2019.
PostScript: 
On the shores of the Mediterrean' by Eric Newby. ISBN # 978-0-00-736791-7
WHAT DOCTORS DON'T TELL YOU -
ARTHRITIS
Editor Lynn McTaggart. 
ISBN # 978-1-78180-338-7

Sunday, 10 February 2019

IT'S THE CHINESE NEW YEAR & SHE FOUND CRISPY SEAWEED & CHICKEN WITH CASHEW NUTS HANGING ON OUR FRONT DOOR!

Now, I have just told you that she doesn't eat lunch except if she goes out to lunch with friends but today is truly an exception.

For lunch came to us! She was just about to go and make herself a hot drink about ten minutes ago when plop.. a WhatsApp message arrived on her mobile.

It was from Tereza who was up in Chinatown celebrating her Chinese birthday as it is the year of the Pig.

The message read "do you like crispy seaweed and chicken with cashew nuts, if so, it will be on your door in 5".. 'is the Pope a Catholic' she thought to herself as she tapped out her reply.

And sure enough.. a few minutes later, she opened our front door to find a bag hanging on it.

"Oh slurp GeeGee, look what we have to eat, I'll put the fish back into the fridge for tomorrow and we'll have this delicious food instead, what a treat, how kind of Tereza to do this".

I think it is because the first three years of her life were spent in Malaya - as it was called in those days - that she has a liking for food from that part of the world. Vietnamese, Cambodian, Malay and Chinese cuisines are what she absolutely loves and how she didn't stop to eat a bowl of yumyum at the Vietnamese food market yesterday is beyond me!

She's found her chopsticks, made a hot drink of ginger and lemon and we'll settle down to eat this delicious gift.. 

And hope you will go and eat some Chinese food or make a stir fry at home with delicious spices and celebrate.. 

The year of the Pig.. oink oink!

GeeGee Parrot.
February 10th, 2019.

WEAR MORE CLOTHES.. PULL DOWN A BLIND.. MAKE SURE YOUR RADIATORS ARE WORKING.. INTERLINE YOUR CURTAINS.. AND MORE!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that she is frugal. 

There is an article in today's Guardian about the rising cost of household prices. Electricity, gas, council tax and water are all due to rise this Spring.

We cannot do anything about the council tax but she certainly has done a lot about controlling the costs of the other three necessary items that we use on a daily basis.

She goes out of a room, she turns off the light. Nothing is ever left on 'Standby'. She wants a cup of something hot to drink, she puts just enough into the kettle or boils more and puts the rest into a thermos.. one that actually keeps the liquid hot! 

There's a heavy curtain in front of our front door, this means we have a snug warm hall as no cold air whistles through any gaps

There are blinds in both our bedroom and sitting room, they are down and the difference is amazing as they stop the cold coming into the rooms.

The curtains are interlined, unfortunately the silly builders put the new bedroom radiator below the window and long curtains stop heat circulating, so during cold weather she picks up the curtains and lays them onto the shelf which is an extension of the window ledge.

The gas combi boiler is only on during the day at a low degree and goes off at about 9pm, it comes on at 7am but the radiator valves are set at high, all except for the one in the sitting room which is on low.

She washes up once a day at night.

She is frugal with gas for cooking and very seldom uses the oven, apart from red meat, food is steamed over a small amount of water in layers.

Yesterday's supper was a small amount of chicken stock brought to the boil in a saucepan, a large handful of flat Vietnamese rice noodles, two pieces of kale, a Spring Green and a handful of frozen seafood was added, the lid went on and it steamed for about 8 minutes.

The contents were all put into a dish, she added seasoning and off we went to enjoy a tasty supper.

She buys whatever fish are on special offer at our fishmonger and freezes them, they are taken out of frosty white larder aka freezer and left to defrost between two plates on the morning of a day when she decides that's what we are having for supper.

As she eats a variety of steamed greens at every supper, the fish are steamed by being placed on top of the vegetables, she much prefers steamed fish to fried or poached fish.

She doesn't eat lunch but breakfast and supper, that's it. I, of course, have food available for me all day long, Harrisons dried food, grapes, seeds and a piece of cabbage and kale are always there as well for I love those crunchy stems!

Unless, of course, she goes out to lunch, then for supper, she'll have a bowl of sauerkraut and some fruit and her large old Danish beer mug from Copenhagen is always full of hot water with freshly chopped ginger and turmeric with a chunk of fresh lemon or lime.

So do something about those drafty doors and windows, turn your boiler down and wear more clothes.

Men can wear a cotton t.shirt with short sleves under a shirt or sweater or a thermal vest, lightweight or heavy duty woollen instead of cotton or nylon socks which hold absolutely no heat whatsoever! 

Keep your head covered when you go outside and wear gloves and long socks if you are wearing trousers. She has woollen tights that she wears under her trousers.. and very cosy they are too!

Have your gas boiler serviced once a year properly by a CORGI registered engineer. 

And now I am going to tell you two things that will make you a bit sick.. with envy.

Her last gas bill was £11.67 and the one before was £4.14.. ok, yes we do live in a small flat.

The last electricity bill was over £60.00 which was a high one but the weather was cold and so the blinds were down and curtains are drawn and she leaves my daylight bulb and light on for me plus the television.

Take control of your expenditure and yes, change your supplier if you do a comparision and find another supplier who will be cheaper for your level of gas or electrical expenditure.

But I say put a proper wool blanket on top of your duvet if you use one on your bed and wear more clothes.. simples!

GeeGee Parrot.
February 10th, 2019.

BROCCOLI & MUSTARD POWDER - YOU AREN'T GOING TO BELIEVE THIS MAGICAL TRICK!

Yes, we all know that broccoli is good for you but do you know why that is?

Well, it contains an active compound called Sulforaphane (SPN). This valuable compound has been proven to kill cancer cells and it is believed to protect us from free radicals, boost the liver's ability to detoxify and to prevent cancer cells forming.

It is also known that people who have bladder cancer and who eat raw broccoli have a much higher survival rate than those who don't.

Sulforaphane is found in all the cruciferous vegetables but broccoli is the vegetable with the highest content, other vegetables are:

Brussels sprouts. Kohlrabi. Broccoli seeds. Cabbage. Cauliflower. Horseradish & Mustard Greens.

But SPN is a strange thing! For you have to chew or chop a vegetable in order for the compound to be released because it isn't directly present in the vegetable but it is formed in a reaction from Glucoraphnin and to get SPN from Glucoraphnin an enzyme called Myrosinase must be released from the broccoli cells.

Hello.. are you still there! It's a bit complicated but keep on reading! 

And when the Broccoli cells are destroyed by chewing or chopping, the Myrossinase is released and reacts with the Glucoraphanin through a hydrolysis process.. and hey presto.. the result is SPN!

But here comes the bad news.. not all of us like raw broccoli and exposing broccoli to heat kills enzymes and so we don't get any benefit from this or any of the other cruciferous vegetables

When broccoli is frozen, it is first blanched prior to be packed. So the enzyme were destroyed.

However, the Glucoraphanin isn't destroyed by heat, only the enzyme was killed but you can activate it be adding another enzyme and this, Dear Readers, is where the magic begins.

For now all you have to do is to add a small amount of powdered mustard seeds for this to happen.

Think of Colman's raw mustard powder in a small yellow tin. A small amount of this dried mustard powder will perform the wizard's trick.

And as the Myrosinase enzyme is found in *Horseradish, *Wasabi powder or *Daikon radish, you can sprinkle any of these on to broccoli as well.

When cooking broccoli or any other cruciferous vegetable, prepare (chop) them at least an hour before you want to cook them, this allows the enzyme time to react with the glucoraphanin and the SPN will have formed when you start to cook. 

Use chopped raw broccoli in your cooking as a garnish.

Add chopped raw broccoli to steamed vegetables to increase the amount of SPN.

Add a small amount of any of these * powders to activate the powerful agents of cruciferous vegetables.

Soak your vegetables for 5 minutes in salted water and then rinse them before cooking in order to get rid of pesticides.

We are lucky enough to grow most of what we eat in the way of vegetables but when it is dire - as it is today and she hasn't been to the allotments to pick any greenery, we've stuff that she froze earlier in the autumn.

And, of course, we are incredibly fortunate to have the North End Road market, where there is a stall holder called Peter who loves Spring Greens as much as we do! They're grown in Cambridgeshire and yes, she now sprinkles on Colman's mustard powder onto them and.. they're deliciously tasty!

We will be back later today, for in deepest Knightsbridge it is raining heavily and incredibly windy. This stormy weather is causing chaos and it's crazy to even think of going to the allotments which are very exposed.

Stay snug wherever you are and remember to buy some of these magical things* but you may actually already have them in your kitchen cupboard. 

Stay happy and healthy.

GeeGee Parrot.
February 10th, 2019.
PostScript: With enormous thanks to Reading University whose research into the benefits of broccoli and the other cruciferous vegetables gave us these facts about SPN and the other enzymes.