Category: Food and Drink

Many Hands and Happy Returns

Misericordia Mansions has been a hive of activity this week, but not of the usual kind.

Piles appear on all available flat surfaces, surmounted with shopping and to do lists.

We even get the apprentices involved (trousers – not seen).

All for a rather special event this weekend.

Not everyone has been quite so carried away with preparations…

Eco-friendly Orange Peel Firelighters

Orange peel firelighters - Misericordia 2014

I’m not too sure if this is the right time of year for this tutorial, sandwiched uncomfortably in the painful gap between roaring-fire season and barbeque season, but I think there is still enough citrus fruit in the shops to make it work.

My brother- and sister-in law showed me this trick over the winter and we’ve been using it with great effect (both for our fire and our Vitamin C levels). Since we all love anything eco-friendly, waste-reducing and above all flammable, I thought you might like to join in!


It’s hardly rocket science, peel an orange, satsuma or other citrus fruit (I’ve only tried the orange coloured ones, but I suspect that as long as there’s enough oil in the peel to do the trick below, any citrus fruit will do) peel it and let the peel dry. The peels have quite a lot of moisture, so let them dry in the open somewhere until they’re britttle before putting them into a container (loosely covered if at all) to store.

If you want to muck about further demonstrate the flammable nature of citrus oils, here’s an entertaining trick. Please use all sensible precautions against setting your hair, tablecloth or dining companions alight.

[cvg-video videoId=’1′ width=’400′ height=’400′ mode=’playlist’ /]

These firelighters are a nice intermediate step between paper and kindling, they don’t light with a match, but the entertaining fizz they make really helps the first small pieces catch, in addition to their entertainment value.

Let me know how you get on with them, and especially if you feel that my directorial debut needs to be the start of more video posts!

Nothing’s Sure but…

This post is brought to you by my tax return…so it’s about chocolate.

This is my tippy top extra favourite working at home elevensies, but only when the Lovely Young Man is at work because it has [peanut butter*] in it and he and [peanut butter**] are not friends.

I thought I’d got the recipe from the Interwebz somewhere, but apparently (surprise, surprise) I made it up by combining other recipes.

Photo by Health Inspirations

Click on the photo for a link to a version with dates, cashews, raisins, cocoa and vanilla.

I’d like to pretend that mine look gorgeous like the ones in the photo but I tend to eat them half-formed out of a bowl with a spoon (and a guilty expression on my face).

Guilty Pleasure Elevensies

2-ish medjool dates (but I’ve used just plain dates)
about 1 tablespoon porridge oats
1 teaspoon cocoa
1-2 tablespoons peanut butter

Squish dates to paste with the back of a spoon, add cocoa and peanut butter and goodgie about until they are satisfactorily mixed. Add enough oats to make it the texture of your choice. If you’re feeling fancy, roll them into balls, otherwise consume with coffee for super-charged productivity until lunchtime. If it’s Monday, add chocolate pieces.

I make no claims as to the health benefits or otherwise of these things, especially as I’m pretty sure the serving size is miniscule, but it’s got to be better than a Hostess cupcake.


**shh! see above

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