Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sunday supplement

I've been sent a few things, as a blogger, that have only been on loan. Normally I'm quite content to try things out for a week or two and tell you what I think before I give them back. No-one would expect to keep a car they'd tested (although if you're reading this and you've got one, I'm not refusing). And there have been some things I've been glad to see the back of (see 'This Sucks'). But although I've only used it once (so far) and have it for a few more weeks, I can see the day the Tefal ActiFry goes back is going to be a sad one. Now I'm no gadget man. I know, the two go almost hand in hand but I'm as happy doing things by hand as by machine. I am, however, keen on two things: price, and health. And not in that order, either. I've already started making home-made oven chips instead of paying silly money for the frozen ones. But I've shied away from deep-fat friers well, because of all that fat. So the promise of a pan of home-cooked chips for just a teaspoon full of oil was just crying out for some empirical validation. Here are the results.

First, peel and chip your spuds

Add to the Tefal Acti-Fry; add oil... just a teaspoon, mind!

Set the timer


And eat... It really is that simple. And the chips are wonderful - light and fluffy on the inside, yet delicately crispy on the outside. As it's Sunday, I'm going to try doing my roast potatoes in them. Because - unlike many a deep-fat frier - this thing'll do a lot more than merely cook a plate of chips. I'll let you know how we get on.

So much for 'in corpora sano'. If 'mens sana' is more your thing, this book might be the thing for you.

It's a fascinating trawl through the sometimes murky world of children's nursery rhymes, and I've got a copy to give away (leave a comment below and it could be you). And when I say fascinating, I'm not kidding. Did you know, for example, that the 'Old Women who Lived in a Shoe' wasn't a woman at all, but a King (George II) or that 'Mary, Mary' might have nothing whatsoever to do with gardening (I'll spare the winces of any male readers by refraining from informing you what 'cockshells' were used for!) or even that that absurd rhyme about a mouse scampering up a clock is actually about 'Hickory Dicky' Richard Cromwell (son - and brief successor - of Lord Protector Oliver)?

Albert Jack also has some interesting ideas about the well-known rhyme 'Ride a Cock Horse' which it turns out might have nothing to do with Banbury Cross but refer to Lady Godiva riding through the streets of Coventry wearing nothing but her weddings rings (on her fingers) and bells on her toes which were to remind the inhabitants of the city that they'd promised to spare her blushes by turning their backs as she passed. All except a boy called Tom, that is. Hence the phrase, 'peeping Tom'.

Which leads nicely to the second in my occasional series revealing all about my fellow bloggers and their blogging names. Because today's subject is 'Barenakedmummy'! I'd better let her take up the story...

Can I just clear something up, I'm not naked in any way shape or form. No wait come back!! I mean, have you tried writing a blog post when your laptop is burning your legs - no? - well I have and that is why I am clothed. So, why the name I hear you say... well as my memory is crap at the best of times its either 

  1. I was listening to the Barenaked Ladies on the radio and thought 'Barenaked Mummy' that's catching, or
  2. I wanted somewhere where I could bare my soul, not hide behind anything, become naked so that emotions could be shown and I was a mummy, or
  3. none of the above and I really am a nudist!! 
Anyway I am Barenakedmummy or, if commenting on other people's messages, BNM, and if you do want to see me without my clothes on, then you'll have to come over. And be disappointed. But I may even fit another vlog in before Christmas, if only to make some more choccy-rocky fans happy!! 

That would certainly make me happy, although I haven't got a clue what 'choccy-rocky' is. But listen to BNM say it - go on! Anyway, now you know... maybe a little more than you wanted to!

Enjoy your Sunday.
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