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since 30/11/-0001


Poodle 24/10/2003

Toy Poodle, Master of the Universe

Poodle I was privileged to be owned by a toy poodle for ten years. Well.. at least that was how I’m sure he saw it! I still remember the day I got him. He was such a small fuzzy blob of a pup he could fit into a slipper. He was so small we named him The Pip. Amazing to think that something that small would one day take over the entire house. The first thing you need to know about toy poodles is they are NOT dogs! Toy poodles don’t behave like other dogs. Basically you are getting the closest thing to a cat in the doggy family. Toy Poodles think you were invented to take care of their needs. They may learn to “sit” and even deign to do a few tricks, but basically these little guys are NEVER going obey you unless they think it’s worth their while. As for sitting staring at you with drooling adoration the way most dogs do? In your dreams! If you want a grovelling fan and ardent admirer go for another dog breed. The American Kennel club sums up the perfect toy poodle character as: “Carrying himself proudly, very active, intelligent, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.” Originally all the poodles were working dogs and not pets. Standards were kept as retrievers of water birds – hence the name after “pudeln” in German meaning to splash about in water. Miniatures were used for hunting and as truffle hounds and the toys were the artistes to be found in circuses or used in shows as “dancing dogs.” Toy poodles are exceptionally cute ...

South African Airlines - SAA 23/10/2003

Approach with extreme caution!

South African Airlines - SAA There are only two things I take into consideration when booking a trip – cost and safety. On both of these SAA scored excellent. There is no doubt that their safety record is very good. Every time I have flown the pilot has been top notch and coped with everything and anything. I double checked their prices against all other possibilities and at the time I was wanting to travel they were the cheapest on offer. I also checked if I could get cheaper booking direct from the airport, but the price was the same as what I was offered by the travel agency I dealt with. So my gripes? Well, if you are travelling within South Africa – none. I never had them run out of food. In fact I found they fed me too much! On a trip where I had to change flights a few times I was served food on each flight. First breakfast, then a snack and then lunch! I rolled off the last flight about 5 kg fatter than when I started! The food was fair to good. I can’t remember breakfast. It was early and I was half asleep, but I do remember that the snack was a roast beef and salad roll. and it was fresh if a bit dry. There were snacks with every meal. Little packets of biscuits and nuts etc. Hostesses were friendly and helpful and things went smoothly. International flights. The toilets were clean and everything worked. I say this as a plus as I have travelled on other airways flights where this was not the case. My first trip overseas the staff were excellent. This was from Johannesburg to London. I ...

Colman's Mustard Powder 21/10/2003

More value than King Midas' gold

Colman's Mustard Powder I couldn’t survive without Colman’s mustard powder. It was the first thing I bought as a new bride buying our first batch of groceries. Back home growing up my mum used it in just about everything savoury from baking to barbecues. I’ve sprinkled it on grills to give them some life, stirred it into sauces and gravies to add some flavour and it’s one of the “secret” ingredients in my own “Southern fried chicken” coating. I always add a dash of it to white and cheese sauces to give them a little panache., just like my mum does, and I’d NEVER dream of doing a baked potato without spreading a little oil and mustard powder on it to make it deliciously crispy.

Ambrosia Creamed Rice 21/10/2003

Addictive Ambrosia

Ambrosia Creamed Rice Up until recently the only rice pudding I’d ever tasted was home made and disastrous. My mother is a superb cook, but rice pudding is where she met her nemesis. So it was with great caution that I approached my first tin of Ambrosia at the recommendation of my husband. He’s a creamoholic with a picky palate where flavours are concerned so I took the plunge – and plunged in a spoon. Wow! What a revelation. So THIS is what rice pudding can taste like when made properly? I was an instant convert. I love the light texture, not too lumpy yet not too smooth. Just enough texture to remind you that you are eating a “rice” pudding. And the taste is brilliant, in my opinion. Rich, creamy and gently sweet it reminds me of the tinned evaporated milk mom used to pour over tinned fruit on Sundays. I’ve had Ambrosia cold, but must say the “rich and cream” comes off better when it is heated. It heats equally well in a microwave or the more conventional way and is extra gorgeous served with a big dollop of fruit preserve and cream.

Elmlea Double Cream Substitute 21/10/2003

Dreamy Creamy

Elmlea Double Cream Substitute Elmlea Double Cream Substitute is marvellous! I love cream, but absolutely loathe the rancid taste you sometimes get in real dairy products. I seem to be extra sensitive and notice that “off” taste in butter and cream long before the rest of my family. You don’t get that with Elmlea, but you don’t lose out on flavour. It’s just as deliciously creamy and tasty as real cream. As a family of two we don’t eat much and other creams end up going off too quickly. Elmlea lasts and lasts. I’ve used it in cooking and been quite satisfied with the results. AS a whipping cream I have found that it doesn’t age as well as real cream. I tried it on a victorian sponge a while back and although it was wonderful on the day the next day it had gone rather flat and a bit “waxy”. Taste was still fine, but the texture wasn’t the greatest. ...

McVitie´s Digestives 21/10/2003

Best digestive I've eaten

McVitie´s Digestives These biscuits are the best digestives I’ve eaten so far in a lifetime spent looking for the perfect digestive. Other makes I’ve tried have either been to dry and hard or too salty. These are just right. moist enough to eat by themselves and soft, but not too crumbly. Enough strength to withstand being smothered in butter cheese. Good flavour and overall a great biscuit. Now can we just find an easier less stressful way to get them out the packaging? I love these biscuits but I HATE the wrapping! Who was the sadist who invented that “pull here” little yellow tab? Pulling, wrenching, clawing with fingernails.. it’s all futile. And when you do get the tab to pull it always seems to go sideways and stick half way. I’d recommend the biscuits in an instant, but warn buyers to come prepared with a sharp knife to cut into the packet to get them out.

Batchelors Cup a Soup 21/10/2003

Super Snack and Lunchtime Lifesaver

Batchelors Cup a Soup Batchelor cup a soup is a lunchtime lifesaver. They're fast to prepare, no fuss and tasty. The thing that impressed me the most though was the fact that the ingredients don't read like a mad scientist's experiment. Some instant snack foods can consist mostly of artificial flavourings and more chemicals than actual nutrition! Batchelor cup a soups contain REAL ingredients - vegetables, milk products etc. Being basically a food slob and more interested in speed and ease of use I'd probably use cup a soups just for the convenience, but knowing I'm not dosing myself with a bunch of weird chemicals does make me feel I'm keeping up a more healthy lifestyle. Kind of easy lazy food without the guilt of not eating a proper diet! I keep a few boxes around for the days (many) that I don't have time to get a proper lunch or just feel like a quick snack. All you need is a mug and access to boiling water and you're away! At home I sometimes indulge and add a few crackers on the side. For really hungry days I even cook some Chinese noodles and pour the cup a soup over them for a really substantial meal. The creamy ones are particularly yummy poured over extra noodles. So far I've tried 6 different flavours and my only reservations are the tomato-based ones like the tomato and minestrone. I'm not a great fan of tomato and in a dried/condensed form it can be a bit too "intense" for my tastes! The chicken ones are my favourites. I recently tried the chicken and leek and was very ...
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