Saturday, 22 December 2012

Vanilla Ice

I'm going to start this blog with a plea for myself and all the other seriously ill people who could be looking at their last Christmas if they do not get a transplant.

Do something amazing this Christmas and give the gift of life. Please join the organ donor list and make sure your relatives know your wishes. Stats show that over 90% of people want to donate but less than 50% do. Out of those only 30% of organs are used because the donor's relatives refused to let donation take place because they did not know if this is what the donor really wanted. Save them the pain and confusion of making a decision at a difficult time and discuss what you want to do now.

To join please use this link  www.organdonation.nhs.uk

At last I am feeling better, I still have a productive cough but it is less each day and I can now hear again. My sense of taste and smell is still intermittent but at least they do seem to be returning. Best of all my appetite has improved again and I'm more or less eating normally so should start to put some weight back on.

Yesterday I had my most active day yet. I cleaned the oven, I nearly gassed myself in the process, and made some absolutely scrummy ice cream. The ice cream was actually the easiest and tastiest recipe I've come across in a long time. If you want to have a go here it is.

300ml full cream milk
300ml double cream
1 vanilla pod or 1 - 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 large egg yolks
125gm castor sugar.

Put the milk and the vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the boil, remove from heat and leave for vanilla to infuse. Beat the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy. Remove vanilla pod from milk (if using) split and remove seeds, add seeds to milk. Pour the milk into the sugar and egg mixture and stir well. Return mixture to saucepan and heat slowly stirring constantly until mixture thickens to consistency of double cream. DO NOT LET MIXTURE BOIL. When mixture coats back of spoon remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add double cream and stir well, set aside until completely cool then put into fridge for 1 - 2 hours.

If you have an ice cream machine pour in and mix until stiff then put into a sealed box and freeze for at least 12 hours. if you don't have a machine place in a covered container and freeze for one hour, remove stir well and repeat until mixture is stiff. Then freeze for 12 hours. This makes enough for four people on it's own or six if served with fruit or cake.

If you want to make a ripple mix in some flavoured sauce during the last mixing or for other varieties add choc chips, crushed nuts or soft fruit.

I'm going to have mine as it is with a drizzle of Baileys over it.

Andrew got the Christmas tree and decorations down form the loft and I finally felt that little bit festive.

Today I'm catching up on all the jobs that are routine and mundane and won't get done for at least another week and that means finally tackling the Eiger of ironing. Thankfully there are a few good films on this afternoon so I won't be bored. Andrew is going to do the decorating, as I can't leap around on ladders etc and by the time Peter arrives home the house should look lovely and he'll have some shirts to wear.

Junior Apprentice Watch

I've just about caught up on this and am so, so please the dreadful Maria didn't win.

The task this week was to come up with a whole new brand of sports wear. While Maria insisted she and Patrick focused on one sport Ashleigh and Lucy went 'street'. Right from the start it became clear that Maria was a team of one while Ashleigh and Lucy worked really well together and inevitably won the task. Maria was unrepentant and still seems oblivious to how she bullies everyone. Patrick was more laid back and just shrugged defeat off. Out of the two victors I had no doubt Ashleigh would be the winner. She was mature beyond her years and knew about money, a subject close to Lord Sugar's heart. A very good result.

In the news I've been following the plight of seven year old Neon Roberts very closely. This little boy had a brain tumour which was removed but further treatment was needed. This treatment was radiotherapy and was deemed necessary to stop the cancer returning and spreading to other areas. A straightforward case with straightforward treatment proven to work so why is he in the news.

Well this is because his hippy dingbat of a mother kidnapped him to stop him having the radiotherapy. Her argument was that the possible side effects of the treatment were too severe and she didn't want him to run the risk. Of course she totally ignored the inevitability of a regrowth of the tumour which would lead to death if untreated. Now we all know that treatments have side effects, some very unpleasant, but what mother wouldn't want to give her child every chance in the world? OK he may lose a few IQ points, he may suffer impairment of some degree but he'd be alive wouldn't he?

Now let me just say I'm not totally against alternative medicine. Used alongside conventional treatments it can have very positive effects but I would always turn to the tried and test methods before anything I'd looked up on Google. However the mother wanted to try everything BUT the tried and tested method, while the father wanted to go down the conventional route, they are separated, what a surprise. The squabble ended up in court during which time a test showed that Neon's cancer had indeed returned and he needed further surgery, guess what, dingbat refused to let him have it so in the end the court ordered the surgery which Neon underwent without any ill effects. Now the court has ordered that Neon have the radiotherapy and that he stay with his father for the duration of his treatment. Thank God for common sense.

His mother is still not happy and is now threatening to sue just about everyone involved. She is of course entitled to her opinions but I have to wonder if she even stopped to think about the effect all this is having on the child she professes to be trying to protect. Neon is old enough to understand what is going on, he is also in the awkward position of trying to please both mum and dad, a hard enough task for any child let alone one that is ill. Most parents, no matter how strained the relationship, will put on a united front when faced with a seriously sick child but not so this mother. She seems to be enjoying the notoriety while we have heard very little form dad except through lawyers. So is her battle really because she has the best interests of her child in mind or is it a way of making dad look uncaring. If so I think we can all agree her tactic has badly misfired.

Strictly final tonight, I cannot tell you how excited I am but first I must answer the call of the Eiger.