Friday, October 03, 2014

A Kitchen-Sink Post

Here's a round-up of odds and sods.

It was my eldest's 18th birthday last Sunday (28th). He went out the night before, blew most of his birthday money and as a result had a quiet day on Sunday which included a mega treat of a KFC take-away lunch... He decided on a birthday dinner of roast chicken at 4pm despite me asking him regularly since the previous day (Me: "Do you want a birthday roast chicken dinner?" Him: "Dunno, I may eat out."). Naturally, not having already obtained a response, the organic chicken was still in the freezer. I got it out, chucked it in the oven on 'defrost' mode, then prised it apart to cut into pieces, chucked them in the microwave to defrost faster, and actually managed to dish up a fully cooked roast chicken (pieces) by 8pm. I was sorry to treat it in such a cavalier way, but 18th birthdays don't happen every day...

Montpellier under water. Photo Midi Libre
You may have seen on the tele the torrential rain and flooding in Montpellier at the beginning of the week. We got five months of rain in three hours. On Monday lunch time, I took my son to the tram station to go to lectures. Mistake. It was already pissing down and the roads were awash. I had very little petrol (35km worth) and had to get to work so really didn't want to be travelling much. I got to work after a very scary drive only to hear not long after that all lectures were cancelled and he was stranded in town because the buses and trams were no longer running.

Luckily it was the end of our fiscal year at work and manic, so I couldn't go to his rescue even if I'd wanted to, and a good thing too, because the roads became rivers and people were having to leave their cars stranded where they broke down. I would have been caught up in all that, and been stranded too.

In the end, he walked with a friend to the tram station where I'd left him, in the pouring rain, and got a lift back. His new computer was fighting for its life overnight drying out... It hiccuped to life the next day, thank goodness.

Vitamin D
The world wide recommended dose for vitamin D3 is 1400 to 2000 UI per day, with a maximum of 10,000. In France, it's 200 UI. Why the difference? Because of a calculation error by the Conseil (not so-)supérieur d'hygiene publique de France (CSHPF), the people tasked with deciding on the dose. Instead of fixing 10,000 as a maximum dose (like in the rest of the world), they calculated it as 1,000. D'oh. The result is that vitamin D3 is only sold in capsules of 200 UI which means you have to take at least five to get the right dose.

It's important, because three out of four people are deficient in vitamin D, and this is a shame because vitamin D helps prevent and treat some cancers, auto-immune diseases (multiple scleroses, diabetes I), depression, fractures, and infections like the flu.

I've just ordered some vitamin D3 for us all in the form of drops because it's easier to take five drops rather than five capsules.

Food supplements
I'm very excited because they have all been ordered and are due to be delivered from tomorrow. I had to wait until this month to order them due to the financial strain of September. The ones I already had have been excellent in improving the quality of my sleep (rhadiola and magnesium). I've been eating a quarter of pomegranate every day for my breakfast too as their juice is very good for balancing women's hormones. I'd eat more, but they cost a fortune each!

My naturopathic doctor gave me a recipe for rice flour bread which I decided to try the other day. It contained rice flour, buckwheat flour, some oat flour, olive oil, an egg, bicarb, and water. She said to put it in the oven at 130°C for half an hour. I was dubious but followed her instructions. Well, of course it wasn't cooked and it tasted quite disgusting. I'm sure there's an error in there somewhere... must email and ask!


  1. Wasn't Monday awful? PF got stuck in Montpellier too, and called me to ask if I coud "nip in to pick him up". Uh, no. there's a hotel right next to your work place. Go there. He was determined to sleep in his own bed, and got home by car...

    1. It was indeed! I'm glad PF got home okay and that it sounds like you had no flood damage.

      We live on a hill so water takes an easier route than diverting chez nous to flood.

  2. I was thinking about you when I heard the news here about your weather. Biblical proportions!
    Congrats to your son - and to you on your masterful chicken cooking.
    Laughing at the vitamin d cock-up.
    Can you buy pomegranate juice in a carton? Would that be cheaper?

    1. It was pretty impressive, never seen anything like it and we've had similar storms before but not as intense or for as long.

      The chicken tasted really good, I was pleased to see, after defrosting it so unceremoniously. It was tastier than the butcher's chicken which is saying something.

      The vitamin D cock-up makes you realise just how random public health guidelines are, and are to be taken with a massive pinch of sodium-free salt. :)

      You can buy pomegranate juice, which is also very expensive. I haven't worked out the value for money comparison. Thing is, I put the grains on my morning porridge which gives it sweetness, juice and crunch. I'll look at the juice though next time I'm in Biocoop.

  3. Sorry to see that about the weather - scary. Congratulations to you and your now adult son and your amazing culinary skills. Have just linked my unusual not sleeping with yours and the menopause. Bugger. Am off to order rhadiola and magnesium, thank you, I think. Have you tried the Dove Gluten Free Bread flour? x

    1. We can't get Dove flour here, but the organic shop has a good selection so I'm working my way through slowly.

      I think it was more my defrosting skills that saved the day for the chicken. Roasting it was a doddle after that. :)

      I hope the rhadiola and magnesium work for you too. :)

  4. Bucketed down in le Lavandou last night so that i had to get up in the dead of night to remove the grilles from the drains. Otherwise , so much water - it just wouldn't have gone. But absolutely nothing compared with Montpellier. The images, again today from deeper in to the Herault, are horrendous. Courage!

    1. Thanks Colin. Lovely to hear from you! We're okay here on our hill, but it absolutely bucketed down last night and made a right racket! I saw some of the images from nearby - pretty impressive. I just hope they don't start talking about penurie d'eau next year! :)

  5. A happy belated birthday to your son, and well done on that chicken dinner!
    The weather looks truly awful, I hope you haven't suffered any damage.
    I didn't know about the pomegranate so I'll add that to my list of things to get for these hormonal difficulties.

    1. I haven't suffered any damage, thank goodness. :)

      Pomegranate is good stuff. The oil is excellent for 'down there' too. Not for lubrication, but to get the hormones working again so that they start lubricating. :) (or so I read in Sherrill Sellman's book).

  6. Yes, I too have heard, read and seen on television the horrible weather in France. It's awful. The few times it did rain in Kuwait, local flooding occurred too, but nothing like what happened in France.

    I'm unaware of the vitamin D3 recommendation, until now. In our house, we drink lots of fresh milk daily. That might explain why my son hasn't had a broken bone for several years now. :). Too bad all the milk he's consuming however, hasn't helped to protect his teeth more.

    1. Hi DD, actually the milk makes strong bones idea is a myth. It actually leaches out calcium from bones.
      Do read this:

      Your son could brush his teeth with coconut oil, and if his teeth are a problem, you could get him to do oil pulling

      and you should all be taking vitamin D3
      I've got us all on it in my family now.

  7. I saw the pics and thought of you! Hope all was OK in the end. As for vitamin D, imagine what it would be if you were living in rainy London...I need to buy some pronto!

    1. Chez moi all was okay I'm glad to say.

      Yes, you need some D3 almost certainly!! :)


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