Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Peas - Homegrown and Delicious!

Mr.R has got all sorts of vegetables and herbs growing in pots in our tiny yarden, and we've already enjoyed eating some of the fruits of his labours - or should that be veg?

Peas! Hubby has green fingers.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #homegrown #growyourown #peas #vegetables

Recently we have eaten some delicious homegrown peas.
I don't think it's psychological, they really do taste sweeter when you have grown them yourself, or in my case Mr.R has grown them - with the help of the sun obviously.

Do you grow your own?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Abbot's Choice, Mature Cheddar Cheese

We love cheese, so we were very pleased to receive the delivery of a cheese hamper.
Better still, it was free - Mr.R won it in a competition.

Abbot's Choice. Mature Cheddar Cheese. Smooth.

Abbot's Choice. Mature Cheddar Cheese. Smooth.

It's always nice to try cheese that you haven't had before, and there are a couple in this hamper that we hadn't tried, so we're looking forward to tasting them.

Abbot's Choice. Mature Cheddar Cheese. Smooth.

Abbot's Choice. Mature Cheddar Cheese. Smooth.

So far our favourite cheese from the selection has been Abbot's Choice, Mature Cheddar Cheese, from Wensleydale Creamery.
It is quite strong, very creamy, and seriously delicious.
Mmm, just thinking about it is making my mouth water.

Are you a cheese lover?
What's your favourite type of cheese?

Monday, 7 July 2014

Two Ravens, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional 2012 - Review

We thoroughly enjoyed this bottle of red wine, it was fruity, packed with cassis, damson, and spice flavours, full bodied, and seriously smooth.
In fact it was so very moorish, I wish we'd purchased more than just the one bottle.
Writing this blog post has got me salivating, longing for more of this super wine.

This delicious Portuguese red wine from Lisbon, uses Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga Nacional grapes, from one of the best winemakers in Portugal, the family vineyard of José Neiva Correia.

Cheers!  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #wine #redwine #Portuguesewine #TwoRavensWine #cabernetsauvignon #TourigaNacional

The official gumph about Two Ravens, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional 2012 -

Vinification Method
Classic fermentation method with destemming and pre fermentative skin contact followed of the application of dry yeasts. and . Fermentation up to 30º C in the first 2/3, and lowering down to 20º C during the last 1/3. During the whole fermentative process, pumping over 2 times per day, using each time half of the volume contained in the vat. After the alcoholic fermentation, the cap is plunged for 30 days, and during that period, extraction of the gentle tannins is conducted, along with the malolactic fermentation and the natural stabilization of the wine. 

After bottling ages one month in bottle. 

Tasting Notes
This wine has a delicious full flavour of soft fruits such as raspberries and redcurrants. The wine is made from selected grapes and this is evident from the superb balance between is qualities of smoothness, ripe fruit and youthful freshness. 

Have you tasted Two Ravens, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional 2012?
What did you think of it?

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Oil Pulling

Today I tried oil pulling for the very first time. I used coconut oil.
I've known about the practice for ages, but as with many things I intend to do, I hadn't - until today.
I'm not sure I believe that oil pulling is of any particular benefit to the body, but as I do occasionally brush my teeth with coconut oil instead of regular toothpaste, and I've had good results from doing so, I thought I'd try oil pulling and see for myself if it really is as good as many people claim.

Coconut Oil

I'm pretty sure you already know, but if you don't here's a rough description of what oil pulling is, and its reported health benefits.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual, that was reportedly first introduced to the modern World by Dr. F. Karach, MD. in 1992.
Dr.F.Karach, MD claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses.
To do oil pulling, you put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, and swish (kavala graha) or hold (snigda gandoosha) the oil for 15-20 minutes.
You don't swish vigorously like you do when using mouthwash, you just gently swoosh the oil around your mouth, forcing it between your teeth etc. and then when your time is up you simply spit out the oil, rinse your mouth with warm salt water, and then brush, and floss your teeth as you usually would.
It is important that you don't swallow any of the oil while you're swooshing it around your mouth, as according to followers of this practice this will mean you're swallowing toxins.
Also another important thing to remember is never to spit out the oil into your sink or loo, as it may solidify and block your plumbing.

So, what are the reported health benefits of oil pulling?
Practitioners of oil pulling claim it not only improves your oral health, but your overall health too. They say it whitens teeth, strengthens teeth, prevents cavities, cures gingivitis and improves gum health, freshens your breath, relieves jaw pain, relieves headaches, migraines, cures insomnia, cures sinus problems, cures hangovers, and improves skin complaints including acne, eczema, and psoriasis, and some people have claimed that it also cures diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
Wow! Is oil pulling a miracle cure?

Coconut Oil

Oil pulling reportedly 'pulls' out toxins and bacteria which helps detoxify your body thus making you healthier.
I like the idea that the simple act of swooshing oil around my mouth may benefit my health in numerous ways, but I always think that when something sounds too good to be true - it usually is. And the benefits of oil pulling do sound a bit too good to be true.

I mean, while I realise that the mouth is a dark dirty place where bad things lurk, which can spread throughout the body causing serious trouble and health problems, I also think that the human body is a truly amazing thing, that does a pretty decent job of looking after itself, as in detoxifying itself to maintain optimum health.
Well, it does, if you're eating a balanced diet, exercising, and generally looking after your body.

Coconut Oil

As is often the way with so-called 'alternative' therapies, oil pulling is not something that mainstream medicine thinks highly of. They say that oil pulling has not had sufficient in depth studies to prove its health claims, and that it is not as effective at improving oral health as traditional chemical mouthwash.
I don't know what I think about what they think.
I mean, if oil pulling with a small amount of oil could do all of the positive things practitioners claim, then that would most definitely have a detrimental effect on the dental industry, which is obviously worth a lot of money.
Also I believe that a lot of professional 'healthcare' workers don't want us to use simple, cheap, at-home techniques to cure our health problems. They want us to keep them in a job, they want us to poison our bodies with all of the pills they so readily hand out. After all, the NHS is all about making money by treating sick people, and not about curing sick people.

Coconut Oil

But I have digressed slightly. I am slightly obsessed with the awful truth about big pharma etc. but that's a topic for another blog post.
So, back on track, this morning I tried oil pulling for the very first time.
Well, mainly because I've had excellent result when I've brushed my teeth with oil; much whiter teeth, and an improvement in gum health, plus I like the feeling of super shiny teeth that oil brushing gives me, and it's natural, not full of crappy chemicals and worse still - fluoride, like most standard toothpastes are.
So, I thought I'd see if I noticed any of the reported health benefits that oil pulling is said to give.

Typical me though, I couldn't remember exactly what I was supposed to do, other than swoosh with oil, so instead of searching Google just to make sure I was oil pulling correctly, I simply shoved some coconut oil in my mouth and began to swoosh.
I did remember that when you first start oil pulling a tablespoon may be too much, and that 10-15 minutes may be too long. So I used about half a dessert spoon of coconut oil, and only swooshed for 5 minutes.
I didn't find the process horrible, in fact I quite liked it because I love coconut oil, I could happily eat it by the spoonful. But I had to remind myself not to swallow any of the oil as I swooshed it around my mouth, and I realised I was holding my breath quite often too, which wasn't good because as soon as I realised I wasn't breathing I inhaled deeply and wanted to swallow. Oh dear! That sounds wrong. Ha!
Anyway, after 5 minutes I spat out the oil, and that was that.
It was only after I'd had my first cup of tea of the day, that I Googled oil pulling and read about rinsing your mouth with warm salt water, and brushing your teeth as usual.
It is now 4 hours since I did my first oil pulling, and I still haven't rinsed with warm salt water or brushed my teeth as usual. I'm certain that moment has long gone.
See, I'm very slack at doing all of the things I read about and then intend to try.

So, will I continue oil pulling?
I'm not sure.
I know once is hardly enough time to know if it does have any health benefits, but just by writing about it, it's got me thinking that it's probably all nonsense. Swooshing oil around your mouth will pull out toxins etc. Hmm, I'm not sure.
Or maybe I am sure, but I'm just too lazy to bother oil pulling every morning. I think the best way to start my day is with a nice hot cup of green tea, and not with a mouthful of oil.
If I did all of the many many things, that I know are good for me, every single day, I don't think I'd have any time left to do anything else, you know, like live my life.
My willpower is not that strong.

Coconut Oil

Having said all that, I may try oil pulling again, and it may even be tomorrow morning, and it may even become a daily occurrence, but I wouldn't bet any money on it.

Have you tried oil pulling?
What's your opinion on this Ayurveda practice?

Monday, 30 June 2014

Faustino VII Rioja Tempranillo 2011 - Review

When we lived in France we used to go shopping in Spain quite often, mainly because it was only a short drive, and because almost everything was cheaper in Spain.
Being lovers of red wine, and living in a huge vineyard we drank lots of lovely French wine, but we also enjoyed wine from Spain.
Mr.R especially liked Rioja, I wasn't as much of a fan as he was.
Anyway, during a recent shopping trip Mr.R returned with a bottle of Spanish wine, Faustino VII Rioja Tempranillo 2011, which reminded us our our life in France. Yep, a bottle of Spanish wine brought back memories of living in the South of France. Hehe!

What did we think of the Faustino VII Rioja Tempranillo 2011?
We liked it. Actually, despite it only being a couple of days ago that we drank it, I can't really remember what I thought of it, and neither can Mr.R. Ha!

The bottle label says -
Faustino VII, with its inviting fruity flavours, is perfect to go with starters, everyday red meat dishes and poultry. An ideal wine for barbeques and social occasions. 13%.

Rioja. I can't remember what I thought of this. ❓ Probably that it tasted like red wine.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #Faustino #faustinovii #rioja #wine #redwine #tempranillo

More information about this wine -
Established in 1861, and owning over 758 hectares in Rioja, Faustino is one of Spain's greatest family owned bodegas. 
Based in the Alavesa region of Rioja Faustino exports to 79 countries, and is the number one exporter Worldwide of Gran Reserva. The group ensures selection of the best land, vines and practices. This enables a high degree of quality control and consistent high quality from grape to bottle. They are product of their respect for the environment and their contemporary biodynamic and classic winemaking practices.

The 2011 Faustino VII is made from 100% Tempranillo and aged in American oak for ten months before being bottled.
Nice ripe cherries, some dried berries, tobacco, spice, and a little vanilla.
Medium-bodied Rioja with good structure and red fruits lingering on the finish.
Faustino VII is the entry level Rioja from this famous Bodega.
Despite it's status as a vin joven (young wine) it is made with great care and benefits from some ageing in both barrel and bottle.
The wine is ruby in colour, having lost the purple intensity of extreme youth and the palate has rich jammy fruits with slight hints of sweetness, vanilla and spice on the finish, evidence of the 10 months it has spent in new American oak.

Do you like Rioja?
Have you tasted Faustino VII Rioja Tempranillo 2011?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

World Cup - England Football Team

Is it too soon to laugh at the performance of the England team in the World Cup 2014?

I met a fairy today who said she would grant me one wish. 
"I want to live forever," I said. 
"Sorry, but I am not allowed to grant that type of wish." said the fairy.
"Fine," I said, "Then I want to die when England wins the World Cup." 
"You crafty bugger!" said the fairy.


England didn't win the World Cup in 2014. No surprises there.
Oh well, it's only a game.

Monday, 23 June 2014

England World Cup 2014, Worst Ever Performance

England didn't win the World Cup in 2014 - what a shocker!

According to the media, and no doubt the opinion of the football fans, England have had a very bad World Cup.
The Three Lions' tournament was a seriously short-lived event, it was all over after just two games.
This tournament has seen the worst ever performance by an England team in the World Cup finals.

I'm not a football fan, I don't follow any particular team, but like a lot of us Brits when the World Cup comes around I do get into the spirit of the game - well, just a little. By which I mean that whenever the England team are playing I flick over occasionally from whatever programme I'm really watching to see the scores.
The 2014 World Cup hasn't given me, or any true football fans anything to get excited about, the whole thing has been lack-lustre, and disheartening. It's a shame as I think we could really do with some good news in this country at the moment. But alas it's not going to come from the England football team.

As I've already said, I'm not particularly interested in football, to me it's just a game, played by a bunch of overpaid ego-maniacs who believe they are better than anyone else, and above the law.
But, I don't think I have to be a football fan to know why we always seem to play so badly in the World Cup, by which I mean we never win - well, not since 1966.
Our footballers are treated like delicate little princesses, or should I say princes, who are pampered and protected from the harsh realities of life. I mean they don't know what hard work it - which is why I'm not surprised we always play badly.
As a first World country, (ha! that's supposedly what England is) we have some of the most talented, and definitely highly paid footballers in the World. Now if the saying, 'you get what you pay for' is true, and I pretty much believe in most cases it is, then the England footballers are excellent players.
So, if our football players are excellent at what I consider to be an accurate definition of football - kicking a tiny ball into a huge net, then surely we should have won the World Cup at least once since the 1960's - shouldn't we?
But, no, we have not won. We are crap!
Why are the England football team not scoring goals and winning matches?
I most definitely am not an expert on football, I don't even know what the offside rule is, but even to me, the reason we never bring home the World Cup is simply because we aren't trying hard enough.
By we, I mean them, the England players.
So, why aren't our football team trying harder, playing better, winning matches? It's simple, they don't want to.
The England football team don't really want to break a sweat, it might spoil their good looks and damage their ability to earn obscene money from the advertisers who are pretty much solely responsible for the overinflated egos of our football 'stars'.
But more important than that the England team don't want to play harder and win because they don't want to injure themselves. If they are injured while playing in the World Cup it could have serious consequences for them and their careers when they return home to their teams.
If they are seriously injured playing in the World Cup, the worst case scenario may be the end of their football career. And although I'm sure there are footballers who genuinely love playing football, there are most definitely some footballers who love the fame, money, and lifestyle a whole lot more than the beautiful game. 
I mean, some footballers just happen to have been good at football when they were young and at at school, got spotted by a talent spotter and agent etc. and then before they knew it they were successfully playing for one of the big teams. It wasn't football in particular that interested them, they just happened to be good at it, and as it offered them fame and money they went for it. If they'd been good with technology, they could just have easily have ended up being the next big thing since Google.

I know it sounds like I'm bashing footballers, and I guess I am a little, but it's not personal, I just don't understand the ho-har that surrounds them, they're just ordinary people like you and me, they aren't Gods, but you'd think so by the way they are treated, and by their behaviour.

So, to surmise, once again England are not the winners of the World Cup.
England are not the winners of the World Cup because they just don't want to play well enough to win. They don't want to risk any injury that may be detrimental to their income once they're back playing for their usual team.
So why are other football teams playing well and scoring goals? Winning goals.
I think that's pretty easy to explain too. The footballers on the other teams have pride. Pride in themselves, pride in the game, and most importantly pride in their country.
Unfortunately pride in England is not something our footballers feel. And sad though it is, judging by the state of our country, it's understandable and I can't blame them.
Plus, some of the other countries taking part in the World Cup will have players who are not only truly passionate about the game, but also determined to play as good as they can in the hopes of attracting the attention of the people who may purchase them in the future to play for one of the big league clubs.

One more thing before I end this rant about a topic I have no particular interest in, but apparently enough of an interest to ramble on and on...........
One last thing, that bugs me, but not as much as serious issues like politics, rape, economics, violence, war etc. is the wages footballers receive.
I understand why they are paid so much money, advertising.
But, to me, it seems wrong.
Footballers! They're hardly solving the big problems are they, or making the World a better safer place.
It's firefighters, nurses, and dare I say it in this country where it seems everyone hates them - the police, who should be earning the big money, they're the people who really work hard, who really make a difference to lives of so many of us - a difference for the better.
I know! I know! It's not the fault of footballers that they are treated like royalty, and are as rich as, hmm, let me think, who is seriously wealthy? Politicians? Dictators? Sultans? Whatever! Whoever! Rich people!
And if I could get paid obscene amounts of dosh for not actually working very hard at all - I'd jump at the chance, who wouldn't? But I'd like to think I'd still be down-to-earth, and not behave like a prima donna.

I said that I was ending this blog post, and I am, but here's just one more one more thing before I post this.
The Top 10 Highest Paid Footballers in the World

  • Wayne Rooney - £300,000 a week
  • Cristiano Ronaldo - £292 after tax, making him the highest earner in the World
  • Gareth Bale - £300,000 a week
  • Lionel Messi - £13 million a year
  • Radamel Falcao - £11.4 a year
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic - £11.3 million a year
  • Sergio Aguero - £11 million a year
  • Yaya Toure - £10.6 million a year
  • Thiago Silva - £9.8 million a year
  • David Silva - £9.8 million
  • Fernando Torres - £8.8 million a year

So, yep, footballers earn quite a lot of money, and a little bit more than people who really benefit the World, like firefighters etc. and our footballers, the England team, are crap.

I haven't uploaded any photos to this blog post, which is something I usually like to do on all of my posts, mainly because I don't own any photos of the England football team, and I only ever use my own shots on this blog.
I was going to draw a couple of the payers, cartoon style as I'm no artist, but quite frankly I couldn't be bothered. I am completely fed up of hearing about football, I only wrote this post to get it out of my system, and I don't think I'm alone in being fed up of the football.
I noticed yesterday that a couple of our neighbours, who had covered their houses in lots very large England flags, have taken them all down. Oh dear!
Do you like football? Are you surprised by the bad performance of the England team?
More importantly what would you do if you earnt as much as Wayne Rooney? 
Or maybe you do?
What would you spend your £300,000 a week wages on?
I'd move to Monaco...........