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Everything posted by 5-element

  1. While living in the UK, I used to buy my duvet covers + pillowcases from IKEA, because they had  such a good range of tasteful, not expensive, 100% cotton ones. I found that IKEA France has the same range, and whenever (rarely) I go to IKEA, I am always tempted by their "housses de couette" - however, they don't always have rectangular pillow cases available - with some models, they only have the square ones. So you have to be a little careful and check with a given set. So, buying duvet sets, no, that is one thing I have never find difficult to get - provided you have access to an IKEA branch.
  2. Norman - just to say I sent you a pm and not sure whether you got it. Maybe I am being stooopid[:P]
  3. Ok, neither madeleines nor muffins. Maybe Mad Finns, but that might offend Finnish friends. Now I will feel obliged to try making them in the muffin tins, unless I gave those away too....
  4. As someone asked earlier: is it OK to make madeleines without madeleine moulds ? I gave my metal madeleine moulds away when it was clear, after several years, that I would never make madeleines. [:(] Now you've made my mouth water with all this talk... And I am so pleased that Clair posted a recipe (now bookmarked) that doesn't require rum, which I really dislike. Lemon zest or orange flower water, yes!! Some people find that the French overuse orange flower water, put too much and into everything. I think it's very easy to overdo it.
  5. [quote user="Gardian"] Just had a look at 'Daff' - its really called a Culinare One-Touch.  A fearsome object. [/quote] Yep, that's the one! http://www.culinare.com/products/detail.asp?category_ID=9&index=-1 Look at the video everyone, it's almost spooky! And it makes a hell of a noise! Clair: rubber gloves used to be OK when I was in the UK, and younger and with stronger wrists. Incipient arthritis really does make things difficult, and losing one's grip is a sad reality - not for everybody, fortunately. So I can't even answer the OP's initial question, tempting as it is to say that "it was easier in the UK" - but maybe because I was younger and stronger! I will try (again) Idun's trick, just for kicks. I also sometimes make a hole in the lid to kill the vacuum - but for some jars, you need to keep the lid intact, for re-use.
  6. [quote user="Gardian"] We have a 'Daphne', so named after our son's MIL who gave it to us as a Christmas present. Its a battery-powered device, about the size of a mug and its 'jaws' grip the lid of a jar and twist it off. [/quote] So that's what it's called. I seem to have the exact same device, also a Christmas present to compensate lost strength in ageing hands and fingers.  At the time I was mortified as I would have preferred something a little more personal... But now, I  use it regularly as a last resort, as it is so awesome, I am a little scared of it,  it seems to have a mind of its own!
  7. 5-element

    Nurses 'jobs'?

    Faire un canard only works if you dunk the sugar in alcohol - because if you dip a duck in water, water will just roll of its back, protected by sophisticated waterproofed feathers - whereas alcohol  penetrates the thick feather coating...well, that is the story I know.
  8. 5-element

    Nurses 'jobs'?

    The "blood taker" in the medical setup where I was working in England was "just" a nurse. As she was taking blood samples all day long, she was rather good at it. Doctors could do it too when the nurse was at lunch, and they were rather worse than she was... RH, I loved your "canular" [:D]
  9. Never too much information, S17! Although, perhaps not quite the right section, but I like the idea of personal weedkiller. Do you have to go down on your knees to ensure complete penetration? [:P] WB is gonna be here any minute...
  10. I, too, have an ivy problem - not on the ground, but from the top of the wall on one side of the garden. It is overhanging from the neighbours' garden, which is about 2 meters above ours!!! So the result is that I am constantly pulling up plantlets from the ground of our garden below. I hadn't thought of it as a big problem until this year. I have tried to cut it and finding it very very hard - on top of that, I might have developed an allergy to it! So. Since it isn't in the ground but on the wall, with big trunks now, I wonder what is the best way to tackle it, surely not a chainsaw??? I wouldn't want to spray any chemical because of the fallback. Here is a link to a forum where people offer various solutions: http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5139 For other, less robust weeds, I wasn't kidding when I suggested using white vinegar, as I am told it is very effective (have not used it myself though, admittedly). Mind you, I was also told it is effective against ants in the kitchen, and found that it was not all that great...[:(] unless I keep spraying it several times a day...
  11. Vinaigre d'alcool: http://landscaping.about.com/od/weedsdiseases/qt/vinegar_weeds.htm
  12. I am just as stunned and horrified as the next person, and have nothing but the greatest compassion and sympathy for the family and relatives of the victim, and thought it was obvious. I fail to see how Nick P came to the conclusions he did. But I guess, when you don't know what else to do, try to find a messenger and shoot them.
  13. Do we know they received any training at all? Future will tell, but it's not as if it took much skill to butcher the victim.  They may never have left the UK, born there, lived there all their lives??? Then what?  Home-grown abject criminals of that kind,  the worst kind of nightmare.
  14. Throw them out where, if they are South Londoners??????
  15. Something like this just happened to one of my French neighbours, a sprightly oldish lady, right in our little town, in broad daylight. She was walking purposefully through a narrow centre of town street  at 5pm on a Sunday and heard running behind her, on the very narrow pavement. She stopped, and turned around, her back to the wall. Because she turned around, her bag was then behind her, between her and the wall. It was a young woman (with heels, apparently!) who said to her menacingly: "Donne-moi ton sac!". My neighbour got very angry and started shouting and arguing, and the woman started pulling her about, but gave up quickly and then ran away - she probably realised that it might not be worth it as my neighbour was ready to put on quite a fight (she did say that if she didn't already have a damaged shoulder, she would have hit the young woman). So, all was well that ended well. Except that nothing like this has ever happened, to my knowledge, in my exact neck of the woods. My neighbour reported it to the gendarmerie, where she was told that nothing could be done since there is no video of the incident. But she did have to give a description of the young woman, who was described as "gitane" or "maghrebine"... Sign of the times?
  16. And not just meat, alas: "Other food safety scandals in recent years include reports of glow-in-the-dark pork, exploding watermelons, cadmium-laced rice, fake eggs, salmonella-tainted seafood, carcinogenic recycled cooking oil and pesticide-soaked fruit"
  17. How depressing!!! Idun, I don't think it is nature playing little games with us, it is rather the opposite: us trying to play our little games with nature!
  18. Au pif is also what I usually do - but my pif is nowhere near as good as Idun's. For years my pancakes were more like chapatties[:'(], until I realised that I need to add an egg, that I need to use milk and not water, and that if I use buckwheat flour I should also have wheat flour. Yesterday I used 2 eggs, all milk (skimmed, just to stay on the strict side), less buckwheat flour and more wheat flour (80%). That was a HUGE improvement on my usual monastic version.[:D]: thinner, lighter, fluffier crepes. Idun, your directions "ne tombent pas dans l'oreille d'un sourd": I take them on board, and so the next batch should improve even further! But I was using butter instead of oil in my pan (a proper crepiere, all flat - but I don't have one of those flattening spatula-like devices to make the crepe very thin). Looks like I might have to make crepes/pancakes every day for a while, to get them right.
  19. Aie aie aie, that recipe looks positively dangerous, Clair. The quantities are for making 2 jars, and the chocolate-hazelnut spread keeps in the fridge for ONE week. I think you have to live with teenagers for it to be more manageable. Looks really nice, though, enough to make me drool.  Let's skip the crepes, go straight for the Nutella! [:D] And those who declare they don't like it can donate their share to Clair or me!
  20. Well, thanks for inspiring me Idun. I've just made pancakes and ate about 5 of them. Since I didn't have any Nutella or other chocolate spread, I invented several fillings. First: creme fraiche (15%) with lemon juice and icing sugar. Then another, also with creme fraiche and caramel sauce. It was all rather delicious - that was my dinner for tonight! (oh no, also an apple and a kiwi, to make up the number of fruit and veg for the day!)[8-|] I did love the idea of creme de marrons and chantilly - but did not have either in the house!
  21. Just to go back to the mammogram issue: in the past few years, I have been shocked and appalled to see how many women I know have, or have had, breast cancer (could it really be close to 50%, and is that a fluke?). Some of them quite young (40), some with aggressive forms. Indeed, several have died since then, but there are many survivors. I remember a couple of decades ago, there were already the same doubts about the usefulness of mammograms - just like there were controversies about the way treatments (chimio, radiotherapy, even radical mastectomies) were changing the overall prognosis - there always were question marks around this. So it seems that now, in spite of so-called huge advances in cancer treatment, when it comes to breast cancer, we are no further than we were, say, 40 years ago? So, whether early detection of anomalies is any use or not, who knows? And then of course, there are the false results of mammographies - some tiny tumours are very aggressive and yet hardly detectable. But just to be on the safe side, I will submit myself to mammograms whenever it's time (every 2 years here - until you are 75 that is - when you are over 75, nobody seems to care anymore, as you don't get your routine screening anymore..................)
  22. Claggy is nice.[:D] As I am addicted to Nutella, I just won't have it in the house. Instead, about an hour ago, I started looking for recipes for "pâte à tartiner au chocolat maison" but many of them have "lait concentré sucré" which I don't like. So with a bit of luck, I won't even manufacture any Nutella substitute. Nothing like a bit of palm oil to make something smooth and unctuous.. (claggy?)
  23. I am in the "dubitatif" camp - and was quite surprised to read the percentages of people who do believe there will be an "explosion sociale" - although we can only guess what form that will take. I feel there is so much inertia, so little direction apart from general fedupness, so little understanding of issues - I was quite gobsmacked when several of those interviewed in the anti "mariage pour tous" demos, claimed that what they were doing was to  "fight for those who are unable to do so for themselves" - OK, those were people picked by the media, and not necessarily representative. Perhaps the media is also responsible for describing those demonstrators as the rightwing equivalent of the (loosely) leftwing May '68... Maybe I move in the wrong circles, maybe I live a sheltered life in my backwaters, and maybe I am out of touch. But I just cannot see those confrontations that are being predicted, or only minor ones, not nationwide ones... there are just too many people who are still very much OK, although they complain as much as everybody else... I hope I won't have to eat my words, of course.
  24. I am now thinking I might forget Kaspersky altogether and go back to one of the free AV, if it means I have to pay Kaspersky to get the kind of hassle I get when the PC gets infected!
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