Black Garlic: Healthy & Delicious

Am reblogging this as I know so many people who are struggling with their health, and there are so many things that can help, it’s always worth trying something new, especially when it is food based and natural. xx

Getting Healthier Now

Like most fermented foods, aged black garlic is much higher in certain antioxidants than its raw counterpart. It’s one of the most studied foods, in recent years, due to its ability to lower cholesterol, and guard against a wide range of inflammatory diseases, including cancers of various kinds, and complications of diabetes. Studies also suggest a neuroprotective role, and a mechanism for blocking kidney damage. Historically, it was developed in Korea and used to treat a wide range of ailments, including arthritis.

How does it rate for fighting fungal and bacterial infection? According to this article, black garlic may actually aid in absorption of allicin, the antimicrobial compound found in both black garlic and crushed raw garlic, via  a compound called S-allylcysteine. Fellow health-nerds can read about the incredible details here. Given that synergy between S-allylcysteine and allicin, i often take black…

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Getting ready for the craft fair…

cooling pads in packaging
I decided a couple of weeks ago that I would take the bull by the horns, and have a go at selling what I make, with the hopes that it will take off, and give me an income, and something positive to do when I am well enough to do it.  So I booked a table at a local craft fair.  Just the one, just to see how it goes, if I sell anything, and more importantly, see if my body will cope with it before committing to another one.

But that’s the good thing about doing craft fairs – you can space them out as wide apart as you need to!  I have to admit, I am still nervous as it’s been many years since I did a stall, and back then I was pretty much 100% fit and healthy.

So this week I have been packaging up the new stuff I have made, like the cooling pads, above, and sorting out props and business cards and wotnot.

One of the more relaxing things has been making these origami paper stars while I watch tv:

origami stars

They’re just something I came up with the other day to scatter on the stall to make it look a bit more interesting, and add into the packs to add another dimension and hopefully make people feel they are getting a well made (because they are) cared about (yep, that too), product, that will make them feel better (product testers so far have been positive – thank you testers!)

So if you are in the March (Cambridgeshire) area on Saturday the 1st of June, and you have a bit of spare time, come and have a look around the stalls at the Fen Fair in the Scout Hut next to Sainsbury’s, just behind the main shopping street.  There are several wares on sale, hand made soaps, watercolour paintings, hand made cards, jewellery (soutache and otherwise), and my new reusable cooling products!

Hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, just keep an eye on my website: – it’s not finished just yet, but it will be soon, all being well.

Fighting with photoshop

snottydog business cards
I spent hours the other day looking for a suitable template for business cards.  One that had crop marks or bleed marks, or just the right layout, and it needed to be A4 (for home printing), and none of them were what I was looking for.  It was driving me insane – considering all the free stuff available on the internet, I would have thought I would have been able to find what I was after, but no.

So, I did it all from scratch.  You can see the results of my labours above.  Ironically that wasn’t the hard part!  The hard part was laying out the spaces and the crop marks and rectangles to show where the cards will be.

So for those who use photoshop and who want to do some business cards, I’ve put the background layout on my website for you to download for free.  Just remember to turn the “eye” off on the grey rectangle layer before you print so it doesn’t show, and leave it on for the crop marks so you can see where to cut them.

Find it on my new website:

snottydog business cards

Bottle cutting, and stuff…

Bottle cutting 1

Well I didn’t draw blood – which is a miracle, considering my lack of muscle control, and it’s still in one (technically “half”) piece, so I guess you could call my first attempt at cutting bottles a success…!

This is what my lack of muscle control got me the other day when I was using my glue gun – I got hot glue on several fingers and both thumbs, but this – my right index finger – came off worst.  I had to dunk it in cold aloe juice for an hour and a half to take the stinging out, but thanks to that it’s now gone down, and has been pain free ever since.

Blister from hot glue from a glue gun

I was checking whether my compress had fully dried out, and this beastie popped out from behind the radiator.  Poor thing appeared to be shivering – that’s why some of it’s out of focus.

I cupped my hands around him and gently breathed warm air in to help him warm up, then he walked onto my hand, so I held it towards the door, and off out he flew!

Quivering butterfly

So, on with the bottle cutting!

All you need is:

  • A bottle that would otherwise go into the recycling.  I’m using a brandy bottle as it’s nice and wide at the bottom.
  • A glass cutter.  (The pen shaped tool with a little wheel on the end that you roll along glass or tiles),
  • Some hot water,
  • And some cold water.

I taped some straight strips of cereal box around the glass bottle, taping it all around the lower edge, leaving the upper “cut line” without tape.  This was enough of a guide to keep the cutter straight.

Then all you do is scrape the wheel around the bottle, hard enough to make a mark.  You can tell you’re doing it right from the noise.  It makes an awful noise as it cuts into the glass, like nails down a blackboard.  (Blackboard?  Ask your mum coz you’re making me feel old already)

And then once you’ve gone all the way around, you take it to the sink, and pour hot water over the line.  Then cold, then hot, then, well, until you hear a “clink” and the top and bottom part company.

This is the top edge during grinding.  I used wet n dry “sand”paper for a bit (the black stuff), and the dremmel-alike a bit, and both seemed to work equally well, though the dremmel-alike of course does a lot more for a lot less effort.  Though I think there’s probably a better attachment for glass than I used.

And thanks to the wonders of refraction, my dog has an extra long neck…he’s not like that in real life, honest….

top edge of cut bottle

In this close up you can see where the dremmel-alike skittered (great word, don’t get to use it often enough!) across the surface, leaving marks:

Skittered marks from the dremmel-alike

But as you can see here, they’re not *that* noticable really:

Finished cut and ground bottle

And especially not noticable when there are things in it!  I am only really doing this because I want my glass back – and you can just see the tip of the glass cutter I used to cut the bottle, hiding behind my snips:

Cut bottle with new contents replacing glass, behind.

So there you have it.  One cut bottle, no drama.  Next one I do I will be more careful grinding the line so that it’s a smoother finish and less grinding is needed.

Bottle cutting 1