Priceless peanuts, well oiled birds and the wattle of Edmonds.


Posted on: 28 January 2012 by DAWN CANNING

Mainly about the price of peanuts and Noel Edmonds.

I like to feed the birds each day, usually with wild bird seed. Normally in the winter the seed is supplemented with crushed peanuts, but not this year.

Have you seen the price of peanuts? I think there has been some sort of global peanut crisis because they are now, ounce for ounce, officially more expensive than gold, cocaine, diamonds or plutonium. It's not helping that Jimmy Yung Un in North Korea is stockpiling them to finance his nuclear shenanigans.

So this year they are still getting the bird seed, but rather then turning to crime in order to fund their peanut habit, I'm 'enriching' it with meat fat instead as I don't want to get tagged again.

I usually use the fat off the pet mince, but if I don't have any I use lard instead.

I melt a little fat in the microwave and mix it in with the seed before putting it out. Peanuts are probably better, but in these times of austerity the birds understand that they must tighten their feathery belts too.

While we're on fat, here's another fat related tip.

I quite often buy chicken portions and skin them before cooking. I used to throw away the skin but not any more. If you put the raw skins in a bowl and microwave them for a few minutes, turning occasionally, you render the fat out and are left with 'chicken scratchings' which are very tasty sprinkled with salt.

I pour the rendered chicken fat into a bowl and keep it in the fridge. It's useful for cooking savoury stuff, waterproofing your boots, repelling weasels or rubbing on your chest to keep out the cold.

Duck and goose fat are currently the 'A' listers in the world of celebrity poultry fat, with prices to match, but chicken fat or schmaltz is useful too and worth saving, given the price of cooking oil.

I don't want to boast but we are a three Slanket household.


Grace Jones having a laff round ours yesterday.

The brown Slanket is in it's natural state and has not been tampered with. Due to the design it can sometimes be a bit flappy and billowy and can cause entanglement issues.

Perplexed by this problem I came up with a remedy.

Below is a picture of my 'pimped up' Slanket. As you can see the flappy bits have been sewn together, resulting in a kind of fleecy straightjacket. It has a strange 'wattle-y' bit at the front, which Dave finds useful for storing biscuits, Scotch eggs or ale. A kind of nosebag, if you like.

Noel Edmonds, having descended from pelicans, has managed to cultivate his own splendid wattle in later life. No doubt that would fill the 'nosebag' entirely, leaving him struggling to squeeze in even a buffet sausage roll, or a sprat. I suppose he could always put it in his bumbag.


Last week, at the Golden Globes with Frank the whippet.


It's is best to wear this when you are not expecting visitors as it takes about 7 minutes to get out of.

It renders movement virtually impossible and I speak from experience when I say it's best not to answer the door while wearing it....Unless it's the Jehovah's Witnesses again, who seem to be targetting us for some reason.

What of the third Slanket? Well, being very 'on trend' I'm in the process of remodelling it into a 'Sherlock' Slanket with matching legwarmers made from old jumper arms.

I was watching SuperScrimpers on Channel 4 last night and found it quite depressing to see them beginning the programme by telling people to throw food out, 'even if it looks and smells fine' once it's past the 'use by' date. This sort of blind observance of rules is what I was going on about in my last post and really gets on my nerves. We need to learn to use our judgement and take responsibility for our decisions.

Eat some over ripe sandwich ham just once and spend all night tormented by shuddering waves of cramping pain, sweating like Lee Evans on the Sudan leg of his world tour, exploding from the bagpipes and throwing up all over the twisted shag and you'll soon learn to tell when something's gone off or not....

Admittedly there are some useful tips on this programme, and it does a good job at 'normalising' thrifty practices, but I find the whole 'Miss Moneypenny' thing a bit contrived, what with her pedalling around dressed like a Seventies pimp. It's just a bit odd that's all...I'll still watch  next week though.  


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Alexander Hay posted 30 January 2012

It looks very monastic in your house...


DAWN CANNING posted 30 January 2012

You know what, that has never occurred to me before, but you're absolutely right. Perhaps I could run 'retreat weekends' as a sideline.


Henry Farber posted 03 February 2012

Hello Dawn. Really enjoying your blogs but have you noticed how embarrassed your dogs look in the photos.  There's a world weariness about those expressions that says they've seen many such performances before. Keep em coming!


DAWN CANNING posted 03 February 2012

Hello Henry. No, I hadn't  noticed that before I think you're right. What I took for being a bit of bashfulness was actually full blown mortification. On the other hand, they like to lick their bits when we have visitors, so it helps redress the balance.


Quoting Henry Farber on 03 February 2012

Hello Dawn. Really enjoying your blogs but have you noticed how embarrassed your dogs look in the photos.  There's a world weariness about those expressions that says they've seen many such performances before. Keep em coming!

DAWN CANNING posted 03 February 2012

Me again. As you enjoy my posts I thought that you might like a link to the actual blog: where you'll find another 50 posts...

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