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What’s the most important thing in the world at the moment? Coronavirus.

And what’s the 2nd most important thing? Loo rolls.

People have become obsessed with them, buying as many packs as they can get, and having punch-ups in supermarkets over the final packs. They’re even stealing out of trolleys if someone bends down with their back to it.

Joseph Gayetty’s Medicated Paper was first produced in 1857. Before that, a succession of plants, stones, fruit skins, etc were used, according to the country.

Mother Nature provides a lot of natural plants that are suitable to use as loo paper.

Lamb’s Ear is soft and velvety. In some ways it’s better than toilet paper.

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The Mallow is useful as the whole plant is edible; roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits. It grows everywhere.

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Mullein is a medicinal plant, good for coughs, whooping cough, tuberculosis, bronchitis, hoarseness, pneumonia, earaches, colds, chills, flu, swine flu, fever, allergies, tonsillitis, and sore throat. Other uses include asthma, diarrhoea, colic, gastrointestinal bleeding, migraines, joint pain, and gout. And it’s also a good substitute for loo paper.

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Then of course, there’s the Dock Leaf, useful to rub on your skin if you get stung by nettles. The leaves are nice and big and popular if you get caught short in the country.

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Like grabbing all the toilet roll packs, only pick what you need as of course, the leaves will only last for a couple of days. So do respect Nature. Unlike the loo rolls, the plants will grow again.

CHICKEN A LA KING

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If you don’t add the peppers, it’s called Chicken Fricassee.

I’m still using up my chicken from the carcass.

Ingredients aren’t exact. But they’re easy to guess.

Fry some chopped onion. I prefer a knob of marge to oil as it’s not so oily.

Add a few chopped mushrooms & a chopped red or green pepper. Half a pepper is enough for two people.

Add about a handful of chopped chicken.

Some White Sauce recipes are over-complicated. If you stir a tblsp of flour into cold milk, in the mixture, mix it quickly and keep stirring until it thickens, it works perfectly.

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Now add your own choice of ingredients. eg a tsp mustard, some parsley or other herbs.

Season, but go easy with the salt.

I had enough pastry left over from my Apple Pie to cover the top of the Chicken a la King in a pie dish. I glazed it with milk and baked it until brown on the top; about 40 minutes at 180.

Serve with rice or mashed potato. I also served yellow beans. I got them reduced in price & I’d never seen them before.

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I looked at my pile of ironing and thought, what’s the point of doing it when nobody’s going to see me.

And then I thought, no, it’s important that we keep up our standards and our pride.

So yes, I’ll be ironing it all, as usual!