Health Tonics, Edible not Credible

Another article I wrote for WUWO magazine – 

There have always been different types of health remedies, be it medicinal or herbal. There’s always a new craze going round that everyone must try. Drinking vinegar cures hiccups, eating faeces cures cancer (yes, that was actually in a newspaper), but what about baby mice wine?

Drinks containing animals are fairly commonplace, such as the tequila worm (fact: not actually suspended in tequila, but in distilled alcohol called Mescal), which has to be eaten to ‘build your strength.’ If you’re raised around food such as fried seahorse, bats on a stick, scorpions on a stick and fertilised eggs, I’m sure you’ll be more than willing to try anything.

However, in the UK we see anything that isn’t ‘normal’ as taboo. Baby mice wine is said to be a traditional Chinese and Korean health tonic and allegedly cures any health issue, from asthma to liver disease. So, for those of you who love a health tonic, baby mice wine could be for you. Some say the wine is used as a last resort, but if it cures anything up to liver disease, why wait? Made by taking two to three day old mice and placing them in a bottle of rice wine, the mice are then left in the liquid for over a year to ferment and then, voilà! Your wine is served.

mouse-in-a-bottle_sq

It’s said to taste like “road kill mixed with gasoline,” and the mice must be consumed with the wine in order for the tonic to take full effect. It doesn’t end there though as seagulls, snakes, geckos and other assorted lizards are being put into rice wine to make medicinal tonics. Tonics like these have been made for centuries such as ant tonics. This has been proven to be powerfully anti-inflammatory and useful as a pain killer, plus they allegedly increase life expectancy!

Some Chinese citizens of Guangzhou even eat tiger penis to boost sexual performance and stamina. Is it horrendously cruel or the next best thing since penicillin? And does the mouse wine really cure illnesses like the ant tonic, or are you just too drunk to care?

Dinner Date for a Fiver

This is an article I wrote for What’s Up What’s On Magazine for November/December –

Winter Wonderland

While ice-skating may be out of your price (and physical) range, a good hour wandering around the stalls and
enjoying a mug of mulled everything won’t set you back too much. If you share a mug.
Hyde Park, 23 November-6 January ………………………………………………..free entry

Chilli-Con-Carne-It

chili con carne-saidaonline (1)It’s Christmas and if you’ve blown all your cash buying misguided accessories, ornaments and trinkets for loved ones, don’t let the person you really fancy miss out too. Also, because it’s so cold, you can always sack everything off and have a bash at WUWO’s ultimate chilli-con-carne at home while you both fervently embrace the radiator/electric heater. As nothing says, “traditional British Christmas” like a warm spicy dish from Mexico – guaranteed you’ll be fed up of roasts by the 25th, so thank us.

Asda Butchers Selection Mince Beef………………………………………………….£1.40

Asda Chilli con Carne mix………………………………………………………………..£0.26
Asda Smart Price Kidney Beans ………………………………………………………£0.27
Asda Smart Price Chopped Tomatoes……………………………………………….£0.31
Uncle Ben’s Basmati Rice Express Rice or Asda Basmati Rice ………..£1
TOTAL ………………………………………………………………………………….. £3.24

1. Brown your mince in a pan, no need to add oil.
2. Once the meat is browned, pour the Chilli con Carne mix over the meat and stir it in. Then pour in around
250ml of water, read the instructions on the packet as it may vary.
3. Drain your kidney beans and add those to the pan with the chopped tomatoes, straight from the can.
4. Leave the pan to simmer and start on your rice. Depending on which rice you have chosen, if you have Uncle
Ben’s express rice all you need to do is pop it in the microwave and it should be done within 2 minutes depending
on the wattage of your microwave. If you chose Asda basmati rice, fill a pan with cold water, rinse your rice and
pop it in, wait until the water boils and then simmer for 10-12 minutes.
5. Drain and serve!

The Egg Diet

hard-boiled-egg

Fad diets try to make us eat healthily, especially when they say “celebrities lost weight this way.” There are many variations of the egg diet; the most insane consists of eating 9 eggs a day (yes, 9) and only having water or crystal light drink mix. Nigella Lawson’s husband Charles Saatchi tried this and he did lose four stone in nine months, but his doctor said “It’s neck and neck whether Charles keels over or loses weight first.”

The other egg diets incorporate other ingredients, but the egg only diet cuts down on additional thinking about what to have for dinner. All you need are three eggs for each meal. However, eating so many eggs makes your cholesterol rise and can lead to liver and kidney disease. If that wasn’t bad enough, eating so many eggs leads to constipation, bad breath and belching (unless that’s a normal day for you). The egg only diet doesn’t require exercise, but with only 600-ish calories a day you couldn’t peel your eggs, let alone run.

019CharlesSaatchiDM_468x686