Don’t let tough times make Fido go with­out doggy treats

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Puzzles, Cartoons & Gwen - GWEN BISSEKER trevorb@yebo.co.za

My sister has a very nice riem­pie stoel, but un­for­tu­nately the seat sec­tion has come adrift and needs re­plac­ing. Do you per­haps know of any­one who could fix this and make it us­able again? – HW, Port El­iz­a­beth.

I have spo­ken to Gert Spamer of Madiba Weavers, who gave an em­phatic “Yes, we can”. The staff in­cludes blind and dis­abled work­ers who are ex­pert in this field. I am send­ing you Gert’s con­tact de­tails.

On the sub­ject of cane fur­ni­ture, sag­ging seats are some- times a prob­lem. The so­lu­tion is to scrub them with hot, soapy wa­ter – both on the up­per and lower sides. Rinse with salty wa­ter and al­low to dry away from heat, prefer­ably in the open air. The seat should shrink back to its orig­i­nal shape.

We have been grow­ing the herb, basil, in the gar­den and en­joy it with our sal­ads, and in our cook­ing, es­pe­cially with scram­bled eggs. I won­dered if one could store it for use in win­ter when it’s not avail­able? – GR, Jef­freys Bay. Basil does not re­tain its flavour well when dried out, but you can cer­tainly store it for win­ter cook­ing. Snip the leaves from the stems, pack in a jar, fill with olive oil, cover tightly and keep in the fridge. Re­move leaves as re­quired.

Some other uses for basil on balmy sum­mer days:

Add to salad dress­ings and blend into but­ter for sand­wiches; sprin­kle on piz­zas and pasta be­fore bak­ing; sprin­kle on lamb chops and liver be­fore cook­ing; stir a lit­tle into the pan juices af­ter cook­ing chicken, meat or fish. Ev­ery­thing is get­ting so ex­pen­sive, and pet food is no ex­cep­tion. I was won­der­ing if I could make dog bis­cuits at home. Do you have such a recipe? – FR, Port El­iz­a­beth.

Here is a straight­foward recipe con­tain­ing healthy ingredients, but note that dogs should have no more than two or three bis­cuits a day, de­pend­ing on the dog's size.

Ingredients

5 cups whole­wheat flour

1 cup milk

2 eggs

10 ta­ble­spoons veg­etable oil pinch of gar­lic pow­der 1 tea­spoon salt

½cup cold wa­ter

1 ta­ble­spoon beef fat or ba­con fat for ex­tra flavour (op­tional) Method

Mix the flour, milk, eggs, oil, gar­lic pow­der and salt in a bowl with a large wooden spoon. Add the beef fat or ba­con fat as you like. Dough will form. Slowly add the cold wa­ter to the dough, stir­ring un­til it is very stiff.

Sprin­kle flour on to a large square of waxed pa­per. Flat­ten the dough on the waxed pa­per with your hands un­til it is about 1cm thick. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll them into 4cm balls. You will have about two dozen balls.

Place them on a greased bak­ing tray. Bake at 175°C for 30 to 40 min­utes. Re­move cook­ies from the oven and al­low to cool. Store in an air­tight con­tainer.

Now that sum­mer hol­i­days loom, day trips and pic­nics are a happy thought. I plan to use our vac­uum/ther­mos flasks, and would like to freshen them up. What would you sug­gest? – LR, Port El­iz­a­beth. One of my old books says that flasks can be cleaned by adding raw rice to warm wa­ter and shak­ing this up. An­other method is to add one ta­ble­spoon of bi­car­bon­ate of soda to a flask filled with boil­ing wa­ter. Rinse well in both cases.

Bi­carb is such a good cleaner that it will re­move tan­nin from the in­side of a flask. Fill the flask with hot wa­ter, add a gen­er­ous amount of bi­carb and leave to soak overnight. In the morn­ing, the flask will be shiny again.

Flasks can be used for keep­ing drinks cold as well as hot.

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