Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me … The Natural Way To Kill Flies

It was a hot sticky night last night, and as if the heat was not enough to irritate me the flies made an appearance.  On my evening walk with the dog I was attacked by a swarm of flies across the fields, it was awful they appeared to be smothering everyone and were worse than those dreadful thunder flies.  As soon as I got home, coughing and spluttering, I found a couple of flies in the house.  They were those annoying fast flies that you struggle to catch to swat. I hate them, absolutely hate them.  But I also hate the toxic fly sprays that you can get on the market.  Today I shall be investing in an electric fly bat, but last night I thought I would try and concoct a homemade spray that would knock them for six.  Guess what?  I think I may have found a solution which paralyses them enough to be able to kill them.  Previously I was trying to swat them with an old magazine and I looked as if I was practIMG_1282ising (badly I might add) for Wimbledon.

I know flies hate the following, amongst a few other things:-

  • Soap
  • Cloves
  • Tea Tree Oil

So I had one of those small travel sprays and so into the container part I placed a lump of soap, enough hot water, about 8 cloves and around 10 drops of tea tree oil.  I then placed the nozzle on and shook it well to combine.  It was not long before one of those chunky flies came for a visit.  A few good squirts and I found that it could not fly very well and crawled lifelessly on the floor.  Ah bless it … not.  So I was then removed it with tissue.  I have not let them hang around long enough to see if it renders them dead, as I go in for the kill at the stage where they are too numb to really move.  It may take a few squirts, but who cares?  The liquid does not look very pleasant and it is not the greatest of aromas.  Tea tree oil is not only good for many other ailments and issues such as killing head lice on children, it is now on my list for helping to paralyse flies.  I would also add that no more flies came in afterwards.  I would love to hear if you have tried any way of getting rid of them, without sticky tape (I cannot bare to see them hung on those strips dead).  Send me a message and I can then add it to this post.

Happy fly swatting!



Lower Sugar Juicing Recipe

Further to my blog post yesterday entitled “To Juice or Not To Juice?’ as promised, I have listed below a juice recipe which is said to contain less sugars.  It is an acquired taste, but if it means that I can avoid some sugar spikes which can happen with fruit juices then so be it.  I still want to enjoy my freshly squeezed orange juice in moderation, which will be no issue to those who like me, have a decent balanced diet.  To sit drinking only juice at every meal sitting for weeks, just because daft celebs do it, is in my opinion not very bright and not something I would advocate.

green juice

It is VERY green which may just put some of you off but if you are into your juicing at the moment then this is another recipe to try out.  It still does not answer the argument about the fibre element that I wrote about, but I know many of you have bought juicers and want to use them.  Mine is now off into the back of my pantry again, as I imagine many others will do after they get bored of it.  I enjoy all the ingredients individually and so want to eat them raw and as whole as possible.  Yes I do eat raw cabbage, and have done for years as a salad.  I cut it up and mix with a little white wine vinegar and olive oil.

So I hope you enjoy this green beast recipe, but also hope vegetable and fruit phobes will start to enjoy such produce as part of a proper meal, so that they can enjoy all the benefits.

The Green Beast

  • 130g Cabbage
  • 2 Pears
  • 1 Celery Stick
  • 30g Watercress

Place all the ingredients in your juicer and whizz up.  It is best served over ice.

Tunisia – We Send our Love

Nothing could prepare people for the wicked acts that have occurred in Sousse recently.  One individual has destroyed the lives of countless families, traumatised the Tunisian people plus the tourism industry is left in tatters.  I have never been to Tunisia, but have met Tunisian people in other countries when on holiday.  Even though I am a Christian and they are predominantly Muslim, we have always been able to get on well with peace and happiness.  No malice, no hate and no spite.  In some ways we find common ground, where we want peace and freedom to worship our respective religions without  hate.  We can agree to disagree on religious issues with a mutual respect.

Whilst I send my love to the families and friends of the victims, the message I would give to the Tunisian people, is that we stand with you and how you are also affected.  The way to combat this, is to be on your guard and if you feel that there is people who raise suspicions, then do not hesitate to report them to authorities.  Many people in the UK and around the world, will be sending their love to you like I do, as it is love that breaks hatred.  Love conquers all and has no barriers.  Together we can be stronger and evil will not have any victory.


To Juice Or Not To Juice?

I hold my hands up and admit that I do love a good juice, but with increasing warnings, with research coming out from many nutritional experts, I may have to kerb my usual consumption and modify the contents of what I juice.  The odd glass is not going to affect you, but those who are on a juice only fad diet, may wish to read on.


watermelon juice


There are claims that juicing could do the following:-

  • Loss of fibre – constipation
  • Increased bacteria risk from unclean utensils
  • Type 2 diabetes risk
  • Increased calories – weight gain
  • Dental problems
  • Illness due to people storing their juice

How & Why?

I shall try to keep my answers to the above, short and to the point.

Loss of Fibre

Many juicers leave the pith, core, peel and pips behind.  These elements have vital fibre and even if you put the whole of the fruit in your juicer, the blades could damage the cellulose fibre, which will affect how much fibre is in the juice.  Top nutritionist Scott Laidler has even said ‘You are unlikely to get the same fibre as you would from just eating it.’  Fibre has a massive part to play in the fight against bowel cancer, plus it makes you feel fuller for longer which could help those people who are prone to snacking.

Bacteria from Utensils

Having a juicer myself, those blades can be mighty tricky to clean.  It is some task to make sure it is clean and not leave yourself with no fingers.  Swabs have been taken from juicers and found that they are a breeding ground for e-coli and salmonella. Nice… not! Make sure the juicer is thoroughly clean and that includes any spouts and other parts unless you would like diarrhea, vomiting or even worse kidney problems.

Type 2 Diabetes

Fruit contains sugar.  However, when you eat the whole of the fruit naturally then the fructose (sugar within the fruit) is broken down slowly, making the absorption process slower.  When you crush the fruit in say a juicer, the fructose is then quickly absorbed into your body.  Our body then has to release insulin to deal with this sugar bombardment.  This sugar has to be burnt off as if you do no exercise, then it will be stored as fat.  For some who have a high juice diet, they stop producing insulin and then become diabetic.  Swapping juice for whole fruit, is said to help them considerably.  My husband who is a type 2 diabetic sufferer (due to his smoking and eating excess sugar, which he has now thankfully cut down on both considerably) has swapped his juice, for whole fruit.  We shall both watch his levels with interest.  I have berated him for years, and I know that diet can help his type 2 diabetes, sadly he does not like the healthy food I like, nor is he keen on raw foods.

Increased Calories – Weight Gain

So you thought being on one of these fruit juice fad diets you would lose weight? That may be true for the short-term but what about the long haul?  Put simply have you ever tried to eat say three oranges naturally, all in one session? By the second orange I am starting to feel full, yet could easy polish off a glass of juice that has 4 or five oranges in it.  If you eat the whole fruit, the body has to digest it, which takes some time, hence the reason why you feel fuller for longer.  The body also burns calories whilst digesting it, so that is another bonus.  If you gulp a juice, then that process is pretty much missing out on burning around 200 calories a day.  Now that is a lot for a calorie counter for doing pretty much nothing.  Some juices have more sugar than a lot of chocolate bars that are on the market.  So again, eat the whole fruit rather than just drinking its juice.

I have also witnessed people who go on fads and take it from me, after they get bored with it they end up with more weight on them than they did before.  A balanced diet and exercise is the key to sustained weight loss.  It is not rocket science to know that if you put more in than you put out by way of exercise, you will be more likely to gain weight.  I shall explain how I lost 14 pounds in over a month without taking drastic steps in a blog post this coming week.  Please follow this blog if you want to know about this.

Dental Problems

Acid in fruit can cause erosion of the enamel on teeth.  Even youngsters are suffering from this.  If you drink juice, you may wish to use a straw to help protect your teeth. After all, who wants to see a healthy body with a set of gnashers that look like they are from the UK guests of the Jeremy Kyle show?

Illness due to storing juice

Do not store your juice.  You need to drink it after it has been made for a good reason. Juices that you make at home could be vulnerable to bacteria, hence the reason why many brands that are bought ready-made from the shop, are pasteurised.

Another issue is that the minute any fruit is cut, is has been exposed to the air and light (oxidation) which means valuable nutrients and antioxidants are being lost. We need to make sure our diets are balanced and as full of vital nutrients as much as possible.  We never get enough of what we need in our diet.  I also advocate using organic produce too.  I have been trying to eat organic food over the last twenty years. No matter what anyone may say to the contrary, chemicals sprayed on food cannot be good for you.  I understand food shortages blahdy blah and the reasoning behind it, but it does not mean to say I have to digest it.  If you have got un-organic fruit and vegetables, make sure it is thoroughly washed.  I will blog on this emotive subject shortly.

Lastly, I would like to add that some juicing can be reasonably good for you.  Lower sugar based juicing seems to fare better with nutritionists, as some fruit and vegetables have a lower natural sugar content, where there should not be so much of an insulin spike within the body.  It still does not get away from the issue of fibre though.  Some of these lower sugar items of produce are an acquired taste though… Tomorrow I shall be attempting one of these and give you the recipe.  I can promise you one thing, it won’t taste as nice as my cupcakes.  Sorry.


Latest Magazine Post July – Jam & Preserves

For the month of July, I chose to feature two recipes about Jam in the magazine. I have gone for a savoury chilli jam and one of my personal favourites which is plum jam.



I started making plum jam a few years ago, as my then home had about five established plum trees, which were always full to the brim with fruit.  If I did not pick the plums then they would drop on the ground and make an awful mess of the grass.  So family and friends were given bags of plums and I would be busy in my kitchen making everything from crumbles, pies, tarts and of course jam.  At the time, I got a bit sick of plums but since moving into a place with hardly any garden, I miss not having those wonderful trees.  My plan to move to Cumbria in four years, could not come soon enough; where I then hope to be able to be able to have a garden and either reap the rewards from existing fruit trees, or plant some of my own.  I am not a real ‘green fingered’ person, but somehow when it comes to food, I look after plants, trees and herbs much better than do flowers and shrubs.

Buying jam from a supermarket is a preferred method for many people, however some lack taste and fruit, just resembling a sickly sweet coloured sugar.  When you have made your own jam, which actually takes very little equipment but a little patience, then you will probably get the bug for jam and preserve making.  You will probably prefer the taste and texture of your homemade fayre.

I do have jam thermometers  to test whether my jam is set, but to be honest, I still prefer the old method of placing a small plate in the fridge for a while (until it is really cold) and then when I think the jam is ready, I place a blob of it onto the cold plate.  If after about 20 seconds it wrinkles when pushed with your finger on top, then I know it will be ready.  If it doesn’t, then back on the stove it goes.

Old jars are perfectly adequate to store your preserves in, in fact I quite like the variety of jars as it can look quite vintage in your pantry.  One thing you do have to do, is make sure that they are hygienic.  I do have a dishwasher, which does a great job with this, but you can also wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse with clean water and then place them upside down on a clean tea towel.  Then place them upside down, in a preheated oven at 140 degrees centigrade for around half an hour.  You can then remove them from the oven to cool down slightly before using.

I would urge anyone to give preserve making a go, as it can be a great skill to have when wanting to give gifts to people, especially at time like Christmas.


Emily has two books available to download  Books Available and her cookery book ‘Midweek Meals Made Easy’ is set for release on Amazon, in September 2015.