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Helpful Tips for the elderly in Isolation ------ week two By Joe Adambery

Last week I offered some tips for a daily routine for the elderly in isolation which hopefully were taken onboard and tweaked to suit whoever embarked on a routine to pass the time more fruitfully in these long days of quarantine.

This time among other tips my suggestions are aimed to help you rationalise in your shopping, because we discovered that wonderful as the delivery shopping is, there is a minimum value which you can order.

For example if you were to order from two separate establishments on the same day you would probably have to spend £50 and end up buying more than what two people really need, so think carefully in order to avoid wastage and stockpiling. This is not WW3 yet by any stretch of the imagination.

If you are not on supplements yet perhaps now is a good time to think of including some to improve your health and build up your reserves at a time when we move about much less and we may inadvertently not be caring for ourselves as well as we should.

However before we take any supplements we need to check that there are no contra indications to other medicines that we may already be taking. If you are not sure and don’t read up on any - don’t take them.

Vitamin C is a good start and apart from your daily intake of fresh fruit which should include bananas, apples, oranges and tangerines apart from a handful of dried red fruit and nuts, a vitamin C supplement will help to support immune system.

Turmeric is an anti inflammatory which is quite beneficial as well. Cod liver oil is a fish oil supplement which can be bought with included vitamins A and D plus Glucosamine for joint support. Better than WD 40! I‘ve been taking all of the above for years and I noted that omega in fish oil also helps in keeping down levels of cholesterol. Our local heath shops all stock a variety of these supplements so give them a ring and discuss but don’t go overboard on them.

Sensible and ‘nostalgic’ cooking will keep us in good shape and remind us of a certain age about the days when there were no other menus!

Nobody eats enough greens nowadays and the easiest way to change that is to make it a point to have green salads and green beans regularly.

Green beans in glass jars can make a delicious omelette meal for two by using just a half jar of them at a time.

Simply heat up a little oil and add two finely diced garlic cloves till they start to go golden, add the drained beans and toss them around for a bit, then add two beaten eggs to make a ‘torta de habichuelas’ which are a healthier substitute to the usual ‘torta patatas’ any day. This serves two for a light supper. Double up on beans and on eggs and you can have four servings but not as light.

Two bunches of broccoli and a medium, chopped cauliflower can be boiled together and garnished with a little lemon juice and a touch of olive oil. The mix can be kept in the fridge and you can have regular meals with added salad for a few occasions.

Remember the old corned beef pie? Well start by mashing up four good sized potatoes into a creamy mix perhaps adding a little butter, salt and a dash of milk to taste. In an oiled pan heat up a diced onion, garlic clove and mix in the contents of a tin of corned beef into a creamy paste. Roll out a pack of frozen short crust pastry and make a bottom and a top for your pie dish.

Place the bottom layer of pastry weighted down and cook lightly in medium oven. Once ready spread the corned beef paste evenly all round and cover the top of the pastry with a brushed beaten egg for gloss. Bake until golden brown and this will serve two for a good lunch (seconds allowed). Keep the other half of the pie for next day in the fridge. Recommended for lunch.

Stuffed green peppers are also an old favourite and easy to make. Six generous peppers washed and opened at their tops. The stuffing needs breadcrumbs, a couple of eggs, two or three chopped slices of ham or luncheon meat, marjoram, grated cheese and finely chopped garlic then mash into a fairly thick paste that can be spooned into the peppers. Seal stuffed ends by dipping into flour after compacting, always leaving some space for expansion during frying.

Cook peppers in a pan with a tin of ‘tomate frito’ and a carton of ‘tomate triturado’ (which should first be cooked separately in the pan of oil). When both tomatoes units are blended mix in 2 teaspoons of sugar and place the stuffed peppers to cook in the tomatoe sauce for a half hour or until you can pierce them to test. If during cooking there is too much stuffing remove it before the peppers burst.

There’s enough here for one generous meal or for two light meals if you add mash or fries as a side. As with all recipes you can tweak and season with your favourite spices and add your favourite sides, however go easy because we seniors shouldn’t go out to exercise during quarantine. ‘Pimientos rellenos’ are recommended for lunch and not supper.

Remember we have more time on our hands and cooking is a great pastime so help out if you don’t cook yourself bearing in mind that this is a part of the daily routine which you should have mapped out and be executing in order to better spend the time in isolation and come out sane and fit when we get through this. Stay safe and keep busy and positive, that too is contagious in a good way. Till next time enjoy the recipes.