Your tips: Westies, bickies and feijoas

Many thanks to those readers who have sent in interesting tips and questions – here’s a selection.

PAL from Christchurch has a question for readers. “Does anyone own a Westie dog [a West Highland Terrier] with a very bad itch and found something that either cures it or relieves the scratching? We have been advised to put our dog on steroids for the rest of his life which we really don’t want to do. Westies are prone to a bad itch – so we have been told. Thank You.” If you can help PAL with a remedy for the itch then please drop us a note. PAL would be pleased, as would many Westies it seems!

Still on dog matters, LG from Warkworth has sent in this recipe for dog biscuits. “The recipe I always use for dog biscuits is to cut some liver (which ever kind is the cheapest) into chunks and bring to boil in water until just cooked. Then dice or mince the meat, add the cooking water, and enough wholemeal flour to make a firm dough. You can also add some oil, or eggs as well, depending on your budget. Shape into biscuits, put onto trays and bake at 180 until hard. These keep well, but if they’re a bit soft you can put them in the fridge. You can also mix them in a food processor.”

Adrienne from Christchurch has some innovative tips for recycling pantyhose. “Always buy the same brand and colour. When you find a ladder cut the leg off. After another ladder in a second pair means you have cut that leg off too, you can now wear your two pairs together, with two tops to keep you warm! The cut off leg is excellent for washing children’s soft toys. The feet are good for holding small pieces of soap from the shower then using to wash dirty hands, knees and feet.”

Catlady from Wanganui says celery keeps for weeks in the refrigerator – if it is wrapped in foil.

Fruity from Northland has asked if anyone has a favourite recipe for feijoas. Here are some suggestions.

Stewed feijoas are delicious (that’s if you like feijoas!) on cereals for breakfast or as a simple dessert with cream or ice-cream, as a pie filling, or with a hot sponge topping. To stew feijoas all you need is 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups water, and 12 peeled and quartered feijoas. Prepare a syrup with sugar and water, then simmer the feijoas in the syrup until tender.

To make feijoa jam, cut unpeeled feijoas into thin slices. To 13 kg of sliced feijoas add 2.4 litres water. Cook until soft. Gradually add 2.7kg sugar, stirring constantly. Bring carefully to the boil, still stirring. Then bring to a fast rolling boil until it sets, when tested. Testing is done by placing 2 teaspoons of hot jam on a saucer cold from the fridge. Put back into the fridge for 5 minutes, then push the jam with your finger. If the jam wrinkles, it’s ready to set. Feijoa jam must be watched as it jellies quickly.

A reader writes, “We have a hedge of feijoa trees which we use to shelter the garden. The bonus is we have lots of feijoas. I am not naturally inclined towards the taste so I had to go searching for recipes to sweeten it up, and I came across this feijoa and apple crumble. This is what you do. To make the crumble, combine 75grams of butter (which I dice up to make it mix easier), 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup of soft brown sugar, 1/4 cup of coconut and 1/4 cup of rolled oats (the same ones I use for my breakfast). I mix this in a blender. That’s the crumble. For the fruit I peel and slice a dozen or so medium sized feijoas and two sweet apples (because I like things sweet). I lay the fruit into a baking dish then sprinkle over a 1/4 cup of white sugar (that sweet tooth again). I then top it off with the crumble mix and bake it in a preheated oven at 180C until the crumble is crisp, which will take about 40 minutes. If I have any pulp left over I have it with porridge for breakfast.”

If you have a favourite feijoa recipe please drop