Mushroom Steaks & Stilton Sauce

low carb for life

Tender, juicy and meaty mushroom steaks served with a Stilton and sour cream sauce that comes together in no time. This easy recipe has something for everyone, whether low-carb, vegetarian, both or neither.


2 Portobello (large flat) mushrooms
For the Marinade
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce or liquid amino’s
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Ground black pepper (to taste)
Sea salt (to taste)
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Combine the oil and seasonings and brush to coat the mushrooms. Leave the mushrooms in the remaining liquid to marinade for 10 minutes.
Heat a griddle pan or a George Foreman grill, place the mushroom steaks on the hot grill and cook until soft and lightly charred.
Alternatively, heat in the oven at 200°C for approximately 30 minutes.
For the Sauce
Combine 100g of sour…

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Posted by on May 12, 2022 in Uncategorized


The Evolution of Us – Genetic Links to How Our Bodies Digest Carbohydrates

low carb for life


Amylase is a case where diet may have the potential to change our genes. Populations that have higher numbers of amylase gene copies and more amylase in their saliva tend to eat more starch and were found to digest starchy carbohydrates faster. They also displayed a higher blood glucose response to foods containing starch such as bread and pasta. There has been speculation it could represent an adaptation to the influence of diet during human evolution, perhaps associated with the shift from the low starch diet of hunter-gatherers to the high starch diets of Neolithic farmers.

It has been found that even animals that live alongside humans have diets that are different to those of their wild relatives, and these differences have led to dietary adaptations. While wolves are highly carnivorous, dogs have adapted to eating starchy human food scraps.
Amylase, which kick-starts digestion of starch in the mouth, is…

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Posted by on May 6, 2022 in Uncategorized


What a Beautiful Box! I Will Put the Iliad In It

Plutarch, Life of Alexander 26.4 “When a small box was brought to him—which seem more valuable than the rest of the possessions and baggage they had taken from Dareios, [Alexander] asked his friends what thing seem especially worthy of being put in it. Although many of them made many suggestions, Alexander said that he would…

Source: What a Beautiful Box! I Will Put the Iliad In It

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Posted by on April 19, 2022 in Uncategorized


Say Cheese! – Alkaline Phosphatase & the French Paradox

low carb for life

The French Paradox, a term devised to rationalise the ‘decadent’ French diet, dripping in saturated fats from cheese, pate, butter, cream and alcohol from wine which runs contrary to low rates of cardiovascular disease in the French population.

Previous studies often focused on resveratrol, the antioxidant in red wine as an explanation of the paradox but, studies have found that the fermented milk components in cheese stimulate the production of an intestinal enzyme called alkaline phosphatase. This could have benefits in addition to wine by reducing systemic inflammation resulting in improved cardiovascular health.


The image of a sumptuous wedge of cheese and bottle of aged red wine is considered forbidden by current dogma yet years of research show that a French diet may lower incidence of heart disease. Although the beneficial properties of antioxidants in red wine may go some way to explain the French Paradox, the benefits may actually…

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Posted by on April 17, 2022 in Uncategorized


The Mycenaean Scribes and the Linear B Scripts

Ritaroberts's Blog

It was after making surprising studies related to ancient Greece that Heinrich Schliemann attempted an archaeological dig at Mycenae in August 1876. The nature of the discoveries at Mycenae were so dramatic that Mycenaean became the name for the whole culture that spread across Greece. Although Schliemann discovered no writing, his student Arthur Evans did. On Crete he found tablets with two types of scripts which he named Linear A and Linear B. Later Linear B Tablets were found on the mainland associated with the Mycenaean culture. In 1952 Michael Ventris identified a decipherment of Linear B as an old form of Greek and new information became available about the nature of the Mycenaean culture.

The texts turned out to be accounting lists rather than poetry of mythology. This writing system system was most likely confined to a minority of the population who were professional scribes. I correlated the information…

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Posted by on April 13, 2022 in Uncategorized


Drinking wine in ancient Greece was a divine but demanding business 


Garry Shaw

3 September 2021

A small cup, currently on display in the temporary exhibition ‘Drinking with the Gods’ at La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, held a small surprise for any ancient Greek who’d finished sipping their wine and peered with sadness into its dry, empty interior. A satyr is painted within, his tail in the air as he dives head first into a vat of wine, his own tiny cup left below, untouched. Such behaviour was frowned upon in Greek society, I learn, because drinking wine was a divine affair, involving the proper rituals and respect for the gods, which separated the Greeks from the barbarians. The satyr, it seems, had forgotten his good manners. Luckily for us modern wine-drinkers, there’s no longer any risk of embarrassing ourselves like a drunken satyr, because this intoxicating exhibition explains how we can avoid insulting the Greek and Roman gods…

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Posted by on April 11, 2022 in Uncategorized


How sophisticated was Minoan art and pottery design in comparison with Classical Greek.

In many ways the Minoan civilization influenced the Mycenaean arts. Both civilizations created pottery, metal objects and paintings on the walls of their buildings. Minoan artists excelled with their elegant frescoes in their palaces, while Mycenaean artists developed the art of enameling and exquisite inlaid metal.

As the Minoan culture expanded, Minoan artists began designing frescoes for public buildings and palaces, depicting themes of nature with designs inclusive of fish, squid and birds and later with flowers and animals. Mycenaean art by contrast often reflected warrior like images, their paintings depicting hunting scenes and images of war.

Minoan Dolphin Vase.

Although the Mycenaean civilization obtained much of their art from the Minoans, they were very different as people. They were a warlike culture, whereas the Minoans were a more peaceful society. Mycenaean architecture consisted of cities surrounded by thick wall composed of massive blocks of stone, some of which we can still see today at Mycenae itself, where the city was entered through the famous Lion gate.

Mycenaean Chariot

The Mycenaean metalwork was supreme as seen by the swords, daggers and bronze blades, inlaid with more precious metals and enamels revealing beautiful an extremely high standard of workmanship. Also the golden cups found at Mycenae, are as a group extraordinary beautiful in proportion and workmanship.

Mycenaean dagger blades from shaft grave lV Mycenae

It is very difficult to decide which civilization was more sophisticated than the other, but from studying the artwork from both the Minoan and Mycenaean culture, my opinion is that on the whole the Minoans seem to be the more sophisticated civilization as their artwork was far more delicate than the Mycenaeans. However, both civilizations excelled at their own specialized subject.

Pottery produced in the Classical Greek style included at first Black-figure pottery, yet other styles emerged such as red figure pottery and the white ground technique. Styles such as West Slope Ware were characteristic of the subsequent Hellenistic period which, saw vase paintings decline.

Figured decoration in a central band around the pot is a character of most Greek fine wares. Stick figures first, animals and later human appear in the 8th century BC during the latter half of the Geometric period (c900-700 BC) so called after the neatly balanced rows of geometric patterns decorating parts of the vase.

Amphora showing scenes of olive picking.

Posted by on March 24, 2022 in Uncategorized


Leek & Wild Garlic Soup

low carb for life

Spring is on its way and the wild garlic is already emerging. There is an abundance of the tasty leaves where I live and it can be found in many wooded areas close to streams and rivers here in the UK.
Modern research suggests that, like garlic, eating wild garlic may help to lower blood pressure. In addition, the prebiotic properties in garlic increase gut microbial richness and diversity.
Where to find wild garlic

WILD-GARLICLEAVESLeek & Wild Garlic Soup
2 medium leeks
1 celery stalk
20g wild garlic butter*
800 ml warm water
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp white pepper
220g Stilton cheese
43g double cream

Wash and chop the leeks and celery into approximately 20cm chunks and gently heat in the garlic butter in a sauce pan for 5 minutes, slowly add the warm water and bring to a simmer until the leeks and celery have softened. Add…

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Posted by on March 14, 2022 in Uncategorized


Spelling B: how did Mycenaean scribes learn to spell in Linear B?

It's All Greek To Me

Rectangular tablet oriented horizontally with four lines of Linear B writing, and a small wooden stylus beneath it
Replica of a Linear B tablet from Pylos recording religious offerings of grain, and replica stylus. Tablet made by me, stylus by Philip Boyes

In my last post I wrote about the apparent ‘problems’ in how the prehistoric Linear B script is used to write the Mycenaean Greek language, and how these are actually not ‘problems’ at all, but a compromise between accurate representation of the language and economy in the number of different signs in the writing signs – as demonstrated by the use of very similar orthographic strategies in how the modern Cherokee syllabary represents the Cherokee language. Today I want to look in more detail at how Mycenaean writers actually used the Linear B orthographic system, and what this can tell us about both their attitudes towards ‘correct’ spelling and the way(s) in which they were taught to spell in the first place.

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Posted by on February 23, 2022 in Uncategorized


Bygone days of Domesticity

Since the second world war domestic technology has progressed so quickly and the standard of living has progressed so markedly that it is easy to forget that in the early 2oth century the domestic life of the poorer class in many cases compared more to that of their 18th century contemporary middle classes. The transition to the use of gas and electric power in the home in the past war period meant the younger generation has difficulty in recognizing some of the equipment their grand parents and, in some cases their parents remember and often used today. Some of these domestic items can still be found today in antique shops as collectors items, such as the item you see below known as a folding boot jack.


There were differences between life in the towns and life in the country, consequently in domestic furnishings when looking at interiors from the middle ages to the present, a progression is apparent towards greater comfort and efficiency depending more on manpower at first and then later increasingly on mechanics as well until exploitation of manufactured energy. In most rooms the standard of production were clumbersome and uncomfortable even though attractive in their functional simplicity of design.

As the household became less communal and houses began to aquire several living rooms, differences in the style developed between furnishings and equipment for various different rooms. The number of necessary items increased, furnishing became less sparse and a major focus of attention of designers and manufacturing, The industrial revolution provided the means of supplying to a large number of people in new and improved materials.

During the latter half of the 18th century increased production tended to go hand in hand with good design and maintained standards of quality, the 19th century saw increased mechanization towards supplying much larger quantities of mass produced, cheap articles and at the beginning of this century the clutter began to diminish.

For the greatest interest lies in the 19th and 20th century bygones, more interesting items were produced by the inventors manufacturers in order to fill the smallest gap in the range of useful devices, and especially for the kitchen and the hearth.

Around the heat of the fire were all the activities of the house and the succeeding generations devised means of using one source of heat for many purposes and keeping the fire going was an ongoing priority. During the night the embers were covered with a metal dome called a couvre feu with a gap at the side for a slight draught, and in the morning they were blown into flame with bellows.

The major innovation between 12th and 19th centuries was the moving of the fire from the centre of the room to the thickened end wall and into it’s own fireplace with a chimney, a development not universally adopted until the 16th century. The space was built wide and the fire was central either on the ground or raised slightly on bricks. The back was protected by a cast iron fire back and the legs supported by fire dogs of many designs: cup dogs had small cup-like baskets on top for holding drinking vessels to warm. Most dogs had hooks at the back of the uprights where the spit could rest for roasting. Later horizontal bars, laid across between the dogs, developed into baskets or braziers to hold coal, raised above the hearth to provide the necessary up draught.

Where there was a bread oven it was usually near the fire and often opened into the fireplace. It was usually built in brick with an arched roof and was heated by filling with brush wood which set alight and the door was closed. When the fire had burnt out the ashes were then raked out, sometimes through a narrow chute on the floor and loaves and cakes were put in batches for baking were inserted and withdrawn on the end of a long wooden paddle called a peel.

In the larger affluent houses fireplaces in drawing and living rooms followed fashion, their shape, size, mantles and fittings changing accordingly: the trend towards coal fires gradually altered the shape of the grates. Their function was not confined to space heating and many of the high quality brass and copper accessories which survive today was not used in the kitchen’

Elegantly designed trivets to stand in the hearth or hang from the bars of the grate, four legged foot men or stands for the same purpose, toasters, spirit heated kettles on tall or short stands were all designed for the elegant teatime around the fire. Fireirons multiplied in variety if not efficiency, the shovels giving most scope to the craftsman. In the 17th century fenders were introduced and later fireguards.

The handy box for holding spills – lengths of twisted wood shavings used for taking a light from the fire replaced the tongs. When bellow blowers and scuttles had been embellished too, there was still scope for metal hearth ornaments whose only purpose was to enhance the fireplace.

Note : To me, these are what we call the good old days, where everything around the hearth seemed warm and comforting even though hard work.

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Posted by on January 22, 2022 in Uncategorized

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