Here I sit at my desk, looking like a character from a bizarre 1960’s SciFi film, this is due to the fact I’m wearing a turban of clingfilm around my head which holds a pot of mayonnaise within…

The idea of slathering my head in mayonnaise is not new to me, as a child, when a bout of head lice went around school, my mother used to smother mayonnaise all over my head and then comb my hair out thoroughly, this made the lice and their eggs which used to stick like super glue, comb right out.
Nowadays, I use mayonnaise for a different purpose, to make my hair look and feel nourished and add a super shine without making your hair look too greasy.

 

My trusted hair dresser is just over 300 miles away from where I go to University in Cornwall. This means my hairdressers appointments are becoming rather infrequent causing my hair to become dry, flat and knotty.

As I awoke this morning, my hair had became a tangled mess overnight, at this point I realised that I was well due a mayonnaise hair treatment. Sienna's Dry hair before mayonnaise treatment wearing fashion revolution t-shirt

As I awoke this morning, my hair had became a tangled mess overnight, at this point I realised that I was well due a mayonnaise hair treatment. (wearing Fashion Revolution T-Shirt)

I’ve done many a bizarre thing whilst being at uni which my housemates can never understand at first, from drying seaweed to drinking apple cider vinegar, but each of them have finally begun to understand why I was doing these things after seeing the results.

When I mentioned to one of my housemates that I was doing mayonnaise hair treatment, she looked at me surprised yet confused and said ‘If you block the drains with mayonnaise, you’re sorting it out!’ which wasn’t entirely the reaction I was expecting and then she carried on to say that she’d never met someone who did as strange a things as I do, which I took as a compliment. So I understand if you think the concept of rubbing mayonnaise on your hair is crazy, but once you try it once, you’ll keep wanting the same results over and over again.

 

 How to do the Miracle Mayonnaise Hair Treatment

mayonnaise hair treatment savvy student sienna somers

You will need:
Full Fat Mayonnaise (basic brand will do)
Cling film (or shower cap if you have one)

Firstly, and probably most obviously, spoon out
the mayonnaise and cover your hair generously
from the roots to the tips ensuring everything is well covered.
I ended up using around ¾ of my mayonnaise jar.

Mayonnaise hair treatment by savvy student sienna somers                             Mayonnaise hair treatment by savvy student sienna somers

Wrap your hair up tightly and securely in Clingfilm (or use a shower cap). Leave the mayonnaise in your hair for as long as you can. I leave mine in usually for about 3 hours, but even if you can only spare 20 minutes, it’s still worth doing it. Whilst I had my mayo treatment on my head today, I managed to run 10k on my cross trainer and write this blog, so that proves it doesn’t prevent you from doing every day things.

 

Once you remove the cling film, wash thoroughly with just warm water to begin till you get the majority of the mayo out, then use shampoo to ensure no mayonnaisey odour is left lingering.

After you dry your hair, however you prefer – I wrap mine in a cotton sarong then air dry – hopefully you will see the dazzling results and have irresistible model-perfect hair which you just want to show off!

 

sienna somers savvy studentsienna somers savvy student

 

Smoked Rosehip Chilli Jelly is a variation on rosehip jelly, but with a subtle kick.  I find it a perfect accompaniment to roasted squash or sweet potatoes and it is an invaluable addition to sticky spare ribs or, indeed, almost any roast pork dish.

 

Rosehips in pan

I tend to make this in fairly small batches as, although I use it a lot, you need such a small amount that a couple of jars will go a long way.  This recipe is adapted from one by River Cottage for rosehip and apple jelly.

Ingredients (makes 2-3 large jars)  If you have more rosehips, scale up the recipe accordingly.

1lb 10oz (750g) cooking apples or crab apples.  This is about two very large cooking apples.
9oz (250g) rosehips
16oz (450g) granulated sugar

Chilli: according to taste and availability. I used:
1 large, dried ancho chilli
2 small, dried chipotle chilli
A few pinches of smoked paprika
This combination will bring heat and depth, but any fresh, dried or powdered chilli combination will work.

1. Rinse the rosehips and remove stalks and leaves. Chop roughly by hand or in food processor.  Rinse and roughly chop the apples, keeping core and skin on as you need these for the pectin.

2. Put in a pan with about a pint of water (600ml) Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recommends cooking them all together but I found that the rosehips took longer, so I added these first and then put my apples in when the rosehips started to feel tender as the apples will be cooked in no time. Simmer until all the fruit is soft and pulpy.

3. Strain. This is the part which may be hard for students if you don’t have a kitchen equipped with such things as jelly bags.  However, almost any gauzy material would work and you can lay it in a sieve over a bowl.  I bet even an old pair of tights would make a perfect jam sieve! To sterilise the cloth, just pour some boiling water over it before using (especially if using old tights!)  Let the juice drip through.  Don’t be tempted to push it through or squeeze the fabric or you will get cloudy jelly. Yes, it looks absolutely disgusting at this stage!

Sieving rosehip & apple

4. The next day, measure the juice.  You should have about a pint (600ml)  If not, add water to make it up to this quantity.

5. The chilli part of this recipe is entirely down to your personal taste and availability of chilli.  Remove the seeds from the chilli if using fresh or dried chilli.  Chop the chilli finely or blitz in a food processor. Put in a small bowl and add about 100ml of boiling water and leave to soak for a few minutes. Mix into a paste. Don’t add the smoked paprika yet.

Chillis

6. Bring to the boil and add the sugar.  Then add the chilli paste mix.  Boil for about 10 minutes or until the jelly reaches setting point.  When it looks almost ready, add the smoked paprika to taste. This way you can monitor the chilli heat and can keep adding a sprinkle until you reach a heat which suits you.

Sugar into pan

7. The best way to test this is to have a couple of old jam lids or something similar which you have put in the freezer to cool.  Put a drop of the jelly on the cold jam lid and leave for a minute.  If it starts to wrinkle when you push it, it is ready.  If not, wash that jam lid and put back in the freezer.  Use the other lid next time and keep alternating them until you know that the jam is set. There is nothing more frustrating than thinking it is ready and then having to boil it all up again when you have bottled it and found it doesn’t set.

8. Skim any scum from the top of the jelly and pour into sterilised jars. The easiest way to do this is to leave jars and lids in the oven for about 10 minutes. Seal the jars, wipe the outside and label when cool and dry.

9. Spread on roast pork, ribs, squash, sweet potato. Delicious!

Smoked chilli jelly

 

 

crop-apples

apple
Salt caramel sauce is irresistibly moreish.  Poured over a baked (scrumped, of course) apple, the zingy, fluffy apple combines beautifully with the rich, sweet and salty sauce.

 

Wherever you are at University, there will be plenty of apple scrumping possibilities around you.  I found a whole webpage dedicated to scrumpable trees in Falmouth and Penryn!

 

This recipe uses coconut sugar to make the salt caramel sauce, which has a lower glycemic index than normal sugar and tastes so much better.  Buy online from wholesalers such as Lembas.   The saltiness comes mostly from sea lettuce which is readily available around much of the coast of Britain.

 

1. Read my blog post on how to gather and dry sea lettuce.

2. Heat 200g/7 ounces/1 cup of coconut sugar with 110g/4oz/8tbls butter over a medium hob.  Keep stirring all the time. Don’t leave it or it will burn!  Once it has come to the boil, continue boiling for about 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

stirring-caramel

3. Add 120ml/8tbls/half a cup of cream. Double cream is best but single should work fine. Pour it in slowly and keep stirring all the time.  Then bring back to the boil and continue to boil for about 10 minutes.  You can tell that the sauce has thickened when you put a dribble onto something cold (I often use a jam jar lid which I leave in the freezer) and the sauce will then feel quite pliable once it hardens in contact with the cold lid.

cooking-caramel

4. Take the pan off the hob and add a few drops of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of good quality sea salt.

5. Grind up some of your dried sea lettuce and add according to taste. The emerald green specks in the sauce look very pretty.

6. Decorate with a sprig of sea lettuce

7. Enjoy!

 

apple-with-caramel

Beef Bone Marrow is an absolutely delicious food that you can often get for free from butchers, but is served in posh restaurants around the country and is primary ingredient in classical French dishes such as, Pot au Feu and Bordelaise sauce.

Bone Marrow cooked

There is something almost Palaeolithic about scooping the creamy, rich marrow out of the centre of roasted bones. It is certainly what our evolutionary ancestors did for eons as this prized food is amazing source of long chain fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins and minerals all of which contributed to the growth and development of the human brain (Hello Hangover Cure!).

Its also contains many essential amino acids such as Glycine which many people take supplements of and swear by as a means of improving sleep quality and promote wakefulness in the following morning (Hello, what did I say about a hangover cure?). Bone marrow also contains the amino acid Proline which is used in the synthesis of collagen within your body. As many of you probably know, collagen is key for your skins health, elasticity and overall appearance. As people age, they’re body produces less and less collagen hence making the skin slacker and wrinkled. There has been evidence that an intake of Proline can increase collagen and thus decrease the skin ageing! It is often used in many beauty products from shampoo’s and conditioners to anti-ageing face creams. I may have to start putting bone marrow on my face!

Where to get it

Cooking bone marrow is very simple, but you first need to get you hands on some and you will need to visit you local butcher for that. Most butchers just give it away to their customers who will pass it on to their dogs who absolutely love it, but if you do have to pay it shouldn’t cost more than a pound or two for a big bag of it. It’s very important to get the butcher to saw the bone marrow into 2-3 inch pieces, otherwise you will be in your kitchen attempting to smash a big bone with a rock like prehistoric caveman which I can guarantee will be disastrous for all parties involved. Heston Blumenthal recently sold Bone Marrow for £4.99 in Waitrose as a luxury meal whereas my version is almost completely free!bone marrow with caper and parsley salad

It think the easiest way to prepare bone marrow is simply to roast it in oven and serve it with a bread and a parsley, caper salad which will help cut through the richness of the bone marrow.
Recipe

. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
. Place the bones in a roasted tin baking sheet with the cut-side facing upwards. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper
. Roast for about 12-15 minutes, or until the marrow is soft and coming away from the bone ( as the bone marrow cooks it release a clear oil in the pan.) The Mummy 2017 film download

Please be aware that if you overcook, it basically just melts away completely!
Parsley Caper Salad

What I love about this recipe is that there is no need to be too precise here, but the basic recipe is: 
A handful of chopped parsley
A couple tablespoons of chopped capers.
Thinly sliced onion, shallot, or green onion. (depends whats in the fridge)
A few gulps of olive oil
A wee bit of balsamic
A squeeze or two of lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients, then season with salt and pepper. 

To eat

Just spread the marrow over the bread or toast and sprinkle a bit of the salad on top.

Or if like me it’s become your new favourite comfort food, scoop it straight out of the bone with a teaspoon and feel it melt on your tongue, Yum!

sienna somers eating bone marrow

After three weeks of frugality, it’s time to enjoy spending some of that money I’ve saved…

Falmouth may be small, but you certainly won’t be pushed to find quirky and intruiging places to go. First stop on our night out, Dolly’s Tea Rooms & Gin Palace. Just off the main high street, take the arsenic green staircase up to Dolly’s emporium where you’ll be greeted by a pearl-wearing labrador.

entrance-to-Dollys

Experience a vintage style tea room which transforms at night to a wine, cocktail and gin palace. There’s a small but imaginative range of cocktails and an extensive range of gin, all served in teacups.

Sienna-at-Dollys

I had a “Hoochy Poochy Mama”, consisting of ginger beer, whiskey, mint and tonic water. My companions tried “Mad Hatter” (G&T with cucumber and lemon) and “The Queen of Hearts” (Campari, orange juice and golden rum). I wore my Richard Nichol top from a sample sale recently, see my previous blog post on sample sales.

trio-of-cocktailscucumber-G&T

After a few cocktails, we headed down to The Wheel House, a specialist seafood restaurant with a welcoming environment and astonishingly good food. On tripadvisor, The Wheel House has an incredible overall 5* review from over 400 reviews. On arrival, the waiter came and sat down with us and ran through the entirety of the menu and he allowed us flexibility on the order, timings and size of our meal. 

We order 12 scallops initially. They came with a deliciously tangy bisque which cut through the creamy scallops perfectly. It was hands-down the best scallops I’ve ever had (and my Step-Dad used to be a chef!) Then we had “Traditional style” Mussels et frites (with chips) which were also extraordinarily tasty.

mussels

Finally, we had a medium crab (which was ginormous). It’s a great place for families to get several dishes and share. In order to make the most of this experience, it is quite necessary to get stuck in and use your hands in order to get every last bit of the crabs meat out! You don’t just eat what’s in the main body of the crab, you can use the tools provided to crack open the claws and legs and get out every last ounce of delectable meat.

crab