With Christmas round the corner we thought we would share a favourite festive recipe with you. Our audiologist Kevin Jeffery (seen here sporting a brussel sprout shirt) loves to cook and he is kindly sharing with us his special recipe for Chestnut Stuffing!
Kev’s Chestnut Stuffing
This was my Mum’s recipe at Christmas. It was the one thing I looked forward to more than the Turkey and rich gravy. I now must make it myself every year and even have a tradition that if I am going to friends or family…I will bring the chestnut stuffing. Not so much a tradition but a demand! I usually make it on Christmas eve and leave it in the fridge to develop so it’s ready to go on Christmas day!
I have no idea about amounts in grams. Ounces. etc as it is always eyeballed! But you can’t really go wrong with it….? Serves 4 with some left over.
INGREDIENTS: Sausage Meat (either a packet of or a packet of good quality sausages)
1 small onion finely chopped
2-3 cloves of Garlic, 1 if very large cloves
Half a slice of bread. White or Brown is fine
Stuffing mix. (Yes Paxo Sage & Onion is perfect)
Chestnut puree (half a packet) I use the Merchant Gourmet one that you can buy in the supermarkets or online
Roasted Chestnuts (half a packet) chopped into quarters. Again, I use the Merchant Gourmet one
Butter, Pepper, Mixed Herbs
METHOD: Begin by either breaking/squishing down the sausage meat in a bowl or removing the skins from a packet of sausages and do the same.
Add the chopped onion, garlic, good pinch of pepper, half a teaspoon of mixed herbs, Chestnut puree, quartered Chestnuts, about 2 dessert spoons of stuffing mix. Add the bread broken into small pieces – not breadcrumbs but more smallish flakes.
Mix it all well together. There is only one way to do this and that is with your hands. Mixing, squishing and getting everything combined. If it becomes too soft and mushy then add more stuffing mix and a little more bread. Conversely if it is very dry then add more chestnut puree, or a tiny amount of water.
Once all combined, place into a suitable oven proof dish greased with butter (there needs to be about an inch in thickness of stuffing mix, so it does not dry out). Spread evenly and press it into the dish and then prick it with a fork. Cover with cling film and place it in the fridge until needed. Ideally overnight. You can always wrap it in cling film if you intend to put it into the turkey on Christmas day…. I never have, however. On the big day of cooking. Take it out of the fridge at least half hour prior to putting in the oven, cling film removed of course! Put half a dozen small pieces of chilled butter over the top and around the sides.
Place it in the oven at around 180C for about 40-45 minutes until browned on top and cooked through. Anywhere in a fan oven is ok, or higher racks in a conventional oven. Once cooked, cover with foil to keep warm and serve either small wedges, or just a good spoonful dolloped next to the Turkey. It is just as good the next day served cold with pickles etc.
Any form of wax removal is an aerosol generating procedure, meaning that tiny particles of moisture are airborne. Because the Coronavirus is transmitted through the air and is highly contagious, we have to wear the full PPE, including gown, gloves, filtered mask and visor to protect ourselves and our clients.
What is an aerosol generating procedure (AGP)? Aerosols are produced when an air current moves across the surface of a film of liquid; the greater the force of the air, the smaller the particles that are produced. Aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) are defined as any medical and patient care procedure that results in the production of airborne particles (aerosols).
PPE requirement guide for aerosol generating procedures
Ear wax (also known as cerumen), a bodily secretion that many of us could live without, is actually very useful for our health – in small amounts. As a natural cleanser that moves from the inside of the ear canal to the outside, ear wax traps and gathers dirt, debris, dead skin cells, dust and hair. Moreover, ear wax has antibacterial properties, keeping the ears lubricated and protecting them from various infections. In this article we look at getting rid of ear wax safely and the reasons why excess or impacted ear wax can become a problem.
Why do some people have problems with ear wax?
Everyone makes ear wax, but some people produce more than others. This is due to many reasons. The amount and quality of ear wax each person produces depends on their genetics. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that a high percentage of East Asians produce dry ear wax, whereas people of African or European ancestry tend to produce wet ear wax.
On the other hand, people with small or narrow ear canals can also experience ear wax build-up, since these anatomical characteristics make it more difficult for ear wax to exit the ear canal naturally.
People with hearing aids are also prone to ear wax build-up, since they have a foreign body in their ear every day which can lead to a blockage and impacted ear wax over time. For the same reason, it’s not recommended to use cotton swabs to remove excess ear wax.
How do I know if I need to see a specialist?
If you feel that your ears are full or you are in pain, then chances are that your ears are impacted. Other symptoms that suggest you are in need of ear wax removal include loss of hearing, ringing ears (tinnitus), itchy ear canals, discharges and/or smelly ears.
If you have any of the above symptoms, you should book an ear wax removal appointment. It’s really important to see whether ear wax is causing pain or discomfort, since ear problems can also be caused by other conditions. The audiologist will look into your ears carefully and determine whether they are blocked by excessive ear wax.
Ear wax microsuction
If ear wax removal is necessary, then there are many options. In some cases, irrigation (removal by water) works well. However, irrigation does not always dislodge the entirety of the ear wax blockage, particularly if the ear canal is narrow. Microsuction is an alternative, innovative method of cleaning the ear canal, using a suction device guided by a microscopic camera. Microsuction is quick, safe and does not need pre-treatment. The audiologist will use a camera to navigate around the ear canal, safely removing the excess ear wax. In most cases, the blockage is removed in a few minutes.
Cleaning your ears properly
To prevent future problems with your ears, don’t stick anything inside them. Only use cotton swabs on the outside of your ear canal and if you feel uncomfortable, see an audiologist. More importantly, stay away from ear candles or any DIY remedies which are advertised as natural ear wax removal methods, since they can harm your ears.
Getting rid of ear wax safely – where to find out more
At Help in Hearing we generally offer microsuction but occasionally we carry out irrigation (water) or “dry removal” using a small probe. The method will depend on your specific history and condition of the ear. No GP referral is required.
Managed by qualified audiologists
Only our carefully selected, fully qualified and experienced audiologists with additional training in aural microsuction ear wax removal will carry out ear wax microsuction.
Ear wax is a natural part of ear health. We all have ear wax, it’s just that some people produce more wax than others. Below we explore what you need to know about ear wax removal – what ear wax is comprised of, its protective role, and ear wax removal methods.
What is ear wax?
Ear wax is a combination of dead skin cells, secretions and dust. This gradually builds up over time in the ear canal. The consistency and amount will vary between individuals and there is no way of stopping it from producing.
The role of ear wax
Although often viewed as a nuisance, ear wax does have an important role to play. It helps to lubricate the ear canal and protects foreign objects from entering the ear canal such as dirt, bacteria and dust.
Signs that your ears are blocked with wax
There are a number of signs that can indicate your ears are blocked with wax. These include difficulty hearing, tinnitus, earache, dizziness and recurring ear infections.
Self-wax removal warning
It’s important that you don’t insert cotton buds into your ear canal, as this can push the wax further into the ear and cause damage to the ear canal.
Ear wax microsuction
Ear wax microsuction is a procedure which uses gentle suction to remove excessive or troublesome ear wax. It is performed with the aid of a surgical microscope and a calibrated suction device, without the introduction of any materials or liquids. Ear wax microsuction is one of the safest, most effective, quickest and most comfortable methods of removing ear wax.
What you need to know about ear wax removal – where to find out more