Boosting your immune system

In the news this week, is the germ debate; ‘Is dirt good for kids? – Are parents keeping things too clean for the good of their own kids?’

Television commercials are showing schools, kindergartens, child care centres and the family home, disinfecting every nook and cranny, kitchen bench, toilet, bathroom, kids’ toys, even the grandparents… is never ending. The next thing will be a disinfectant additive, that kids will have to drink.

So that is one side, but the other side is a bit dirtier. There is now the argument that kids may need to be exposed to more pathogens to boost their immune systems. According to the latest research, kids really need to be allowed to put everything in their mouths, no matter how dirty it is.  I agree.

I also have been suffering from a compromised immune system and seem to be sidelined with a respiratory illness each year. I am putting it down to the fact that I’m obviously not eating enough dirt. So it must be time to change and what a perfect business opportunity is in front of me.

Hitting the shelves in supermarkets this week, will be my modest, initial range of bags of dirt. So instead of your kids being tempted by candy and gum at the checkout, they will be screaming and crying so they can have a small packet of Run with Alan, immune system boosters. If your kids haven’t been playing in the creche sandpit, or crawling through the back garden, putting everything in sight in their mouths, then this is will fill the pathogen void. Parents should have no qualms about buying a packet of this natural product.

Just check out the range below, along with the tasting notes.


Feline sandpit surprise

Brilliant pale tan colour with a slight tinge of brown around the crusty edge. The nose opens with an intense whiff of wet nappies, biscuits, and Vicks VapoRub, followed by subtle vomit and runny nose, end notes. Fine and smooth but at the same time fresh, the palate delivers generous flavours of silica mixed in with quartz.  The occasional chewy feline treat, finishes with very good length with a long aftertaste of sardines, moths and mice.
Eat over the next 4-5 months.
Pathogen rating 75


Chunky clay chews

Rich gold colour with gold straw hue. Top note of mustiness, followed by wet cardboard over a layer of camping toilet. The palate has excellent weight, with flavours of cicadas and scrub worms over a background of tree roots and underground water, followed by a layer of topsoil. Clean acid finish. Long aftertaste of scrub worm, camping toilet, and trees roots.
Cellar 3-4 years
Pathogen rating 87


Organic garden delight

Totally opaque inky black red colour with a deep purple red hue. Contains an addition of compost to provide extra depth, flavour and colour. Lifted seaweed solution and snail beer trap aromas are followed by some light scorched earth and decomposing vegetable matter confectionary. Rich succulent worm castings and manure flavours fill the mouth over a back drop of scorched earth, grey water and pea straw. Slightly crispy egg shell tannins impart some dryness on the finish.
Cellar 1-2 years.
Pathogen rating 95

More of my two worlds.

I was asked to replace a timber floor on a verandah, for some friends. The demolition is always fun and as expected, I uncovered old bottles and cans, a dead cat, a rat’s rest with a hundred empty snail shells, and not to mention spiders and cobwebs, that hadn’t seen daylight for fifty years. I replaced the bearers and joists and all I was waiting for, was my delivery of beautiful, jarrah floorboards.

It was also my mother in law’s eighty-seventh birthday and I said that I would make a cake. I decided on an Opera Gateaux, knowing that she would find it delicious. I had only made a boiled fruitcake before, but how hard could it be?  All you have to do, is follow a recipe.

I whisked the egg whites to firm peaks, then folded them into the cake mixture. After baking my sponge, it cooled and I carefully cut it into three thin layers. I boiled the butter cream for five minutes until it was thick and sticky, then whisked in the egg yolks until it was thick and cool. I was preparing the ganache; gently melting the chocolate, as the milk came to the boil. I was slowly combining the melted chocolate to the hot milk, when the phone rang….

“Hello, it’s Alan speaking” as I kept stirring.

“Yeah g’day mate, it’s Johno from the timber yard, I gotcha floorin’ here mate, where’d ya wannit?” announces my timber delivery courier.

“If you could wang it on the right side of the drive mate, just don’t ding the house with ya truck, then shut the gate after you, that’d be ace” I said in my building site voice, as I prepare to fold the cream into my chocolate mixture.

“No sweat knackers, too easy, is there anything else I need to do?” asks Johno

“Well I’m just making a ganache, for an Opera Gateaux and do you think I need to let the chocolate mixture cool down, before I fold the cream in, just in case it might curdle?” I ask

“Yer what? Building a garage for Nick Gato? Whatever….yer floorin’s dropped off mate….av a good one”

I think I only just got away with that one.