Clearly, the English will not give up their white bread without a fight: not a single brown loaf appears on the list of top-selling in- store bakery products at Tesco. We're obviously attached to doughnuts, too: they appear well up the list, whereas danish pastries and croissants are nowhere to be seen. This is fortunate, as it so happens that next week is National Doughnut Week. Buy a doughnut at any independent baker's and part of the price will be donated towards Save the Children. They're hoping to raise pounds 75,000.
1 Plain baguette (400g).............39p
2 White split tin (800g)..............59p
3 White farmhouse (400g).........43p
4 French baton..........................29p
5 Jam doughnuts (six)................69p
6 White bloomer (800g).............59p
7 White tin (sliced) (800g).........59p
8 White farmhouse (800g).........59p
9 White farmhouse (sliced) (400g) ..43p
10 Soft white baps (12).............79p
Pancake pan with handle mit, pounds 12.95
If your efforts at pancake making usually end in the bin or on the ceiling, then you'll need one of Hogarth & Dwyer's crepe pans on 20 February. Once we'd followed the rather time-consuming pan preparation instructions (fill with salt and bake in the oven for two hours), we were rewarded with perfect pancakes: crisp, flippable and delicious. Best of all, the instructions insist that you protect your newly non-stick pan by never washing it - oh joy! If you buy the crepe pan and handle mitt in February, the price is reduced from pounds 14.35 to pounds 12.95 for both (plus pounds 2.25 p&p). Call Orderline: 01483 456 251, or drop in at Hogarth & Dwyer, 240 High St, Guildford.
Cactus juicer, pounds 9.95
A marvel of the 20th century - a man-made cactus that doubles as kitchen equipment. Use it to squeeze yourself a zingy early morning orange juice, or to splash lemon all over your Shrove Tuesday pancakes (see left). Alternatively, you could just park it on your windowsill and talk to it. There is no chance of it growing, of course, but then again it won't die on you either. From the Conran Shop, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 6RD (0171-589 7401; mail- order available).
For what it's worth
We asked Professor Jeffrey Almond, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Reading: how can you cure a cold?
"The problem is that there are very many different viruses and several different virus families which cause the cold, and there is no drug available which will act on all of them. Also, the diagnosis of which particular virus you have is not easy and may take days.
"The other problem is the infection is quite established by the time that you feel the symptoms in your nose. From the time you start sniffing it may be only five or six hours before the cold is in full stream. So even if there were appropriate drugs, you'd have to know which one to take and it would need to act quickly to stop the virus.
"It is possible to vaccinate against this winter's influenza. However there are no vaccines available against the other cold viruses. In any event, the viruses constantly change so vaccines would not be useful for more than one or two seasons.
"Taking certain cold remedies can make you feel better and relieve some of the symptoms. Aspirin and paracetamol will bring down temperature, mucus-drying drugs will stop your nose running. Home remedies such lemon drinks or garlic nasal drops might also bring relief. But these remedies only treat the symptoms - they do not stop the virus, in the same way that taking bicarbonate of soda for a stomach ulcer will make a tummy less painful but not cure it."Reuse content