July Meeting

Olive Oil Tasting

What a fabulous meeting we had with Sarah Wolferstan who gave us a wonderfully inspiring talk on the history of olive oil. With her expert assistance we also tasted Zaydoun,  Napolina EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and a standard extra virgin olive oil.  We found out exactly what goes into the process of harvesting and making extra virgin olive oil and how not to be lured in by clever marketing and fancy labels. We learnt what to look for on the packaging and how to analyse the taste of any olive oil, alongside learning more about what oil would work best with different food groups. Sarah also shared her own personal journey from archaeologist to olive oil farmer and expert taster. Sarah was a passionate and hugely informative speaker and it was a great meeting and lovely to see so many members there supping their olive oil.

The website she mentioned in her talk for seeing how American oil sellers pair food and oil is https://bestoliveoils.org/pairing

A good EVOO and health summary https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770785/

On cooking and smoking points http://myolivebranch.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ASNH-02-0083.pdf

Born in Canada but brought up in the UK, Sarah has been a fan of Italy and its culture for over 20 years since she first visited as an archaeology student.  As well as selling Alivu’s EVOO, she is building her reputation as a taster and reviewer of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and acts as a consultant for heritage organisations.

Sarah explains “Olive oil is the corner stone of the much-recommended Mediterranean diet, its high levels of anti-oxidants, omega 6 and 9 ratios and high levels of monounsaturated fat is ideal for our bodies. I once heard the phrase liquid landscape to describe a wine. The speaker was referring to wine’s terroir – the special quality of a food or drink that makes it unique. When we eat olive oil we are tasting a particular cultivar – or a blend of several. We will be tasting a liquid landscape: the soil, the air, the sun, the plants that surround that tree.

Terroir encompasses the work that has gone into making the oil; the journey it’s made from field to plate over several seasons, but also the thousands of years’ worth of farmers’ decisions that have made olive trees what they are today. As a olive farmer, Cultural Heritage specialist,  horticultural gardener and environmentalist, I am fascinated by the long-term view of food-making traditions, and the social and economic context of farming, as well as its ethics. I love telling the story of Olive Oil from its pre-historic origins to the present day and by teaching people to taste it I help ensure that you are choosing a real (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) EVOO  and getting all of its famous health benefits. “

You can find out more about Sarah and her olive oil

Instagram @alivusicily

Facebook https://m.facebook.com/alivusicily/

Book Group

Book group will be meeting on 20th July and are reading Brett Easton Ellis’ classic American Psycho.

Great Big Green Week and Canary Craftivism

In the lead up to Cop26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in November, the NFWI is supporting a national week of climate change events at the end of September (18 – 26).

The Great Big Green Week will take place 18 – 26 September 2021, and will be the largest event for climate and nature ever seen in the UK. Thousands of events will celebrate how communities are taking action to tackle climate change and protect green spaces, and encourage others to get involved too.  Together we will call on politicians to raise their ambition and champion action on climate change.

Together with our local yarn bombing group, De Beauvoir K2P2, we are planning an art installation at Rainbow Garden (on the corner of Ufton Road and Downham Road) that will go live on Saturday 18th September.

The Craftivism Collective are running a new #CanaryCraftivists project that takes a gentle, positive approach to climate activism. We are planning on making a flock of canaries to join other knitted and crafted flowers, plants, sea creatures and insects to create a wonderful display of our natural world to highlight the impact of climate change on our planet.

If you would like to get involved, we have patterns and felt to create a crafted canary.  There are also knitting patterns and other ideas here https://craftivist-collective.com/blog/2021/06/canarycraftivists/

the beginnings of a flock (hopefully) of canaries

Or craft a flower or knit a slug.  Or if you would like to knit something more basic we are looking for lots of green squares we can wrap around various poles, bench arms etc and embellish with toadstools, butterflies, flowers and of course, canaries….

Do email in if you need provisions or would like to help out


We would like to send our congratulations to our local MP, Meg Hillier who was made Dame Commander Of The British Empire for her political and parliamentary services. Meg has always been hugely supportive of De Beauvoir Wi, she came to speak to us at a meeting about life in politics as a women, and took a group of us on a fantastic tour of the Houses Of Parliament soon after. She supports us at our cake stalls in Party In The Park every year and has visited our stall on both the recent Christmas and Spring Trails. Huge congratulations from us.

In Meg’s office at the Houses Of Parliament

And an update from The Medaille Trust from our last meeting

Following on from last months meeting with the Medaille Trust, Jess has sent through a list of items they are looking for if you would like to donate to the organisation:-

–              Bedding (in unopened packaging)

–              Towels (in unopened packaging)

–              Women’s Clothing (in particular winter clothing)

–              Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shaving gel, hand wash)

–              Feminine Products (tampons, sanitary towels, hygiene wipes etc.)

–              Household Items (laundry supplies, washing up liquid, cleaning materials etc.)

–              Baby products (nappies, wipes, toiletries, new blankets, hats and clothing etc.)

–              Children’s toys

–              Books

–              Puzzles, Board Games, Arts and Crafts Equipment

–              Old Electronic Devices (wiped of all data and in ok working condition)

–              Yoga mats

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