From single origin chocolate to Dutch processed cocoa chocolate has come a long way from the bag of cacao beans Christopher Columbus brought back from South America in the 16th century and the boxes of Milk Tray and bars of Bournville familiar from many of our childhoods.
Long before chocolate was served in bar form it was a drink mixed with honey and spices that was greatly enjoyed by Aztec emperor Montezuma. It is said that he would drink it from golden goblets, before throwing them away, never using the same one twice for his beloved ‘chocolatl’ drink. When Montezuma needed something to fuel his long romantic nights he would drink a goblet of chocolatl before entering his harem, claiming it made his tongue dance, and pulse quicken.
For our June meeting our pulses may well quicken as we welcome My Chocolate who will be running a chocolate making workshop, exploring the bean to bar process along with a tasting session followed by a demonstration of how to make chocolate.
Plus tea and cake and chat
Dates for your diary
Knitting group meets on 20th May
Book group meets on 21st May
Walking group will be striding forth on 31st May
Email in if you would like to join us at any of these sub groups
June 20th we are delighted to be joining Living Waterway and Wild Hackney for a free guided tour along the canal and around the Kingsland Basin looking at the wildlife and floating islands that are offering homes to a whole host of birds, butterflies, insect life and more. Let us know if you are interested in joining us, full details will be given at our June meeting and spaces are limited
Save The Date – Party In The Park festival organised by the De Beauvoir Association in De Beauvoir Square is on Saturday July 6th and we are running the Tea and Cake stall for the fifth year running. We are looking for volunteers to bake cakes and help out on the day so if you have a signature lemon drizzle or are magic at millionaires shortbread and all in between or fancy an hour serving cake to very eager customers at this fun, family friendly event then email us at email@example.com or let us know at the meeting
next month – even more chocolate than this months birthday cake
At our May meeting we celebrated our 5th Birthday in style. We held our Annual General Meeting ably assisted by our Middlesex Federation reps, Carol and Gerry (big thanks to them) and voted in the new committee with Amanda continuing as our president. We reviewed the past year, voted on the resolutions for 2020, engaged in a lively debate about the resolution process which resulted in a group of members taking on the challenge to put forward a resolution for submission for 2021. If you are interested in being involved in this process do let us know via the usual email. The candle was blown out on our birthday cake which was then roundly demolished before a talk on Mental Health First Aid, ways of managing stress and we concluded our meeting with a very moving loving kindness meditation.
Dates For Your Diary
The next Book group is on Tuesday 21st May at Bavo on Southgate Road.
Our next BST Walking Group will be on Friday 31st May, meeting at 6.45pm walking along the canal to Victoria Park.
Knitting group is on Monday 20th May email us if you would like to join us, experienced knitters and novices all welcome
looking forward to our fun quiz night next month
In the meantime we have some additional jam, chutney and preserve making workshops throughout November, along with a couple of additional craft meetings where we will be creating items to sell at the De Beauvoir Christmas fair. If you would like to join us for any of these do email in at the usual addre
Strictly Line Dancing
We had a great meeting in November when local line dance teacher Joan Thomas led us in a series of line dancing sequences and our very own Joan who celebrates her 90th birthday later this month showed us exactly why line dancing I a great way of keeping in shape when she demonstrated the charleston for us and it was 10’s all round from our members.
If anyone is interested in doing some more line dancing Joan Thomas runs a class at Mildmay Community Centre on a Thursday 2pm – 4pm among others, you can contact her on the following email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates for your diary
October 23rd is our book group meeting at Bavo on Southgate Road. We are currently reading Jagua Nana by Cyprion Edwensi, full details on the relevant page of the website if you would like to join us
November 19th is our next Knit & Natter venue to be decided – email us at the usual address if you want to come along, or if you want learn to knit, we have some expert knitters on hand to help with any and all knitting related questions
and get researching as our final meeting of the year in December is a fun packed and challenging Quiz Night plus mince pies and mulled wine
Next meeting on November 1st is line dancing
Hackney: Portrait Of A Community 1967 – 2017
We had a wonderfully information meeting with Laurie Elks from the Hackney Society. Some of us were fortunate to meet Laurie when he gave us a guided tour of St Augustine’s Tower last month and in October he joined us to discuss Hackney: Portrait Of A Community 1967 – 2017 the book The Hackney Society published last year to commemorate the 50 extraordinary years of Hackney’s recent history since the society was established back in 1967. With 50 separate chapters from 50 different authors, the book catalogues the changing face of our borough, from ‘murder mile’ and gang violence to the rebirth of Woodberry Down and Broadway Market, from the closing of Clapton Dog track to the opening of Chats Palace, maternity services, regeneration, the Arcola, the An Viet Foundation, Rock Against Racism and much, much more .
“Of all the outskirts of London, the borough of Hackney is to me, the most interesting, and the least considered”
Sir John Betjeman 1979
Plus a chance to catch up with old friends, make new ones and drink tea and eat cake.
Dates for your diary
Saturday 29th September will be our last walking group this year. Following on from our trip to Eastbourne and our day walking from Birling Gap to Beachy Head (with a lovely pub lunch together) last year, we will be taking a trip out of London for a day long amble in the Essex countryside. Full details will be on the website but initial meeting point will be Fenchurch Street Station.
Monday 15th October – knitting group venue tbc
Tuesday 23rd October – book group will be meeting at Bavo to discuss Jagua Nana by Cyprion Ekwensi
Monday 22nd October is the big group meeting which this year is hosted by N1 Women’s Institute. The venue is St James Hall on Packington Street, N1, 7 – 9pm. It looks to be a very interesting meeting as Dr Hollie Price will be showing some Ministry Of Information films that were originally screened for WI groups during WWII plus a great chance to meet with other WI members from North and East London. We will be sending out more information on this in due course.
As the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness descended upon us, we had a fascinating September meeting as Sarah Calcutt, Operations Director of English Apples And Pears joined us to talk about farming and marketing the glorious apple and pear produce produced in the UK. We learnt about the astonishing advances in fruit farming over the past years, how a new variety of apple comes into being, and even got a sneak preview of three new apple varieties that are in progress, one of which might well be finding its way onto our supermarket shelves in 7 or 8 years time. She was a hugely informative speaker, passionate about her subject and we had some interesting debates about packaging (without current packaging around 40% of produce would end up being wasted through bruising etc although there are major developments around decreasing use of plastic that are ongoing) and the use of specialised equipment to analyse the soil in order to target fertilizer use more economically and ecologically.
It was lovely to see a lot of new faces and old friends at our August get together at the Scolt Head. It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to catch up with members.
Forthcoming dates for your diaries…
Knitting group – 20th August – this will also take place at the Scolt Head – do come along if you would like to learn to knit or hone existing skills
We have a trip up St Augustine’s Tower on 5th September
Our next stint at the community café in The Crypt is on Friday 7th September, if you would like to help out or fancy cooking something do email in. The community café offers a low cost hot meal between 12 and 2.30pm. All profits currently go to the Hackney Playbus scheme. It’s a chance for local people to meet up and enjoy some home cooked food with friends in a lovely atmosphere.
all details of the groups and events are on the relevant pages on the website
We also have some jam making workshops scheduled over the next month – email in if you would like to join us
We will be running a Domestic Delights stall at the De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce show on September 16th outside St Peter’s Church on Northchurch Terrace selling jams and preserves and cakes and bakes. If you would like to bake something or make something or help out do let us know at the usual email address.
If you are interested in entering the various categories of the competition you can find all the details here
In May we celebrated our 4th Birthday with tea and cake and our AGM. We looked back at all the fun we had last year and enjoyed a wonderful slide show of images from the last 12 months and planned for new and exciting adventures ahead. Thanks to our Middlesex Federation representatives who helped the proceedings go smoothly. We had a lively discussion and voted on the resolution Mental Health Matters and committee member Sara will be taking our vote to the National AGM in Cardiff in June and will report back at June’s meeting.