If you are interested in signing up for the challenge of a plastic free July then check out www.plasticfreeJuly.org where there are loads of tips on how to limit our use of plastic
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 Susie from My Chocolate joined us to take us on a chocolate journey through the history of chocolate, a tasting session and we watched in anticipation as Susie made a huge bar of chocolate (plus a vegan one) that we all got to taste and take home. It was a great session learning the art of tempering chocolate, we got to taste 100% chocolate which was love/hate depending on preference and discovered why white chocolate is a nightmare to work with in the kitchen. Thanks to Susie and My Chocolate for a great meeting.
just a small piece then….
Plus tea and cake and chat
Dates for your diary
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. We are meeting at 7.30pm at the North End of Kingsland Basin, just past Toconoco cafe. The entrance is 20-28 Hertford Road with ‘Norway Wharf’ above the gates. Hope to see you there
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
A big thank you to Hackney Herbal who came to our March meeting to talk all things herbal. Back in 2015, Hackney Herbal set out on a mission to show people how to incorporate herbs into their lifestyles, for health and improved wellbeing. The idea came from a desire to create more value out of the herbs that were being grown in private, public and community gardens.
They now grow herbs in a patchwork of sites around Hackney and from these they create unique herbal tea blends. The funds from the sale of these go towards community activities in Hackney, which bring people together to learn, share knowledge and be inspired. We got to learn all about the various properties of different herbs and made a selection of unique herbal tea blends and took a whole batch of herbal tea bags home at the end of the night.
March 10th – we took part in Solace Women’s Aid International Women’s Day celebrations with a free afternoon of Games and Cake at The Crypt at St Peter’s De Beauvoir. It was a successful afternoon and although this wasn’t the aim, there were generous donations made for the tea and cake provided and we will be sending Solace a cheque later this month. We had some serious crafting going on in one corner and scrabble and cluedo particularly went down well…it was Miss Scarlet in the Hall with the Candlestick if you were wondering. Thanks to all who came and all who baked and helped on the day.
Knitting group will be meeting on March 18th and our knitters are getting involved with our local yarn bombing group, De Beauvoir K2P2 who are planning an exciting project for the summer and were in need of additional knitting support, email us at the usual address if you would like to join our knitting group, beginners welcome.
February and getting squeaky clean with Funky Soap
For February’s meeting we welcomed Anni from Funky Soap. Funky Soap is a small business located in the heart of East London dedicated to crafting high quality, healthy and effective skin and hair care products that will nourish your skin and are kind to our planet. They use the power and simplicity of nature to cleanse, soothe, heal and protect your skin.
The soaps are made from only 100% natural ingredients, using pure oils and butters and the cold process method to create the soaps and shampoos.
Anni talked about how she discovered the art of soap making and how she grew her business from creating soaps in her kitchen to employing a staff of 11 and moving to a workshop and shop in Leyton. She also kindly created a crib sheet for us detailing the art of soap making with details of all ingredients we would need to start making our own soap. Plus we all got to go home with a shampoo bar
Plus Jessie from Solace Women’s Aid came along to update us on all the news from Solace.
There will be tea, cake and the chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones
Dates For Your Diary
Feb 18th Knitting group will be meeting venue tbc 7.30pm/8pm start join us if you would like to learn to knit; hone your skills or get on with your own project in some lovely company
Feb 19th book group meeting at Bavo on Southgate Road, 8pm. This month’s book is Kate Atkinson’s Transcription, all details on the relevant pages on the website
Save the date….
Sunday March 10th we are planning to host an afternoon event between 2 and 5pm at the Crypt Café to celebrate International Women’s Day as part of Solace Women’s Aid International Women’s Day week long festival, there will be events taking place around London throughout the week, more to follow.
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.
We had a fantastic hands on craft meeting in July when De Beauvoir artist, Marie Claire Porter brought her potter’s wheel to our meeting. Marie Claire began making ceramics in 2014. Trained as a medical doctor and working in the field of neurology, she is drawn to making pieces that not only have form, but function, fulfilling the need to create something that was both practical and artistic. She talked about her journey from neurology to potters wheel and demonstrated the art of throwing a pot. A number of very brave members got to experiment with throwing their own pots and we all took up the opportunity to make a coil pot. Marie Claire kindly offered to fire our pots and we clearly have a number of budding potters amongst our members looking at the array of items to be taken away to the oven.
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.
From pretty in pink through the night before Christmas and all manner of festive fondant foliage inbetween, we rolled, crimped and decorated a whole host of Christmas cakes at our December meeting. Icing sugar flying while we indulged in a seasonal glass of wine and munched on mince pies, a wonderful array of completely individual cakes exited the building at the end of the night.
A huge thanks goes to our talented member, Lynn Brooks for guiding us through the art of working with fondant. Here are some pictures of just a handful of the creative concoctions that emerged throughout the meeting plus a lovely picture of Lynn showing us the ropes.
An additional thanks to all from our membership and our community who donated gift sets for the women at Solace Women’s Aid refuge – see above for just a portion of all the gifts that were delivered to Solace …