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
At our April meeting we found out what it means to be a positive bystander. We can be a positive or active bystander in many ways.
Carrie from Solace Women’s Aid joined us and ran a very informative and lively workshop where we ended up role playing a situation and leaping in to intervene in various ways when someone was being subjected to unwanted harassment. It was a great evening and lovely to meet so many new women who had come along for the event. We learnt how to Identify an abusive situation, how we might Assume Personal Responsibility and how to Determine How To Help While Considering Safety and then how we might choose to Intervene
It was all in all a great evening and thanks again to Carrie and Solace Women’s Aid
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.
It’s was that time of year again and our starter for 10 with our Brainy Birds Quiz night. Huge thanks to Nichola and Victoria for putting together a brain rattling quiz. Anyone who got either Kilburn or Holborn on our London stations in picture form round deserves a medal. Brains were certainly rattled remembering the ups and downs of the past year as we came together for a fun, social evening of quizzing and chatting.
Solace Women’s Aid donations
This year they have asked for donations of Christmas gifts for the children, gifts for teenagers are particularly needed. If you are able to donate a gift (no more than £15 in cost) then we will be collecting these to take to the refuges before Christmas. We will be taking donations at this meeting, the community café lunch the following day (Friday 7th) which the WI is hosting and at the De Beauvoir Association Christmas Fair in the Crypt on December 1st where we have a stall. If you are unable to make any of these dates but would still like to donate something then please email us and I am sure we will be able to arrange something.
Our stall at the DBA Christmas Fair on December 1st, was a huge success with lots of lovely Christmas themed goodies plus jams, marmalades and chutneys.
lots of lovely preserves and marmalades
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
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.
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.