November Meeting Fire Cider Workshop

With Hackney Herbal

A couple of years ago Nat from Hackney Herbal joined us for a wonderful workshop teaching us how to make our own herbal tea  bags.  We are delighted to welcome her back to instruct us in the art of how to make your own fire cider.  Fire cider is a warming and spicy tonic made from apple cider vinegar and a number of herbs, spices and vegetables. It is a popular remedy to make during the autumn and can be taken daily to keep your immune system strong and healthy throughout winter.  She will also be giving us each a hot fire cider drink to try during the session alongside talking about winter herbs for health.

Plus tea, wine and cake and snacks and a chance to catch up with friends old and new. All in the Crypt at St Peter’s De Beauvoir on Thursday 4th November at 7.30pm. Come and join us, free to members, come as a guest for £5 (this includes tea/coffee and cake)

The terrace doors and windows will be open for ventilation purposes.

We are asking sisters to wear masks on the way in (unless exempt) and at the sign in desk, and our committee members at the sign in desk and on refreshments will be wearing masks while on duty there.  We will have hand sanitiser available and please also bring your own.  All surfaces on tables and at the hatch will be wiped down with disinfectant before your arrival. National Federation advice asks for members to do a lateral flow test before attending meetings (these are available free at pharmacies) and only attend if negative.  Please do not attend if you are experiencing symptoms or have been asked to self isolate.

Although Fire Cider has to mature for a month before use, if you would like to get ahead of the workshop here is the recipe.

Fire Cider Recipe

Infused vinegars can be used for cooking, medicine, cosmetics, hair and skin tonics and even household cleaning. Vinegar is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and has anti- inflammatory properties. Vinegar contains acetic acid that acts as a solvent and preservative. Vinegars are particularly useful for extracting minerals from herbs eg. calcium and other alkaline minerals as well as the flavours of pungent herbs. Fire Cider is a wonderful remedy to make to keep the immune system healthy and ward off pesky colds and flu. It’s very warming so also great for anyone working outdoors or those who feel very cold during winter. ‘Fire Cider’ was coined by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar and builds on an old age tradition of infusing pungent herbs in vinegar to make a powerful tonic for health. 

photo credit: Hackney Herbal

If you fancy trying to make your own Fire Cider here is the recipe Nat will be using.


small piece of fresh grated ginger root

small piece of fresh grated horseradish rooot

1/4 small onion chopped

1 clove of garlic crushed or chopped

1/4 jalapeno or other chilli peppers, chopped

Zest and juice from wedge of lemon

1-2 sprigs of herbs (eg rosemary, bay, thyme, sage)

1 small piece of fresh tumeric root, grated

1/4 tsp cayenne powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

200 ml apple cider vinegar

photo credit: Hackney Herbal


Prepare your roots, fruits, and herbs as above and place them in a clean preserving jar. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the jar until all of the ingredients are covered and fill the jar to the top.

If your jar has a metal lid, make sure to place a piece baking parchment paper under the lid to avoid it coming into contact with the vinegar.

Label your jar with the ingredients and date. Shake well.   Store in a dark, cool place for 4 weeks and remember to shake every few days.

After 4 weeks use cheesecloth and a sieve to strain out the ingredients. Pour the strained vinegar into a clean jar or bottle.

Enjoy a spoonful a day through winter to keep your immune system strong. You can dilute it in hot water and add honey to sweeten or add it into soups and stews

Book Group

Book group will be meeting on 16th November and are reading The Colour Purple by Alice Walker.  Book group is hoping to resume in person so if you would like to join us and have read the book do email the usual address for details nearer the time.

Save The Date

Community Café

The Community Café is back and running again in the Crypt on the last Friday of the month.  We will be running the cafe on Friday 26th November in our lovely new De Beauvoir WI aprons  Do pop along if you fancy it, there will be a lovely selection of home cooked food at very affordable prices.

Christmas Fair and Trail on December 4th

The DBA Christmas Fair is back in the Crypt on December 4th and will be running alongside a Christmas Trail with stalls in front gardens across De Beauvoir.  We are running the WI stall at 34 Northchurch Road and are selling jams, chutneys, pickles and cakes.  We will primarily be selling whole loaf cakes and other baked goods.  In order to be able to package and label everything in line with Natasha’s Law, we need any donations to be delivered the day before to a named address.  There will be a sign up sheet at the meeting if you would like to bake or help on the day.