CRAFT WORKSHOP ON FARM IN COUNTY CAVAN, IRELAND…

On a regular basis Sandra Coote demonstrates craft and baking workshops on Facebook almost every day from her farm in County Cavan, Ireland.

Hundreds of people check in to follow Sandra making crafts or baking cakes. Anyone watching can type in questions and Sandra would reply in the video.

Facebook Live is not new but just being used a lot more during the lock down. Sandra likes to keep it easy and make doable and recently made a coffee Swiss role ( yummy). At the same time Sandra had posted on the Facebook page about their oldest cow in the herd who had delivered twins and was going live to meet them later.

At the moment there are a number of demos going around non crafts and baking but I have to say watching Sandra in her craft or baking mode it’s always great to watch and with the added birth of the twins it’s a great watch.

GREAT ECO SWAPS FOR A GREENER LIFE…

At the moment we are all hand washing constantly to help avoid contracting the COVID-19 virus but I bet most of us haven’t thought about what the container of liquid soap is made of as we just need more and more soap.

I personally only buy liquid soap anyway ( it’s more hygienic and less mess) but I have to admit most of my bottles were plastic.

Wearth London sells ‘zero waste’ homewares, including a 10-litre box of liquid hand soap so that you can keep refilling your own dispenser or one of their glass bottles. If you prefer hard soap then you can still have a range of flavours Range of eco soap bars handmade in Devon, UK using high-quality natural ingredients with plastic-free packaging.

You save £1 on each soap and reduce waste by choosing the unwrapped option where the cardboard packaging is not included. All Soap Daze soaps have a base of coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil, and have a minimum weight of 112g, which is bigger than most handmade UK soaps.

Choose from a wide range of scents all made with natural ingredients which nourish your skin and body.

The 10 litre box of liquid soap is cardboard with a recyclable inner liner. The soap (fig leaf or I scented ) is £39 which may sound like a lot but it works out at around £2 for 500ml which is about the same as high street brands and delivery is free.

OVER TEN REASONS TO DRINK GREEN TEA…

 

The question is are there any other foods or drink that have been reported to have as many health benefits as green tea?

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times. It is made using the leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves are then applied to heat quickly after picking which minimizes oxidation. This is thought to give the green tea it’s many benefits.

1. Researchers have suggested that it can help slash the risk of developing cancer by shrinking tumours.

2. It has been known to stabilise your cholesterol levels.

3. It has shown significant reductions in deaths of cardiovascular disease.

4. It can boost your immune system and aid weight loss.

5. It has been effective in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.

6. It can reduce tooth decay.

7. A recent report has shown that it can also slow the onset of Alzheimers and Parkinsons Disease.

8. It can help fight infections and allergies to the body.

9. They also say it can slow the ageing.

10. The latest news on Green tea is that it can enhance the ability of our brains’ cognitive functions especially on the working memory, a Swiss scientists suggest.Researchers have recommended further study into how green tea can help with cognitive impairments such as dementia.

11. Green tea’s other benefits include reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. This research was conducted at the University Hospital of Basel Switzerland and led by Professors Christoph Beglinger and Stefan.

12. Drinking green tea ‘may’ reduce the risk of age related functional disabilities like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

13. They say that for people who consume 1 – 2 cups of green tea per day have a ten percent lower risk of becoming disabled.

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10 TIPS ON BAKING THE BEST FRUIT CAKE…

1. For a really moist fruitcake, use marmalade instead of candied peel.

2. Always soak your dried fruit overnight and for extra flavour soak the fruit in apple or orange juice or marinate in your favourite liqueur (brandy) for three days, stirring it every 12 hours.

3. If you are adding dried fruit then it should be plump and soft, if it has gone horrible and hard, then soak in hot water for a few minutes before adding it to your mixture

4. For an extra rich, tasty fruitcake, use cold coffee instead of milk.

5. For a moist fruitcake with extra flavour, grate a cooking apple into the mixture.

6. For a moister fruitcake in electric ovens or Agars, place a dish of water on the floor of the oven when baking.

7. Always cool fruitcakes for 10 to 15 minutes on a rack in the dish in which they were baked. Then turn them onto the rack and carefully peel off the paper.

8. Fruitcakes freeze very well; however, they must be aged for at least a few weeks before freezing, as they do not mellow and ripen while they are frozen.

9. To keep the calories down grate an orange and only use half the sugar.

10. Completely dust the fruit and nuts with flour so they don’t fall to the bottom of the batter while baking. Shake off excess before incorporating into the recipe.

FLOUR THAT’S GLUTEN AND WHEAT FREE…

With so many of us suffering with gluten and wheat intolerances but still wanting to bake it was great to see flour without either.

Oast to Host has solved this problem with its two new flour blends Cake and Pastry. They have been expertly blended to give you light and fluffy cakes and crisp pastry. They contain a little dried egg albumen, which helps with the texture of the bakes.

They start at Cake Flour £4 for 450g for 2 available online at Oast to Host. And the Pastry Flour £9 for 2 x 450g.

This wonderfully versatile flour allows you to make your favourite: CAKE/cup cakes, SCONES, BLINIS, STEAMED PUDDINGS & BISCUITS.  Everyone will be coming back for more!  Each 225g recipe will make a generous 8″ Cake. 

You can make anything from Lemon Drizzle, Coffee and Walnut, Chocolate, Battenburg or Carrot Cake!  Our new in-house favourite is Earl Grey Cake using real tea leaves! 

See how easy it is to make this delicious subtly perfumed sponge cake by watching their video. They have lots of recipes on the website.

ESCAPE FOR A FEW HOURS IN ROSIE’S TRAVELLING TEA SHOP…

Although this amazing book “Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop” by Rebecca Raisin is not actually a proper tea shop but the title for a book I just had to pop it on here for others to enjoy. The story is all about Rosie who has a swanky job as a Michelin-Starred Sous Chef, a loving husband and future children scheduled for exactly January 2021.

That’s until she comes home one day to find her husband’s pre-packed bag and a confession that he’s had an affair.

Heartbroken and devastated, Rosie drowns her sorrows in a glass (or three) of wine, only to discover the following morning that she has spontaneously invested in a bright pink campervan to facilitate her grand plans to travel the country.

Now, Rosie is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to change her life! With Poppy, her new-found travelling tea shop in tow, nothing could go wrong, could it…?

There is just so much to love about this story that I actually could not put it down and read it over two days. My hubby could hear me laughing out loud at parts of the book. Its a real uplifting story and something we could all enjoy reading at the moment. I bought mine from Amazon as I am a big Kindle reader but I am sure is available in other good book shops.