“I always fear that creation will expire before teatime.” – Sydney Smith
National Asparagus Day is on 23rd April for all asparagus lovers to enjoy lots of different recipes which include asparagus.
The website British Asparagus are counting down the days to 23rd April.
Their site is full of recipes, how to cook asparagus, facts about asparagus, where to buy asparagus, how to grow asparagus, health facts about asparagus and videos on asparagus.
One fascinating fact is that ‘Asparagus is dubbed the Usain Blot of the vegetable world as British asparagus can grow up to 10cm in one day!’ (ooh must try and grow some).
On a healthy note, eating asparagus promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine and can help reduce bloating.
St. George’s Day has also become synonymous with National Asparagus Day, as the date marks the start of the English Asparagus.
The British Asparagus Festival is normally held on this day but due to Covid-19 is not taking place. For many years, Vale of Evesham asparagus has become more and more popular following the success of the famous asparagus auctions at The Fleece Inn at Bretforton. Talks between tourism industry providers and local growers took place to decide how the area could capitalise on this popularity and “fill in” the week between the auctions at The Fleece with other asparagus related events.
According to National Awareness Days every year, the “100 round” – comprising of 120 spears are delivered to a special recipient by Gus the Asparagus Man, together with a fleet of Morgan cars. At his side is the world-renowned asparagus fortune teller, Jemima Packington, Saint George himself and the Asparagus Fairy, together with a retinue of Morris Dancers and colourful characters, all dressed in green. Hopefully all will be back to normal next year.
How many different types of tea are there in the world?
There are over 20,000 different teas in the world, according to Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss in The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas.
They also say that Tea breaks are a tradition that have been with us for approximately 200 years, and by the mid 18th C tea replaced ale and gin as the drink of the masses to become Britain’s most popular beverage.
Tea is also a natural source of fluoride that can help protect against tooth decay and gum disease.
I love making gifts for my friends and family and nowadays you get get gift box subscriptions from a number of companies but actually making your own homemade letterbox gift set is a bit more unique and very very special.
With lockdown slowly but surely coming to an end I thought it might be a nice idea to put together a letterbox gift for some of your special friends and family who you have not seen for a while.
So, here are my ideas and how to go about making a letterbox gift. The first thing I did was to go and look on websites like Etsy and Not on the High Street. I wanted to make a note of the size of box I would need. There are lots of websites that sell letterbox size boxes but the minimum I could find was for 25. Amazon is your best bet where I found 10 for £5.60 and the size was perfect at 200x100x20mm. This is a large box but the bigger the better I think. You then need to think about weight and postage price which you can find online at The Post Office.
Making it a bit special means thinking about a lining and tissue paper seems to be the post popular and can easily picked up from The Post Office or local Supermarket. Now it’s time to decide what you want to put in your box.
Making it personal is what will make this a very special gift so start with your own handmade card with some plain card which again you could buy from The Post Office or, you could do like I do. I keep all my Birthday and Christmas cards and cut them up so that I can use them for friends and family cards. To make it personal you can use ladybug clipart. Clipart can make it look so professional and you can even make your own envelope and use them on that. Making your own envelopes is also easy with plain or patterned paper and you can find lots of images and videos on how to make your own envelope on Pinterest.
So, you have your box, your tissue paper to wrap it in and your personalised card to put inside the box. Now its time to think about what you want to put in your box. The best way to start this is to have a blank page for each person you are making these boxes for and start listing the special things you remember about them by using the alphabet. Here is a list of ideas to get you started. Write the list by asking yourself if they like any of the ones I am listing.
A. Art, Animals, Aunt – you could add a piece of art in it or an image of their favourite dog and is this for your Aunt so ask your Mum if she has idea of things she loves.
B. Birthday, Books, Baking, Biscuits, Birds – you could time it for their birthday, add a book if they love reading books, maybe a baking book if they like baking and their favourite biscuits or the latest bird food for their favourite outside animals.
C. Cooking, Card, Chocolates, Country, Coffee, Cat, Candles, Clip-art – you could find something different and very small that could help with cooking, make a few handmade cards for them, put in their favourite chocolates, or their favourite coffee which you can now buy in ‘bags’, a tiny fluffy cat, some candles and some bumblebee clipart so they can have a go at it themselves.
D. Dog, Daddy – you could put in a personalised doggy gift (handmade by yourself of course) anything personalised with Daddy on will melt any Dads heart.
E. Essential Oils – I use these for soooo many things as there has to be one that every one likes.
F. Flowers, Food, Friend, Feminine – you could put a small bunch of dried flowers in the box, little sample food items, if its your special friend then anything with special friend on, and if he/she loves smelly things then you can go to Boots Travel Size products and buy some to pop into the box.
G. Gardening, Golf, Grandma, Grandad – you could buy some seeds for that gardener you know or golf pegs for the golf lover and if its for Grandma or Grandad then you should start with a photo book and let it grow from there.
H. Hobbies, Hair Products – I have mentioned a few hobbies but there are so many your friend or family member may love something unusual but you are sure to be able to buy something for it. Hair Products is useful to all of us and again you can buy travel or sachet size to pop into your box.
I. Initial, make something yourself or look on lovely sites like Etsy and Not On The High Street.
J. Jigsaw, Jewellery – you could buy or have a jigsaw made through a photo shop company, or buy this lovely collectable work of art for their wrists.
K. Knitting, KeepFit, – you could buy them a knitting pattern and some wool and put it into the box and for a KeepFit fanatic then how about a video or some sweat bands or fun item that relates to being fit.
L. Logo or Lego – you could get a Logo designed online for someone just starting up in business or for a bit of fun to put in your box and I included Lego as what man doesn’t like a bit of Lego to play with. The adult stuff I mean. You can buy small ones with sooooo many pieces.
M. Memories, Magazines, Mum – you could put some memories together with a photo book. I absolutely love them and make them on a regular basis. You just cannot beat putting all your memories together. Magazines is an easy one as I am sure most family or friends would love a magazine to read, and there are a few companies online which will let you purchase a single magazine rather than a subscription. Finally Mum, well where do you start. You would probably need a bigger box with Mum but maybe start with a photo book and a few bits and give her a bigger one next time around.
N. Nails, Newspaper – nail polish and accessories is a great one and even the guys need nail clippers. Newspapers are a lovely thought for the elderly as you could find a really old one to pop into the box. It will bring back lots of memories.
O. Organised – this is to think of how organised are they. Could they do with a lovely A-Z or a book on decluttering. There is plenty out now to help people become more organised.
P. Pictures/Photosbook/Poster/Painting – back to the pictures again. Happy pictures bring back happy memories and at the moment we all have time to look through our suitcases of old pictures. Pop a few in the box to bring a memory back to life. Photobooks as I am talked about before are very easy to do online now. Posters can again be done using clip-art. Painting I have really only taken up over the last year when I was given an adult paint by numbers but I absolutely love it.
Q. Quotes – think of little quotes that are appropriate to the box received and pop them into a little box or envelope for them to open when they are feeling a bit low.
R. Reading – if they love reading you can easily pop a couple of books into your box but before you buy them check how thick they are so you will know if they will fit in the box.
S. Scrapbook, Spa, Sewing, Sweets, Sachets, Shed – you could start a scrapbook to put into the box of a family member and ask them to add to it the send it onto another member of the family to add to it. Spa was just to trigger off what you could put in the box for someone to enjoy a spa at home. Sewing has become very popular again but you can buy some really fab vintage sewing patterns online for someone who is a keep sewer. Sweets is very popular in boxes and easy to get or miniature packets. Sachets are also available now in supermarkets and online and could be facial products, hand or body products and very easy and light to put in your box. Shed was for the keen gardener but these man sheds are full of all sorts now.
T. Tea- there are so many types of tea you can buy now and can make a lovely box with just a book and some biscuits or chocolate.
U. Uncles – is this for your Uncle, maybe ask your Aunt for a few hints.
V. View – do they love a view, do they overlook a view. You could make a lovely poster or image from a picture you have taken of the country side or seaside and a very personal item.
W. Writing – do they love writing or like having notebooks around. I do, I have them everywhere and have one friend who always buys me some for Christmas. You can buy some stunning ones online and a lovely addition to the box with maybe a biro thrown in as well.
My A-Z is just my ideas but it could help you to put yours together and get started with your box. When its all finished and packed ready to go you could even finish with a touch of clipart. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. Enjoy making your box, it will definitely put a smile on someone’s face.
Each year, the Campaign encourages bakeries and baking schools in its supporter network around the world to organise hold classes, feasts and other events and activities.
Meanwhile, everyone else is encouraged to get along to a local, independent Real Bread bakery and support a business that helps to create more jobs per loaf at the heart of your local community and to keep your high street alive.
One of the two main aims of the week has always been to encourage more people to bake their own Real Bread. We’re particularly keen to see more children learning to bake it, whether at home, in a bakery, baking school or in the classroom.
Not only is this great fun, but it’s a way helping them to avoid all of the artificial additives that turn up in industrial loaves. It can also be a way of steering them towards healthier food – you’d be amazed at the number of children who ‘don’t like wholemeal’ but love it when it was lovingly made by their own mitts.
Real Bread classes/courses
Discounts on ingredients, equipment, classes
NB loaves raised with baking powder / soda fall outside our definition of Real Bread
Bigging up little bakeries
It’s time to kick the additive-laden industrial loaf habit and support YOUR local Real Bread baker!
Small, independent, locally-owned bakeries help to:
support more jobs per loaf for people in your local community – skilled jobs at that
keep more money circulating in your local economy, helping to keep your high street alive
They may also offer social benefits, from being a place where older people at risk of isolation can see a friendly face and stop for a chat, to those that are set up to offer training and employment opportunities for people facing one of a range of challenges.
Don’t be fooled by so-called ‘artisan’ loaves turning up on supermarket shelves: insist on the real deal.
Look for The Real Bread Loaf Mark
Discover a local Real Bread bakery
Why support a local Real Bread bakery
How are YOU celebrating Real Bread Week this year?
Whether you’re a teacher, professional or amateur baker (or even a non-baker), there are plenty of ways to help people in your local community enjoy Real Bread…and maybe even raise dough for the Campaign at the same time.
Even better if you team up with local good food organisations and/or other small-batch food and drink producers to make a real party of it.
Here are a few more ideas of events and activities. You could organise a Real Bread:
tasting dinner or pizza night perhaps in association with a local pub or eatery
lunchbox masterclass to share all the great Real Bread alternatives to soggy factory loaf sarnies with parents at a local school
club event to bring friends colleagues and neighbours together to bake
networking event for fellow breadheads
The more the merrier
Perhaps you could involve a community group such as your local:
Scouts, Guides or other local youth organisation
Slow Food group
Support the Charity
he best way to support our charity’s work is to join the Real Bread Campaign
You don’t have to be a baker to join us – in fact, the majority of our supporters aren’t.
Rates (unchanged since 2009) start from £22.50 a year, the equivalent of LESS THAN £2 A MONTH.
Supporter benefits you’ll get to enjoy include our exclusive True Loaf magazine; and special offers on Real Bread ingredients, equipment, baking classes and more. Read more about why and how to join us.
Make a doughnation
If you’d like to make a one-off doughnation as well as / instead of joining us, you can do so here.
Help us to raise dough
Can your business make a special donation, or collect from your customers, during the week? Maybe you could send a percentage of your total sales, or just from a Real Bread Week loaf/class.
You can send what you raise to us by debit/credit card or PayPal payment via our doughnations page