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The SGO’s ‘From Home, With Love’ recipe card: Shepherd’s Pie

Hello everyone,

Today we present to you our incredibly yummy recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. Start practising now and perfect for September, Shepherd’s Pie is perfect for those cold winter nights where a warm pick-me-up is certainly needed- as well these light summer evenings too! Dazzle your friends and family with this recipe and you are sure to be your roommates’ favourite to cook! Prepare and enjoy!

 The SGO’s ‘From Home, With Love’ presents…

SHEPHERD’S PIE

Shephards Pie.pub

Interested in creating your very own recipe card for the SGO? Email m.cork630@canterbury.ac.uk to let us know, and we’ll help you create the most awesome, delicious recipe card imaginable!

Find other recipe cards and more at https://futurelifehappiness.wordpress.com.

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Love,

Meg & the SGO xxx

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The SGO’s ‘From Home, With Love’ recipe card: Enchanting Elderflower Sorbet

Hello all,

Today we continue with the ‘From Home, With Love’ recipe card series, with a second recipe in two days!

We have decided to continue with the theme of ‘sorbets’, with a recipe slightly simpler. While it does not continue fresh fruit, the recipe is just as effective and just as cheap.

I discovered this dish at my uncle’s New Year’s Day meal, and have been obsessed with it ever since…

Enchanting Elderflower Sorbet

Elderflower Sorbet

Bored with elderflowers and want to try something else? Simply swap elderflower with any other cordial. Appeltiser, anyone?

Love,

Meg & the SGO xxx

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The Allotment Blitz Allotmenteer’s Guide to Gardening: Getting Started

Writing to you exclusively from our office in Fleming building, CCCU campus, we at the SGO are passionate about helping you succeed to the best of your abilities in all sustainable matters. Whether it’s perfecting the perfect sustainable meal menu, or assisting you in promoting Fracking awareness, or working together on a water-use campaign, we are here to help you. Which is why we have released the Allotment Blitz Allotmenteer’s Guide to Gardening. This guide is for both beginners and advanced gardeners a-like. Whether you have an allotment already or if the idea is just a distant dream, we hope to give you helpful tips on making your allotment experience as successful and rewarding as possible.

So join us over the next few weeks as we release our four part series of the ‘Allotmenteer’s Guide to Gardening’, inspired by CCCU Edible Campus’s Allotment Blitz allotment events.

Why Garden?

Allotment gardening is increasing in popularity all over the UK. Allotments are a cheap and effective source of freshly grown fruit and veg, a good place to have a natter with neighbouring gardeners while you’re on a break, and a great source of physical activity. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

1- Why Garden

http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house-concept/allotment-sheds/

Getting Started

1) Basic Tools

The basic tools you’ll need are a fork, spade, seed rake, hoe and trowel. If you don’t already own one or don’t have much money, visit a car boot sale to find second hand tools.

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2) Make an allotment plan

It might seem more exciting to dive in headfirst, but before properly working on your allotment, get to know your plot. Observe the path the sun takes across the sky to help with planting positions. Observe your plants as they grow to learn how long they take to grow and any problems that occur for future reference. In your plan, consider the time you will spend on your allotment. Every person and every allotment is different, but if you want to steadily improve your allotment, working on it for 4 to 5 hours a week means you will start noticing a substantial difference within your allotment very soon. If you enjoy it, spend more hours on it. Remember, picking crops can be time consuming. In the summer, visit your allotment for an hour or so each night. If you find it relaxing, it won’t seem like hard work!

2- Clearing Allotments

3) Clearing Allotments

Start clearing them slowly.  Start with a small, manageable size, perhaps inviting somebody else to join you. Dig carefully to remove perennial roots, multiple times with a couple of weeks’ gap between each dig to remove regrowth.

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4) Start simple

Instead of diving head first into the deep end, start with easily manageable plants such as peas, sweet corn, radishes, beans and courgettes– rather than those cauliflowers and aubergines you are desperate to make.

4- Start Simple

5) Manure

Let’s think about manure. Manure is used to supply nutrients and add to biological activity of soil. Chicken manure provides the most nitrogen and phosphorous. Chicken manure is organic, however is not necessarily ecologically or economically friendly as the chickens may not be free-range.

You could make your own green crop manure. These will give you choice to choose crops for each job needed. Species belonging to pea/ clover family will improve soil fertility. Green manures will decompose after they have been dug in, improving drainage and root penetration.

Make sure your manure is organic, as it does not contain herbicide from an animal’s diet of treated food, however it is often pricy and hard to find. Sow soft compost straightaway. For other types, make your bed a month before bed making or you may discover slugs, weeds, clumps of soil and old compost.

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6) Compost

Compost is a great fertilizer. It can enrich the soil with organic materials. When using it, mix it with the soil completely, as it provides oxygenation. Firstly, decide why you need a compost bin– for a type of compost, or for compost turning.

Next, set up your bin. 16-gauge plastic-coated wire mesh and hardware cloth are good. Or build it from wooden pallets, snow fencing and a rabbit hutch. Reserve an area for composting. Burn plant rubbish in a bonfire or incinerator.

Materials that you can put in your composting bin include yard waste, such as grass and hedge trimmings, leaves or tree bark and wood chips. You may use household waste such as spoiled produce, fruit and vegetable peel, tea bags and coffee grounds. You could also use human hair, or even fabric scraps! Garden waste such as plants and weeds can be used, however avoid using diseased plants.

3- Manure

7) Work with what’s there

If broccoli is growing, leave it. If an onion is growing, take careful of it. Not only does it make the task easier for you, but you have an interesting garden from the get go.

Vegetables

8) Little and Often

Make sure to consistently tend to your allotment. Visit it on a regular basis for a small time, and don’t abandon it when the weather gets bad. This ensures that your allotment will steadily improve, and you don’t have the large task of deweeding and maintaining your allotment after leaving it for some time.

5- Work with whats there

9) Choose crops that don’t spoil

Being at university is a busy time and we understand if you can’t visit your allotment every day. Which is why, when considering vegetables to grow, it is important that you choose those that won’t spoil if you don’t harvest them immediately. These vegetables include chillies, potatoes, rhubarb, artichokes, beetroot, carrots, kale, onions, garlic, shallots and spinach.

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10) Digging

Prepare the ground by digging it to remove weeds. Dig a trench to the depth of the spade, and barrow the soil to the other end of the plot. Fill up the new trench with soil from the previous one. Move backwards as you dig. Fill the final trench with the soil from the first.

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Simples! Now have a go at getting started on your own allotment.

In Blog 2 of the ‘Allotment Blitz Allotmenteer’s Guide to Gardening’, we will be discussing ‘Weather’ and how to deal with tough conditions!

Catch you next time,

Meg & the SGO xxx

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The SGO’s ‘From Home, With Love’ recipe card: Kentish Berry Summertime Sorbet

Hello and good afternoon, everybody! I hope everybody is having a good weekend, and are sufficiently relaxed after the end (or near end) of the exams!

Today I am excited to present the SGO’s new recipe card collection ‘From Home, With Love’. Over the next few months, we will be lovingly creating a series of recipe cards, with the theme of ‘food as good as mum’s’. We hope that next year’s freshers and returning students will use these cards to help them recreate a little bit of ‘home’ away from home, to counter the homesickness of living away from parents for the first time, and to help inspire them to eat healthier, but just as delicious, food while studying.

We’re starting with a desert today. While the process is long, this dish can be made cheaply, lasts a long time, and makes multiple servings- perfect for that party you are hosting! Not only that but it can be made with local produce AND is a healthier alternative desert to cake or ice cream (if made without alcohol).

We present…

*Drum roll please*

Kentish Berry Summertime Sorbet

Summertime Sorbet

Love,

Meg & the SGO xxx

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Simply Divine Chocolate Tasting

So I know this is a little late as this happened in February but we really wanted to share this experience with you all:

chocolate tasting

Despite the bitterly cold February chill, guests near and afar braced the biting winds of the quaint seaside town and gathered in the warm, bright premises of Whitstable’s Victoria’s Boutique to experience what can only be referred to a luxurious necessity: Divine Fairtrade Chocolate Tasting evening. A must-go to event for everybody interested in Fairtrade or with an obsessive love for all that is chocolate.

Divine Chocolate, a chocolate manufacturing company formed in 1998, decided to donate its shares to Kuapo Kokoo, a Fairtrade-certified cocoa farmer’s organisation in Ghana. Since then, it’s thrived as a company, fully invested in assisting global farmers, and to use the power of chocolate to delight and engage. They aim to bring people together to establish global trading relationships, empowering producers and consumers along the way. It sells a lavish range of chocolate including Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate with Chilli and Orange, Dark Chocolate with Raspberries, White Chocolate with Strawberries and Milk Chocolate with Almonds.

Victoria’s Boutique, a cosy little boutique on Whitstable High Street, showcasing a variety of vintage designer outfits, was jam-packed when we arrived. When we entered the store, we immediately noticed the ‘chocolate tasting table’, a table laid out with chocolate and wine galore. Shepherded over to receive our complimentary glass of wine and sample of chocolate, Divine Chocolatier Erik Houlihan-Jong was busy preparing for his talk on the ethics of Divine chocolate.

chocolate tasting 1

After we’d finished our wine and chocolate, and listened to Erik’s fascinating talk on the Bar to Bean chocolate making process, we finally arrived at the time in the evening we were most looking forward to: the chocolate tasting. Eric broke up a bar of Dark Chocolate, Chilli and Orange, for us to try. He instructed us to hold the piece of chocolate, but not eat it yet. Instead, we should observe the chocolate with all of our senses. First, we need to consider the appearance of the chocolate, as it varies in colour. Touching the chocolate, it should feel silky, and begin to melt with the warmth of our finger. Then holding the chocolate up to our ear, we should snap it. The snap should be clean. Finally, take time to smell it. Similar to wine tasting, there are many aromas associated with chocolate. When we finally came to eat it, we first put the chocolate on our tongue and left it there without eating. Finally, we let the chocolate melt on our tongue.

chocolate tasting 2

Eating what seemed like our 200th sample of chocolate (sssh, I didn’t say anything), Erik explained to us how Divine chocolate helps farmers in third world countries. Cocoa trading company Kuapa Kokoo aims to ‘empower farmers in their efforts to gain a dignified livelihood, to increase women’s participation in all of Kuapa’s activities, and to develop environmentally friendly cultivation of cocoa’. The company weighs, bags and transports the cocoa to the market in the most democratic way, not cheating the farmers, and passing savings onto members. Divine chocolate is made from the best of Kuapa’s cocoa beans. This has led to the development and farming communities farming skills are improvements on standards of living including water, health, education and sanitation, and increased awareness of child labour.

Upon leaving the Boutique, my first thoughts were ‘when is the next Divine Chocolate tasting?’ I came away with a few (or lot of) bars of chocolate and a desire to taste every single flavour of Divine chocolate in my life. It created a warm feeling in my heart to know that by buying Divine chocolate over a non-fair trade brand, I would be helping the livelihood of farmers on Ghanaian cocoa plantations.

chocolate tasting 3

Interested in hosting your own Divine Chocolate Tasting Evening? Click on this link http://www.divinechocolate.com/uk/sites/default/files/img/TastingGuide.pdf to download the official Divine Guide to Chocolate Tasting, containing information about the Divine chocolate story, the Bean to Bar process, chocolate flavours and flavour wheel, organising your very own Divine Chocolate Party, and using wine.

Can’t afford to host this tasting evening, but still want to shop ethically? Visit this page for top tips on ethical shopping: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/food.aspx

Visit http://www.divinechocolate.com/uk/ to find out more about this truly Divine company.

Love

Megan & The SGO
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Fairtrade Hot Chocolate!

I love a good old hot chocolate, especially when I’m stressed or it’s really cold outside.

So as it is coming to deadline time and exams I think it would be great to share this amazing recipe by Savannah-Jade also in celebration of Fairtrade Fortnight. Which started this week and ends 8th March.

If you are wondering what Fairtrade is or want to know what the SGO is doing, please have a look at our previous post here:

How to make your very own Fairtrade Hot Chocolate:

fairtrade 2

 

Please send in any of your recipes for Hot Chocolates and Tweet us at @StudentGOffice with photos of your Hot Chocolates.

Love

Jess & The SGO

xxx

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Pancake Time!

Hello,

p17

 

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again and I’m making pancakes! For me pancake day is the start of spring and brings back childhood memories of making the batter with my mum in our tiny kitchen, asking to flip the pancake and failing miserably then being able to be create with different flavours, however I usually just stuck with the good old lemon and sugar. Now days its more Nutella or maple syrup.

At the weekend I did a test run of making pancakes for today (or that’s the excuse I told myself). I love the think crepe style pancakes however this time I tried my hand at fluffy American pancakes.

The recipe I used was really easy and I knocked up a batch of pancake batter in no time:

You will need:

135g of plain flour

1 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. of salt

2 tbsp. of caste sugar

130ml of milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp. of melted butter

 

1. Sift your flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl lightly whisk together your eggs and milk, then whisk in your melted butter. (to melt the butter I used my microwave for about 30 – 40 seconds, keep an eye on it)

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2. Pour your milk mixture into the floured (dry) mixture and using a fork beat together until you have a smooth batter. leave to stand for a few minutes.

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3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. Once the butter is melted add a ladle of batter. It will seem thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, turn over your pancake. Cook until both sides are a lovely golden brown and the pancake has risen about 1cm thick.

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4. Repeat until all your batter is used up (I got about 4 decent size pancakes out of this mixture).  whilst you cook your other pancakes, keep them in the over on a low heat.

5. Serve! You can be create with your toppings but my particular favourite is maple syrup.

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Topping ideas:

Jam

Fruit, yoghurt or maple syrup

Maple syrup and bacon (this is amazing)

 

Hope you have a great pancake day and spring is just around the corner now.

 

Love

Jess & SGO

xxx

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