News and Advice from the NGS team

February 2013

Friday, February 01, 2013

Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day

Pancake DayToday is Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday as it appears in the Christian Church Calendar.  It is the day before Lent begins and is a day of celebration as well as penitence and many people, both those with Christian beliefs and indeed many in the wider community, celebrate the day by tossing Pancakes, often with jovial effect and hilarity.

Traditionally Pancake Day arose as an ideal opportunity for people to indulge themselves in foods that weren't normally allowed during Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day as it was a great way of using up butter and eggs and let's be honest... they taste great with your favourite topping on!

To order your ingredients if you are celebrating over the coming days, just click on the ingredients below (with the exception of the eggs which we aren't able to dispatch via our Home delivery Service ~ sorry!)

For the pancake mixture:
110g/4oz plain flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter

To serve:
caster sugar
lemon juice
lemon wedges
(TIP: you can try anything you like - be imaginative! You could try fresh fruit and maple syrup, chocolate spread, ice cream, melted chocolate... yum)

Valentine's Day

Valentine's DayThis Thursday we stay sweet & sugary and have Valentine's Day on 14th February. This is traditionally the one day of the year that we show our loved ones just how much they mean to us.

We spotted this easy guide (on right) to making your own heart shaped hard boiled egg which would provide a great grin in a lunchbox or on a dinner plate when they sit down to eat, a real 'thinking of you moment'!

We offer a great range of lovely products that will help you celebrate Valentine's Day and what might be better than to start the day with a small bowl of Inspiral Loveberry Raw Superfood Granola with a scattering of The Raw Chocolate Co. Raw Goji Berries. A cup of either Pukka Love Floral Tea to warm the heart or Clipper offer a Love Me Truly Organic Chai for some well deserved 'me time'. Weleda Wild Rose Pampering Body Lotion will harmonise the skins natural balance after a nice soak in a Hedgerow Herbals Ooo brewed bath. Maroma Rose Incense Sticks smell wonderful in a steamy bathroom or St Eval's Tranquility Candles will give you a romantic glow. 

Plush Fairtrade Belgian Chocolates get straight to the heart of things with their foil wrapped chocolate displaying your passion and why not dot Divine's Dark or Milk chocolate foil wrapped hearts around the house or hidden in pockets or bags to be found as a secret gift... For the end of the day we can offer you a lovely bottle of wine or even champagne.

Whatever you choose to show your love for that special person, we hope you have a lovely day doing so.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2013

Fair trade fortnightThis year Fair Trade Fortnight starts on 25th February finishing on 10th March.

During these two weeks we promote products which carry the Fair Trade certificate. To make life easy for you we have a Fairtrade filter on our Filter Options. If you click into any of our on-line 'Aisles' and then scroll down to the Filter Options box on the right of the page, and select the Fairtrade heading in the Filter by... box, you will then be able to browse the Fair Trade products that we stock.

Here at the Natural Grocery Store we will be offering many discounts and promotions on Fairtrade products which we will display on our Special Offers page as soon as they become available. The Store will also be hanging up bunting created by the local Leckhampton Primary After School Club which always adds great colour to our displays.

Just exactly what does Fair Trade mean?

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Last year amazing Fairtrade supporters got the UK making over one million and one swaps to Fairtrade products during Fairtrade Fortnight. In schools, on high streets, in work canteens, you made the message loud and clear, that the people of Britain want a fair deal for the producers behind the products they buy.

This year, let's go further and explain why Fairtrade matters. By showing off the importance of Fairtrade to producers, the benefits of the Fairtrade premium for local communities and the change Fairtrade brings, we're giving more people in the UK more reasons to choose Fairtrade.

Go on... get loud and proud with us this Fairtrade Fortnight !!!!

Chinese New Year

Chinese New YearIf Chinese New Year this Sunday just gone has wet your appetite for cooking your own Chinese food then read on... We have moved on from the Year of the Dragon to the Year of the Black Water Snake.

The Chinese New Year is celebrated by eating special New Year food, setting off fireworks, visiting friends and relatives, delivering red packages as good wishes, and hanging lanterns. Many Chinese people regard 2013 as a good year because it is right after the auspicious Year of the Dragon.

The Snake is the 6th sign of the Chinese Zodiac and each year is named after an animal, every 12 years this cycle begins again.  The characteristics of someone born in the year of the Snake are said to be: Acute, charming, aware, elegant, mysterious, cunning, and passionate. It is said that they are great mediators and good at doing business.

To try a different meal to those you may usually cook, just browse our Oriental Sauces aisle and combine with noodles, rice   or Chinese vegetables of your choice.  To make your own fresh stir fry , try our fresh organic sugarsnap peas, red peppers, broccoli and chinese cabbage then throw in a handful of fresh mung bean spouts to adorn and a generous sploosh of Teriyaki or Ketjap Manis sauce.  If time is running short, just grab a bag of our Ardo Organic Wok Mix from the freezer or a pack of our chilled  Biona Spring Rolls or one of our other delicatessen nibbles to prepare a meal in moments.

Store closed for stocktaking

Closed for stock takeJust a quick note to all customers that the Cheltenham store will be closed and no Home Delivery orders will be dispatched on Monday 25th February for one day only.  We will be open 8am to 10pm from Tuesday onwards instore. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

And lastly...

It has been great with so many of our lovely customers starting to 'like' us on Facebook and Twitter and it is always so nice to be able to put a face to a name. We are keeping the site up to date with products coming in and interesting bits of information we find from our suppliers.

If you would like to find us on Facebook or Twitter you can link through from our Website home page and just click on the relevant symbols just next to the search bar in the top right hand corner of our page banner.