February Frolics and March Madness

So it has been a busy month for the Ladybirds.

February saw our second swishing event, held with Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Cambridge BID. We spent the afternoon at St Andrews St church and had plenty of visitors thoughout. As usual the baking team came up trumps with some fabulous refreshments and there was homemade marmalade and handicrafts on the fundraising stall. Over £100 was made for out speaker fund, so a big thank-you to everyone who came along or supported the event.

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On the 8th March, some of the Ladybirds had a handicraft and cake stall at the Junction as part of the WOW Cambridge festival and for International womens day. We were the only WI there so it was great to represent the WI at an event celebrating women worldwide, in what is a very special year for the WI. Again, thanks to those who came along and to those who helped out on the day.

March 17th was our general meeting and yet again, we welcomed plenty of visitors and some new members.

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We were joined by Cheryl Brighty from Artistry in Cocoa in Newmarket http://www.artistryincocoa.co.uk/ and we had a fabulous evening learning about the history of chocolate, watching a tempering and truffle demonstration and then stocking up on lots of chocolately-tasty-goodness to take home afterwards.

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Did you know that the only chocolate consumption we had in this country was as a drink until around 1800 when a Mr Fry developed a solid chocolate bar…Mr Cadbury continued along a similar process and it was a Mr Peters and a Mr Nestle who first added milk to chocolate? There was also a Mr Lindt who developed the technique or chocolate conching/tempering for a smoother taste. Are you seeing the links here by any chance?

A lovely plate of tasters for each table.....
A lovely plate of tasters for each table…..

A few little things I learned this month:

  • Chocolate should melt in the mouth to savour the best flavour.
  • There is a competition called the chocolate masters http://www.worldchocolatemasters.com/en/ where they make sculptures and even jewellry with chocolate.
  • There is a chocolate academy in London http://www.academyofchocolate.org.uk/ and they define what chocolate is.
  • That some of my favourite chocolate bars are actually….not chocolate!
  • not to keep proper chocolate in the fridge
  • That the Mayans and Aztecs used cocoa beans as cash.
  • That I am a chocoholic

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I can’t speak for all of the Ladybirds on the night, but my chocolate purchase is really rather special. I got the dark chocolate with chilli slab and I am treating myself to one nubb per evening like a good girl. I think I will be making a trip to Newmarket soon to replenish my supply………………….