28 May 2009
May newsletter - baking, blogs and mustard
Baking, blogs and mustard
Steenbergs goes interactive with its blog and learn more about mustard and the Steenbergs team.
Free delivery on all orders over £15.00 for blog readers - see below for the offer code.
As a thank you for your past custom we're extending an offer to you of free delivery over £15.00 for the month of June, currently £25.00. This is specific to this blogs - just quote "smilejune" when you place an order. This offer is valid until 30th June.
Many thanks for your continued support and hope that you have a great June.
After six years as the UK's organic and Fairtrade spice specialist we've decided to start our own blog. This contains ideas and background as to organic, Fairtrade, organic and green things as well as developments and discoveries, recipes and information from how to create a cheat's paella to explaining the complexities of pepper grading and even a mouthwatering Indian feast in recipes. We are still feeling our way a bit, so we'd love your feedback and if you have anything that you would like us to tell you about through the blog let us know.
We know many families where Friday used to be baking day to bake everything for the week ahead. Now baking is more for pleasure than necessity - to create delicious cakes and biscuits. Living in a rural community, summer often seems to be baking for a whole variety of events - whether its the village fete, and May Day or school fairs - these biscuits are always winners - the only problem is keeping them intact before they get to the relevant event! Alternatively, a plate of biscuits at work or even a cake goes a long way to cheer everyone up!
Steenbergs now stock a whole variety of organic, ethical baking ingredients to complement Steenbergs spices to cater for all your needs - including organic flours, organic/ Fairtrade sugars, organic Fairtrade golden syrup, organic molasses, organic vegan chocolate, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and unbleached baking paper and recycled aluminium foil.
Whilst the name comes from Sophie and Axel, the founders and directors of Steenbergs, Steenbergs Organic is a team of nine people. There are three in production (one specialising in warehouse and big bulk, 2 concentrating on the packing into glass jars) and packing - who blend (Axel's recipes), check, pack and label the 400 Steenbergs products. The extract filling machine, the large blender (blending around a quarter of a tonnes at a time), the sieve and the mill enabling us to grind fresh your products to maintain flavour and aroma.
There's one main picker and packer of orders. One person who has a rather unique job of chief photographer, dispatcher, label creater and office admin. Apart from Axel and I there are also 2 in accounts/customer service. Everyone has been part of Steenbergs for sometime now - most of them over 3 years - and they have all helped to create the place Steenbergs is today.
Sadly they are all (allegedly) rather shy so the idea of a team photo has been hard to persuade, but one of these days we'll manage to get a photo of us all...
Sophie went shopping the other week and was encouraged to see that at least 90 per cent of shoppers had brought their own “eco” bag with them. Whether it was Sunday morning shoppers who knows?
On a different matter the great north south debate rumbles on in our household. Although ¾ Scottish in terms of blood lines, Sophie was born and brought up in the South, whilst Axel, is firmly a northerner born and bred in Northumberland. There are frequent bizarre discussions about differences such as macaroons (don't ask ) and mustard seems to be the latest of these.
When I (Sophie) was younger I distinctly remember driving past fields of yellow mustard – later this gave way to the more intense yellow of rapeseed. Axel assures me that he’s never seen mustard growing and it must be a southern thing; although Lincolnshire and Yorkshire appear to be South, in this discussion. I've tried to find out whether there was less acreage of mustard growing in this country and whether it was actually a southern thing or not.
Whatever the reality, mustard is still one of those wonderful things that can be used as an ingredient in cooking as well as a savoury sauce. In terms of spice we stock Steenbergs Organic yellow mustard flour (great for cooking with or making your own mustard), Steenbergs Organic yellow and brown seeds (the brown ones are particularly used for curries).
In terms of ready made mustard - we've chosen our favourite three - Kitchen Garden's organic English mustard (the only organic English mustard we can find). Kitchen Garden are based in Gloucestershire, which is where Sophie was brought up. Kitchen Garden's won many awards for its chutneys, jams and mustards over the years. Glenroyd Organics, who are based in Barnsley, create two useful mustards - organic deli mustard and organic honey mustard. Depending on whether you are looking for a mild mustard, a grainy one (deli mustard) or a hot mustard, we have something for everyone.
Great for salad dressings.
Don't forget that we keep a list of your local stockist on the web - just tap in your postcode and your nearest stockist should come up. Booths supermarkets also stock us and we have a number of distributors particularly for our popular organic Fairtrade vanilla extract, organic rose water and organic peppermint extract - as well as several stockists in Scotland, Ireland and Finland.
Our recipes are constantly updated and hopefully there's something to inspire.
One of the delights of the summer is lots of salads - whether it's a simple avocado vinaigrette or a tomato and mozzarella salad or a green salad. One of our favourite dressings is simply Steenbergs organic perfect salt, which has the crunchy salt flakes from our traditional sun dried salt from the Algarve, with our organic coarse ground black pepper and organic mixed herbs, combined with organic olive oil and organic balsamic, wine or cider vinegar. Sometimes we add sugar - lemon sugar, or just our straight unbleached organic sugar from Paraguay, but often it's delicious with just the tartness of the dressing and the crunch from the perfect salt. The hardest thing is always to get perfectly ripe avocados, before they've gone over....