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In this week’s newsletter we look at how one could be greener in the coffee and tea department. We look at a great website which is coupled to a book, the name being THE GEOMETRY OF PASTA in which they talk about matching your pasta to your sauce and why its so important if you are a pasta lover like myself.
Our August individual cooking class programmes are up on the internet – click on the month for the programme – August.
Wickedfood Cooking School runs classes with a minimum of 8 participants and a maximum of 12, this gives everyone hands-on experience and keeps the class small enough for maximum learning.
Monday 26 July at 6pm – A taste of the sea, Portuguese style (R395pp). A selection of tasty seafood dishes from the Portuguese table, including codfish balls, squid tentacles, Madeira squid stew, prawns peri-peri, and tuna steaks.
Sunday 01 August at 4pm – Classic Indian dishes (R370pp). Authentic Indian dishes including chicken mulligatawny, classic lamb buriyani, soya korma, spicy chick peas, naans and coconut pasties.
Monday 02 August at 6pm – North African tagines (R390pp). Our Moroccan cooking class, with 3 classic North African stews, and accompaniments including crushed wheat soup. Dishes include fish tagine, lamb and fruit tagine, chicken and pumpkin couscous and couscous stuffed peppers.
Monday 09 August at 6pm – Sweet treats – working with chocolate (R390pp). In this chocolate cooking class, learn the secrets of working with chocolate, including decadent chocolate cake, chocolate truffles, brownies, choc chip cookies and layered chocolate mousse.
- The local brew
Seek out coffees and teas that have travelled the least distance to reach you and also aim at supporting local, independent farms, cafés, and roasters.
Coffees and teas that bear organic certification are more eco-friendly because they are grown and processed without toxic chemicals, are cultivated and harvested in ways that protect sensitive ecosystems, and spare workers from exposure to harmful pesticides and herbicides. Shade grown coffee is another important category that preserves habitats for migratory birds on coffee farms, also letting beans mature more slowly and creating richer flavours.
- Fair Trade
Not only does certified fair trade coffee and tea help ensure living wages and safe working conditions for farmers, but TransFair and Rainforest Alliance both include rigorous environmental standards in their certification criteria.
- Home brew
The local café is great. It’s got your friends, good food and free wireless. But if you think you can be greener in your own kitchen, give it a try. When you do it at home you know where the beans and leaves are coming from and also where they go when they’re spent. Try a bit of quick maths on the cost savings of making your morning cuppa at home.
- Loosen up
Tea bags and coffee filters can be useful but are mostly unnecessary. Great coffee can be made at home with a re-usable filter or a stovetop espresso maker. A quality tea infuser can last a lifetime and replace an untold number of (questionably compostable) tea bags. If you do use filters and bags, look for biodegradable and unbleached ones.
Most people put one thing or another in their hot beverage of choice. Don’t foul up your organic, fair trade, bird friendly, solar roasted brew with chemical and hormone-laden milk and sugar from a little paper packet. If you don’t do the cow thing, look for organic rice, soy, or almond milk to yin up your yang.
- Compost the roast
Tea leaves and especially coffee grounds make outstanding compost. Coffee’s high nitrogen content has made it a fertilizer of choice since days of yore. Composting leaves and grounds helps keep organic waste out of landfills, makes great soil, and keeps waste baskets dry. If you don’t have a heap to toss it on, just spread coffee grounds on the top of your plants’ soil.
- Gift – the good stuff
Organic coffees and teas make superb gifts for friends and co-workers, as well as effective peace offerings for estranged family members and ex-lovers. It’s also a great way to get people appreciating the many benefits of a “greener” coffee or tea habit.
Awesome website of the week: Pasta is a simple thing but getting it absolutely right depends as much on choosing the best pasta shape for the sauce as on cooking it properly. The book, THE GEOMETRY OF PASTA shows you how to develop an instinct for matching pasta and sauce. They explain how to team up pasta with a sauce to maximise taste and texture and to turn you from an average into a great pasta cook. This website is a taste of what you will find in the book. http://www.geometryofpasta.co.uk/index.php.
The Wickedfood Team
Wickedfood Cooking School runs classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cooking lessons are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.
Our cooking courses are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes, these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.