Archive for September, 2016

Spicy cookery with Sharmini at York Food & Drink Festival

Monday, September 26th, 2016

On Saturday 24th September, we savoured our first experience of York’s excellent Food & Drink Festival. Now in its 20th year, it hosts numerous tastings, workshops & events alongside a market full of delicious street food stalls and artisan producers.

sharmini thomasThis year Steenbergs linked up with Sharmini Thomas, a well known local Indian cookery school tutor who runs her own workshops. Sharmini comes originally from Kerala in Southern India so when we asked her to do a chicken korma recipe for us, she same back with this delicious alternative which uses coconut, rather than the better know Northern Indian version of Korma which uses cream. For the full recipe, please visit our recipe page: Sharmini’s Chicken Kuruma.Sharmini Chicken Kuruma

Sharmini showed the enthusiastic audience how to create delicious curries using a full range of spices, including turmeric, coriander, fennel, pepper, cloves, cassia & bay. She also demonstrated how, when pushed for time or ingredients, using a handmade blend such as Steenbergs organic Korma Masala can be equally delicious. To round it all off everyone enjoyed Sharmini’s Bombay Potatoes which were flavoured with curry leaves, cumin & mustard seeds, with fresh chilli, ginger & garlic. A delicious dish and a great accompaniment to any Indian meal.

Congratulations also to Anne Everett Grant and Stephanie Fellows who won a Steenbergs spice bag and Sharmini recipe book respectively.

The Food & Drink Festival runs through until Sunday 2nd October with plenty more inspiration still to come. For full details of the programme, visit their website:www.yorkfoodfestival.com

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Win one of the Steenbergs New Taste of the Far East Gift Bags

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

 

 

Click here to view this promotion.

Dear BT, Are You Still There?

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Dear BT

Please BT can we have our phone line back. You tried to transfer our phones to a new building (11 Hallikeld Close) last week but could not do the engineering work, so we arranged for a divert on our lines to a mobile; mobile signal is not great out here in the styx, but it allowed us to keep going.  But now you’ve cut us off, deleting our phone number of many years, a typing error no doubt in one of your databases.  Can we have our number back, please, that would be a great start?

Please BT could you, also, ring us back.  We’ve been trying to talk with you for over a week now, but strangely your phones don’t seem to work and we never get the promised for call backs.  It seems you’re not happy to talk things through, or sort out the mess you’ve made with the business move – to me it seems quite simple, if only you’d let us explain.  I did manage to speak to the Project Manager briefly, but he said he’d something Higher Priority to do – thanks, that was a special moment – and then deleted our phone number.  Must be something we did.

Please could you check the contract we signed with BT back in May.  You don’t seem to be able to find it, but I’ve got a copy that shows me what we ordered quite clearly; it came by email.  Your accounts team seem to have a copy because they’ve been billing us and taking the cash by direct debit straightaway for the kit we’ve not got (Avaya system and phones) and the service we’ve never been provided.  I can even give your the contract number.

Let’s just talk.  But don’t ring our phone number, because you cut that off.  Perhaps a letter would be best, because I don’t seem to get your emails either.

Thanks.

Steenbergs

PS The broadband’s great.  Just need voice to be routed down the fibre.

 

UPDATE on 21 September 2016 

We have our phone number back – hooray. This is currently being routed through Sophie’s mobile phone but at least no longer getting this number is not recognised! Temporarily we’ve switched our fax line to being a phone line so if you’d like to call us we’re on 01765 640101. There is a plan in place to sort the whole system out, but no timeframe as yet. Please bear with us. We are still here and are doing our best to respond in a timely fashion.

Our Telephone Nightmare

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Just to say, Steenbergs is still here and open for business.  But please email us, call us on 01765 640 101 or use our website – www.steenbergs.co.uk.

BT has, however, switched off our main phone line – a business nightmare – so we cannot even put a divert on to a mobile or the fax line (01765 640 101).  There was temporary one before they switched off our main number.

It is all part of the move to our new premises for the admin side and tea.  We’re trying to move from the old copper wires to a cloud-based system – and we’re paying for it already – but unfortunately BT have not managed yet to connect us up or  provide us with any of the necessary equipment.

And now they’ve cut off the line!  What a shambles.  We should have stayed with Chess Telecom (perhaps).

The project management side problem is that they have moved the lines around before they’ve done the internal work.  That’s not how they’re meant to do it, because (having spoken with their engineers) they’re supposed to do the internal work then ring through for the network to move the numbers around.  In our case, they’ve moved the numbers before doing the work.

I know we’re not the only ones who’ve ever had problems with BT, nor will we be the last, but please bear with us while we try and unpick the mess.

For the techies:  we’re getting 2 lines of optical fibre to the premises for broadband at 80GB (we’ve got this), 2 x ISDN lines with 4 channels, 4 x Avaya digital phones with Avaya system, with 3 phones in one unit (11 Hallikeld Close) and a VPN to the our second, original unit (6 Hallikeld Close).

Chemical Analysis of Steenbergs Organic Rose Water

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

We are often asked quite detailed technical questions about Steenbergs’ organic rose water.  In particular:

  • What type of water is used? Tap water
  • Is the water distilled water? Yes
  • Does the water contain pesticides or heavy metals? No
Steenbergs Organic Rose Water

Steenbergs Organic Rose Water

Firstly, the rose water is organic and distilled from organic rose petals picked and processed in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria.  It is certified as organic by Ceres, a German certification agency.  So it is grown and processed in an organic way, however that (as many customers keep telling me) does not preclude contamination from other surrounding farmland, so see below.

Secondly, on the water itself, the water used is standard potable water, i.e. it’s not borehole water or the like, but a “tap water” and this meets EU government guidelines on drinking water.

However, in the process, the water is distilled through a double water-vapour distillation process – the first is a standard distillation through a still, and the second runs the distillate a second time but this time through a cohabation column.  So in answer to the question, the water in the rose water is distilled.

This second distillation concentrates the flavour by roughly ten times, and is called “cohabation” – the rose oil tends to float on the top of the distillate so this second distillation dissolves more of this floral flavour into Steenbergs rose water.  For reference: 1.4kg of fresh rose petals yields 1kg of rose water.

Thirdly, as for the possibility for contamination of the water, our most recent tests of the organic rose water are as below and they contain no pesticides, agrochemicals and the levels of heavy metals are well within guidelines:

  Steenbergs Organic Rose Water UK Drinking Water Standards What standard used?
Pesticides Not detected 0.5 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
Agrochemicals:
  Nitrates 0.4 mg/l 50 mg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Nitrites <0.01 mg/l 0.50 mg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
Plant treatments:
  Chlorates <2 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Recommendation 2015/682
  Perchlorates <0.5 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Recommendation 2015/682
Metals/heavy metals:
  Aluminium <2 µg/l <200 µg/l UK National Requirements
  Arsenic 1.40 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Cadmium 0.01 µg/l <5 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Copper 0.09 mg/l <2 mg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Iron 37.06 µg/l <200 µg/l UK National Requirements
  Lead 5.62 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Manganese 4.46 µg/l <50 µg/l UK National Requirements
  Molybdenum <0.03 µg/l No standard
  Nickel 4.05 µg/l <20 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Selenium 0.48 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Zinc 191.14 µg/l No standard*

*there is a complex proposed standard that proposes 10.9 bioavailable plus Ambient Background Concentration (μg/l) dissolved that I really don’t understand, while Australia and Canada have limits of 3 – 5 mg/l (5000 µg/l).