Blog/NewsSpecialists in supplying scientific laboratory consumables in any quantity, worldwide
Homemade or shop bought, individual puddings or family-sized, who doesn’t like a moist Christmas pudding – or the fun of adding your favourite tipple? Foodsafe pipettes are great for this purpose, and for fun at Christmas-time, why not serve the matured pudding with a pipette for dinner guests to dispense – its sure to be a talking point.
For those less keen on the forthcoming Black Friday weekend promotions, why not turn your thoughts to the tradition of Stir Up Sunday on 26 November 2017? Put on your apron and gather your family and friends together to make a Christmas pudding or Christmas cake. It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring!
Here’s a link to some baking ideas from the BBC Good Food Guide. Being of religious origination, Stir Up Sunday is takes place on the last Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent,
Putting a silver coin in the pudding is another age-old custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it. In the UK the coin traditionally used was a silver ‘six pence’. The closest coin to that now is a five pence piece!
“The tradition seems to date back to the Twelfth Night Cake which was eaten during the festivities on the ‘Twelfth Night’ of Christmas (the official end of the Christmas celebrations). Originally a dried pea or bean was baked in the cake and whoever got it, was ‘king or queen’ for the night. There are records of this practice going back to the court of Edward II (early 1300s). The bean was also sometimes a silver ring of small crown. The first coins used were a Silver Farthing or penny. After WW1 it became a threepenny bit and then a sixpence.”
Whether you most enjoy adding flavour, making wishes or adding lucky charms to your pudding – we hope you enjoy your Christmas cooking – and be sure to inspect your pudding carefully before eating, to avoid an unexpected visit to the dentist!
It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to ghouls, spooks and more. Here at The Consumables Company, we’ve compiled a Pinterest board which is brimming over with ideas for laboratory inspired Halloween tricks and treats.
Halloween is a great time to embrace your inner mad scientist; grab a laboratory flask and some test tubes and create some oozing, bubbly, slimy mixtures and enjoy the fun. We hope you enjoy creating your best party ever; as much as we’ve loved curating these ideas for you.
We have also been working with several animal rescue charities recently, who use our teeny pipettes to feed the babies that are in their care.
Did you know there are 18 species of bat living in the UK? This baby bat (or pup as they are known) was being looked after at The Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre in Somerset. At the centre, they aim to prevent British wildlife from suffering needlessly and inspire an understanding and love of wildlife and the countryside.
The bat pups are sometimes fed with goat’s milk which is similar to the composition of bat’s milk. They’ll be fed between every one to three hours depending on the bat’s size and species.
Although bats feature a great deal around Halloween, they may already be hibernating at this time of year. Instead of thinking that bats are somehow scary we should be celebrating their usefulness to the environment; some plants depend on bats to pollinate flowers and disperse seeds, while other bats help pest control by eating insects.
Unfortunately, the UK bat population has greatly reduced over the past few years; many of the sites where bats would feed and roost have been destroyed for the construction of homes and roads, as our towns and cities have expanded.
The extensive use of pesticides in farming has reduced the numbers of insects that the bats fed upon and also killed some of the bats themselves. Now all British bats and the areas where they roost are protected by law.
We are delighted to support the work of these animal rehabilitation centres and love seeing the pictures and hearing the stories of their work.
We are especially thrilled to see our products being used in exciting and different ways, if you’d like us to feature you, please get in touch.
Following on from the British Food Fortnight theme, it’s time for cocktail mixing! A relatively new business, Myatt’s Fields Cocktails is a handmade cocktail company set up by Clemency and Cyrus. They share a deep love in the craft of fine cocktail making.
What makes their specially crafted cocktails different from the norm is their process of aging cocktails. This enhances the flavours and creates a smokiness and subtlety that you don’t find in a freshly mixed drink. Clemency and Cyrus explain, “At Myatt’s Fields Cocktails, we age our core range under glass, so the drinks mentioned here are the same superb drink every single time. Ageing cocktails is a wonderful mix of art and science and has helped light up the cocktail world.” You can read their story here. At The Consumables Company we share their passion for quality and consistency and look forward to seeing them flourish.
In the lab where Myatt’s delectable creations are crafted, our measuring beakers and corked test tubes are put to great use. Whatever your language, we raise our glasses you and say “cheers” the origin of which may be as captured by the following anecdote:
First recorded as “makien cheres” in 1225 AD, the phrase evolved to “what chere be with you?” in the 14th century which was a common greeting in England. Eventually, ‘chere’ began to mean good humour. In 1919, the phrase was first written as the “cheers” we know today.
As British Food Fortnight ends, we have another blog to tempt the taste buds, inspired by Annette (Nettie) the Urban Kitchen Chef. Formerly a horticulturist and garden designer, she’s a passionate advocate of supporting the best of British and chocolate!
Annette trained with some of the best chefs in the industry including the chocolatier, Mark Tilling (winner of Bake Off Crème de la Crème 2016) and her passion is patisserie and more recently chocolate.
Recently our metal screw cap containers came in handy to present the components of a chocolate teaching resource kit. The taste buds might be tempted, but the kit contents are not for consumption! Schools, colleges and universities will instead get to enjoy learning about the journey from bean to bar.
Annette says, “I like to use quality ingredients that are in season and wherever possible I use local, traceable produce. I am a firm believer in cooking sustainable food.” As well as catering for your next event, The Urban Chef also offers workshops at a range of locations in Dorset.
At The Consumables Company we are proud to support British Food Fortnight which this year runs from 23rd September to 8th October 2017. The event started in 2002 after the Foot and Mouth crisis, to celebrate the diverse variety of producers in food and drink in the UK and promotes the benefits of buying British. You can read more here www.lovebritishfood.co.uk.
One of our London-based customers is the multi award winning Flavourtown Bakery. Their amazingly talented team includes some of the finest bakers and decorators in the capital and they create cakes and cupcakes by hand and with a meticulous eye for detail, supplying both Harrods and Selfridges with cupcakes.
Laura the company owner, says, “The Consumables Company is like a treasure chest for a company like ours and browsing their website it becomes clear that pipettes would make an epic addition to some of our layer cakes, helping transform our cupcakes into something totally unique.
A business like Flavourtown needs to stand out and last year we wanted something really unusual for a Christmas campaign. So, after a brainstorming session we decided to develop a Pigs in Blanket cupcake. We knew that the cupcake needed to have caramelised candied bacon for the pigs part of the equation and we paired this with a sage spiced buttermilk cake and icing BUT there was something missing… Cranberry sauce! We knew The Consumables Company would have something to help us top off this unique cupcake concoction and we found it in the shape of pipettes! We filled these with a handmade cranberry sauce and the Pigs in Blankets cupcake was featured in London and national press.” Spot the pipettes in Flavourtown’s Halloween cupcakes too!
At Flavourtown they believe that if you only put the finest ingredients in you get the most indulgent, mouth-watering treats out! They only use organic free-range eggs from the farm which are accredited by the Organic Growers Association, The Soil Association, RSPCA Freedom Foods and British Red Lion Quality to ensure the hens receive the highest potential standards of animal welfare, the farmer even hand delivers to the bakery!
Something of a novel spin on laboratory consumables. this cute little glass bottle with cork stopper is sure to be a hit with our creative customers.
Shown here containing cake sprinkles to make a pretty decoration, this bottle has a cornucopia of possible uses …
How about, a message in a bottle for a loved one, as gift tag perhaps or to store fairy dust or glitter, coloured sand or baby’s first tooth? For Christmas or other celebrations, cover with adhesive and dip in coloured glitter for a sparkly decoration and add string or ribbon – or apply glass paints. Other folks may use the little bottles to store a secret, a wish, a prayer or a spell – the choice is yours. Search our website for product code GLTC or click here for more information. You may also like to check out Pinterest boards for inspiration for this product or for ideas for others from our range. This small bottle shown below with scale rule, excluding the stopper measures 32mm x 12mm.
As well as a 30ml bottle and a larger one at 150ml, we’re adding this 50ml size to the range which can be packaged for posting at Royal Mail’s “large letter” rates instead of the more expensive parcel rate – quite a cost saving.
Slim and neat, we hope you will like this little addition which is just such a handy size – click here for more details of our product ref 50RB
Shown in the image with a scale rule to give context to the product size.
New to our range of cryo products, a 4ml, round bottom cryo vial by Corning (manufactuer reference 430490)
As shown on one of the images, the vial has 2ml & 3.6ml graduations where contents can be seen through the vial which is otherwise largely covered by an obscured panel. These vials close with an internal thread and have the benefit of a washer in the cap assembly to prevent liquid bypass. Inclusive of the cap, each unit measures 70mm x 12mm.
We’ve been delighted to notice that the laboratory-inspired aesthetic is gaining momentum across several sectors (especially in food and beauty, but more about one of those next time.) Today we’d like to share the stories of three of our lovely pen and ink customers.
Catherine from The Sakura Fountain Pen Gallery in Belgium says, “True, a pen business is not a laboratory. People do not only write with ink, they doodle, sketch, paint, they talk about it.”
Catherine stocks more than 1000 bottles of ink in 350 different colours, so she’s a passionate advocate of pen and ink. The inks she stocks are by Australian manufacturer Robert Oster Signature Inks, which she loves. In fact, she recently hosted an opportunity for her customers to try the 85 colours she stocks with an event called, “An Australian Ink Bar.”
People had great fun testing colours with cotton swabs, glass pens, fountain pens and brushes. Catherine used tubes and pipettes and a foam rack from The Consumables Company to divide the inks into several containers to prevent cross contamination of colours.
Catherine is collaborating with another one of our customer’s, Nick Stewart. Nick is a renowned international fountain pen ink artist and author of the blog quinkandbleach. Nick and Catherine are hosting a fountain pen ink workshop on 23rd September in Sakura’s Belgian store. You can read more here.
Catherine continues, “Today thousands of people are fascinated by ink. Online and offline. Ink is a game changer. Ink is a liquid that allows you to write or draw. But ink means also: colour, nuances, saturation, shade, sheen, wet, dry, waterproof, bulletproof, lightfast, feathering, bleeding, ghosting, passion, artistry, writing, reading, painting….”
Closer to home, this week on Radio 4’s Fry’s English Delight Stephen Fry and his guests investigated how ‘handmade physical text’ offers evidence about who created particular texts and why. They also discussed whether the move to digital text from physical writing robs English of ‘a personality which enhances the experience of writing and reading.’ One of the contributors to this interesting programme was Philip Hensher, author of ‘The Missing Ink.’ In it he writes: “I’ve come to the conclusion that handwriting is good for us. It involves us in a relationship with the written word which is sensuous, immediate, and individual. It opens our personality out to the world.”
We are sure that the next customer we are featuring this month would second these words from Hensher. Tom Gyr is a skilled designer maker, based in Dorset. Married to a calligrapher, Tom decided to create beautiful pens that his wife would love using. He explains, “I want to make pens that you will feel proud of using every day, with every detail considered, lovingly crafted from materials that will last several lifetimes.” Tom’s pens are now stocked in Harrods and Quill London, as well as through his own website. Tom lovingly packages his beautiful pens using test tubes from The Consumables Company.
We are so thrilled with the way that our products are being used in non-traditional ways and next time we’ll be featuring a fabulous food company that delights in using our pipettes and syringes in a creative way, you’ll be amazed!
Here at The Consumables Company we have seen increasing demand for products which can help brewers with their magic ingredients for the perfect beer. Our 30ml glass bottles with glass screw top and the 100ml dipper have been the most popular.
Real ale is big business and of course, it is not just microbrewers who use our products. Real ale popularity has meant many home brewers are having a go themselves, creating many pints of beers which are as cheap as those days when the Zanussi ad men were thinking up their appliance of science slogan – yes, the Zanussi slogan dating back to the 1980s!
Home brewers from the Home Brew Forum have been customers of ours. After all they start the process in their sheds and then become the microbrewers who then become mainstream brewers. It is the natural cycle and many an enthusiast is contacting us with their requests.
The art of brewing has provided many jobs and many happy people, especially at weekends in pubs up and down the land. The imagination of brewers will continue to ensure this is now a strong industry which will continue to evolve.
If you are interested in some of our products for brewing, please look visit our website. We are sure you won’t be disappointed.
If you are of a certain vintage that you recall those Zanussi adverts, then you are probably also aware of a time when the beer drinker had a poor level of choice down at his or her local.
In those days, when a pint at the local cost less than £1, honestly!!! Lager and bland keg bitter was all that many a pub local had to contend with. It is also why the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) was formed, battling the big brewers who they felt were killing the art of cask beer brewing – a skill dating back many centuries in Old Blighty.
In fact, when beer was a fraction of that £1 mark, in 1971, CAMRA set about its battle to ensure the craft of beer making was not consigned to history.
Fast forward almost half a century and what a fantastic success story it has been.
Now according to the Guardian there are 1,700 or so breweries in the UK, showing an 8 per cent yearly increase according to the latest figures. As the report shows, such breweries have become very profitable businesses, many acquired by bigger breweries, as the UK public develop a palate for the huge variety of different tastes, colours and strengths of these beers.
Primarily using water, malted barley, hops, and yeast, microbrewers are increasingly experimenting to make those perfect beers, which garner such an enthusiastic following, be it at the many beer festivals or in the local pubs – many who now have a choice of several real cask ales.
We can say undoubtedly Britain’s brewing industry is in good hands and we at The Consumables Company raise a glass to all those involved and are glad to play our own little part in it. Cheers!