Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods Lets You Bring Home The British Bacon!!!

Reliving a memory can be fun, but actually eating a memory...ah, that's an order of magnitude of difference on the remembrance scale! I recently had a chance to both take a stroll down memory lane, as well as eat a memory, when I joined Nick Spencer for afternoon tea at Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods in Lake View, IL.

Nick Spencer, owner of Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods.
Growing up and going to university in Natal, South Africa (aka "The last outpost of the British Empire"), we didn't have a Downton Abbey or a Highclere Castle, but we did have a university students' club called the Empire Loyalists, on a campus that we renamed King George Land, with a Governor, and the cherry on the top of the parfait of pomp and pageantry, a venerable lady know as the Dowager Duchess of College.

As the lady-in-waiting to the Dowager Duchess, I spent many a sunny summer's afternoon in full garden party attire (floaty pale dress, hat, lacy white gloves) sipping tea and eating teeny cucumber sandwiches in one of the local parks or botanical gardens. So, as I stepped into Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods, it was like stepping into my past, into a store fashioned after a British country kitchen, where the memories were not just in my mind, but on the shelves all around me.

All the foods that those who long for the classic flavors and tastes of Britain when they move abroad are here: British and Irish cheeses, Granary loaves, Ballymaloe Relish, Yorkshire Chutney, Colman’s mustard, Lyle’s Golden Syrup, McVities, Walkers Shortbread, and joy of joys, Thorntons! 

The Easter Eggs have arrived!
Also in stock, Spencer's famous banger sausages, pork chipolatas, back-bacon, and black and white puddings. The back-bacon has achieved particular acclaim and, has been featured in Zingerman's list of Top Foods of 2010, and in Huffington Post.

Spencer's sells to mainstream and specialty retailers, restaurants, and distributors across the country, and they also take part in Farmers’ Markets in and around Chicago. 

The in-store cafe where Nick and I had afternoon tea goes live to the public on March 20, and the gentlefolk in the Lakeview and Chicagoland area will be able to enjoy a variety of famous British teas along with scones, jams and of course, clotted cream. 

On St Patrick's Day, Sunday 17 March, Nick and Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods will be featured on 190th North at 11.00pm Central on ABC (Channel 7 in the Chicagoland area).

Having experienced how sweet the taste of memories past can be, I have already scheduled my next visit to Spencer’s Jolly Posh Shop. It is situated at 1405 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60613. Their phone number is (312) 415 6919 and hours are, Wed – Fri: 11 am – 7 pm, Sat – Sun: 10 am – 5 pm.

My relationship with Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods is that of lover of afternoon teas, particularly when accompanied by scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

CNG Transportation Solution An Important Step In Increasing US Supply Chain Sustainability

Left to right: Mike Nosewicz, VP Dairy 
Group-East, The Kroger Company, 
Dr Mike McCloskey, President and Owner, 
Fair Oaks Farms, Erin Sharp, VP Operations 
Manufacturing, The Kroger Company.
Fair Oaks Farms is a well known mid-west regional tourist attraction and popular field trip destination that promotes the importance of sustainable farming. Facility tours give visitors an opportunity to see cows being milked, calves being born, and artesian cheeses being produced. The latest chapter in Fair Oaks Farms' sustainable farming story is their new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled milk hauling fleet. 
At an historic event on March 4, AMP AmericasFair Oaks Farms, Greater Indiana Clean Cities and the Indiana Office of Energy Development celebrated the grand opening of AMP Americas’ renewable CNG, I65/I75 Corridor at Fair Oaks Farms.
Fueled by the dairy’s waste from 11,000 head of cattle, the system pulls biogas from the digester that is then cleaned and odorized to be compressed and dispensed at the station, ready to provide CNG fuel on demand to their 42, Class 8 milk transports. 
"This will change American history,"
Dr Mike McCloskey, President
and Owner, Fair Oaks Farms
commenting on the CNG waste
to transportation solution.
While this large-scale CNG transportation solution is an important step in the US effort to create an increasingly sustainable supply chain, and reduce the independence on imported oil, the way the tractors will be used is just as noteworthy. According to an article published in a trade magazine, it is planned to run the 42 tractors virtually around the clock in a milk-hauling relay operation designed to squeeze maximum productivity from the equipment.
“AMP Americas produces biogas from dairy cattle waste and after cleaning and odorizing this gas, pipes the resulting renewable natural gas directly to the Fair Oaks Station for onsite use as CNG vehicle fuel,” according to Mark Stoermann, AMP Americas Project Director. “The anaerobic digester is so big, the energy it produces also powers a 1 megawatt generator for the cleaning process and dairies’ electrical needs.”
“The dairy’s CNG truck fleet will allow them to transport more than 90 million gallons of milk per year on a reduced greenhouse gas footprint,” according to Kellie Walsh, Executive Director of the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition, a designated U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program partner that works with local public and private sector fleets to deploy alternative fuels and related technologies. Walsh continued, “By using dedicated compressed natural gas engines this deployment will reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by 1.5 million diesel gallon equivalents (DGE) a year, while moving the dairy industry closer to it’s greenhouse gas (GHG) U.S. EPA mandated levels.”
In addition to dual saddle tanks, two CNG fuel tanks are mounted behind the cab giving the Fair Oaks Farms tractors a range of almost 600 miles. Photo credit: Fair Oaks Farms.
The Indiana Office of Energy Development in partnership with the Greater Indiana Clean Cities contributed $750,000 toward the RCNG Station at Fair Oaks Dairy. These funds were from the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program American Recovery and Reinvestment Act competitive award of $10,125,000.

This post is based in part on information in a PRWeb press release.

Personalized Healthy Eating - Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day

March is National Nutrition Month, a nutrition and education campaign that is annually sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and DiateticsThe campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

The 2013 theme, "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day," encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices.

Here are some favorite food and food-life philosophy quotes from the Twittersphere to inspire during National Nutrition Month.

"Eat food, not to much, mostly plants." Michael Pollan via @David Grotto

 "Just toss it in." 

"Try not to eat food with a label on it and you'll feel good!" @TheHealthyApple

"We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie." David Mamet via @Pillsbury

"A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety." Aesop via @MomsOfAmerica

 "Love is food for your soul." 

"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.Calvin Trillin via @Moonalice