October Letter from The Ferns chatting about Orzo barley ‘coffee’, butter v margarine and the sun

Orzo Coffee


I was given some samples of Orzo ‘coffee’ to try  in nice one cup size sachets.

orzo sachets

Really it’s a barley cup, and if I said that it tasted more like decaffeinated coffee than anything else, well I think that’s about it.

orzo sachet2

Barley has been known for centuries for its health-enhancing properties, and hulless barley has a high content of beta-glucans, which have been recognised for lowering cholesterol and glucose levels. It is like our English barley cup products, naturally caffeine-free.

Apparently,  the company was awarded a gold star in the Great Taste Awards in 2013.
This is what the judges said:
Very pleasant robust and dark, coffee-like appearance. Very well rounded barley flavour, not too bitter with a nice finish – good with milk. Great for people who like a coffee-style drink with no caffeine.

I always have decaf coffee for my B & B visitors and usually drink it myself; saving proper coffee for weekends or treats. Because it is so similar to decaf, if I now see Orzo on the shelves, I shall buy that instead. A very nice drink!

From their website http://www.orzocoffee.co.uk you can find out more and get details of suppliers

Butter v Margerine

I always have a mixture of spreads in our fridge and also for all my B & B visitors. I like to have a selection. For years I have mainly used ‘Pure’butters

This is a dairy free margarine and I also use it for cakes and pastries. I cant  understand why people would still use lard in their pastry. Just now I am thinking and wondering what lard is?

Huffington Post says:


Lard — rendered pig fat — was what people used when they needed to make pastry; when dinner needed frying; and even as a quick breakfast, eaten smeared on a piece of bread. So much has changed in our recent history. Lard is not only out of favor, it’s even considered a derogatory word.

As I have grown older, and looking to keep my bad cholestrol down,  I tend to use Pro Active on sandwiches. It doesn’t work well on toast as it has a lot of water content in fact about half. The plant sterols are sourced from pine-tree oil, and these apparently block the body’s cholesterol-absorbing sites.  It does have milk products in it.

And chiefly for my B & B visitors, I use a butter type of spread. I used to use Lurpak Spreadable but I read that on ‘taste tests’, Aldi’s Norpak  tasted exactly the same, and  was  cheaper. So I am buying Norpak now. Personally I don’t like buying animal products, but I have to say that  Norpak does taste very nice.


Finally what do we reckon to the sun yesterday?


I t was all a bit spooky. I took this from the garden, but there were much better images on the TV.  I think I prefer my sun  yellow! Here is a shot of the garden in summer time. Very nice. Best wishes Linda

from kitchen window

From the kitchen window in July