I drove last time darling ... it's simply not good enough to expect the designated driver to settle for a J2O or a can of coke, so I am beginning to rate my restaurants, pubs and cafes according to the drinks offered for drivers. Here are a few of the great drinks that I've been offered when driving this summer. Gigembre - ginger syrup, lime and soda. Ghost Ship (available from Adnams). Bee's Knee's Prosecco style fizz (available from Morrisons). Mint Sparkle- apple juice, elderflower cordial, soda water, mint leaves. Virgin Mary - tomato juice, Worcester sauce, tobasco. Shirley Temple - ginger ale, grenadine, orange juice. Homemade lemon barley water. Homemade ginger beer. Seedlip Garden - botanicals without the gin (available from Waitrose). Damson Spritz made with a homemade damson cordial. Fresh Red - Rooibos espresso, apple juice and a squueze of lime. Strawberry Cooler- strawberry, mint and lime. More ideas here.
The bleedin' vegan burger. Coming to a supermarket near you. Give me my homemade hazelnut and red lentil burgers any day.
Choux pastry desserts remain in vogue. Keep an eye out for striking and colourful eclairs, Paris Brest (a ring of choux pastry filled with a hazelnut and almond praline cream) and Religieuse (one small choux bun balanced on a larger choux bun, filled with a chocolate or mocha creme patissiere). You can order a Royal Wedding eclair from the 3 Michelin Starred chef Joakim Prat, artiste patissier at Maitre Choux. Or make your own, these are my banoffee filled salted caramel mini eclairs.
Appearing on menus at a fast pace, pineapples are set to outsell avocados as the latest fruit trend sets in. Dehydrate it, ferment it, crush it, or colada cake it like me.
Introducing the Bubblewrap Waffle, the pimped up Hong Kong sweet egg waffle that everyone wants. The business started on the streets with a stall at Berwick Street Market and now has queues of up to an hour outside their new shop in Wardour Street. Chinatown. Three flavours of waffle, six varieties of gelato, fourteen toppings and nine sauces to choose from. Here's a cheesy Winter Flame.
If you go to your local park and pick elderflowers it isn't foraging. If you go to your back garden and pick up some windfall apples, it isn't foraging. If you have a basil plant on your balcony, that isn't foraging either. Foraging for edible wild plants and all the new names for what we used to call weeds is OVER - time to stop.
There's been a huge increase recently in the number of people who claim to be coeliac or have a dietary intolerance. One of my best friends is a diagnosed coeliac and she has my full understanding and empathy for the difficulties she often has to face when eating out. I'm always more than happy to cook something for her using potato, buckwheat, maize flour or other gluten free ingredient, and she never moans, complains, or gives restaurants a hard time when she goes out, despite being very ill if she does consume gluten in any recognisable amount. So when I recently heard at a local cafe, a customer asking if the soup, which was gluten free and had run out, had only been served to gluten free customers and another who was happy to eat bread pudding for dessert after asking for gluten free options throughout the starter and main courses I was very annoyed.
So while we are told to avoid burnt toast, charcoal remains the trendy detox, teeth whitening hangover cure. Popular in the good old U.S of A is the black coconut ash ice cream from Morgenstern. Noo Yawk.
A saucepan of meat bones boiled up to make a tasty stock and suddenly we have bone broth, the latest nutritional elixir to hit the high street. Well here is a recipe from my 1921 Edition of The Daily Mail Cookery Book or you may prefer the gruesome twosome Hemsley and Hemsley who tag their recipe under 'gut and psychology syndrome'.
Look out for the latest food trend of Poke (po-keh, rhymes with OK) which means to cut into pieces and comes from Hawaii. Usually made with marinated, raw fish and similar to Ceviche, with Japanese influenced seasonings of soy and spring onions. They serve it at Pond in Dalston. Hipster Sushi then?
I am so excited! I made my own sugar today from a whole, raw sugar beet. Now I need to know if this passes the 'clean' eating test. Everywhere I seem to look at the moment in my foodie world I am surrounded by clean eating. Blogs, newspapers, Newsnight, social media - it's the buzz word. Gluten free, sugar free, natural, unrefined, superfoods, bad bad food processing, dreadful dairy ingredients, killing you softly with your grains...wheat. We need to be very careful that this current trend does not lead to a dysfunctional relationship with food. Mind you, it is actually nothing new. In 1982 when I was 23 yrs old, about the age of many of these beautiful, mainly thin, young, clean eating women, I wrote my first recipe book. That's me in the picture. About as much publicity as I got at the time was the second page of the Bury Free Press. But I love the Bury Free Press, so that's great. My books, the First and Second Chalice Recipe Books (never managed a third!) were vegetarian and vegan recipe books. I owned and ran the Chalice Vegetarian Restaurant in Bury St Edmunds at that time and we made our own Tofu, sprouted our own beanshoots, ate every grain under the sun, including quinoa, buckwheat and linseed, grew our own veg, used unrefined sugar in everything, put honey in our Barleycup, and as for the deadly nightshade vegetables and leather shoes.....no way! So with some fond memories of my formative cooking years and a nod to healthy eating I bring you my Sugar Free Lemon, Cinnamon and Sugar Beet Tart.
It looks exactly the same as AirBnb - it has the same format on it's website, but it's about food this time. Hooray! Now everyone can be a chef. I'm booking something tonight - this is what you can have in Barcelona - 'Pueees..., desde la tortilla de patata, pasando por el cus-cús, el cochinillo, un pescado con leche de coco y gengibre, gambas a la plancha, guacamole, musaka, rabo de toro, sushi...'