Saturday 15th September 2018 ( 2pm to 11pm) marks the return of Star Wing’s popular hop-picking event for the second-year at their brewery in Redgrave, Suffolk. Kicking off at 2pm, all ages and abilities are invited to roll up their sleeves and enjoy an afternoon of picking hops, followed by a hearty hog roast and live music courtesy of The Ludlam Pikes and Mick the Baker Band. As a thank you, the first 50 pickers to arrive on the day will receive a voucher for a free hog roast and a free drink from the bar, including Star Wing’s distinctive ales made from the hops grown from the very soil on which the brewery stands – what better way to be rewarded for your efforts. For more information visit www.starwingbrewery.com or call 01379 890 586.
I have just discovered the perfect little 30g bar of chocolate. Made with certified organic cacao sweetened with coconut blossom sugar, it feels good for me. Better still, 3% of the Bedfordshire based company profits go to UNICEF. My favourites are this 70% Raw Peruvian Chocolate with Pomegranate and the 100% Raw Peruvian Cacao Bar with Mulberry. Find some for your Valentine.
Whenever I go to Great Yarmouth I call in at Northgate Fish to see what Paul Williams has caught in his boat. As well as being a local fisherman for over thirty years he's also a Caister lifeboatman and knows all about the sea. It's also the only place I know that you can still buy a traditonal Yarmouth bloater or a Red Herring which he smokes in his own smokehouse at Caister
Landing on the doormat at SuffolkFoodie HQ last week were a couple of sample cartons of the new limited edition Apple, Mint & Lime juice drink from The Cracker Drinks Co. Forever sceptical about anything labelled as low calorie, with no added sugar and ready made in a carton, we got stuck in. We are happy to say that we were more than impressed. With deliciously sharp lime and true flavours of mint and apple, this is a brilliantly blended ready made virgin mojito, and a perfect base for a quick, easy peasy rum cocktail ... now you're talking!
Jamie Oliver sent us a useful guide to buying olive oil which we have shared on our facebook page. For special occasions we really like one we bought in Sicily; Lorenzo No 5 is expensive but Inspector X gives her daughters a bottle each for Christmas. Each bottle says 'I dedicate this bottled essence of olives to my son, Lorenzo, with all my love' Manfredi Barbera.
Took dad for a drive to see his favourite east coast fisherman - Dean Fryer - one of Rick Steins food heroes. All fishermen are heroes in our minds - up at 2am seven days a week in good weather, with no guarantee of any income. We bought sea bass, rock eel, a lobster and some small dover sole. Within twelve hours of being caught the sea bass were on the barbecue.
Who would refuse an invite to visit Green and Blacks stall at the Christmas Fair in Bury? It took a while to find them but we persevered and were more than rewarded by a couple of tastes of the various bars they produce and two bars of their thin Sea Salt chocolate to take home. Really nice guys on the stall too. This company were the fore-runners of the chocolate trend that has now made it possible to try specialist chocolate from all over the world - and this is still some of the best.
I couldn't resist these Nar Valley grown tomatoes from Swaffham High Street greengrocers. All shapes and colours with a kilo for £4.
I just drove home way too fast because I had a loaf of freshly baked bread in the back of my car.The smell was tormenting me and I wanted to cut myself a slice and spread it with butter.The loaf of Pakenham bread (made with Pakenham Mill flour) had just been baked by Mark Proctor from The Friendly Loaf Company which is based in Rede.The smell of a bakery always brings back childhood memories of visiting my Grandad in his bakery in Ixworth. Mark told me all about his Barm bread, which is an ale leavened bread.I'll try that next time. He also told me he has a job vacancy for a bakery assistant, to help him in the bakery and learn the art of breadmaking.Now that is a fine opportunity....
Look at this excellent selection of ready made deli-products! I don't usually buy ready made salads and sandwich fillings but was sent these to review by Wolff-Evans and Sons after doing a little feature on them for our Dish of the Day.Their original Homeslaw made with savoy,red and white cabbage was dressed with a creamy mayonnaise and some onion adding a bit of punch. Looks just like homemade coleslaw and tasted as good as the one I make myself. Egg mayonnaise, well I am always dubious about pre-prepared sandwich fillings and expected at least a whiff of eggy sulphur to put me off when I opened the lid. Tah Dah! Nothing but fresh,simple and tasty free range eggs with mayonnaise and also very well seasoned; although I did add even more cracked black pepper to mine. The Tuna fraiche was the highlight for me. A set, light spread which was creamy and delicately flavoured with capers and onion and some texture of free range egg. It could pass off as a dinner party starter, reminding me in style of a salmon mousse. Far superior than I imagined and wolfed down by my family in minutes. Available at your local East of England Co-Op.
Shortlisted in the Farming Partnership of the Year category at the British Farming Awards is the East of England Co-operative Society "Sourced Locally" initiative. Since launching in 2007 Sourced Locally has been helping local farmers and rural businesses build a more sustainable future. Check out our Dish of the Day to meet the producers. Check out one of the 250 Co-op stores in the regional centres of Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester to buy the goods.
Terry Rayner came home from work one day in 2003 and announced to his wife Win that he was quitting work. Win asked Terry what he was planning to do, "Start up a seed business." "Where?" asked Win. "In the garden shed" replied Terry, and so Terwin Seeds was formed. (Yes. Terry and Win, Terwin!) Win told me she was a little nervous when several tons of seed potatoes arrived on their doorstep, but the business has grown and now they have an online shop and a small unit in Cockfield, Suffolk. I met them at last weeks Edible Garden Show. As I have predicted Buckwheat to trend I picked up a pack of the sprouting seeds to try.