• Thirsty Foodie
Monday, 19 March 2018 17:37

Island Life

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Late February and into March saw my annual holiday to the sunshine of the Caribbean, a trip to see Claire (fellow SuffolkFoodie) in Barbuda. For those that don't know, Barbuda was wiped out by Hurricane Irma on September 9th. The island was devasted and 6 months on still is. No electricty and running water makes life difficult enough, but for those still living in tents or without a roof over their head, life must be miserable. Food and general supplies are desperately short, so first stop after arriving in Antigua was shopping and buying supplies to send on the cargo boat. Three days in Antigua provided enough time for some sight seeing and to eat some street food which is available on nearly every corner. Also this fantastic island breakfast at our Airbnb. In Barbuda we cooked for ourselves using the supplies that we'd sent ahead. There is little else to buy unless you find a fisherman or hunter with a good catch. We found Bernie who had just been out in his boat and supplied a 10lb red snapper to cook over the fire. We also successfully dived for conchs which were so tough to remove from the shell that we had to take we them to Bernie to release. Limited ingredients, only a generator for power keeps you on your toes when deciding what to cook. But our conch escabeche would give any top restaurant a run for it's money.

Friday, 19 May 2017 09:18

It's suffolk foodie agm time

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We are getting close to that suffolkfoodie AGM time of year, when we look for places to eat and drink that are new or interesting - and a real treat for us. We are currently working on our final list, but this will be at the top of mine.

You are what you eat ... from ediblegovernment.com. God bless America!

Friday, 15 July 2016 12:16

Tim Tams - for our Australian readers

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Apparently famous in Australia my Australian friend Jess said I needed to try one. Sadly they are not the best biscuit in the world!

Friday, 24 June 2016 09:04

What to eat in a Brexit.

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Cameron ate a hot dog with a knife and fork, there was that famous bacon sandwich incident and now we are coming out of Europe what can we look forward to in the food-meets-politics scene? I'm off to Lidl before they run out of stock...

My name is Mrs Madumbi. I am a new occasional contributor to Suffolk Foodie. My focus, though by no means not exclusively, will be on food from Africa. Guess what I found in a Tesco in Sheffield? - amaDumbe. You could mistake this rather ugly, occasionally hairy, vegetable for a mutant potato, but it has a delicate taste of its own - like no other. The amaDumbe, more commonly called madumbi in South Africa, is called eddoes in the Caribbean and Tesco, and taro elsewhere. Do remember this plant can be toxic in its raw form. Madumbis are usually peeled before cooking and can be boiled or steamed, whole or cubed. As a child growing up in southern Africa I loved this vegetable. It was always boiled in its skin for 20/25 minutes (depending on size) until the fleshy part gave when pricked with a fork. After cooking, the water was drained and discarded. The skin comes away easily once cooked. The rather grey inside of the madumbi has a nutty, slightly sweet taste (think distant cousin of sweet potato). The texture can appear slimey and unusual but it is not, so please do not be put off.  Newcomers quickly acquire a taste for this versatile little tuber. It is delicious served simply 'potato style' with salt and butter. It can be mashed and mixed with caramalised onions or leeks; added to soups and curry dishes; sliced thinly with a mandolin for crisps and oven-baked or fried.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 12:08

On the road. Cars and Catfish

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Back from a 3000 mile road trip in the southern states of America I think I am done with pulled pork, fried chicken, catfish, gumbo and cars. I had promised to take Micky to the Daytona 500 for his 60th birthday. You see he's a petrol head and after being married to him for 30 years plus, I have become one too. We set off in search of great food and interesting cars, with a few must stop places like racetracks, the Kennedy Space Centre and Graceland thrown in en route.  First stop was Maryland where we ate crab cakes, bought lovely clams and shad roe to cook at home and borrowed a car from a favourite cousin to drive the 800 miles to Florida. We passed through Virginia (the best brown sugar cured bacon and waffles for breakfast) then through North and South Carolina where we bought spiced Cajun boiled peanuts at the Speedway race track. We didn't stop in Georgia but managed to make Daytona for a supper of blackened cat fish at the fun North Turn Restaurant. A week in Daytona gave us time to explore the area, go racing ... every night... and a trip to New Smyrna Beach where Micky found his dream 1961 Chevvy Impala (too expensive) and I found a perfect lobster roll (affordable). Travelling west we headed for Memphis, stopping en route at the amazing Barber Motorsports Museum near Birmingham. The Cops joined us for the buffet breakfast at the hotel. Apparently the cops eat for free in America. They marched in, up to the buffet, helped themselves, ate and left. We had biscuits and gravy. Biscuits are like an English scone, served warm and the gravy is a sausage based thick white sauce, with loads of black pepper in it. Eggs, well, how do you like them? Sunny Side Up (cooked on one side) Over Easy (flipped over) Over Medium, Over Hard

File 15 03 2016 15 25 36.biscuit gravy eggs

Alabama through to Tennessee bagged a Tripp Country Ham, another catfish sandwich and a peach pie. All from service stations which are the BEST place to buy anything from a cowboy hat to a cheap, but very good cup of coffee. In Memphis we ate fried green tomatoes, not at the Whistle Stop Cafe and then on to Nashville (my new favourite city) for fried HOT chicken. It's delicious. Angry Orchard Cider was another discovery in Nashville. You see, I am Just a Country Girl at Heart.  Last meal in Tennessee was in Greeneville in the Appalacian Mountains where we found Stans BBQ. Stan found us too as he came out to see who was ordering all the food in his restaurant. He never gets tourists. Great smoked ribs, beef, corn pudding and homemade lemonade.  From the Appalacian Mountains we went on to the Blue Ridge Mountains, in search of bears. Driving up over 3750 feet, Micky not sure about me navigating up in them hills. We saw a lot of red necks, lots of Trump supporters, hilly billies and 'slap ya Mama' cause she don't cook like this no more, found meatloaf with apple sauce at The Swinging Bridge Restaurant. But no bears.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 10:48

Delicious Mont- D'Or making in Switzerland

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Vacherin Mont D'Or making in Switzerland.  One of my top ten cheeses. 

Tuesday, 07 October 2014 13:59

The Restaurant Show...again

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Well we think it has got a bit tired really - the magazine is thin, the 'street food corner' announcing the commercialisation of street food - uninspiring, sold out of brand new H vans by bored staff, pricey, using weird ingredients (when was Sangria ever made with sherry and sugar-free lemonade?) The sales pitches out of touch (with the exception of the coffee machine suppliers who gave us a great coffee and the best, most relevant and interesting information) and the stands with just a jar of sweets...well...is your budget REALLY that bad? And what happened to wine tasting?!

But I did get a years supply of quite nice pens, spoke to a few genuinely well informed and passionate foodie suppliers (mostly the ones who we already know who actually make what they sell like the cheeses, the bread, the juices and the ice cream) and we found just one brilliant and inspiring brand new idea - from Croatia - that we really want to keep to ourselves but will feature as Dish of the Day when we get back in touch with them.

Sunday, 06 April 2014 13:42

The Fray Bentos story - In Deep

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We went "In Deep" at the Grapesense wine class this week, we went to South America. We tried Atlantico Sur, Marselan from the Garzon Vineyard in Uruguay. Then we started talking about Uruguay and how it's remembered for Fray Bentos meat pies. Fray Bentos is a large Uruguayan town where the Liebig Company produced tinned meats and beef oxo for export to the UK. The Fray Bentos brand was launched in 1899, initially for corned beef, then later pies. By 1961, when Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney was launched, pie production had shifted to Hackney. From the dozen or so of us at the wine class, no one admitted to having ever eaten one of the pies! I remember my Grandma always had one in her kitchen cupboard but I have never tried one, so for the sake of my Grapesense friends - here is the photo story of the Steak and Ale pie that I bought and ate.

I chose the Steak and Ale pie as it had the highest meat content (25%) and by the way the pastry is 24% so not sure what the rest is?! The smell of the pie still lingers in my kitchen an hour or so later, that kind of school-dinner, cheap chip-shop pie smell, like kidneys cooking, although the pie doesn't have any kidneys in it. The pastry looked revolting when I took the lid off the tin but had an impressive puffiness to it when out of the oven, which soon deflated leaving a soggy under layer. The gravy was very salty with scruffy small pieces of beef that were all on one side of the tin.

Interesting Fray Bentos Facts!

Sales of the pies plummeted during the Falklands War. Uruguay being the neighbour of Argentina.

Sean Bean (the actor) always has a Fray Bentos pie on hand when filming abroad, he loves them.

The empty tin makes a good dog bowl.


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