Wild and Game's pheasant, pork and caramelised onion pie scooped a gold medal at the the 2019 British Pie Awards. They've sent me one to try for my lunch today and very delicious it was too. Available via mail order should you fancy one.
Don't miss this wonderful menu of events, talks and tastings for Food Season with The British Library. Yum!
It's the perfect time of year to crystallise spring flowers. I love making these beautiful and natural decorations to add a splash of colour to a special Mother's Day cake. Primroses, wood violets and viola's are at their best right now but apple blossom, borage flowers, rose petals and nasturtiums all work well too. You'll see I've also crystallised a few sprigs of mint. Make sure the flowers haven't been sprayed with chemicals and pick leaving a long stem to hold on to. Don't wash them, they must be bone dry.
You will need. One egg white thinned and lightly fork whisked with a teaspoon of vodka. Caster sugar. A small paint brush.
- Take a clean, dry flower. Hold it by the stalk (use tweezers if there is no stalk) then carefully paint all surfaces of the petals with egg white.
- Now gently sprinkle the flower with caster sugar ensuring top and bottom surfaces of the petals all catch some sugar.
- Place on baking parchment and leave to air dry for 24/36hrs. Remove stalks once the flowers have dried.
- The flowers will dry in the shape and position that you place them on the baking parchment so consider this when you set them aside to dry.
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- whisk egg white with a teaspoon of vodka
- paint petals carefully with the egg white, not too much!
- and decorate ...
- sprinkle with sugar making sure all areas are covered
- lay on baking parchment to dry
Entering into its 10th year, the Framlingham Country Show takes place on 13th and 14th April at Framlingham College. I'm told there will be an amazing drinks festival, rural crafts, a dog show, cars and a cookery theatre with demos from 2017 Great British Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo. Yes! Cakes.
Apparently there's a Golden Ticket hidden in one of the Mother's Day cards handed out to all Mums this Sunday at Giggling Squid branches across the country. (The Golden Ticket will be a £50 voucher to be used on a future visit). Tables still available for late lunch and supper in our Bury St Edmunds branch.
Cheester Eggs from Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses. Cheddar or Blacksticks Blue, definitely an Easter Egg to nibble on.
Popped into Folk at Fornham Business Court for breakfast on Monday and ordered a coffee and bacon sarnie from the all day breakfast menu (no egg though as they can't cook these after 10.30 am). This new cafe seems to have taken off as it was heaving with customers, all tables fully occupied and only a bar stool left for me to sit on. It's great to see a new, upcoming and young business doing well and serving high quality food and drink. Their website sensibly says 'we're on our way' and so opening times are limited at the moment to Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm. Just need to sort out that extra pan to cook the all day brekkie egg!
- great coffee
- tasty bacon sarnie
- pretty vintage tractor for the children to play on
- good all day menu
Fray Bentos the iconic pie brand and favourite pie maker to actor Sean Bean, are introducing the Vegetable Balti pie, filled with potato, onion, red pepper, tomato, carrot and peas in a spicy balti sauce. I can't wait.
If only you had a crystal ball. This is what ours is telling us will be on trend for 2019. In no particular order ...
Chilled red wines- unoaked, lighter bodied reds such as Pinot Noir, Gamay (Beaujolais), Cabernet Franc from the Loire and Tempranillo's. We know that reds don't always have to be served at room temperature so this year expect to find more restaurants offering to chill your red wine, especially if we get another heatwave summer.
Gazoz- with the ever growing interest in things fermented and botanicals, Gazoz (main picture) is an Israeli soda based drink, made with natural fruit syrups (often from fermented fruits) fresh fruits, botanical infusions and herbs topped up with fizzy water. It's going to be this years addition to the increasingly popular shrubs and drinking vinegars of 2018. Find it on the menu at Bala Baya.Southwark. London.
Rum- Gin might be left on the shelf in favour of rum, which we are very happy about being part Caribbean foodies. White, gold, flavoured, spiced, dark, premium and overproof, there is no single standard and it's no longer the sole preserve of sailors and pirates. Want to know more? Follow Ian Burrell our favourite Rum Ambassador or try a Rum Masterclass at Cottons. We must go again!
Afro-Caribbean- well this is rather a broad area in terms of food and drink. The rise of North and West African cuisine is now well established. Mr SuffolkFoodie is from Durban so we are pinning our hopes on seeing more from South Africa, heavily influenced by the fruity and full bodied flavours of Cape Malay cuisine along with the French and Dutch influence of the European settlers. (Keep an eye out in the recipe book for our own family recipes). As for Caribbean cuisine look out for Rastafarian Ital cooking which is natural, plant based and organic. Plantains will feature too, we're getting bored with avocadoes and cauliflowers, plantains make great snacks. Tostones will be in!
Lard - the big fat comeback. Butter prices have gone through the roof and restaurants are looking at keeping menus affordable and innovative. The Italians love it and it's a mainstay of Mexican cooking and it's not as bad for you as you thought. Love a lardy cake don't you? Get barding and larding everyone.
Sardines- healthy, sustainable, delicious and affordable. One of our favourites and used in many types of cuisine from around the world. From spiced and fried whole in Indian recipes to the delicious Pasta Con le Sarde of Sicily, proving that they are versatile too. Bring on summer for some more delicious Portugeuse sardines cooked over the open fire.
Breakfasts - using rise and shine orange and yellow food which is Instagrammable. We'll be eating food because it's photogenic and can be hashtagged 'feel good' or 'sunshine food'. So we are guessing mango, oranges, lemon curd, pumpkin, carrots, things with saffron and God forbid no more turmeric lattes.
Grocerants - grocery stores and deli's with sit down dining, ready to eat, ready to heat food. The type of place that you go to buy the components of a take away supper then think dammit, if I eat it here it will save me washing up.
Waste not want not - zero waste cooking with wonky veg and root to fruit dishes will stay in vogue and so will the meaty nose to tail eating we've enjoyed over the past few years. Fig leaves will be very popular, brussel sprouts are making a big comeback, look out for Kalettes, broccoli stems, radish tops and carrot tops. But let's make sure that it's tasty please?
Bread - it's back. More ancient grains, sprouted grains, cornbread and vegetable stuffed doughs. Apricot breakfast bread, potato, pumpkin and onion baguettes, flatbreads, Earl Grey teacakes. You name it we will be kneading it. Sorghum will be the grain of 2019. Cheerio quinoa!
- carrot tops not the nicest of ingredients in our opinion
- #feel good #sunshinefood
- Earl Grey teacakes anyone?
- Bobotie a South African classic. Recipe in our book.
- Rum - one of our favourites
Bright light city gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire! Going Vegan was the biggest food trend for 2018 with more vegan products launched in the UK than in any other nation. It's going to mean more fake meat and processed food on the supermarket shelves and when cauliflower appears on the menu it's going to be called a steak. Eating plants is nothing new but now it seems we need the new experts ... vegetable butchers.