Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Fantastic Taste of the Teign Food Festival - 19-25 Sept 2016

We had the really enjoyable opening do for the Taste of the Teign Festival yesterday evening in Teignmouth at the Fish Quay.  The BBC Spotlight team were there and many members of Teignbridge Council, Teignmouth Council as well as the organisers, photographers and members of the public.  The atmosphere was really good and the Newquay Pub joined in wholeheartedly.  It was a good way to spend the late afternoon.  Friends, visitors, and foodies alike all had a good experience.

The 'Girl Rhona' boat landed many tons of sprats at 430 and the whole crowd watched them being unloaded.  I'm sure the men weren't used to such an audience! Most of the sprats get exported - what a shame that we don't use them more in the UK.

We all enjoyed a tasty and seriously fresh sprat barbeque with fresh lemon wedges and various
Shute Fruit pickles and hot dogs from Westaways and the East Cliff Cafe.   The sprats I had were totally delicious.

 There were also tasters provided of crazy milkshakes, summer fruit and ice cream from our lovely local ice cream parlour, Cherry on the Top, 

and there were tasters of much-needed and refreshing elderflower cordial from Shute Fruit.

There are many other tasty events being held this week with Taste of the Teign.

Personally, I'm going to watch the classic film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner today at 2:30 at Teignmouth Pavillions; then I'm going to see the Kitchen Cart Cookery Demo, Thurs at 10am in Teignmouth triangle, then I'm going to enjoy the Fry Up Friday at 10am at Westaways, Newton Abbot on Friday, I'm going to take my children along to Shakes, Flakes and Double Takes at Cherry on the Top, Teignmouth on Fri at 5, and then I'm going to visit the extended Farmer's Market, the craft market and see the blessing of the boats on Saturday.  All these events are free of charge (apart from the film!).

Whooh, I'm going to have a foodie overload - but I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Nourish Festival at Bovey Tracey September 2016

I think this Nourish Food and Art fair, Bovey Tracey was popular for a couple of reasons - the main one being that the craft fair held in the town in June is really high quality, and this is hosted by the same organisers.  So it was a good indicator of a high standard, plus the event would be well organised and fun to attend.

It was really busy - the main street had all the food and drink stalls and the art/craft was in the methodist hall.

Considering the weather was showery and looked a bit damp and grey, there were as many members of the public there as I would have expected on a sunny day.  It was actually quite difficult to get at many of the stalls as there were so many people looking (and hopefully buying) the attractive wares on offer.

I bought my Vietnamese Pho lunch from the lovely people at The Teign Canteen:

 I ate it quickly when I got home - it was delicious - nice and umami with a fresh lime wedge.  Plenty of chicken, noodles and broth - all served in an eco-friendly recyclable pot.

 I also bought a lemon-scented geranium - a Pelargonium Cy's Sunburst (pictured above - the yellowy one on the far left.) from the nice man from Laurel Farm Herbs (Whiddon Down).  This has yellow, crinkly, variegated leaves and can be used in salads.  Sounds good.

 Outside the Methodist Hall, where the crafts were, Hay Mambo coffee stall seemed to be getting in a few orders!

 I spent over an hour at the festival (at least 40 minutes admiring the food, 20 minutes at the Methodist Hall looking at the crafts).  Plus a quick 20 minute visit to Devon Guild to see their latest exhibition. I would have spent longer at the festival if the sun was shining.  A band was playing which added to the atmosphere, but I didn't linger.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Taste of the Teign Festival 19-25 Sept 2016

I am really looking forward to Taste of the Teign Food and Drink Festival (19-25 September).  The festival is in its second year and features produce that’s been picked and reared in the local fields, caught in nearby waters or harvested from the hedges and it is held in Teignmouth, Shaldon and Bishopsteignton.  It should be really good.

I hope there will be lots of people there, supporting our local food heroes and heroines!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Burts Crisps - Firecracker Crisp Sandwich - yummy

Burts Crisps are really good - they are made in Devon and I like them a little bit too much.  They always seem to feature somewhere in my lunch.  I really like the sea salt and vinegar ones, and if I am in a meaty mood, I like the Spicy Chorizo and Devon Roast Beef flavours.  The Sea Salt ones are good too, but I prefer the flavours.

Burts want to encourage us this summer to have crisp sandwiches - I do not need any encouragement as I enjoy then anyway.  This is my favourite one using the Firecracker Lobster flavour:

You need the following, this is their 'recipe' but of course I tweaked it a little:

2 bags of Burts Lobster Firecracker crisps
150g cooked prawns
50g chopped sundried tomatoes
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
small squeeze lemon juice
2 handfuls of rocket leaves
10g butter
4 slices soft white bread

I do not like mayo, so I omitted the mayo and ketchup.  I'm guessing that if they were used - they could be utilised as 'butter' on both sides of the bread.

I also had plenty of salad left over from the previous evening (Romaine, cress, cucumber, beansprouts, grated carrot) and used that rather than rocket.

Also I used 1 packet rather than 2 packets of crisps.  But the bread was on the smaller side of things.  I think I would use 2 packets if I was using regular bread.

Here's the bread (only buttered on one side) plus salad and sundried tomatoes:

 Then prawns and some crisps...

....and more crisps....

It was scrumptious and easy to put together and made me and my daughter a very good lunch - I can imagine having this on a beach for a picnic lunch - but we ate them in my back garden

It tasted so good and I had a look at the ingredients and it says that actual 'lobster powder' is used (no unnatural flavours there) and the colourings were just paprika and South Devon Chilli Farm chilli.  The South Devon Chilli Jam is a firm favourite with me and I always keep a pot in my fridge.

  OK so crisps aren't the healthiest of foods, but if they're part of a meal, contain natural ingredients, taste delicious, and come from Devon - fair enough!

Friday, 1 July 2016

Eversfield Organic Pastrami - great for summer sandwiches

The lovely Frankie at RAW sent me some Eversfield Organic pastrami from their Roam and Relish range.

It made a delicious sandwich for lunch for myself and my husband.  I just buttered the bread and put in some lettuce leaves from our garden

We wolfed it all down.  The meat was spicy, fresh and yummy.  We were also grateful to learn that all of Eversfield Organic meat is local (to Devon) and (obviously) organic and they age the cooked meat for the charcuterie range for maximum flavour.  I am on  the verge of vegetarianism (again - I was for 2 years 1993-1995) so that helped me to eat and enjoy it.

The Eversfield Organic range of charcuterie is available from 15 July 2016.  They sell veg boxes and raw meat too.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Exeter Cookery School - Opening Soon - April 2016

 I went along to see Exeter Cookery School, Haven Banks, Exeter.  It is still a 'work in progress' but the space is amazing and although it looks a bit bare - it should be fully functioning in June 2016.  The bare brickwork is going to be a feature of the finished school.  I look forward to seeing it as the finished item - but in the meantime, bookings are being taken.

There will be many work stations with state-of-the-art appliances and equipment.  And this will expand later on.  I love the idea of it - we could do with something like this in Exeter.  I think I will book myself in as the enthusiasm of the owners was infectious.  It might be a good idea for something else to do, whilst other members of the family are at the nearby Clip n Climb or are kayaking around the quay.  It would certainly beat going to TK Maxx....
The genial owners (husband and wife team) previously owned a cookery school in the Dordogne, France.  He is the chef, she is the operations manager.  I really liked their plan for a 'chill-out' lounge with sofas near the back of the kitchen.  It sounds silly as cooking is a great and relaxing pastime, but sometimes we all need to sit down and take a breather.  I have been on four previous taught cooking experiences and have found them all to be useful - even an experienced cook can pick up little tips about techniques or suppliers.

Exeter Food Festival April 2016

As usual this was held in the stunning Spring gardens of Northernhay and Rougemont.  I was there today (Sunday) and the sun was shining brightly.

This was the VIP area where you could get tea, coffee, cream teas and manicures....and yes, I did get a manicure and yes, because I am not used to them, I did smudge several of my fingers.

There were many interesting food producers and sellers there.  There was even a Pickled Egg stand.

I enjoyed the chance to purchase many different types of 'fast food' from the high quality vans that were around.  I could also picnic outside as the sun was shining and it felt quite warm.  Speaking to stall-holders, I think the rainy weather on Friday put off some festival-goers and the warm weather on the Saturday meant it was very crowded.

I noticed there was plenty for children to do: activity tents, facepainting, story-telling, ice-creams, petting animals - there were a couple of girls in dresses chasing each other around a tree on a grassy bank, and a serious looking little boy who was wandering onto the flower beds wearing his yellow all-in-one outfit.  This all added to the overall picturesque scene - happy faces, a wealth of local food, young animals, spring blooms and playing children.

I think the Sunday worked well for me - fewer people than Saturday and beautiful weather. This meant that it was easier to talk to food producers and there were no queues.  I also managed to park nearby, which helps.

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