The best thing I ate this week was at the St Elizabeth Hospice cafe in Stowmarket. The superb homemade mince pie had light, crisp pastry and was stuffed full of cranberries and mincemeat. Tall Orders cafe serves from 8.30am to 3.30pm daily (except Sunday). Their homemade soup is delicious, scones are legendary and all sales proceeds go towards the independent Suffolk charity.
Just a few miles from me with the warmest welcome and perfect ham, egg and chips for £10.95. Ticks all the boxes for a quick lunch.
Just too intrigued by the forever there, homemade Apple Cake sign at The Magpie in Stonham, and having heard that this was a Lithuanian run pub, it was time to go and find out more about this rather run down and tired looking village inn. It's dated on the inside too, and was chilly on a cold night. There's two menus with one being solely Lithuanian, featuring a wide range of traditional dishes of which we ordered a selection. Enormous plates of food arrived, and as Vida the owner told us about Lithuanian food 'we like potatoes'. We tried as much as we could possibly eat of the filling and hearty homemade food. This is proper winter food with all the Lithuanian staples such as pork, potatoes, bacon, lard, potatoes, cream cheese, potatoes and sour cream. A really interesting menu and there's Lithuanian Vodka to warm you up until the calories kick in.
- the apple cake was freshly baked, slightly yeasty and didn't need the decoration
- chilled beetroot soup served with potatoes
- fried bread smothered with cheese and garlic
- pork goulash with mashed potatoes and salad
- Zeppelins (potatoes!) with pork filling
Marie is back! Dutchie & Grill Jamaican Restaurant is in Ely. I was working out that way this week so stopped by for a takeaway. Oxtail and butterbean stew was delicious! Nyammings nights are on Thursdays.
But these pork chops cost me 75p each. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that loin of pork was £3 a kilo in Morrisons. I had a chat with the butcher at my local Diss branch, where the pork was piled high. He told me that the supermarket has increased the amount of meat it prepares as part of a measure to help out the country's struggling pig farmers. I cut my own chops from a bone in loin joint, marinated them in Tamarind and Cumin and cooked them over the fire. Delicious! Read more about Morrisons farming here.
The perfect answer for people like me who want to photograph their dinner when they go out. A 5 in 1 photographic reflector and diffuser (whatever that is) and photo backdrops. All in a handy #thefoodiebag canvas number, just to be sure that the restaurant sees you coming. £39.95 and not on my Christmas list.
Here's a few ideas for Christmas presents to give the food lovers in your life. Mr SuffolkFoodie if you are looking .... I'd like all of these please.
Christmas cheese! A trio of East Anglian cheeses. £25. Check out cheese related Christmas gifts or join the Slate Cheese Club. Slate is a Suffolk based, specialist cheese retailer offering nationwide delivery. Book your December delivery slot quickly. (I've been sent a sample box and can confirm that the cheese arrives in fabulous condition.)
12 Christmas Classics Macarons £25. From Suffolk makers Hilton Macarons. I've eaten a box of these. Black Truffle. Brandy Butter. Christmas Pudding. Eggnog. Mulled Spice. Orange Chocolate. A colourful and delicious selection. My favourite? Christmas pudding. Liquorice and Blackcurrant are also superb if you fancy other flavours.
Something fishy. Sardines from The Tinned Fish Market. Madrid Tray £35.00. Don't you just love the tins?
Hotel Starlino Maraschino Cherries £9.50. Pop one of these Italian beauties into your Brandy and Babycham this Christmas. Gorrrgeous jar
A Potato Printer Pawtatoes 2022 Calendar £15.00. Cute!
Ho Ho Ho Christmas Pork Pie from Bray's Cottage. Norfolk £29.95 (last orders 17th Dec) Our go to pork pie to send as a pressie. My family fight over them.
Sandlings Saffron Soap. £5.99 Beautiful hand made soap using Suffolk grown saffron. Grapefruit and Saffron or Aloe Cucumber and Saffron. Their saffron is top class and the Saffron Sea Salt £6 a perfect stocking filler. Just wait for the aroma when you open up an online delivery.
A Pump Street Chocolate Father Christmas £7.50. Big kids chocolate!
A Mostly Foodie Days of 2022 Tea Towel £20.50. You wouldn't want to forget World Trifle Day, would you?
And what better for the lady in your life than a pair of fur slippers with a removable lobster brooch. £35.
Did you know that pasta has been commercially made in Norfolk for over a hundred years? Its pedigree firmly established in the county since 1878. New Norfolk brand Waveney Mill has developed and crafted a beautiful, yet simple range of pasta shapes using bronze dies, creating a product with stunning texture and great flavour. Waveney Mill has stood on the banks of the River Yare in the Waveney Valley for over 140 years, an area rich in wheat cultivation since the Saxon times. Durum wheat, rarely seen milled in the UK, is the essential ingredient in Waveney Mill's pasta and although at the moment sourced from France the makers are determined to source British durum wheat of the quality required. (Come on East Anglian farmers, you can do it! ) Compared to soft wheat flour, hard durum wheat has less elasticity and much more plasticity, and when cut using bronze dies means that thick and rugged pasta shapes not only can soak up rich sauces so wonderfully, but they also don’t lose their extruded shape when being cooked. Of the box that was gifted to SuffolkFoodie HQ to try our favourite was Spatziola served simply with our home made pesto sauce, the curly trumpet like shapes providing pockets to cradle the sauce.Yum!
- the Spatziola trapped the pesto in every little curl
- dollop the pesto on the cooked pasta
- home made pesto sauce (recipe link in blog post)
I planted out twelve pumpkin plants this year to grow up my hedge. Half were Crown Prince and half were Black Futsu. I got a lot of foliage and flowers but only three pumpkins made it to maturity. They made lovely soup. (note to self - must try harder next year)
- the pumpkins climbed over the hedge
- just three made it
- roasting in the oven makes it easier to scoop the flesh rather than peel
- I added grated ginger, garlic and curry powder to spice it up
Little did we know that we were in for a Seafood Boil when we booked our 'Sisters London Night Out' at Andi Oliver's new Wadadli Kitchen in Hackney Wick last week.
Although not born to it, we have family of Caribbean heritage living in Antigua and Barbuda. This was going to be our farewell supper before the three of us could meet again in Barbuda next January. So how disappointing was it to be given a load of spiel from the serving staff about the Seafood Boil being the national dish of Antigua. What utter rubbish! Perhaps it was because we were expecting something much simpler? Or the fact that the serving staff had no real idea about Caribbean cuisine? But it was disappointing at £30 a head, more so the gob smacking £45 for a 750ml bottle of rum punch which required a further investment of £21 to add three extra shots of rum. Give me the real roadside food of Antigua and Barbuda any day.
Oh! the pressure on social media to be universally appealing to everyone all the time. I'm bored with it and also with the tedious suggestions that by writing a food blog I'm just some kind of influencer looking for freebies. Worse still because I have the word 'foodie' in my blog title I'm also an imbecile. Yes, I've seen that comment many times now including from the titterers on Twitter and idiots on Instagram. What's wrong with foodies? I've not posted much for a while but have been living my best life. Sure, I've not stopped cooking all my meals, feeding my family, writing recipes, going to work, advising clients and eating out, I've just not been inclined to share any of this for a while. Normal service might resume soon. In the meantime here's my fried green tomato recipe.
After a long lockdown and a year later than planned, a family wedding! We celebrated the marriage of my eldest daughter Harriet to Pratik with an Anglo Indian Wedding. A beautiful Suffolk garden setting, a huge marquee and a joy to welcome the Padhiar family into ours. I made the cake - the rich fruit wedding cake recipe is here.
I'm going backwards here because I'm writing this in October. I've spent the morning sorting through 'photos on my phone, reminding myself of the busy days in June. The fun I had growing marigolds by the pot full, gardening with my grandson, finishing layers for a three tier wedding cake and perfecting my Jain, egg free cashew and orange cake for my daughters Indian wedding in July. And that is why I didn't write any blog posts.