An invitation to review Giraffe in Bury St Edmunds solved my Wednesday night supper dilemma last week. It's in a part of town that I don't really go to, by the muliplex cinema. I prefer the Abbeygate Cinema with its' arty films and live streamed National Theatre performances. Anyway, I digress ... Giraffe was extremely quiet and to be honest a little chilly but Ben and Lauren who were serving kept it lively and upbeat and chatted to us, providing a great, without being overbearing, service. Well done to them, because it's hard when you are working in a quiet restaurant to keep some pace going. I'd taken Mr SuffolkFoodie so I thought that a steak would be inevitable; he always hones in on meat, being a South African. I actually think South African food will trend at some point soon, so was hoping that the menu might reflect this part of the world, especially with a name like Giraffe, but no Bunny Chow on this occasion. Mr SF chose a Chilli Beef Burrito, which he enjoyed. I had the Lamb Tagine which was a very generous portion and not shy with the meat. It arrived with some ceremony as the lid of the tagine was lifted, tah dah, revealing the dish scattered with tasty pistachios and pomegranate seeds. The blend of meat, spice and apricot was excellent, with a great depth of flavour and assured by Ben, had been made in house. For pudding, as I always enjoy something sharp and fruity, I went for the best option which was a white chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake. I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived with a fresh passion fruit drizzled across the top and not a smear of coulis in sight. A good meal, and definitely worth taking a look at if you want to take children out for a meal (kids eat free) or want a good breakfast before noon. I've been hearing good things about their £5 breakfast deal.
Organised by Gusto Pronto, The Great Gusto Food Superhero challenge encouraged young diners to use their creativity and come up with an imaginative food superhero. Some fun ideas created! Here are the winners...
The One Bull @ Bury St Edmunds – Jess Lewis (age 10) for Flossie Flash who is super fast and shoots sticky candy floss. Jemima (age 6) for Fruit Girl who throws fruit into the mouth of anyone eating an unhealthy snack and Georgina (age 3) for Flavour Girl and her Flavour Machine who adds delicious flavour to food.
The Cadogan @ Ingham - Megan (age 11) for Bubble Gum Girl who traps villains in bubble gum, Harriet Sykes (age 8) for Super Blueberry who knocks people out for an hour and can fly and Austin Speed (age 4) for Noodle Boy who shoots out laser noodles.
The Crown @ Hartest – Amelia Clarke (age 6) for Captain Carrot who can fly and Mr Strong Apple who has super strength and Oscar (age 1) for Potato Man who mashes and crushes baddies. The pubs tweeted their best entries each week during August using #TheGreatGustoFoodSuperhero if you want to take a look.
A spectacular new area at Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, bringing together all the elements from the sky, sea and land - things that all go to make up our wonderful 'Wild Suffolk'. Find me in the Food Writers Corner, telling you exactly what I think about the modern forager.
The first of the blackberries and it's beginning to feel like autumn. I created this recipe for an article I wrote for the Herb Society. Tarragon usually survives in my garden until the first winter frosts and it lends a warming aniseed flavour if used generously in a Coq au Vin. It is excellent in egg dishes and with vegetables such as Jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms and marrow. Its warm flavour makes it a perfect contrast to pulses and it is delicious with flageolet beans and nearly always better in cooked dishes than served raw. It is an essential ingredient of fines herbes and béarnaise sauce. However with its liquorice like flavour, fresh tarragon marries particularly well (and interestingly) in fresh cream desserts and served with blackberries or poached plums has to be the ultimate autumn dessert.
Tarragon Cream (makes 6)
600 ml double cream
150 ml milk
4 large sprigs tarragon
3 sheets leaf gelatine
140g caster sugar
Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl and cover with cold water
Put the cream, milk, sugar and tarragon in a heavy based saucepan and bring slowly to the boil.
Or place together in a jug and microwave.
Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatine, squeezing out any excess water out first.
Stir well and then strain through a sieve into a jug.
Divide the mixture between six ramekins or glasses.
Place in the fridge until set.
(Can be turned out like a jelly if preferred)
Hardly ever seen until this year but now it's trendy and on every menu. It grows like a weed in my garden. My favourite way to use it is to rub my salad bowl with a big handful of the stuff and it will impart a lovely savoury Bovril like flavour. When used raw in dishes it can be very overpowering. The first young stalks of spring are the best for a delicious delicate flavour.
Lovely waxy, nutty, knobbly Anya potatoes from Steve and Nick Lewin in Norfolk. They're a cross between a Pink Fir Apple and a Desiree potato and named after Lady Sainsbury. That's why you won't find them in any other supermarket.
We love the Rural Coffee Caravan. For the past 14 years it has been touring villages across Suffolk offering tea, coffee and company to people living in rural isolation. The charity visits more than 70 villages, some where there is no where to meet anymore and where the more elderly villagers just find it hard to get out and about. As well as refreshments it offers an information service, a bit like a CAB on wheels. You can imagine how sad we all were to hear that the caravan has been stolen. Fundraising is well on the way to help with a replacement caravan. Here is the link if you are able to donate.
If you go to your local park and pick elderflowers it isn't foraging. If you go to your back garden and pick up some windfall apples, it isn't foraging. If you have a basil plant on your balcony, that isn't foraging either. Foraging for edible wild plants and all the new names for what we used to call weeds is OVER - time to stop.
I'm loving the green chilli sauce that Buckshot sauces sent me. It's slightly astringent with lots of ginger and cumin and I am pouring it over everything! I can't eat a samosa without it. Maybe I am addicted. (We really liked the brown sauce too).
The place for a fresh local farmhouse breakfast on Saturday September 2nd will be the Heath Farm farm pop-up at Hesset village hall. We went to one last Saturday and had a tasty sausage bap (£3) and home-made sausage rolls (£2.50) cooked on the spot. You can have a full English breakfast with eggs laid that day, and a lamb and tzatziki-slaw bap for brunch too - from a small but tasty menu of locally produced meat which is also for sale on the day.
We are loving the look of the new café at Framlingham Castle which has opened following a major revamp by English Heritage. The menu includes Suffolk Grumbly, a regional dish made with sausage meat and a mustard and cheese sauce, and a Tudor Tarte Owte of Lent, made with ingredients you’re not allowed to eat during Lent – cheese, cream and eggs; cooked in a light pastry case. Lots of other local produce too, including Maynards juices, milk and cream from the Marybelle Dairy in Halesworth and beer from St Peter’s Brewery.
- beautifully incorporated modern facilities in the castle
- family friendly cafe
- delicious home made cakes
Actually it doesn't need to be ice cream weather to enjoy a visit to Hadley's Parlour in Lavenham. We went on rather a chilly day but enjoyed tasting a selection of the handmade icecreams that really do offer satisfying, smooth and creamy flavours using locally sourced Fen Farm milk and cream, Elmsett Game Farm eggs, Maldon sea salt and Pump Street chocolate, to name a few. You can get very good coffee and mini cakes as well, if you are greedy like me.