Tuesday, 05 May 2020 11:42

    Cooking up a storm

    The effects of lockdown have torn through the food industry like a tornado. Food businesses forced to close, with many restaurants staying open for takeaway and every day another business re-opening to dip it's toe into the online-delivery-takeaway market. Suppliers normally serving the trade have had to diversify and react swiftly, some offering online orders and deliveries to the public. Pubs have become community shops. Corner shops have kept us supplied with the store cupboard basics. Store cupboards have determined the dishes we can cook to nourish ourselves and our families. While chefs live stream cookery demo's from their kitchens, the niche social media experts have had to guard their territory as the stay at home population bombard us with their own sourdough, banana bread and brownie recipes. Farm shops providing deliveries, micro breweries and wineries setting up drive thru's there never has been a more challenging time to source food. The crisis has provided an opportunity to drive innovation and now is the time for us to support the independent producers who are working so hard to stay afloat. However, it's also the time for the service industries to keep in touch with their clientele, monitor consumer behaviour and continue to innovate, so that when the race back to reality begins, they're revved up and in pole position. Here's a photo gallery of some of East Anglia's innovative businesses and suppliers that I have used and that are providing top quality service and produce . You'll find plenty more if you check the many social media streams regularly. For Bury St Edmunds folk David Stapleton has created a simple and free web app directory of businesses open.

    Published in Trends
    Sunday, 28 July 2019 18:04

    Easy peasy lemon squeezy

    I just made this delicious squidgy lemon and lime curd shortbread. It's for pudding tonight but Scarlett and I can't stop ourselves, so maybe there'll be none left by then.

    Published in Home Made
    Wednesday, 26 June 2019 17:35

    Edis of Ely

    Still warm and crunchy from the fryer, you can't beat an Edis of Ely scotch egg for lunch.

    Tuesday, 06 December 2016 09:26

    Baking and Blackthorpe Barn

    With the help of my amazing niece Afiya Frank (pictured) I'm in full swing with my Little House of Cooking Cafe. For those of you that don't know I get stuck in for a couple of months from the end of October until Christmas running the cafe during the Christmas Festival at Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham. It's been so busy, baking madly with no time to blog and hardly time to sleep. Come and visit us if you get time, we are open from 10am until 4pm everyday up until and including 22nd December. It's not just cakes, we serve a very good Welsh Rarebit too!

    Published in Pop-ups
    Thursday, 12 February 2015 23:12

    Colin's .... No, Caroline's Country Kitchen

    Nipping through Stowmarket today I saw this street food van and the homemade cakes and soup caught my eye. I bought a pot of Butternut Soup and a small Apple and Blackberry Crumble to take home. Then I started chatting to the chirpy owner, Caroline.She told me that she had made the soup and the crumbles the night before. She also had a heart shaped cake and tubs of homemade rice pudding. The sign for the stall said Colin's Catering Services so I asked Caroline where Colin was. "Oh! There isn't a Colin. That's the board that came with the trailer when I bought it!"

    Published in Street foodie
    Tuesday, 09 September 2014 21:43

    Seasons of mist and too much basil

    As the glut of homegrown fruit and vegetables reaches its' peak, here is a good way to preserve fresh basil leaves in the fridge for a week or two. Pick the fresh basil leaves and layer in an empty jam jar, with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt between the leaves and some very good olive or rapeseed oil to cover. The basil will retain a vibrant green colour and the oil a lovely flavour, both can be used in pesto or salads.   

    Published in Home Made
    Saturday, 06 October 2012 14:00

    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

    A delicious treat and the perfect way to use up those unripe tomatoes.  Vegetarian too!

    Ingredients:

    • 4 to 6 green tomatoes
    • salt and pepper
    • beaten egg
    • cornmeal
    • vegetable oil for frying

    Preparation:

    Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 - 1/2-inch slices. Salt and pepper them to taste. Dip in the beaten egg and then the corn meal. Fry in hot oil for about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Serve as a side dish - delicious with breakfast!

    Published in Home Made
    Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:18

    Jubilicious picnic in the park at Sudbury

    Below are the contents of the Jubilee Hamper served at Buck House before the concert - Heston came up with the ideas and Waitrose packed it - no doubt it's now all available in their stores.

    • Chilled British Country Garden soup
    • Tea-smoked Scottish salmon
    • Diamond Jubilee chicken
    • Vegetarian option: Mushroom Parfait
    • Fresh bread rolls
    • Country Life butter
    • Crunchy seasonal crudités
    • Lemon and caraway Madeira cupcake
    • Chocolate indulgence cupcake
    • Sandringham strawberry crumble crunch
    • Waitrose West Country farmhouse cheddar and Red Leicester
    • Duchy Originals Oaten biscuits
    • Duchy Originals Harvest chutney
    • Extras: 12 hand wipes, clear plastic cutlery and napkin, Diamond Jubilee poncho, Union flag!

     

    Meanwhile in Sudbury we joined friends in the park and ate our own home made couscous, watercress, orange and smoked mackerel salad, pheasant and bacon terrine, fresh strawberry cake and pretty white chocolate cake pops.

    Published in Street foodie
    Monday, 02 January 2012 20:18

    The eye of the beef

    See the eye of the home cured salt beef ? It didn't quite get all the cure it should. My father, who has cured many a joint of beef himself says it shows that it has not been oversalted.  It was delicious and provided many tasty sandwiches after the party.  Can't help thinking that it was looking at me...

    Published in Home Made
    Monday, 05 December 2011 14:51

    Salt Beef for Christmas

    It takes about 10 days to cure a decent bit of salt beef. Curing salts and spices can be sourced from sausagemaking.org who have an online shop. Add a few juniper berries, cloves and bay leaves for even more flavour. The silverside came for F.L Edge, a great butchers shop in East Harling.  Ok, it is in Norfolk, but only just. This piece will be ready for my daughters 21st birthday party on Dec 17th.

    Published in Home Made