Monthly Archives: September 2012

  • GlitterGate - the drama continues

    After much goings on over the past few months the team over at Splat Cooking have just withdrawn EdAble Art Glitter from sale due to current labels being on contravention of the Food Safety Act 1990, here's the article for further info

    Splat Cooking are currently trying to source an alternative product as the other biggie on the market is Rainbow dust's Sparkle Dust but that has never been recommended to use on food and clearly states that it should not come into contact with food.  So it's rather frustrating and I'm certainly feeling like I've lost some of my sparkle (yes, I know very corny but couldn't resist) but as soon as I managed to locate some sparkles that are safe to glitter up my cupcakes I'll share it with you and Splat Cooking will def be stocking it so keep an eye out.

    In the meantime if you do have any Rainbow Dust or EdAble Art glitter around nows the time to make up some gorgeous glitter Halloween or Christmas cards and get ahead of the  game, your friends and relatives will be amazed and you could design future cupcakes on the cards and colour them in with the glitter, they'll look amazing.

  • Damson Jam

    Beverley's homemade damson jam

    It's September, it's sunny, grab your boots and get outside with the kids to gather damsons from the hedgerows and go home and make jam with them.  Damson jam is seriously good, homemade damson jam tastes nothing like the stuff you get in the jars in shops which is just about always way too sweet.

    Homemade damson jam is worth all the time it takes to remove the stones from the middle of the fruit, this does take time, serious time, probably the best of an hour of two if you're doing it on your own so don't - get the kids to help.  It is worth it too.  Also you don't use jam sugar, just normal granulated or caster sugar as damsons are really high in pectin so it sets very easily.

    Try it, it's really really good, also 1kg makes around 5 jars so you've got homemade Christmas pressies already waiting for Grannies and Aunts, damned efficient for September.

    Damson Jam Recipe

  • Damson Jam Recipe

    Damsons grow wild and are often found amongst blackthorn (sloe) bushes but be careful not to get sloes and damsons mixed up. They look alike but damsons are bigger, as soon as you taste them you'll know if you've got a sloe by mistake as they are so dry all the moisture in your mouth will vanish - an interesting experience.
  • Camp Bestival - Sunday, last day, sigh

    Feeling sad on Sunday as it's the last day, love this event, it's just so relaxing, in fact it was so relaxing I realised that I had absolutely no recordings for my BBC Oxford show Feeding the Family and I ought to get my finger out and DO SOME WORK WOMAN! So I attacked my mates Laiyee and Spencer and got some brilliant material from them, great advice on food from Laiyee and fab tips on camping cooking kit from Spencer, going to go and buy one of those triangia cooking stoves, they sound like the ultimate in camping stuff.  However, this is what happens when you leave the kids in the tent and nip off for 20 mins......

    I have come to realise that the key things you need when you go to festivals to sort out the food are:

    1.  My mate Grant

    2.  Lots of money to spend on the amazing food so you don't have to cook

    3.  If you want to cook you need WINE, in cartons from M&S or Tesco, or a box, but that may be a little too much, OK, OK, let's stop being silly, I'm supposed to be writing about feeding the family and trying to put on a sensible front, but let's be realisic and change that - once of those whacking great big cartons from the supermarket, preferably red as you won't be able to keep white chilled unless it's flipping freezing, or one of each just in case it's cold.

    4.  Proper camping cookware and a triangia (is that how you spell them?).  Pre cook, chill quickly and freeze the meat/poultry/fish then heat it through thoroughly until it's piping hot and serve.


    Ren Harvieu was amazing, so need to get her album

    The early edition was great for a Sunday morning

    Michael Winslow - brilliant and the kids loved him, we were all in stitches

    Rolf Harris, really disappointed we were looking forward to seeing him the most but couldn't hear a word as the sound wasn't working properly, bad show Camp Bestival

    Ethan Ash - watch out for this guy, brilliant.

    Fairy Free Hugs - the lovely Amy who was dressed as a fairy giving hugs out to everyone, lovely, lovely, lovely

    Best bit of the whole weekend was Dick and Dom, Bogies! They were on in East Lulworth and yes I was the adult shouting Bogies at the back, don't care, I love them.  Sneaked round the back of the stage and armed with my BBC mic I managed to get an interview with them for BBC Oxford. Made my weekend, their tips on food at a festival, something that is easily transportable, food safe, will last the weekend,  has all major food groups and 5 portions of veg.............Pot Noodle.  Thanks guys, you were brill.  Later on Sunday we were mooching around when a chap tapped me on the shoulder and said 'Hi, good to see you again, you enjoying yourself?' - Dick, my kids were impressed!  New best friend, not sure he knows that though.

    To round off the night were Happy Mondays, not my thing, should have gone with the teenagers to see Ethan Ash again but Blues Brothers were amazing, then off to the double decker for hot chocolate and toast with small boy before bed.

    A damned good weekend, counting down to next year.

    Ooh and the flying cow, that was class



  • Camp Bestival - Food on Saturday

    We got to bed around 1am, with the teenagers and Dads getting in around 3am after the silent disco which apparently was rubbish.  Morning dawned lovely and sunny and out came breakfast, Grant totally showed us up with:

    Smoked Salmon and cream cheese bagels

    We had a measly selection of pain au chocolat, croissants, waffles and cheerios of with crepes and sugar and lemon which were not great. But we did have the new Myspressi Twist show off coffee maker with nitrogen capsules, OMG total show off coffee making on a campsite, sorry Grant, that blows your smoked salmon out of the water.

    Lunch was on site at Chapati Man, our regular meeting spot throughout the week, listening to Jimmy Cliff and Rizzlekicks (brilliant) back for afternoon tea at the tent with homemade cakes then supper out at the Young British Foodies place.  The standard of food, as always, was amazing, Scallops with Garlic Mash - this is a festival for goodness sake, so middle class it's untrue but exquisite.

    The headline group for Saturday were Chic, didn't catch them as eating supper, Earth Wind and fire and then Kool and the Gang, bit too much of a good thing, could have done with one of them rather than all of them, Kool and the Gang were on at 9.45pm and were a bit boring for a headline Saturday night, more Sunday afternoon lazy music and after Rizzlekicks they just didn't cut it.

    Unfortunately the wind started up and it got cold so we huddled in Pig's Big Ballroom and caught the amazing Ethan Ash, the girls went back on Sunday night for his other set, he's really good. Then headed over for DJ Yoda's set, now this was good, way better than Kool and the Gang and Grant and I wished we'd gone straight there and not bothered with the Castle Stage.  We've had this before and really should listen to ourselves in future and just hang out at the big top.

    To finish off the evening Small Boy and I retired to the top of the double decker bus at midnight for hot chocolate and toast, heaven, we weren't first to be though, got back to find Medium Sized girl already tucked up with rolling pin in hand with the 'what time do you call this?' routine - Mums, you just can't get proper ones!



  • Thame Food Festival Exibition at Thame Museum

    I spent a lovely evening in the company of some amazing chefs on Thursday to kick of an exhibition of food photography by the lovely Debbie Jones of Imaging Essence. Lotte Duncan gave her usual cheeky style speech in the company of Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, Steve Love from McCormick Spices, Le Manoir as Raymond Blanc is doing a dem on the day too.

    Lovely flowing bubbly and amazing chocolate brownies by Made by Mums so now we're counting down 22 days to go.  Thame Food Festival is in it's 5th year and has expanded from its small beginnings promising to become and strong competitor for the likes of Ludlow Food Festival especially with Lotte and Raymond involved with with Alison Isherwood pulling it all together it's grown into a beauty.

    Julian and Sally Dorling have worked their socks off with the PR and marketing and the photos by Debbie are just gorgeous as always.

    Thame Food Festival is on Saturday 29 Sept and I'm kicking off the Chef's Theatre with a dem at 10am followed by Whizz Bang Food Science workshops run by the Splat Cooking Team in the Town Hall from 11am, it's all free so come along, it'll be amazing.

    Read this great review

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