Thursday 8 June 2017

Organic food?

I switched to organic foods as they use fewer chemicals and so it was out of my concern for the animals, the environment and for me and my family's health.  For several years I had the Riverford Farm box of organic vegetables and would nip in to either the Riverford shop in Totnes or Staverton to top this up. I really liked the recipes that they included each week.  I found this seasonal and used most of the veg from the box.  I only stopped using the service due to money.  I was really pleased with the quality of the goods and their customer service.

Now I pick and choose what I buy as there are plenty of organic foods at supermarkets nationwide.  I highly recommend organic carrots!  I use Tesco online as parking is difficult outside my house, and I find they stock plenty of organic products, e.g. milk, bread, stock cubes which I use all the time, as well as some more obscure ones like chilli crackers and pasta sauce.

 I use organic ingredients for all my baking needs: my organic (and Fairtrade) banana and chocolate cake

For local (some free!) organic breakfast events on 14 June go

Riverford are actually having one, you need to book and pay for it.

A special organic breakfast at Riverford Field Kitchen:

 What: Riverford Field Kitchen is running a special one off breakfast event - a set two

course organic breakfast. Numbers are limited so pre-booking is essential. Cost is £10pp

 Where: The Riverford Field Kitchen, Wash Farm, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0JU

 For pre-booking: Tel 01803 762074

 When: 14 June 2017 from 9.00AM

Friday 5 May 2017

Taste of the Teign Food and Drink Festival 25 September - 1 October 2017

South Devon’s third year of the most exciting celebrations of local produce is Taste of the Teign Food and Drink Festival. 

This festival puts produce that’s been picked and reared in the surrounding fields, caught in local waters or harvested from the hedges firmly at the heart of this food and drink celebration.

This is held in Teignmouth, Shaldon and Bishopsteignton.  This year it will be held Monday 25 September - Sunday 1 Oct.  Over the course of the festival many  events will take place; each one using locally sourced produce as the centrepiece for culinary creativity - it is usually a combination of demos, workshops and other events like cream teas; sausage tasting; a food quiz and tours of local food producers

For more information on the festival visit: 

It's such a good festival with lots to see and do and I think this year they have permission to host events on the Den, Teignmouth on the Saturday and Sunday.

See you there!

Plants, tea and cake in South Devon: High Garden Nurseries, Kenton

This lovely little nursery took me by surprise.  It is in Kenton and the prices for plants are lower than the garden centre at nearby. Powderham

The owner is obviously a plantsman and talks about each plant as though they are a beloved pet.  This was our second visit (we have been caught out in the past as they are only open Tuesday - Friday 9-5) and we came away with a few little gems - a really nice clematis and a strange alien-life-form succulent.

A friend, L, recommended it and I can see why.  There are so many reasonably priced plants there.  There are all the old favourites plus some more unusual ones.

We had something to eat and drink in the cabin at the end of the nursery, The Bothy.  There is an honesty box and it is self service - I had a cup of tea and a slice of delicious homemade ginger cake. And because it is self-service you can take the largest slice!   There is a really interesting photo album on each table detailing the journey the nursery has been on.

From here there are also some gardens you can visit if you pay a charge. The admission is by donation to Force, a charity close to my heart. We had a little peek at the gardens and they looked magnificent - butdidn't have the time or energy to look around them properly.  We will visit them next time.

So, we bought some reasonably-priced high quality plants, got a lot of information about them from the man who grew them, a decent cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake!  Brilliant!

This is their link:

High Garden Nurseries, Kenton

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!

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Taste of the Teign Food and Drink Festival 25 September - 1 October 2017

South Devon’s third year of the most exciting celebrations of local produce is Taste of the Teign Food and Drink Festival.  This f...