We’re now in that horrible part of January where Christmas is now a distant memory and the next pay day is still 2 weeks away. So what better than some reasons to be cheerful, to remind you that you may be eating jacket potatoes and Tesco value beans for the rest of the month but things aren’t all bad.
- We had our 20 week scan for the Sprout yesterday and amazingly enough all limbs/organs/body parts appear to be the right size and in the right place. Maybe disproving the theory that inbreeding creates mutations?
- My resolution to cut down my sugar intake seems to be going well, I’ve never drunk sugar in tea/coffee etc but it’s the added sugar to foods that you don’t notice. I have to say I’m feeling an awful lot better for it and can am sure I’m losing weight also.
- I have a new bread recipe to try out at the weekend, bread is my new obsession but something in the recipe I’d been using wasn’t working quite right. But after some research on Twitter I have some top tips and am ready to give it another go tomorrow. Watching the Fabulous Baker Brothers this week was also a pretty good source of inspiration!
Oh and also (and no this isn’t a 4th honest) have you looked out of the window today? Just beautiful, I love crisp cold mornings, makes me want to just get out and take photos.
Yes, yes I know, this is the post you have been all waiting for right? Screw the humorous musings and serious debate what you really want is posts about food, correct? Ok well true to form I have managed to do it just before the end of the month and I once again have 3 fabulous foodie firms for your reading pleasure
Thoughtful Bread Company
There is a little café called Troughs next to the canal near where we live, that just happens to be conveniently placed about half way around one of our favourite dog walks. For the princely sum of £2 this café offers unlimited toast. They simply have a couple of toasters on the side along with loaves of bread and you help yourself. So there we were eating our own body weight in bread which was amazing and it turns out that it’s made by the Thoughtful Bread company in Bath. A small company, but making bread of the finest quality. I’m not on a mission to get into Bath on one of the days they are at the market there so I can stock up the freezer.
Wiltshire Chilli farm
Now chillies aren’t really something you associate with the West of England are they? This local farm came to my attention recently as the producer of a quite staggering range of chillies. Now I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to hot food most of the time, but used correctly you have to love the almost fruity warmth of a good chilli. These guys have a great variety of chillies covering the entire Scoville scale and they can be bought either online or at a number of farmers markets. It’s quite amazing really the type of food that can be grown in England with a bit of effort and certainly a good way to cut down on food miles. They also sell chilli plants in case you fancied having a go at growing your own.
Quoins Organic Vineyard
English wine has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, potentially one of the positives of global warming, so when I discovered there was a vineyard close to me recently I was intrigued. Not only that but they have won awards from the UK Vineyards Association for the last 4 vintages. Sounds pretty impressive so I am on a mission to try some, they’ve just started opening on a Sunday for tours of the vineyard so I’m hoping to get up there this week and find out more. Wine buying in the UK has been increasing year on year, so if you have any interest in reducing food miles this is another great way to do. I shall report back later after the all important tasting.
Yep folks it’s that time of the month again when I remember that I have this monthly post that I do and it’s almost the end of the month so really should do it. So here for your enjoyment are 3 more fab food companies to check out.
Shaken Oak Mustard
These guys produce mustard grown in fields less than a mile from where I grew up, when I was a child my parents bought it from the local shop which at the time was one of the few outlets. Now they have grown and are selling through a number of farm shops and the Co-Op chain throughout Oxfordshire and for those not in the area they have an online shop. These mustards are as different from Colmans as you can get, they are coarse grain, packed with flavour, herbs and also local beer! They make an excellent addition to gravy (particularly with sausages) or simply in a cheese sandwich.
Hobbs House Bakers
My first experience of bread from these wonderful bakers was in the form of a giant sandwich from their shop in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. This soon became a regular stop off point on the trips between home in Oxford and university in Bristol. They now supply a large number of farm shops and small stores throughout the South West, plus you can buy online. I also noticed that they are running bread making courses if you want to brush up on your home baking skills. I’m a big fan of their light rye sourdough, great for dipping in oil and vinegar. Also conveniently wheat free for those with an intolerance.
Goose Island brewery
My final company this week isn’t remotely local but they do brew a beer with the best name in the world. You see this beer is called Matilda! A friend spotted a bottle at a food market and bought it for me and you know what? It was tasty! (but would you have expected anything less?) I’m trying to source some more of it so if anyone happens to have seen some in this country I’d love to know.