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Sunshine, Sandcastles and Seafood was the order of the day at Crail Food Festival on Sunday. What a scorcher of a day it was. I have a real soft spot for the whole of the East Neuk of Fife and all its wee nooks and crannies. Crail Harbour was an absolutely idylic setting to showcase the fantastic produce of the Fife Larder.
We arrived just as the Harbour Sunday event was starting at 11am so got a good nosey round all the stalls before it got too busy. Plenty of seafood of course but also chillis, strawberries, preserves, venison, chocolate, herbs, vinegars, cakes, gingerbread, scones, ice cream, burgers, pizza and garlic bread.
Wonderful seafood on offer from the ramshackle Reillys Shellfish Lobster Hut. Here you could pick your lobster from the tank and it was freshly cooked while you waited. Dressed crab was also on offer. Hard to believe such gourmet cuisine was emerging from such a shabby shed but that was all part of the charm.
Arbroath Smokies from Iain R Spink can always be smelt before they are seen. When you do see them its through a pungent cloud of smoke. Such a treat to see them being smoked in situ and to eat them at their best, fresh from the barrel.
Chillilicious provided a fantastic combination of food and art and I purchased both. A gorgeous glass nibble dish formed from a bottle, Chilli Cola and some Chilli & Coriander Oatcakes. A couple of Vinegars were procured from Penny at The Little Herb Farm who appeared to be doing a roaring trade with lots of items sold out. I got myself some Blackcurrant & Thyme and Blackberry & Rosemary.
Plenty of places to eat at as well as buy. Absolutely loved Wild Rover Food with their Land Rover and pop up ex Army Kitchen. Also loved the ethos behind their cooking and their sustainable and ethical stance. Turns out that Cat's parents own the Gypsy Caravans in Stirling where we Glamped last month. Scotland is such a village.
Caught a demo by Jim Knox showing us how to Dress a Crab. He made it look oh so easy. Having seen it done I'd certainly be up for giving it a go armed with the required tools of the trade. Hammer. Screwdriver. Kirbygrip. He also shed light on the somewhat worrying "dead mans fingers". They're not going to kill anyone if you leave them in but just won't taste very pleasant. Phew. Christopher Trotter, Fife’s Food Ambassador, showed us how to make a fish stock. Thanks to his tips I'll be able to extend my repertoire beyond Nick Nairn's Chicken Stock. I'll be at the fishmongers asking for a free bag of fish bones before the week is out.
Boy and Girl were desperate to give the Smoothie Bike on The Fife Diet stand a go. They made their own smoothies with local berries and foraged food and returned later on in the day to help avert a crisis. The Doorstep Bakery had run out of the tomato sauce for their pizza. Seriously Good Venison stepped in with some left over tomatoes from their salad for burgers and a tomato sauce was blitzed. Community teamwork at its best.
Tummies were rumbling by this time. What to choose for lunch? Girl and Foodie Loon opted for Venison Burgers from Seriously Good Venison and we bought four of their Wee Veni Pies to take home.
Boy and myself couldn't resist the seafood so opted to share a Seafood Platter of Smoked Mackerel, Hot Smoked Salmon and Smoked Mussels with a side of a Dressed Crab. A wood fired Garlic Bread completed our feast.
Could there possibly be a better location for an al fresco Sunday lunch? I very much doubt it.
Foodie Loon clearly wan't quite full as he spotted the ladies from Balgove Larder with their tray of goodies and opted for a Caramelised Onion and Sausage Parcel. Boy and Girl chose Strawberries and a Chocolate Topped Waffle for their desert.
Plenty of non foodie activities laid on to keep little (and big) kids happy. Sandcastle Building Competition, Parachute Games and a Scavenger Hunt. Great fun had and some pretty spectacular sandy creations.
One of the real highlights of the day was a Coastal Foraging Walk let by Mark Williams of Wild Galloway Foods. Absolutely loved this and it deserves a blog post of its own. Watch this space.
After our forage we cooled down with Ice Creams from Janetta's before watching Mark cook up some wild foods. All too soon 4pm and the close of the festival had arrived. We managed to sneak in some after hours purchases of White Hot Chocolate, Hazelnut Hot Chocolate and Salty Popcorn topped with Chocolate Sauce from The Pittenweem Chocolate Company. The last minute Popcorn was definitely my non fishy highlight of the day.
As we headed back to the car we made a detour to track down the wonderful Gingerbread Village made by Sucre Coeur. You can read all about its creation here. It truly is a work of art and as a result Karen has been asked to create a Gingerbread Edinburgh. Can't wait to see what she comes up with. Alas no time to visit any of the participants on the Crail Food Trail but what a brilliant idea.
Home with a bag full of Foodie Goodies, a touch of Sunburn and definite plans to return to Crail for next year's Festival. I may even of had a sneaky peek on www.fifespc.co.uk at houses in the area. My own holiday home would mean I could definitely attend both the Saturday and Sunday activities in 2014 and complete the Crail Food Trail. Fingers crossed my numbers come up on Saturday night. Bell Ringers Cottage will be mine.
by festival, East Neuk, Crail Food Festival, Fife, gingerbread, fish, Crab, Lobster
at Tue, 18 Jun 2013 21:48:00 -0000
What a fantastic foodie week I've just had including attending my first ever Food Swap Event, featuring on BBC Radio Scotland Kitchen Garden and visiting Crail Food Festival. We had absolutely perfect weather on Sunday for a day of Seafood, Sandcastles and Sunshine at Crail. Will be blogging all about it later this week but as a taster here are my purchases.
A highlight of the day was a Foraging Walk led by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. Again a full blog post to come but it was really interesting and inspiring couple of hours and he found so much in such a short distance. Especially loved his wild sushi and Elderflower Champagne.
Quick round up of the meals of last week foraged from the depths of the freezer. The Chicken Curry was fantastically good but not sure I could recreate it as it was very much bucket chemistry cooking at its best. The Savoury Croissants were a big hit, don't know why I've left it so long since last having these.
Had a bit of a crisis when making my Keema Mince and Peas as I overdid the chilli and spices and it was blow your mind hot. Ended up draining it through a colander to get rid of some of the sauce then added more stock and served with a giant dollop of natural yoghurt. The frozen Stuffed Parathas were a huge hit. Absolutely delicious. Will need to get some more.
Attended the Aberdeen Gourmet Gals Food Swap on Thursday night and utilised the Mixed Leaf and Edible Flower Salad and the Fresh Salsa in my Friday lunch and evening meal. My lunch was pretty as a picture and a glorious day meant Brinner became BBQ.
Another scorcher of a day on Saturday when we were headed to friends for a BBQ. I brought along a Mango and Passion fruit Pavlova. Mixed Baxters Mango and Passion Fruit Curd bought at Taste of Grampian through the cream and it worked amazingly well.
Monday - Wee Veni Pies
Tuesday - Seafood Savoury Croissants
Loved the cheese and pancetta ones so much last week that I'm revisiting with a different filling.
Wednesday - Fish & Chips
Its Pinnies and Petticoats Cake Club tonight so I'll be saving myself for goodies there whilst the troops tuck into chippy tea from the freezer.
Catching up with a friend over a meal out at boy and girls choice of restaurant.
A new Indian Takeaway has just opened in the village. We went along to a charity taster session last Sunday lunchtime which was lovely and have been hearing good things about them since so going to give them a try.
Weekend - Glamping
We are making a return visit to the High Seas Hobbit. This time there will be 12 of us so a combination for Camping and Glamping. The Mums have bagsied the Hobbit and the Dads and Kids will be under canvas. Fingers crossed for good weather.
Enjoy your week whatever is on the menu for you and yours and head on over to Mrs M's place for more meal planning bloggage.
by Galloway Wild Foods, foraging, Crail Food Festival, pavlova, High Seas Hobbit, Food Swap, Kitchen Garden, keema curry, BBC Radio Scotland, meal planning, glamping
at Sun, 16 Jun 2013 21:27:00 -0000
Food Swapping seems to be the new big foodie craze at the moment with events popping up across the country. A month or so ago I read an article on the BBC News Magazine about its increasing popularity and was surprised to see that there was already a group on the go in Aberdeen. How did I not know about this? I wasted no time in tracking down the Aberdeen Gourmet Gals Food Swap on Facebook and signed up for my first event. Set up in February 2013 by Netty Johnson there had already been two meets where like minded foodies got together for chat and swapping.
So what to take to my first event? The idea is to share and swap home-made, home-grown or foraged food. It's the perfect solution for a glut of produce or when you've made more of something than your family could eat. Or you can bake or cook up something specially for the event. I oped for a bit of everything. Wild Garlic Pesto from my Foray into Foraging, Spiced Apple and Chilli Jelly leftover from Autumn preserving, Homemade Mozzarella and Rhubarb & Vanilla Curd. I felt like Little Red Riding Hood arriving with my basket of goodies. I also rustled up a batch of somewhat experimental Rhubarb Muffins with a Rhubarb Curd filling for the refreshment table.
The food swap was held in the garden of our hostess Netty. What a fantastic oasis she has created right next to the dual carridgeway. The perfect city garden with veggies, fruit, an eglu and chooks. The al fresco refreshments included tea, coffee, homemade lemonade, chocolate coated strawberries, wild garlic pesto mini quiches, cupcakes, tortillas and fresh salsa.
The swapping participants duly arrived with baskets and bags laden with foodie goodies. Lots of folk had made a real effort with their presentation and we soon had our own wee farmers market stall set up. Special guest for the night was Dan Holland from BBC Radio Scotland Kitchen Garden. He had brought along three items from the Kitchen Garden team and had instructions to return with an item that Sue Lawrence could cook with on air.
What a fantastic range of items were on offer. I doubt I've remembered them all but here's what I do recall... Fresh Eggs laid by Izzy and Rosie, Mixed Leaf and Edible Flower Salad, Cheese Scones, Apple & Cinamon Scones, Individual Trifles, Blueberry Pancakes, Wild Garlic Pesto, Fresh Salsa, Chocolate Custard Creams, Fruit Chutney for Curry, Thyme Soda Bread, Fresh Parsley and Corriander, Pasta Sauce and Spring Rolls. I'll know better for next time as Lizzie had brought along a mini jar of her Pasta Sauce so we could sample it. Clearly a seasoned swapper.
Introductions, refreshments and chit chat over, the serious business of bartering began. All started off very calm and polite but got a wee bit heated when it turned out that a number of people had their eye on the Thyme Soda Bread that Dan had brought along. Not quite sure how he did it but somehow a four way swap was negotiated. A large knife was forthcoming from the kitchen and the loaf got quartered. I know exactly who got the best deal there. Noel Edmonds would not have allowed those kinds of dodgy dealings on Multicoloured Swap Shop.
Thankfully my items all found new homes. I will admit to being a wee bit worried that they might all be sitting lonely on the table at the end of the night. A jar of my Wild Garlic Pesto headed off to the BBC Radio Scotland Kitchen Garden and I look forward to hearing what Sue Lawrence does with it. Tune in on Friday 14th June at 1.05pm or Sunday 16th at 12.05pm to find out. All too soon it was time to say goodbye to Rosie and Izzy and the Gourmet Gal Swappers. Friendships had been formed. Recipes discussed. Chicken keeping tips exchanged and best places in Aberdeen for afternoon tea debated. There may even have been some undercover wine tasting.
I came home with my basket filled with Pasta Sauce, Apple & Cinnamon Scones, Fresh Salsa, a doorstep of Thyme and Soda Bread, Mixed Leaf and Edible Flower Salad, a couple of trifles and some chocolate custard creams. The bread has already been devoured by me and Foodie Loon and girl has declared the chocolate custard creams the best biscuits ever. I look forward to enjoying the rest of my haul and hope that those who swapped with me enjoy theirs. I'm already looking forward to the next Food Swap evening. But even moreso to one 6 months down the line by which time Netty's husbands homemade wine will be ready to swap.
by Gourmet Gals, Food Swap, Kitchen Garden, Aberdeen, BBC Radio Scotland
at Thu, 13 Jun 2013 21:52:00 -0000
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