Sourced Locally Fortnight-Recipe

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Sourced Locally Fortnight continues till 12th May in East Anglia and is a good excuse to try some fantastic, tasty, local produce! I walked down to my local COOP and brought some yummy local produce – all sourced from East Anglia. I just decided to start with a simple salad of local food – easy and tasty! I get bored of boring salads so this was a way of me actually wanting to eat a salad and making it fun.

Ingredients:

-Garlic Mayonnaise (Sourced locally Stokes)

-Baby new potatoes (Sourced locally Fairfields Farm)

-Asparagus (Sourced locally Middleton)

-Munchy Seeds (Sourced locally Leiston)

-Mixed salad leaves, herbs, dandelion (homegrown)

-quarter tin of sweetcorn

-1 lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, half teaspoon mustard (dressing mix)

Method:

-4 sections:

1 Put salad leaves mixed with herbs in one section,

2 Cut Asparagus into smaller sections. Boil briefly and place on plate,

3 Empty sweetcorn onto same plate. Mix up salad dressing and drizzle on 3 salads so far. Sprinkle Munchy Seeds over 3 sections.

4 Slice potatoes in half, boil in pan. Strain then mix in 2 big scoops of Garlic Mayonnaise. Mix some herbs into this (I also added some Dandelion petals to add colour).

Overall, a very simple salad to make and it make 4 portions; two for pack lunches and two for dinners!

I loved using the local produce and truly believe this initiative set up by the COOP encourages people to try local food more often. Additionally, I can say the Rhubarb I got (local) was delicious stewed served for breakfast with granola and also in a chocolate cake!

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Above a quick picture of some of the goodies I brought to try as part of Sourced Locally Fortnight. If you want to find out more take a gander at the local COOP website: http://www.eastofengland.coop/food/sourced-locally

 

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Locally sourced food!

I am lucky enough to live in a county that has lots of locally sourced produce not only available at farmers markets but in local shops too. my local shop being the Co-op. I often source local food that I cannot produce myself here – including local honey and flour.

I have been baking a lot recently and swear by locally milled Marriages flour from the Co-op! I use all the different varieties for cakes, pancakes, cookies and of course bread baking. I particularly like the fact that I was able to talk to local supplier Marriages at the Suffolk Show this year to discuss their flour types and going round the Co-op stand discovering more about their local produce.

Below is a quick picture of some of the fab produce I have recently be experimenting with from: http://www.eastofengland.coop/home Keep an eye on their twitter account too – often exciting compeitions for local produce!

 

 

Sourced Locally Christmas – product review

I am lucky enough to be involved with The East of England Co-op’s initiative to offer lots of exciting local produce for us to try. I had a parcel of lovely, new festive goodies to savour!

This included:

  • Leggs Bakery Mince Pies. These are made locally in Halstead, Essex and each batch is handmade. We heated ours up and served it with clotted cream – glorious!
  • Hadleigh Maid Festive chocolate whirls. As a chocolate lover these were utterly amazing – simply yum! They are made locally in Hadleigh and taste divine.
  • Shawsgate Vineyard Vintage Sparkling Rose wine. This tasty, sophisticated bubbly for the festive season is produced in Framlingham, Suffolk.  Being one of East Anglia’s oldest commercial vineyard I can see why Shawsgate has been successful with their wines – this bubbly is delicious and refreshing. I am thinking it will go perfect with some festive snacks for a Christmas film night with friends later on in the month.
  • Woodfordes Brewery Tinsel Toes Christmas Ale. This festive brew is made in Woodbastwick over the border in Norfolk or as some would say ‘Narrrrfaaalk’. My partner was the one to test run this one. Having been a huge fan of their famous Wherry bitter he was thrilled to test run this Christmas special. Having polished off the bottle with crackers and cheese he said it was the perfect accompaniment for a Friday evening during the run up to Christmas. Think that is a thumbs up!

Thankyou  East of England Co-op http://www.eastofengland.coop/home for this festive parcel and I would advise anyone to pop down to their local coop to search for these and other local goodies to support local producers and farmers over the Christmas period.

Katy, The Good Life In Practice xx

 

Elderflower, Gooseberry and Honey cake with Edible Flowers -Gluten free.

This recipe is super summery and is great for Coeliacs and people who cannot have gluten in their diet. Additionally, it tastes good for all so a great all rounder – good served with a scoop of ice cream, clotted cream, runny cream or creme fraiche.  I love using edible flowers and herbs too so have decorated this cake with some.

I have used local Suffolk Honey in this recipe which tastes amazing and I sourced through http://www.eastofengland.coop/food/sourced-locally

Ingredients: 

110g Gooseberries (wash and top and tail)

230g Butter or margarine

230g Ground almonds (this basically is replacing flour in a normal recipe)

2 tsp baking powder (check it is gluten free)

4 tbsp Local Honey (tastes amazing!)

3 Free range eggs (ours were from Tarragon and Liquorice 2 of our hens)

2 tbsp Elderflower cordial

Zest of 1 Lemon

Method:

  1. Pre heat Fan oven to 150C.
  2. Line or butter tin – I used the classic round Victoria sponge size tin for this recipe.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients apart from the Gooseberries in a mixing bowl. Use a electric whisk to ensure the mixture is smooth and even.
  4. Then gently fold in the Gooseberries by hand with a spatula.
  5. Empty all of the mixture out into tin with spatula.
  6. Place in oven and bake for approximately 1 hour. Check middle is baked through with a skewer or knife towards the end.

Once it has cooled and you have put out onto a plate and taken off the greaseproof paper you can decorate it how you wish! I decorated it with a little icing sugar, more Gooseberries, Lemon balm, mint and a few Marigold petals. That is it! Pplease let me know what you think and if you try it or share some photos on my facebook page The Good Life In Practice or twitter @thegoodlifein

Thanks, Katy, The Good Life In Practice

Product Review and Recipe: Marriages Flour

I got a fantastic delivery the other day from Marriages of Essex who have been in business since 1824. Many bags of different flours were inside! I like using Marriages flours because they are a local flour supplier who are a family company – now run by the fifth and sixth generations of the Marriage family. They source the vast majority of their wheat for the flour from a local radius of 25-30 miles from local farmers or from their own farms. I was very excited to get this lovely parcel of different flours to experiment with!

So first a quick and easy pizza base which uses half white flour and half granary flour. It makes 4 pizza bases – we often eat 2 and put dough for the other two in the freezer for another day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 300g malted granary or wholemeal flour
  • 300g strong white flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 340ml warm water

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients (apart from the water) together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. add the warm water gradually mixing as you go – best done by hand!
  3. Once the dough has formed together place on a floured surface and knead for roughly 10 minutes to get the gluten working.
  4. Place back in your mixing bowl and leave in a warm place for approximately 45 minutes to rise.
  5. Now you can cut up into portions and stretch into the required pizza shapes. At this stage if you want to freeze any of the dough, split it and place in bags and pop into the freezer. Works great when you want a quick dinner on a work day!

Needless to say our pizzas were so yummy we ate them before we had a chance to take a photo of the finished produce!

Anyway, I am looking forward to experimenting further with Marriages Flours for other recipes on the blog especially using their Organic flours – cakes and bread recipes to come soon…

Here is a link to local Essex flour company Marriages if you fancy a gander: http://flour.co.uk/

Katy, The Good Life In Practice x

Product Review and Recipe: Musks Sausages

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Another fantastic local food business to mention! I got a bundle of gluten free sausages to try from Musks of Newmarket! Musks are a great local business based in Newmarket, Suffolk. Musks specialise in handmade small batches of sausages using fully traceable outdoor reared British pork shoulder meat. They offer not only the classic Newmarket sausage with the secret spice mix, but also a gluten free variety (using long grain rice instead of breadcrumbs), a Pork and Aspall Cyder, Pork and Leek and a Christmas Chipolata. These sausages have no added colourings or additives and were even granted a Royal warrant by the Queen herself in 2005!

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Local business Musks of Newmarket have a great history – James Musk first began producing sausages in 1884 in Market Street, Newmarket. Additionally, in 2012 they were awarded a PGI status for their great produce – similar to the Cornish Pastry and Cumberland Sausage. Musks is a good local company with some great produce so I was delighted to try their gluten free sausages in a recipe – my father (better known as ‘Coeliac Man says’) even more so as he is Gluten Intolerant so was looking forward to having them too! Below is my Recipe for Gluten Free Toad In The Hole –

Easy Recipe For Gluten Free Toad In The Hole (feeds 4):

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Onces cornflour
  • 2 Onces gluten free white flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Half pint of milk
  • Teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 6 Gluten Free Musks of Newmarket Sausages

Method:

  1. Put the Sausages in a baking dish and place in 220’C oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients in a blender until it is at a batter consistency.
  3. When the sausages have had their 20 minutes take the dish out and pour the batter mixture in and over the sausage dish.
  4. Place dish back in oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes until top is golden. Then enjoy!

Coeliac Man (Dad) said “they were the best gluten free sausages on the market, not too spicy but flavourful and just like their original counterparts” So all in all a good product for Coeliacs and other foodies alike!

Guest Blogger: Bridget Sandorford

A great guest blog here about sourcing food locally and the benefits:

Why You Should Eat Locally Sourced Foods

There has been a big push toward eating more locally sourced foods in the last few years. Not just a trendy fad, the local foods movement supports eating healthier and helping the environment.

Not sure what all the fuss is about? Here are just a few reasons why you should be eating locally sourced foods:

Fresh Foods

You can be sure that foods that are grown locally are fresh. They are grown in season, not with the use of pesticides or other additives to help them grow faster or to stay fresh longer. Locally grown foods are treated with fewer chemicals, and are a fresh, healthy source of nutrition.

Lower Cost

When your food doesn’t have to be shipped from half way around the world, it costs less. Food that is grown locally requires less overhead for packaging and transportation, and those costs are passed along to you. By shopping locally, you also ensure that all the money you spend is supporting your local economy and jobs in your community.

Reliable Source

By purchasing your foods from local sources, you can be sure of the way the food is grown or raised. You can talk to the farmer and, in most cases, even tour the farm where it was grown or raised. You can be sure that meats are grass-fed or pasture-raised and that fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of harmful pesticides — all without relying on packaging that may or may not be accurate.

There are many great reasons to eat locally sourced food, but these are just some of the top benefits.

Do you shop for locally sourced foods? Share your thoughts on why it’s important and what benefits you get in the comments!

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance writer and researcher for Culinaryschools.org, where recently she’s been researching the best culinary schools in texas . In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.