Sunday, 28 October 2007

L'Epicerie @ 56

Living the student life is all well and good, but in your late 20's the last thing you want to face is a diet of beans on toast, so, I have got a job. And not just any old job - no siree Bob! Around the time that I'd started to psyche myself up to facing the local pub I noticed a shop being done up just around the corner from where I live. As if by chance it has been transformed into a delicious French Deli, where you will find none other than myself behind the counter (weekends only of course).

Run by a chap called Remy it stocks a good selection of cheeses, charcuterie, fresh bread, croissants and all manner of delectable goodness. Come check us out!

ps - they stock good wine and cider too ;)

L'Epicerie @ 56
56 Chatsworth Road

(pictures to follow shortly)

Monday, 22 October 2007

Falmouth Oyster Festival

I headed back to Falmouth this weekend as it was the Falmouth Oyster Festival. David and I stumbled upon this last year, and it was such good fun we decided it was definitely worth going again. It worked out particularly well as the Beer Festival was on at the same time.

I've been aware of the Oyster festival for years, but for some reason never managed to make it along until last year. It's absolutely top - lots of funny bands, cooking demonstrations, LOTS of drinking and of course Falmouth oysters and seafood. My particular favourite entertainment-wise was the Old Glory Creole jazz Band with Lee Adewole: a bunch of old slightly Grandad-type looking chaps in white shirts, black trousers and skippers hats, well worth checking out if you ever should happen upon them.

Food-wise we an excellent mature cheddar from Worthy Farm (based out towards St Just), the best Scotch Egg I have ever eaten from The Primrose Herd, smoked crevettes from The Cornish Smokehouse, and of course more seafood than I could possibly mention here.

The beer festival was also excellent, held up at Princess Pavilions away from town itself, there were over 150 real ales for tasting, along with a Perry and Cider bar. Believe it or not, not a drop of cider passed my lips, as I'd already been on the Knocker since lunchtime, and was worried about peaking before the rugby game. Still, Helford River from Lizard Ales was particularly fine.

All in all it was a mighty fine weekend. I feel so proud to see Cornwall embracing good, local, fresh food in a way that seems only available to the few that can afford it elsewhere. Perhaps it's due to the distance it is from everywhere else, or the climate - people just seem to be so willing to give it a go, and be proud to produce something themselves.

Incidentally, picture-wise I realise there isn't an oyster in sight, but what can I say - I was happier eating them than taking pictures!

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Ginger Beer - WARNING!

I woke up this morning incredibly fuzzy headed following what turned out to be an all day cider-rugby extravaganza with some friends (two of which were Australian, not that I'd rub it in of course). So, I'm not sure if other people experience this as well, but I always seem to go through an initial enthusiastic hyperactive patch when I wake with a hangover (although some may put this down to still feeling pissed). This morning I thought it would be a great idea to open the first bottle of ginger beer (note, there is no picture of the occasion here). What better way to kick off the day than by enjoying some freshly brewed ginger beer in bed with David? What better way indeed. It seems that my well-capped bottles had developed quite some gaseous build-up, as we soon discovered.

Once released, the ginger beer exploded beyond belief, apparently also enjoying some kind of Sunday morning enthusiasm - which pretty much covered the entire bedroom, and made it smell of yeast, or even 'puke' as David put it. By the time David had wrestled the stopper back on there was only about a quarter of the beer left.

So dear readers, a word of warning: do not attempt to open any home-brewed ginger beer without being a) fully clad in the sturdiest of wet weather gear, and b) make sure you are in a well sealed, waterproof room.

Still, on a more positive note we are now fully immersed in Winter food mode, and what better meal than the good ol' roast dinner? We plumped for a forerib of a beef in the end; a beast of a meal for two people but I just cannot see the sense in doing things by halves. Truth be told we scoffed as much as we possibly could, which was A LOT, and have enough left over for a good roast beef sandwich or two, cottage pie and of course, I get to make some stock ;)

Hats off to David for a top quality roast - I contributed some fresh creamed horseradish and what I can easily say were the best Yorkshire Puddings of my entire career as an enthusiastic roaster. All in all though the roast was his, and I have to say it has set a high precedent for the months ahead.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

More cheese please!

I couldn't resist. I was very pleased today to see some good British cheese coverage in The Independent, via their coverage of the Great British Cheese Awards, held in Oxfordshire over the weekend. I had actually pleaded with David that we make the trip up there, but sadly the car; it's caput (as my mother would say).

They've lovingly attributed this with a full double page spread, and even the 'Ten Best British Cheeses' on the last page of Extra - but more on that in a second.

One particular treat, which I feel compelled to share with you here, was a description of the yard stick by which to measure things. "In the West Country we talk about a five-mile cheddar. You can eat a piece of cheese at lunchtime, go for a five-mile walk and still taste it. That is the sort of thing you are looking for." Brilliant!

Anyway, back to the Ten Best British Cheeses, I'm very pleased to see that the Cornish Blue made it in there at number 8. I'm already hoping that someone out there might take the hint and buy me some in this little blue pot for Christmas ;)