Oh my goodness what has been going on, I was talking with 2 guest on Saturday, who actually reminded me I had a blog… however also told me off for not giving out information of all my stories this year!
At the top, well I got the call from Great British Menu again, very lucky and honoured to be picked twice, I felt a lot happier going down this year as I knew more of how it all worked, I knew the production crew and most importantly the brief suited my style again!
However it will always be the SWRI to me, even though it has officially changed to SWI they have dropped the Rural bit …oh and the ladies they are up in arms to say the least, getting involved with the ladies was just excellent, learn something & pass it on they say, well they certainly helped me, with the trials & tribulations of the year of preparing for the WI centenary. Infact I just had them in for the full 4 course menu yesterday for lunch funnily enough they all gave me 10′s A few grumbles mind you when I served my new improved Clootie dumpling in Ladies bake with an Angels share. Its just not a proper clootie the mumbles went on round the table, well if I thought the first day they remarked on my fruit distribution yep you heard me !!
This time they were incandescent with rage that I had changed the entire look of DUMPLING….. a few bites in, everything calmed down to a riot, they like the different textures that the changes gave them, however only just, phew! who need Prue, Oliver & Matthew, when I can be harassed by my local Rural ladies all hard working farmers wives, they know a thing or 2 about great cooking!
Everything is still a secret as the 5th October the finals weeks is on BBC2 so tune back in after that I will give you all the gossip
What can I say it has been and interesting few weeks to say the least, The Gordon Ramsay bash in aid of Scottish Spina Bifida is past. its old news, oh my goodness all those busy days sleepless nights endless phonecalls I should be bored…
So 2 days later in between all those shifts I had planned a family holiday for 10days cycling in Belgium, keen cyclers in Scotland I thought this was a great option so bikes packed panniers bigger than humanely possible some say Saddle bags but we wont go there!! Off we went 5hr drive to Hull leave the van and the cycle began, crossing a it choppy but hey its the North Sea, arrival in Zebrugge and its teaming down, kids slightly bemused at having to put on water proofs not part of their summer holiday iteninary. cycling to a few towns down the Flanders coast torrential everything we have soaked. jump on a Tram yip they take bikes, so Ewan un hitches the kids Tandem tag-a-long and loads the Tram kids check 2 guy bike 1 tandem 1 Ewan jumps off to get my bike the doors close.. I in the most lady like manner I have, whistle loudly to the driver funnily enough he does not hear me I press the buzzer frantically to no avail ok so for sure Plan B, Jemma wailing like i had run off with her the wee guy asking wheres Dad? me trying to think of a solution when no one speaking any English so fine I plan to stay to where I intened on Tram he can jump the next one 10minutes its cool< My phone is in my bike bag Ewan’s in his pocket me with one very large male mountain bike with no chance of getting my leg over! coupled with an attachement I stood no chance of towing, gets to the town by this time a kind gentleman assists, as You have to keep one foot on the step or door will close now he tells me! so we wait true to timetable one trundles along 10minutes later all re-united drama over pop onto a wee brasserie in AnZee 2 cheese on toast 2 pancakes 1btl water 55e …
Ewan kindly asks what do you want to do now as the rain is battering the side of the conservatory GO HOME we check the weather heavy rain for next 7days now we obviously are not shy of waterproofs however this is not my idea of a well earned break, so back on the bikes cycle like crazy back to Zebrugge trying not to upset children, merely just looking for a sunnier part of Belgium, they bought that bit. Get back on the ferry and head home, Dock at 9am tuesday load the bikes up again just about have enough battery in Blackberry for my plan, ok Glasgow airport what do you have flying out tonight? Ibiza…6pm so reach home 2.30pm quick bag change & packed off to airport check in at 4.15pm fly out at 6pm arrive in Cala Tarida Beach at 11pm all booked from the back of the van on a wilting phone, kids delighted sun shining we even hired mountain bikes so not a total cop out of cycling, however slightly hillier on that Island than my flat plan, hey ho these things are sent to try us.
Now back fully recovered & refreshed ready for Riverside Seafood Festival what a stunning location.www.glasgowmuseums.com/riverside 6th & 7th August then Piping Live 8th August at Georges square http://www.pipinglive.co.uk/ then Foodiesfestival Holyrood park Edinburgh http://www.foodiesfestival.com/edinburgh/ August should be another good one September already shaping up to be busy.
2nd Sept Dundee flower & food festival http://www.dundeeflowerandfoodfestival.com/ then saturday Master Chef of Great Britain lunch at Turnberry http://www.masterchefs.co.uk/ Sunday St Andrews Hospice Come Dine with us http://www.st-andrews-hospice.com/ an amazing event Willie Pike Joe Queen Phil from the www.Braeheadfoods.co.uk /Thecookschool and me all having a large amount of banter & cooking on stage its sure to be a very entertaining lunch I will be posting more info on that busy month all very soon!!
Before coming back to you I am off for a well earned break, we are off to Cycle the lovely coastline of Belgium yes I picked it because its flat!! however the luggage paniers for the bike are slightly heavier than I thought, Ewan has the two kids attached to the back of his bike on a tandem tag a long bike yes they do pedal… & I have the clothes for the 2 weeks I think my bike is heavier there is a dispute though as Ewan begs to differ however in Belgium there are no hills like the crazy ones up to Balquidder so it will be a skoosh for them…. leaving the car at Hull is how this adventure will begin, however we threw a spanner in the works last night as our friend has just started hiring as well as refurbishing VW campervans and he has a splitty for us when we get back so straight back home and off on a West Coast adventure up Scotland for some smashing good food & the excitement of being at last in a camper van, I have wanted a pink one with a Tartan pop up for years now so this is the closest I am getting as David from www.cutstrawcampers.co.uk is apprehensive about my colour choice.Who says “Summer holidays are boring!”
That is the Foodies Festival all finished for another year it was a fantastic weekend great weather although not that I left the cookery theatre that often so many chefs all showcasing thet best dish that they cook and a wee bit of chat going on too all in good humour I met a few new suppliers from the many food & Drink stalls I am definitely taking the train next year as I discovered new Edinburgh Gin this weekend along with my new recipe idea Hand dived Islay scallops cured in Edinburgh Gin with a splash of lime(no stove required) its also is gorgeous with Tonic! mmm what to have first?
This weekend Friday 20th August I am cooking at Braehead Cook School full hands on class no slacking no sitting back enjoying wine(not til lunch anyway) a full day of cooking my style of food and a few extra bits thrown in for good measure.
Saturday 21st well now you can sit back & drink wine Sisters Jordanhill 12-3.30pm food wine and good old tips tricks from Big Sis hopefully see you there.
Next week Tuesday & Thursday filming The Hour STV
Wenesday Festival in the sky 25th August
Taste of Scotland Tesco roadshow at Silverburn shopping centre Friday 27th August
Allander Chalet Cooking with children
iT IS NEARLY AUGUST ALREADY THAT WORKS OUT TO BE A BUSY ONE FOR ME
filming on STV “The Hour” great family feasts stay tuned at 5pm stv to see whats cooking.
@ www.festivalinthesky.com where big sis will be cooking 100ft in the air its ok the panic is over apparently I also have a safety harness i though it was just the guests…
www.foodiesfestival.com I will be compering all weekend for the best of Scotlands chefs using the best of Scotlands Larder you can even get a wee discount by going online and using code 241 for a free ticket or if your lucky enough to have my number I have some free tickets….
www.braheadfoods.co.uk/cookschool I will be cooking up a storm for the day Tomato & seafood broth herby soda bread Duo of Heather fed Lamb & Ginger nut icecream with poached homegrown rhubarb.
Demo & Dig in at Sisters Jordanhill £25/hd wine & food
call 0141 434 1179 to book
now this time it is not me just my better half don’t worry he will not be cooking for anyone he is doing a zip slide across the Clyde in aid of Scottish Spina Bifida Association
STV “the Hour” cooking some fantastic family fayre tune in
Cooking healthy choices for Kids at Auengillan Allander Chalet outdoor centre
Demonstration evening with Big Sis at Jordanhill School in aid of Breast Cancer a whole evening of my merry banter & lots of tasters … & wine I told!!
The Dundee Food & Flower festival mostly compering with the brilliant Hairy Bikers and being allowed a few cooking slots when they are resting their weiry legs.
sounds very showbiz however from Delightful Dundee to the airport flying to London for the Fine Food Fair 5th-7th September
Then home for a G & T I did say it was a busy schedule !!