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
At last just what we have all been counting down for, Wee Clyde is popping up everywhere, There are PINK Road signs….(Its catching on!!) It is incredible to be a part of the buzz and it is already really buzzing just waiting on everyone knocking on the door and Glasgow welcoming the world with a big smile;-)
We have been given a later license until 1am just to be able to look after the visitors with a bit more time on their side to go for something to eat, We will be serving food until 11pm(last orders) for the duration of the Glasgow 2014 The menu I have been working on is named a
“Foodie trip round Scotland”
I really hope that all of our visitors get time to see more of Scotland after the games, however if they do not get time then in The Sisters our Foodie trip menu there are tastes from Shetland, Ullapool, Stornoway, Dingwall, Stirling, Highlands, Isle of Mull, The Clyde Valley, Tayside …to name but a few so guaranteed we will let them sample the Scottish produce delights right here in the centre of Glasgow 2014. Click here to view our menu.
With such a busy time ahead I will need to get my head down and carry on cooking! I am moving straight into hosting the Foodies Festival www.foodiesfestivals.com in Edinburgh 8th, 9th &10th August so hopefully we can catch up there,
Also after such a successful time filming with www.scottybrand.com for the Ayrshire new tatties I am excited about being involved with them again for Strawberry & raspberry picking too! So lots going on over the next four weeks so stay tuned …
Phew! I can go home safe in the knowledge that I don’t have to watch from behind the couch anymore. Obviously you guys didn’t know the outcome but I did – imagine the torture! Also knowing when I had to leave the room like a naughty child (I didn’t enjoy that bit) – as I had to do it twice!!
All in all, what an amazing experience and honour getting to be part of the finals of Great British Menu 2014!
Working with such a poignant brief this year made it all the more worthwhile, especially as my style of cooking suited the theme so well. The feedback has been almost overwhelming. I had no idea just how many lovely people would get in touch. Each evening it felt as though my supporters were going through the same rollercoaster of emotions as me, whilst continually offering words of encouragement.
This kind of support was so uplifting…. quite honestly I had feared a much more critical response to the finals having not done as well as I would have liked, or indeed more scrutiny on the details and smaller technical things like not chopping things correctly or so on. As you can imagine, the paranoia was intense when being watched by millions!
However, everyone has been absolutely amazing and have even been sending cards as well and emails full of kind words. Some regulars even arrived with presents last weekend!
In short, what a wonderful experience and I feel so proud to have been a part of it. It looks like we will just have to wait and see what the brief is for the 10th anniversary series next year and indeed whether or not the ‘pink lady’ makes a return!
For now, both of The Sisters restaurants have the “Great British Menu” Menu running either as a 4 course stand alone, or you can choose my dishes individually from the A’la carte menu. So pop back to the site and book a table as it is filling up fast. We have such a busy summer ahead between Graduations starting in a few weeks to the Commonwealth Games nevermind the customers coming in just to taste my War Time Treat!
Thank you all so much for you support and I now look forward to serving my menu without a deadline or someone popping votes in a ballot box…..
Warm Homedmade Clootie Dumpling served with hot custard and vanilla ice cream
Mother’s Day! – Spring is Springing and it’s a lovely time of year that allows the whole family to get together … even if some do protest !!
I might just be lucky enough for a slice of cold toast and a warm coffee what with my two children & 2 boisterous dogs – now no longer pups – galloping into the bedroom and proceeding to jump onto the bed, which I know they are not supposed to but hey, all they want is a cuddle all at the same time. That’s just how we roll in our house most weekends!
During the week it is a different matter. Maybe I should allow the pups to wake the children up in that same “adorable” slobbering way that Labradors do…
I try to be home for tea time on Mother’s Day and am greeted by my darling husband who’s annual cookathon is in motion. Cooking is a term I use loosely for guiding the kids. Jem being 9 is more than capable of rustling up something slightly more adventurous than my husband Ewan might (M&S let the oven do the work) and Jemma would have Ewan down at Corrigans buying scallops and langoustines with Dad’s wallet, if she could. She thinks it’s quite normal and acceptable to dine on scallops and langoustines every night! Fraser, my son, a practical sort will set the table and kindly pass me a glass of wine “Madam for you”
Simple Cakes for Simple smiles
I guess like me not all Mum’s get to go out for this special day and let’s face it you only have to make some tea & toast to get a winning smile from me. How about baking a fool proof, good honest cake that only involves a cheeky wee microwave (you could maybe even allow the under 10’s to make it) it’s simple and easy.
This recipe I have created must be kept a secret from all Grannies out there as nothing beats a Grannies Dumpling dried by the fire to get that squidgy skin, this however, is not a bad second.
So by elevenses’ her second cuppa with a slice of this will go down an absolute treat! Even if you have to open a carton of custard I’m ok with that we’ll talk homemade custard another day!
From me to you and all the Mums’ out there Enjoy x
The next part is to inspire you to get some cooking done at home so I have picked a few different recipes to try using the fantastic new product on the shelves Scotty Brand all you need to do is look for that wee Dog.. it really is from the wee dog not that I’m saying my readers are of a certain age but cast your mind back to the old jars of Beetroot you had many moons ago well Mr Bartlett used to make the beetroot for that jar in his bath…..(so I’m told)
anyway the bath is not used any more and Scotty Brand are going from strength to strength with so many fantastic products I’ve given the Kestrel tatties a wee recipe run, click on my recipe page and have a go at the simple suppers that are sure to keep the whole family happy its Tatties after all and yer man at The Grewars & Hugh Niven picked them just for you! so go on put some in your trolley this weekend.
Easter holidays are just over,so much has been going on I remember I just want to get back to the old routine..
I used to always hear that when I was young now I know what they meant…
Just before heading off for the break I worked all week with Science on a plate at The Edinburgh Botanics fantastic week with Chefs & Sciencetist got together when food meets science on a plate it makes for a very interesting week, I was joining Tom Kitchin, Nick Nairn, Steve Brown & Neil Forbes all puting on fabulous displays of Scotlands Finest Larder and the best Sciencetist that you could shake a stick at!!
Oh my goodness all this Twittering & FB is taking me away from the main reason behind,mental note must copy to website or vice versa…
All my early year demonstrations have come & gone and thats Mothers Day just past I had a great morning woke up to Coffee although weak,Toast although cold,but hey ho I was still in bed and there was not too much mess!
A box containing a Marble(In case I lost 1 of mine) A map(incase I lost my way) A piece of string (to fnd my way back) A balloon(to always reach for the sky) and a wee loveheart(To know I am always loved) absolutely priceless I guess the Brownies miniscul fee is so so worth it I was definitely impressed with that Mother day gift no dodgy flowers for me!
The next one an event at The Central hotel wednesday 21/03/12 for Up and coming chef/Hospitality stars a panel of Scotlands Best Chefs James Murphy The Central hotel, Jeff Bland The Balmoral & Billy Cambell The Thistle, Inspiring advising all the next genration what it is like to work at your next level all for Springboard Glasgow.
Saturday another wee demonstration in Sisters Jordanhill so if you got a voucher for Mother’s day I will see you on Saturday morning!
Saturday afternoon I am off to Birmingham for The Food & Drink expo with Scotland of Food & Drink its all about the true taste of Scotland’s larder, I can do that,well obviously with the help of Great Glen Game, Thistly cross, Seasons, Salaworkz, St Andrews cheese & Ramsays of Carluke of course as you know I say all you need is great ingredients the rest is simple !
Oh dont forget I am being Captured on the Clyde donate at www.justgiving/thesisters.co.uk and donate a wee bit if you can or I might run off with the captain or more than likely he will make me walk the plank… wee sis too!
Then 31st March at Science on a plate festival at The Edinburgh Botanics fantastic line up of chefs and sciencetist this will be so interesting come and see us its during the school holidays agreat day out for all the family.
The Seafood festival was fantastic weather was very kind to us down at the Riverside museum 6th & 7th August and great chance to sneak in and see all the transport new home with the kids after my demonstration on the Sunday then on the friday it was www.foodiesfestival.co.uk which had a very wet start however nothing a pair of wellies didnt solve it was an Edinburgh Glastonbury type event with really Good Food we had the pleasure of The Hamiltons, Four poofs & a piano Tim Vine and our very own Mark Greenaway www.markgreenaway.com starring alongside www.JamesGalea.com the amazing magician and indeed there was some hocus pocus in the kitchen sadly for me he did’nt give a way “How did you do that?” even when i fluttered my eyelids!!
Schools started back and that was my wee fella starting on his next adventure in life and loving he is! A private cookery demonstration in Kelvingrove www.thesisters.co.uk to celebrate a birthday went down a storm was enjoyed by all… as they adheared to my rules elasticated waists and a driver to take them home.
A fantastic healthy eating day at www.glasgowacademy.co.uk there afterschool team is second to none, so they are all geared up for some great experiments for the October week the children will have fun, even the staff were intirgued by the sea monster section. lots of phones out taking pictures of Craig the Crab & Larry the Lobster! On the 1st September I was asked to do a welcome walk round at Kilmarnock Continental market, so delicious food & all made for me to taste and helping in some cases it was a fantastic event and one to go in the diary for the next time they head up our way.The www.dundeeflowerandfoodfestival.co.uk was that weekend with the lovely Gino D’Campo appearing some slight diva moments but nothing the accomodating burgh of Dundee couldnt pull together www.lovetoeat.co.uk and Scotch Lamb were on my menu and a great combination too, the local Dundee butcher was fantastic and very helpful as Dundee College head Big Russell used all my 10hr Braised lamb that I had brought up for my here’s some I prepared earlier line so I had nothing left for my impromtu next demo and James came to the rescue. Also that week my sister & I changed our hairstyles and got some new photo’s taken for the website & cards so a wee glam day for the girls without an airbrush may I add!!
www.braeheadfoods.co.uk www.thecookschoolscotland.co.uk had a chef day on Monday 12th September where Craig the big boss guy!! gives something back, as he always does and invites all the Chefs for a day at the factory filled with demonstrations of products loads & loads of tasting sessions yes that does include beer (well it is chefs we are talking about!) However they dont open the bar until Chef Joe Queen appears and they have all had a good look around The best bit for me was clay pigeon shooting sadly I missed them all, it clearly take mores than my new Tweed jacket to be able to shoot! maybe thats why Craig never take me to any of their Estates!!
Last Tuesday after my usual stint with www.FredMacAulay.com on www.bbcradioscotland.com which may I add I am delighted to be added on Radio Scotland’s funny bits podcast this week!! a good cook & funny… I headed down to The Cook School at Braehead foods for a www.miele.com day to launch all the new appliances in the cook school, now Miele know how much I like my coffee, so for all my efforts I have been treated to an amazing Bean to Cup coffee machine at home now the only problem is my coffee intake has soared, I finished off September with some great times at North Berwick which you will know I spend alot of time there, we hired a fantastic wee cottage www.thecottageonthebeach.co.uk the weather was fantastic we caught loads of Crab with the kids sadly not big enough for tea but the www.lobstershack.co.uk took care of that! sadly they close for the winter next weekend so where will a girl get her Langoustine supper from now?? I am off to www.barwheysdairys.co.uk tomorrow to make more cheese for the day with a lovely bunch of Ayrshire Coos were it began from one called Dewdrop I am really looking forward to that. The Seafish event for cooking Fish in a Flash is next week in Edinbrugh followed by www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com I will be on the www.lovefoodhatewaste.com Winter kitchen then the last weekend is www.homesinteriorsscotland.co.uk then a wee wind down for November except the excitement and word on the South Side is Wholefoods Giffnock is opening on the 16th November http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/giffnock/ I am getting to cook in the coolest caravan in Scotland you wont be moaning if your stuck be hind this handsome van its an #Airstream yeehaa, Then are you believing it just getting ready to wind right back up for Christmas time woohoo. See you soon x
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!!