Canterbury Food and Drink Festival


Yesterday, I visited the above in the Dane John Gardens, Canterbury, which is showcasing an incredible selection of food and drink. As a CAMRA member, I do enjoy a pint of ale or two and thoroughly enjoyed the day out. We travelled by train to Canterbury West and strolled through the busy town towards the Gardens.  The Festival was the place to be, as it was the official launch of Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight (Friday 23rd Sept).


I went to the festival with my husband and other CAMRA folk and we managed to arrive early and quickly settled with our pints, by the bandstand, and spent a fulfilling day listening to all types of music (folk/rock), eating, drinking and chatting.


Also, much of the time was enjoyed wandering around the stalls looking at crafts, beers, ciders, pies, breads, cheeses, cured meats, kebabs, curries, burgers, fish, etc. The quality was of a very high standard with lots of tasty salads and veggies too.  Some obscure ingredients were added to some of the traditional foods such as the chilli and chocolate pork sausages and the friendly cheese lady who sold us some chilli cheese and English brie.  The unusual variety of food is what made this festival particularly fascinating, plus, of course, there was a great selection of dishes for tasting with plenty of beer, wine and cider to sup too.


The weather was superb as it was sunny all day but not too hot.  A relaxing and interesting day which I will probably repeat next year.

My salad in a jar!

A colleague who is also trying to follow a healthy lifestyle has kindly obtained this super kilner jar for me. She has been bringing in to work some amazing salads. Here is my first effort.

The idea is to make the salad attractive and tempting by layering the ingredients.  It is best to put the dressing on the bottom and something hard like carrots above.  I layered mine with carrots, mushrooms and a pepper then added tomatoes, lettuce, beetroot, cucumber and slices of turkey.  Oh and another cheeky dollop of mayonnaise on top.

A little tricky to eat but fun to stick your fork in and wonder what is going to appear.  Delicious.



Last minute roasted veg..

So I’ve returned from my lovely break in Weymouth, rushed around the supermarket for a few bits, and realised I didn’t buy any potatoes.

With lunches in mind as well as dinner, decided to do a massive tray of roasted veg and throw the few little potatoes in that I found looking miserable in the cupboard.  Usually, cook beans and mash with sausages but it will be good to make something different.

Nothing like a last minute change of plan but at least I’ve got some roasted veg lunches for the remainder of the week.

Roasted veg: potatoes, courgettes, pepper, carrot, red onion, mushrooms, herbs, seasoning and splash of oil.

Enjoy!  Have you any last minute recipes?


Grotty fruit smoothie…


A few days ago, I was just thinking about leaving to go to Dorset for a mini break, and realised I’ve still got 3 grotty bananas. So decided I couldn’t eat them before leaving and gathered all the old fruit from my fridge and made a smoothie to freeze for when I return.

The end result was delicious. No need to waste old fruit or veg.  Just peel, chop and blend, blend and blend some more.  Only took a few minutes to prepare an amazing breakfast.

Another aspect of minimalism, is not have any waste so this is an enjoyable way of reducing waste and having a yummy drink for breakfast.

Recipe: bananas, peaches, oranges, almond milk and blend until smooth.

Don’t forget to follow and thank you for reading my blog.  Hope you enjoy some delicious smoothies.


Food ideas and running…

Started thinking about food plans and made a delicious mushroom risotto. Super easy to cook. Just chop up a variety of mushrooms with red onions, fresh basil, stock, ground pepper, risotto rice and, of course, a splash of white wine. Yummy, quick to cook and quite filling too.

Also, an effort was made to join the park runners on Saturday and a new pb was secured. The first lap was easier but the second, well, that was tough. It was nice to run with other runners instead of struggling at the back with the walkers.


What are your thoughts on cooking?

Did you sit and watch an adult cook, as a child?  If you did, you may have been given the inspiration to cook, as an adult.  If not, how about giving it a go?  Inspiration is what is needed in life.  That way, you can aspire to do most things.

Cooking was always a fascination but not always easy.  The secret is to be inspired and then practice and practice some more.  Use fresh, simple ingredients and relax.  Prepare the foods first and think what you need, in advance.  A pot of hot water for potatoes or the oven warmed up ready for a cake.  Someone should have told me all this, when I was struggling to cook at school.  I forgot to put the eggs in the gingerbread cake and my mother was furious.  To this day, I loathe gingerbread cake.

Memories of watching my mother bake and roll pastry still stay with me.  Hot fresh dinners, not always what I liked, but eaten anyway.  Midnight school trip feasts, picnics by the lake and hot summer afternoons messing about by the stream all sum up a childhood.  The first dinner, I cooked for my husband, pork roast with jam tart pudding.  Not much of a clue.  Potatoes were hard but things soon got better and I was considered a good cook by his family.  Now I love cooking and the memories…  It is all about inspiration.