Not that it ever isn’t but this last month has been less travel and more experimentation as we have stayed fairly local to Windsor and Maidenhead except for a long weekend away with Hattie to Essex to the Smoke and Fire Festival (Mundon CL, Maldon £9 a night) ….. need I say more ?
The above pretty much sums up the whole weekend… it was meat, meat, meat and a bit of beer and cider to go with it! The festival had different competitions throughout the weekend, the most enjoyable – or perhaps I should say beneficial for us – were the Chilli making contest, where you could buy a spoon for £3 and we got to go round each of the 15+ competitors happily receiving a small pot from each to try, the only difficulty was deciding who we wanted to give our spoon to at the end, demonstrating our personal favourite … naturally there were a few that needed a couple of tries! On the Sunday the competitors cooked up pulled pork, Brisket and Ribs, unfortunately they cooked way too much to submit to the judges so they gave out the rest to passers by … result. Not really a festival for non-meat eaters but to be fair several of the stalls had a vegan option… not sure how well they did as there wasn’t many a vegetable that passed our lips that weekend! Gary did sample the only fish / seafood BBQ stall though which was equally as impressive!
As the weather has remained so good we have been making the most of the Bar B Q … although controversially we have actually just replaced the Cadac. Our long lasting old faithful which has been with us all the way since we set off four years ago, cooking everything from paella’s to casseroles and Sausages to veggie burgers has now been donated to a new home, hopefully they will get as much use and lovely food as we have.
The new Bar B Q – a Napoleon before anyone asks – joined us just over a week ago and has pretty much been used every day since …. Beef burgers, Chickpea Burgers Swordfish Steaks, Lamb Steaks, Roasted Vegetables, Corn on the Cob, flat breads and Pizza …. (for those of you haven’t seen my blog before, just click on the highlighted word for the link to the recipe or go to the recipe tab above)
We have been building up slowly making sure we get the temperatures right before we start to use it for more ….. we are very impressed so far and excited by the prospect of roasts and smoking food going forwards – so watch this space!
I jumped ahead of myself with our new addition … obviously far too excited about the array of foods we are going to cook but I also appreciate that our life isn’t as interesting for the rest of you when we stay put but as you can see, food experimentation has been the theme this month and despite the festival being fairly meat oriented, the experimentation has had a bit of a vegan twist including Chickpea Meringues which you wouldn’t know were eggless…..
I have made them a couple of times now … even for a slightly more picky audience (Yes, that is you Steve and Alex!) and they went down a treat – well worth a go!
We have also made Vegan Meatballs which we served with Spaghetti Squash and a ratatouille sauce which were gorgeous
Other new recipes that have been added to the blog which were also equally as tasty are Spicy Jackfruit Fajitas, BBQ Jackfruit Burgers ….. yes, I have just found Jackfruit and it does actually come out like pulled pork if you put the right spices with it – really delicious!
Wanting something slightly quicker to make than rolls on occasions, Keith has been having a play with flat breads and even did a Masterclass on Pashwari Nan with Paul Jagger (Bake Off) at Great Missendon Food Festival a couple of weeks ago, whilst I have been experimenting with crackers and come up with Chia Seed Cracker which are really quick and easy to make and go really nicely with a good bit of cheese! Not unfortunately what can be said for the Cauliflower Nachos that we tried earlier this week which were a bit of a disaster…. not even going to bother adding the recipe I am afraid.
We have hit the road again and are back in Bath for a few days to catch up with friends with the hope that the summer will give us another few weeks of sunshine even though the days are getting shorter.