Archive for the 'Food and Drink' Category



St Piran’s Day – Today!

 

Today, the 5th March is St Piran’s Day, the patron saint of tin miners.

It is said that St Piran was of Irish origin, and arrived in Cornwall in the 6th Century. Fast forward 15 Centuries and Cornwall’s favourite saint is still being celebrated by the patriotic Cornish.

The boy’s name ‘Peran’ is Cornish for Piran and many a young lad in Cornwall has to explain the origins of his name to his upcountry friends.

Here a short list of some of the events that take place around the county courtesy of Wikipedia

Bodmin –  A parade through the streets with Cornish pipers and a children’s dance. Speeches by various notables, including the town mayor, Lord Lieutenant, and Grand Bard of Cornwall, followed by children’s performances of Cornish plays and songs. 400 people attended the parade in 2009.

Bude – a St Piran’s day walk led by a piper and attended by hundreds of people annually.

Camborne –  singing with Cadgwith Singers at Camborne Rugby Club.

Falmouth – A parade through the town. Shop window competition.

Launceston – Piping the Flag at Launceston Castle, followed by a procession through the town ending at the West Gate.

Marazion –  Procession led by mayor and mace-bearers through the streets, a short ceremony with food and entertainment afterwards.

Newquay – St Piran’s Feast.

Penzance – Annual performance of St Piran Furry dance and procession through the streets by 500 children. Annual St Piran Schools Concert.

Perranarworthal – St Pirantide celebrations at the Norway Inn. Cornish Evensong.

Perranporth – St Piran is welcomed from the sea. A processional play is enacted across the sand dunes to St Piran’s oratory and then to the ruins of his church, attended by over 1000 people annually.

Porthleven – Raising the Flag ceremony with the Old Cornwall Society. Cornish dancing by three local schools.

Redruth – First held in 2011 and billed as the biggest St Piran’s celebration in Cornwall. In 2011 it included entertainments in the town centre before a parade to the rugby club where there was a market and fairground rides, with a rugby match. During the evening there were various live music events at venues across the town. Over 2000 people attended the rugby club events while hundreds more attended events in the town. 2012 will see three separate marches from different parts of the town converge as one giant procession at the miner’s statue before heading to the rugby club.

Rock – Homecomers celebrate St Piran

Roche – St Pirantide celebrations, Victory Hall.

St Issey – Cornish music and singing.

St Ives – Procession through the streets.

Truro –  Procession through the streets with speeches outside the cathedral which has a St Piran themed lunch menu in its cafe, and a Cornish folk music session afterwards. Hundreds of people attend the parade annually.

and out of the county you will find celebrations in…

London – Kernow in the City, annual live music event at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Daytime activities include a showcase of Cornish film, a Cornish language workshop, and Cornish food and drink

USA – St Piran’s day is also celebrated annually in Grass Valley, California to honour the Cornish miners who participated in the area’s mining history beginning in the mid 19th century.

Oxfordshire – We have our own celebrations tonight with home-made pasties a la Becky and a couple of Tribute ales.

Diet resumes on Tuesday! If you would like to find out how to make a pasty by a seasoned pro then you must check out my mum making a pasty here

Her pasty making demonstration is up to nearly 1000 hits and she’s loving her global sucess. So please spread the word on St Pirans day and lets getting the nation making pasties tonight.

So raise that St Piran’s Flag on your flagpole today and be proud of your Cornish roots!

 

 

Miss Peapod’s, Penryn

Do you ever feel like popping in somewhere warm and welcoming on such a grey and miserable day like today? Well, should you ever find yourself in Penryn you should be sure to make a visit to Miss Peapod’s at Jubilee Wharf.

Bright flowers on a retro table will soon cheer you up!

Jubilee Wharf is an award winning development with a mixture of housing, workshops, offices and a children’s nursery. Community creation & revitalisation – a hub for craft makers, quality childcare onsite from Jumblies Nursery, health & fitness classes and the café for socialising. It was built on what was the old coal merchants but has extremely green credentials, they have just installed photovoltaic panels and there are  4 x  wind turbines on the distinctive shaped roof.

To Drink?

We have only been to Miss Peapod’s for coffee but have plans to go back and eat next time!

They make their own pasta and bread and exploit all the seafood brought to them from a local fisherman. Expect specials like crab ravioli and fresh sardines, king prawns grilled in caper, chilli and parsley butter or for people with more simple tastes there are homemade burgers with chips and toasted ciabattas with fillings such as roasted seasonal vegetables and homemade butter bean hummous.

They seem to have regular event evenings and they were busy planning one when we were there. This weekend they have the wonderful Megan Henwood who was BBC Young Folk Award Winner who, ironically I photographed all the way up here at a garden party in Henley on Thames a few years ago.   Have a look at the website for more details www.misspeapod.co.uk

Origin please!

You may notice from the photos that the coffee at Miss Peadpod’s is Origin. Did you know that Origin is a Cornish company? I didn’t!

They were established in 2004  and are based in the depths of Cornwall near Helston and they distribute their coffee to restaurants, hotels, delis & cafes in Cornwall and everywhere else. You don’t even need to go down the A30 to try it, we saw on their website their coffee is being used in Malmaison and Hotel du Vin but its a good excuse to nip back to the home county isn’t it? Check their website for more info www.origincoffee.co.uk.
Happy days!

Alex Polizzi – The Fixer….Clotted Cream in a Pasty?

Well, tonight we were thrilled to happen upon a programme set in Cornwall; Alex Polizzi – The Fixer. The premise of the programme is Alex’s one woman campaign to rescue local family businesses.  You may have seen her on The Hotel Inspector and she is part of the famous hoteliers the Forte family. Her Mother owns the fabulous Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes on the South Cornwall coast. Something I didn’t know until this programme is that she owns her own wholesale bakery who supply to Selfridges & Fortum & Mason amongst many top restaurants. So she has a great background which has given her the experience needed to help Choughs Bakery in Padstow – business and bread!

A great programme which really shows the benefits and perhaps the pitfalls of working with your family. Alex worked with the Eade family who have been running a bakery on the harbour at Padstow for the last 30 years. The shop had a new look and she helped them diversify to help them through the lean winter months. Something I’m sure a lot of Cornish businesses have problems with. People shouldn’t only view Cornwall as a summer destination, there’s nothing better than a walk on a Cornish beach when the winds blowing a hooley with a pasty in your hand.

This programme offered a great glimpse of lovely Cornwall while we’re up in Oxfordshire in the snow. There was also an all too brief view of our favourite Yarnigoats (Men from Port Issac) The Fisherman’s Friends who made the perilous journey from Port Isaac to Padstow to sing for the Town Crows (people from Padstow) at the ‘Celebration of the Cornish Pasty’ Do you think they may have been paid in pasties?

One of their new ideas is pasties by post. If you fancy a taste of the home county shipped to your door or even a Valentines pasty check out their website here The Chough Bakery or if you fancy trying to make one yourself check out Mark’s Mum on You Tube

If you missed this programme you may want to watch it on BBC IPlayer here Alex Polizzi – The Fixer – Episode 2 The Chough Bakery It’s definitely worth a look if only for their secret pasty  ingredient…..Cornish Clotted Cream!! I love the way recipes get handed down in families. Apparently their grandmother made her own clotted cream and always added a dollop to the veg and meat in her pasties.

Also, if you want any more news on the lovely Fisherman’s Friends check out their website here Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends They’re going on tour!!

The final dash to Land’s End with the 3 Hungry Boys

In the final leg of Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys the chaps set off in Daisy in the direction of the Lizard. This weeks episode was the best yet, some of my favourite parts of Cornwall covered and the with The Lizard being closest to home. I have covered the Lizard in previous posts – just type The Lizard into the search bar at the top.

The boys are given the thumbs up from the people of Tregothnan to visit Asparagus Island, a lump of rock in the Atlantic. The boys wanted to go camping before the end of their trip and Asparagus Island was their destination. About a mile walk from the Kynance Cove National Trust car park the island is approachable on foot when the tide is out! With a short walk along the sandy beach of Kynance Cove the boys climb the steep cliffs to the top of Asparagus Island. After pegging out their tent, the tide had come in and they were now totally stranded in a lump of rock in the sea!

Thom the hunter grabs his spear gun and takes orders for the other two boys supper and head to the water whilst Trevor and Tim grab their fishing rods and head off to the rocks with a more relaxing way to catching supper. After a couple of hours all the boys return with nothing but excuses! No fish supper for you boys tonight! So with limited supplies the boys have some peppery rice for supper. They happened to find some sea beet growing on the rocks which made the rice more appetising giving them some greens for the day. Still, it could be worse, sitting on an island around a roaring fire listening to the sound of the sea as the sun goes down whilst tucking into a bowl of rice is almost heavenly (except the rice bit!)

After a good nights sleep listening to the waves crashing around them the boys get off the island and back to their trusty milk float, Daisy. In need of some protein Hugh gets contacts them and puts them in touch with Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, the 13th Baronet and current owner of the 1000 acre Trelowarren estate who has some pests on his land. The estate is near the mouth of the Helford river which almost cuts the Lizard peninsula off from the mainland. Still, with little clue why they are travelling to Trelowarren the boys meet Sir Ferrers Vyvyan to see what protein he can offer them. Is it rabbit problems, pigeon eating the crops or the beast of Bodmin’s offspring moving in on the Lizard?  After a short introduction Sir Ferrers Vyvyan informs the boys that they have a grey squirrel problem on the Lizard (like most of  the UK) however as the Lizard is almost an island they are trying to eradicate the grey squirrel and bring back the native red squirrel to the area.  As lovely as grey squirrels are they are huge pests to young trees and very aggressive hence the decline and almost extinction of our native reds. Although I have never eaten squirrel myself I have heard it’s a very tasty meat. So armed with a shotgun the lads head out with Sir Ferrers to look for squirrels in the tree tops. With little luck on the squirrel front Sir Ferrers shoots a wood-pigeon to help towards the boys supper. After some foraging on the estate the boys get some sorrel, oyster mushrooms and wild garlic to add to the wood-pigeon. The Trelowarren estate has a restaurant serving local produce and foraged food and is well worth stopping off for lunch or dinner if in the area. To find out more about Trelowarren and to see the sample menus click here.

The boys them have a cook-off with the chefs at Trelowarren who rustle up a rabbit recipe. Trevor rustles up a pigeon breast cooked with sautéed oyster mushrooms, garlic mash and sprinkling of sorrel. To see the meals being cooked it’s probably easier to check out the 4oD website rather than relying on my methodology – have you seen me in the kitchen? Needless to say the Lord of the manor gave full marks to the boys for their efforts of foraging and producing a tasty meal.

Sir Ferrers recommended the boys visit a sea salt producer on the Lizard in Porthkerris. I hate to say it but I’m one step ahead here. Check out my previous post on Cornish Sea Salt Co. by typing something along those lines into the search bar on the top of the blog. Trev’s idea here was for Tom to catch some fish and to bake them in the salt – salt baked fish I think it’s called! Well, whilst the boys are shovelling salt Tom is trying to catch a few fish for supper. By the end of the fishing session Tom had reeled in six pollock off the cliffs at Porthkerris to fill their bellies that evening.

With the final push to the end of this wonderful island we call Great Britain the boys jump in Daisy and with a 30 mile journey the boys arrive at Sennen. They meet up with the Sennen lobster hatchery for a days work at sea releasing baby 1” long lobsters into the sea in the hope they will survive and make it to adult lobsters. Unfortunately with a 1 in 15,000 chance of survival their time in the ocean is often short-lived as many are snapped up by predators.

As the boys are releasing 1000’s of babies they are also checking lobster pots and harvesting some good sizes specimens or lobsters and crabs for their last cook up of the trip. The final tweet was from Polgoon vineyard back up the A30 where they make their own wine and cider who offered the boys some work harvesting discovery apples to earn some cider for their last supper. Polgoon vineyard has won several awards for their produce and supply some top establishments such as Fortnum and Mason, Rick Steins Deli, River Cottage Canteen and Deli and John Lewis to name a few. To find out more about Polgoon vineyard  or to buy some of their produce check out their website here.

Final stop boys – Lands End! The boys pull up on the cliff tops at Sennen and see the Longships lighthouse of Land’s End in the distance.  Trevor gets to work on the shellfish they have been given making this one of the tastiest banquets one could dream of, all washed down with a drop of Polgoon Cornish black cider. After their fish platter they are back in Daisy and heading full speed for Land’s End. For those of you that don’t know much about Land’s End there is a modern leisure complex (a good day out for young families im sure) there and not just a romantic old weatherbeaten sign post saying New York 3147 miles thataway!  Beyond the leisure complex built by Peter De Savary some time ago when I was in my youth there is a sign post and a telescope – but I doubt you can see New York even on a clear day!

So the series is over – its been great so if you were not fortunate to watch it first time around, pick it up together with Hugh’s other great programs here on 4oD.

Now what time is Caroline Quentin on tonight…

a belated Cornwall with Caroline Quentin…

Apologies for the late post of Caroline Quentin’s Cornwall but I have lots going on at present! But here it is before the next episode tomorrow…

Caroline kick starts episode 5 at Prideaux Place situated  in Padstow with its own herd of fallow deer which have been roaming the estate since 485 AD. It is said that if the deer die out then the Prideaux family will disapppear too. The population of the deer became just six in 1926. George V sent down a stag from Windsor but it is said the game keeper shot it by accident.

Interestingly the back of the house is still as the American Army left the house for D-Day in 1944 when soldiers from a US combat batallion occupied the house. The rooms untouched, have many memories of those American soldiers. The lady of the house recently uncovered some letters for the mother of John Fontaine, sadly no longer with us whom must have died in service. Other soldiers names still appear on the wall in thier memory as they sadly never returned to their loved ones.

Robert Hocking, a man whos videos I have shown in past posts. A proud Cornishman who has a organic vegetable business in the Port Eliot estate who loves to spend a Sunday morning on his white leather armchair in the corner of his polytunnel reading the Sunday papers, and yes I did say polytunnel! Robert who runs Buttervilla Funky Leaves is a purveyer of fine fruit and veg. His website is well worth a look, he has had a lot of press and chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen resturants use his leaves. Not only are Roberts videos a great reminder of Cornwall’s past but his current business is a great tribute to Cornwall for producing such wonderful produce. Robert also does vegetable boxes which can be bought through the Dig For Victory website. If you live within a 30 mile radius of PL13 1PA then delivery is free.  So all you Cornish and Devonians out there log onto Dig For Victory and buy some veg! It’s ansome! If you are struggling for what to do with veg then two must have books are the Riverford Farm cook book which can be bought here and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Veg book which is a must for every kitchen, vegetarian or not!

Caroline then went onto talk about Robert’s other passion of perserving Cornish history on film. Some of his videos I have posted previously which you will find on this blog. Robert shows Caroline a video of his family sailing Redwings in Looe. the video can be seen here

The redwings championships still take place and Robert’s family have won the silverware more than any other family in the town. Robert, not a sailing man and the black sheep of the family prefers to keep his feet on dry land. Florence, Robert’s great neice was entering the Redwing race and won another cup for the family silver collection.

Next stop and Caroline is sitting on the ledge of one of the engine houses at St Agnes eating a pasty, hers is half savoury and half sweet. Personally I have never had one like that but it is said that in days gone by the miners would have had it half and half. I just prefer meat and veg in my pasty!

Another visit to the Camel Valley vineyard at the end of the grape growing season and they are now picking them ready to be pressed. The vineyard are launching their new 20th anniversary wine and it will take place at Nathan Outlaw St Enodoc Hotel at Rock with top wine critic Tom Stevenson and writer Suzy Atkins.  The wine got top marks all round, a wine where the grapes are grown and bottled all in the small vineyard tucked away in the Camel valley.

Good old Cornwall! I will try to get tomorrow’s episode on the blog sooner next week, but before I do that I will have to post about Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys, on tonight at 7pm on Channel 4.

Looking for Valentines Inspiration?

Well, one idea anyway. Why not treat your loved one to some Cornishware this Valentines?

Cornishware originally had blue and white bands and those colours influenced the banner at the top of this blog. Shortly after moving away from Cornwall, whilst visiting back home I was straight down to Trago Mills to get some household goods as now I had to look after myself. So, down in the aisles of Trago with various things in my basket I have probably never used I stumbled on some Cornishware. It was all seconds but suited a young bachelor like myself.  So I picked up 2 mugs, my parents gave me  sugar, tea and coffee jars that Christmas and my collection has grown ever since. The mug collection grew, a couple have bitten the dust, one of the survivors is sporting a chip and the other a large crack that if you left it for long enough all your tea would probably drain away.  So they are now in semi retirement, and are just used when the dishwasher is full of our other mugs.

Our old mugs up by the chicken shed from when we had been mucking out - How romantic!

Cornishware is made by T. G Green and the blue and white striped design started production in the 1920 with many households having some Cornishware in their cupboards.  Now the old stuff is quite collectible but T.G Green is having a bit of a revival and becoming increasingly popular and trendy! It is said that an employee of T G Green said the blue and white banding reminded them of the blue sky and white crested waves of Cornwall.

So treat your loved one (and yourself) to a pair of Cornishware mugs this Valentines – Now available in Red and White!

Past Valentines day as you read this? Doesn’t matter Cornishware makes a great gift any day of the year!

Click on their link above to take you to the T G Green website.

Three Hungry Boys Part 3

Did you see the Three Hungry boys last night? For those that missed it here is the low down…

Cocksure Tim the blagger, Thom the builder, hunter and forager and Trevor the cook and bartering expert are back in Daisy their milk float and travelling around the lanes of Cornwall!

Two and a half weeks into their five week challenge to travel to Land End they boys decide to venture to the North coast to a Pagan carnival in St Agnes. With no money to buy beer at the festival they had to blag some before they got there otherwise the festival ain’t gonna be much fun huh? So Trev makes a call toTerry at Skinner’s Brewery who has some worked lined up for them. The boys work hard for the keg of ale in their sights, doing all sorts of jobs from cleaning out the barrels to digging out all the spent malted barley from the vats. After some pretty sweaty work and smelling like a brewery they head off to the Crab and Ale public house in Truro in the hope of getting some food and beer. After chatting to the landlord the boys hear its quiz night and that 1st prize is a food voucher for the pub; 2ndprize is sweets & chocolates and the booby prize is a load of chocolate! So if they are smart they could do really well or if they haven’t a clue they could win some chocolate. Well, three biology graduates did better than winning the booby prize but unfortunately not well enough to win 1st or 2nd prize so no dinner or chocolate.  Still, it looked like a fun night out away from the milk float and they did a bit of glass collecting for a beer. Never mind chaps, maybe next time…

Next morning, the lads are back on the road and have a tweet from Woodland Valley Farm, a Cornish organic farm who were offering the lads some sausages in exhange for some work. Chris Jones who runs the organic pork and beef  farm in Ladock welcomed the boys and offered them some work mulching the nut trees (hazel nuts and chestnut trees) in his nuttery. Basically, the mulching involves putting used cardboard around the trees to kill off any weeds and then as the cardboard rots it will provide nutrients for the trees. So after a mornings work Chris rewards the boys with some sausages and duck eggs. The boys are thinking with some flour and milk they can make some toad in the hole. Now, for the milk blagging they head off to a near by dairy farm for a few pints of the white stuff. So Tim gets to work on the milking of some cows in the hope of not geting a brown shower! Well, with a few near misses they get their milk and head off grinning from ear to ear. With 3 ingredients down they just need flour. A local bakery message them on Twitter to drop in to do some work and the boys secure the final ingredient. With the ingredients on board Daisy the lads head off to the St Agnes for the carnival and festival.

The festival at St Agnes has been run for over 70 years where the traders and fish wives have been selling their wares to the locals. the boys try to sell their food and drink they have worked for in payment for other goods to stock up their larder. Trev knocks up the toad in the hole whilst the parade is in full swing. The St Agnes Bolster Festival can be seen here. With toad in the hole prepared the boys set about trading and by the end of the night they are full of veg, cheese and food for their larder. The night with a great success and they managed to keep enough beer for themselves so a good night was had by all!   If you are after a toad in the hole recipe or if you fancy trying it Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall style try it here.

Eventhough the excess of beer did slightly sway their idea of a good barter the boys hadnt done bad and they managed to swap a pineapple for their toad in the hole and beer trading so they certainly got some produce that’s not grown in Cornwall.

Next stop is music to my ears…

The Tregothnan Estate and home to Lord Falmouth (not to be confused with a Lord from Falmouth!) and the Boscawen family. I will touch on Tregothnan again in later posts but for now they are famous for being the only tea producers in Britain. The lads met Jonathan from Tregothnan who gave them some work to do, tea harvesting on the estate in exchange for somewhere to charge Daiseys battery and some fishing in the river Fal! Tregothnan has over 40 hectares and the Corinsh micro climate is the perfect aspect for growing a bit of tea! With several speciality teas on the estate the boys start harvesting the manuka bush (more famous for its honey) to make some tea from. Check out the Tregothnan website to see all the varieties of tea on offer. It makes a great present for the tea drinker in your life and not a chimpanzee in sight!

Next morning Thom the hunter decides to do a spot of fishing off the jetty at the bottom of the estate. After trying to catch some mullet by spinning (thats afsihing technique) he exchanges to float fishing without any luck. One spear gun later and he had three grey mullet in the bag. So, with some mullet and some manuka Trevor decides to smoke the fish with the Manuka flowers flavouring the fish.  After a short time of smoking the fish within reach of the incoming time the smoking nothing short of a disater, still looking on the bright side it was nice to see the river Fal on the telly last night.

The boys are then asked to harvest some Kea plums from the bank of the Fal. With only 20 acres of Kea plums in the world with them all being around the Fal they are somethig quite special to eat, either on their own or as a jam or crumble. we had some given to us from a friend who has a tree in his back garden in Malpas, Mother made a crumble whist we were down and it didn’t stay in the fridge for long.  Mmm..salivating just thinking about it…

The plums are worth about £30 per kilo so great when a friend gives you half a carrier bag full. The lads collected a fair few from the banks of the Fal before being given a couple of kilos for their efforts. Trev then makes some Kea plum jam to use as currency for the next part of thier trip. If you want to try some of this delicious jam you can buy it from the Tregothnan shop here.

So next the lads are in the milk flast ‘speeding’ along, racing for the King Harry Ferry to save driving around the Fal. The Ferry is a small chain ferry and goes back and forth accross the Fal all day long. If you are in the area its a great experience and it will save you time and probably a little money in going accross the Fal rather than driving around the Fal. More about the King Harry Ferry can be seen here. Their intentions of paying for the ferry crossing with a pot of Kea Jam was dashed when the ticket collector/man you give your money to told them he had a Kea plum tree in his garden so the last thing he wanted was a pot of jam. Expect his missus makes it all the time? Coincidentally it was his birthday too so he allowed them to cross the Fal for nothing if they sung Happy Birthday to him! Hmm… I wonder if that will work next time we are scratching around for a fiver to pay to cross the Fal?

Finally the boys go to Devoran Pilot Gig club whom I think have a new website and incidentally have a new book out called Up For Ten! The Official Devoran Gig Club Songbook. Send a text to Frannie, pay two squidders and you got yourself a copy (if you collect -postage extra!!) to get Frannie mobile number and a copy of the book click here. Back to the lads, they had a good go at racing the gig boats, a 2 mile circuits where all the teams were back on dry land with a pint in the hand whilst the boys were still bring up the rear. Gig rowing is a great spectacle and if you get the chance you must pop down to watch it in the evenings.

That’s it for tonight, Caroline Quentins Cornwall short appraisal coming up later in the week.

 

 


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