Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Who makes the best pasty over the Tamar?

Just a little bit of fun on this February afternoon. I (a Cornishman) have just driven into central Oxford and bought one thing…… a Cornish pasty. It was not my intention but there I was ambling down the street and all I could smell was pasties coming from a Cornish Bakehouse shop. Ansom Waz! So I bought a giant (wasn’t that big compared to me mothers) steak (yes STEAK) traditional Cornish Pasty. I had to lock it in the boot of the car to keep the smell at bay.

Still, it was proper tasty! Certainly one of the best I’ve had north of the Tamar and highly recommended.

Where ‘s your favourite pasty from north of the Tamar? Please answer below.

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!

 

 

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!!

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.

 

 

The Cornish Mussel Shack – King Harry, Cornwall

When we first started My Saffron Bun we also set ourselves up on twitter and facebook to see what this social networking thing was all about. Why not follow us on Twitter?

Twitter, in particular is a great way to keep our eye on wassup in Cornwall and we love following local businesses and food suppliers. More than once we have news of what’s going on before our friends and family who actually live there!

Small fishing boat going home and Norman Bridge a passenger ferry laid up in the River Fal

One of our followers is @MusselShack who sell freshly harvested mussels, ready bagged for you to take home and use in your favourite recipes. All their shellfish come from the River Fal, in the area surrounding the King Harry Ferry and Carrick Roads. They are harvested using a variety of methods including snorkeling and hand dredging.

While we were down at Christmas we planned on taking some lovely fresh fish back to Becky’s parents who, like us, are real foodies. We had planned on going somewhere on our last day to get some on the way home but fate intervened. The afternoon before we left Matt from @MusselShack tweeted that he had some beauties that were available to anyone for New Years Eve. We quickly tweeted him and arranged to meet him at the slipway of the King Harry Ferry on our way back. This was just perfect. Roger, Becky’s Dad, has a mean reputation for THE best Moules Marinere.

So there we were on a pretty miserable late afternoon in December meeting a man about some mussels. We drove down to the slipway and parked up, we could see Matt working away in his little mussel shack.

It was great to meet Matt and with our normal Cornish twist of fate found out he lives in the same village as Mark’s Mum and Dad, Budock Water. He is rightly proud of his mussels (make sure we spell that right!) and their size and quality.

Matt's lazy assistant (left) and Matt in his Mussel Shack

The majority of their mussels are snorkeled from the underside of pontoons up and down the river. Constant immersion allows the mussels to feed 24 hours a day. This allows them to reach a very large size, as well as making the meat yield from them exceptionally good. The hand diving means that their harvesting methods are really environmentally friendly too!

Their Mussels are available to purchase at either Truro Farmers’ Market, Lemon Quay Piazza every Saturday 8:00am – 2:00pm. You can either buy them to cook yourself or takeaway portions of cooked mussel with a choice of sauces. Alternatively you can buy some from Matt on The King Harry every Friday 3:00pm – 6:00pm. Yes, that’s actually on the ferry! Matt rides back and forth all afternoon selling his mussels – it’s a hard life isn’t it?

Left - Mr Mussel (Matt) Right - beautiful mussels soon to be heading up the A30

You should check out their website which has lots more info on them. We loved their descriptions on how to look after your mussels. Who knew that mussels don’t like drafts? We have an image of them all sitting their shivering!

We took them back up to Wiltshire and Roger got to work, check out the recipe and some cool photos coming up soon.

Christmas would not be the same without a bit of Delia

We love braised red cabbage in our house. All year round we cook Delia Smith’s braised red cabbage and apple recipe. Its a simple recipe to follow and the flavour is awesome, we will have it with duck confit, bangers and mash and with roasts. So why not have a go this Christmas, you have tomorrow to get the ingredients or why not cook it for your New Year meal – you will NOT be disappointed.

The recipe is reproduced on several sites on the internet but have a look at DeliaOnline.com . Del…icious!

Cornish Red Cabbages

Cornwall around the world – Cornish Fairings discovered in USA!



Yet another new series coming from My Saffron Bun –  Cornwall around the world!

Today, an old school friend, Tina who lives in the USA and follows my blog emailed me to tell me ….well this

“OMG! I just found Cornish Fairings (Furniss Gingerbreads) in Portland, Oregon! YUM!”

Furniss of Redruth established in 1886 and originally were based in Truro.  The oven they have used since the 1950s is still going strong and can bake over 7,000 biscuits an hour – not even I can keep up with that! In the 80’s Furniss moved from Truro to Redruth and took their trusty oven with them piece by piece because she bakes such beautiful biscuits.

To find out more about Furniss click here and to visit their shop and take advantage of their Credit Crunch offer click here.

Why not try making your own biscuits at home by following their delicious recipes here.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Twitter Updates