All posts tagged: Market Stall

And that’s it folks…

And, that’s it folks.  No more crazy early mornings filled with  intense baking sessions, vats of soup and spiced bramley apples. No more frenetic tweeting of mes petits désastres. No more waking to the intense  savouriness that is the smell of  kilos of slow roasting pork, wading through the aroma and the sleepiness down the stairs, and opening the oven to a rush of steam and porky goodness. The draining of the fat and the crisping of the crackling. Dipping my hand into the meaty cavern and pulling out the tender shreds of juicy meat. That’s it The last week is down. A snow filled Wednesday, but cheery to the end and committed to the market, we carried on. We went out with a bang. Yeterday at market was a fantastically busy day and a perfect day to go out on. The night before, I was exhausted, and really not in the mind for cooking. On the way home from work, I stopped at Selfirdge’s, knowing they had Brindisa chorizo which I wanted for my …

Festive Frolics at Covent Garden Real Food Market

I’m not one for noticing detail. One market day recently, I glanced upwards after the lunch time rush, and spotted evergreen gracing the top of my stall. Of course! We’re getting close to Christmas, and the market is embracing it. We have chocolate salamis and spiced pecans, gorgeous homemade Christmas puddings and mulled wine. I’m serving up my 8 hour slow roast pork with spiced apple, but I am also including spiced soups to warm the senses on these very cold days. Recently I served up a very traditional boiled Irish gammon sandwich, we always have these over Christmas, particularly on St Stephens Day (Boxing Day in the UK) and it filled me with a surge of nostalgia and a longing from home. I would love to do more festive dishes, like Irish spiced beef, very popular in Cork. Cured for weeks with spices like cloves, allspice, ginger, mace & bay, it’s then boiled and served up over the Christmas period. I adore the leftovers in a sandwich. It’s not to be this Christmas period …

It must be time for a market update?

Isn’t it just! I have now been at the market for 15 weeks. 15 WEEKS!  That’s kind of exciting, isn’t it? It’s time for an update. Life has been rather busy, I don’t exaggerate. Nor do I seek sympathy as it was good busy. Isn’t it good to be busy? However, the downside of this busy-ness is that normal service of recipes and randomness on this blog wasn’t possible. Mainly because I didn’t have much time to cook, and if I did, I didn’t have time to write about it. Then there was the sad day that my lovely DSLR camera was appropriated by someone else. I do have a tiny point and shoot but it just doesn’t cut the mustard for me and sadly, nay stupidly, it wasn’t insured, and I am not yet in a position to replace it. I miss the sharpness, the focus, the colours and the depth. I miss my camera. So, after all that guff,  how has the market been? I’ve been diligently baking those blaas, week after week. …

Covent Garden Real Food Market – Open all weekend

A quick one from me this morning as I am in the midst of my cooking! Covent Garden Real Food Market is open all weekend as part of the London Restaurant Festival from  12 – 7pm. Today I have overnight slow roast hand of pork and shoulder of lamb with homemade bread. THe lamb will be served with a smoky aubergine relish and the pork with spiced apple in home made bread. I also have organic Irish smoked salmon with cucumber pickle and cream cheese on toasted pickles. And as it’s October i’s time for soup. Today I have spiced roast pumpkin. I’ve got to go back to the kitchen. Time’s running out! I do love it though. Everything except the sleep deprivation that is.

Week 7 at the Market and a Recipe for Blaas

I can’t quite believe I’ve just typed Week 7 at the market, have I really been there 7 weeks? And I am but one day away from week 8. For something that happened organically and was quite unplanned save for the first week, it’s become quite a feature in this life of mine. Less major dramas and stress, there’s a routine in place at last, although I will continue to vary the produce to keep it interesting for me and for you. There was one minor stress last week relating to transport to the market, namely it didn’t arrive, so apologies to anyone that got down there early to discover that I wasn’t there. I felt very bad about that. Onwards and upwards, I’ll ensure that doesn’t happen this week. I normally leave with enough buffer time to handle traffic etc. but if the cab doesn’t turn up, well, there’s nothing I can do about that. What’s that you say? Learn to drive? Buy a car? All in good time, all in good time. The …

The art of the tart and making an impression

Another week has gone by, and we’ve spent another Thursday at the market. This week started with a bang with me spectacularly locking myself out of my house whilst signing for some post. I wasn’t even wearing shoes, just a dress, whose hemline was too north of the knee, to feel anything but freezing and ill prepared for the situation. I have a tricky relationship with my postman at best. He has told me off for “neglecting” my post. I explained I work(ed) for a living. Sheesh. So, you can imagine how we both felt when the door slammed behind me with me standing in my porch with nothing on my feet, bare legs, no phone, no keys, no wallet, and I don’t know anyone’s number. No neighbours were in, I was well and truly stuck. Even if they were in, I am much shorter than the fences at either side of my garden. The postman, now transitioned from sworn enemy to personal hero, persuaded an elderly Caribbean neighbour two doors down of the severity …

And to market! Today’s menu

Greetings from my kitchen! Once again, a late night, followed by a very early morning, making and baking. I want everything to be as fresh as possible and if that means I suffer in the sleep stakes, well, so be it. We’ve broadened our offering today, and have a veggie alternative for those that don’t eat salmon, or who just want something different. Savoury rolls with a light pastry, filled with roast pumpkin, spinach, chilli and chevre (dellicious goat’s cheese). Frank Hederman smoked salmon with cucumber pickle on homemade brown soda bread will also be on offer as last time, only today you can up the ante and get cream cheese with it too. There will be jars of pickle to take home, as there were many enquiries as to why not last time. Last but not least by any means, we’ll also be selling the wonderful Bisol Jeio prosecco by the glass. I’ll try and drink less of it this time but I can’t promise anything. So, back I go to the soda bread, …

Covent Garden Real Food Market Stall: the recipes

And… drumroll! Now for the recipes. I was really excited by how many people really enjoyed the brown soda bread and cucumber pickle. I was a little nervous about how they would be received, and at 6am, sleep deprived and coffee’d up, I had a thought: what if people hate it?! Thankfully no one seemed to, in fact lots of people wanted the pickle and bread to take home, so if I do it again folks, I’ll make sure that I jar some and make some extra bread (if that’s possible!). As I said in my previous post, both of these recipes are very straight forward but with excellent results, it’s virtually impossible to mess these up. Depending on your taste you may want to alter the sugar/vinegar ratio in the pickle, I prefer it to be a little on the tart side. Both recipes are adaptations of Ballymaloe recipes. The original Ballymaloe soda bread calls for buttermilk, however, that’s not terribly easy to find in the UK, and when available it’s expensive. I substitute …

Covent Garden Real Food Market Stall: Roundup Part 1

Our day at Covent Garden Market last week was so much fun! The other stall holders were friendly and welcoming, and we met some lovely people throughout the day.  It was worth the holiday day, and worth all the trekking. I’ll leave you with a quick roundup and some photos now, and will come back to tell the story properly soon. I will also share the soda bread and cucumber pickle recipe as promised. I learned a few things last week. Slicing 10 cucumbers by hand is a tedious task. Buy a food processor! 5.30am is very early, especially when you go to bed post pickling and slightly pickled at 1.30am. Don’t sandwich packets of butter between piping hot bread straight from the oven. Should you do this and carry it in a bag on your shoulder, it will leak on your shoes. And on the tube floor. And you may get startled by the sight of the yellow blood on your legs and let loose an expletive in front of some shocked elderly men. …