A guest blog post by Max Didcote.
The life of a university student includes being confronted with a myriad of challenges that catch you off guard and leave you wishing you were back in the safety of your home. Okay that was a bit dramatic, but it does come with plenty of new obstacles to overcome, one of which is the kitchen. Coming from somebody who has set fire to spaghetti on more than one occasion I’d suggest you take a little time to acquire some basic cooking skills before setting off on your new educational adventure.
As a third-year university student, I’ve gone through highs and lows in the kitchen and I’ve seen others go through much lower. Here are some of the biggest factors that deter students from cooking:
Christmas Greetings From Yvette
I am sitting in the warm watching icicles form on a frosty window with deep snow outside.
All is looking very Christmassy even though we have two weeks to go before the big event.
What does Christmas mean to you?
I enjoy the tinsel, red berries on the holly, robin red breast, ice, good food but more importantly the season of good will to all men.
The Harvest Festival and the Month of Plenty
Are you feeling blue with the evenings drawing in, children back to school and the prospect of winter coming?
Well pick yourself up as we are in the month of plenty!
September is the best month for an overflow of produce from gardens, hedgerows and fields. This is the month of the Harvest Festival and a celebration of fresh, seasonal, local food. Traditionally there would have been church services followed by barn dances with cider a plenty at this time of year. The whole community would have been involved with bringing in the harvest before the winter storms broke. We all know the cry ‘Too many marrows what can I do with them?’! Not only are we in the month of harvest but it is also the month when there is a frenzy of preservation: bottling, pickling, fermenting, dehydrating and freezing.
My Reflections on the January Blues, recipes to try and our January Sale
It’s always this time of year when everything starts to ‘pinch’.
Blue Monday is said to be the most depressing day of the year. From doing a quick google it is apparently on that particular day because of a calculation that looks at factors like weather and debt levels. Oh and it was invented by a Holiday company apparently too!
Now here’s the thing – you have a choice – you can either curl up under your duvet and sleep through it or you choose to ignore it and purposefully do something positive and maybe even fun! You can smile at a stranger, get out for some exercise or even bake yourself something deliciously healthy. Or you can do all 3! Being kind to yourself (and others) is like medicine – self-care if you like.Bring colour in to your house – try filling a big fruitbowl full of colourful fruit and just see how good it makes you feel seeing such vibrancy from nature’s larder. And let’s face it, you are far more likely to eat a piece of fruit if it looks enticing and on is on display within your eye-line.
Why not try an alternative Halloween this year?
With Halloween on the horizon I thought I would dedicate this blog to how important our dead are to food – in fact, I would go so far as to say they are almost as important as the living! The ritual connections between food and the dead span centuries and cultures. Recipes and rituals are interwoven, traditions run deep in local cultures and are often misunderstood or misinterpreted in the modern day.
In Ancient Egypt the dead were buried with honey cakes to eat in the afterlife. The Mexican, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), is a rich and colourful celebration of death and the continuation of life and is synonymous with a sweet bread called Pan De Muerto.
The bread becomes the centre piece of the altar during the Day of the Dead ‘holiday season.’ Now this bread does vary from region to region but the shapes on top are apparently suggestive of bones and often sprinkled with sugar or sesame seeds. Now wouldn’t that make a really interesting #GBBO showstopper bake or technical challenge?
FOOD LOVERS RETREAT – PRIZE GIVEAWAY
Cook, Dine and Relax….all on us !
WE HAVE A WINNER…..LEONA PRICE!….CONGRATULATIONS!
Thanks to Soglos.com for this interview with our very own Yvette Farrell
Can you tell SoGlos a bit about yourself and where you’re from?
I’m Yvette Farrell and I’m the owner of Harts Barn Cookery School in the Forest of Dean. I’m originally from London and came here about 24 years ago.
What brought you to Gloucestershire?
I was headhunted and moved because the office was based here. I spent many years driving all over the UK, but always enjoyed coming back to the Forest of Dean. I then had the opportunity to set up my own business and now every day I get to look out to marvellous views.