The Pheasant Philosophises: Part 4: Queen Victoria’s Pineapple

In a society of sexual equality, I often think to the past and wonder what stories lie behind others. In childhood, I was always regaled with tales of my Great Great Great Grandfather, an interesting character who had, apparently, owned an Italian Fruit Warehouse in Bath during the 1840s and 50s. As a man he…

The Monmouthshire Food Festival – Fit for a King (or the son of one anyway!)

Last weekend, Thomas of Woodstock’s once splendid castle at Caldicot played host, for the second time this year, to The Monmouthshire Food Festival. In general the weather held and there were some moments of dazzling sunshine, as visitors were treated to two splendid days of food, drink, demonstrations and workshops. Although not the biggest in the…

Answering a few of my own questions about Clotted Cream….

What do Tolkien’s Hobbits, the Cornish Giant Blundabore, and Edmund Spenser have in common? The answer; Clotted Cream. Clotted cream is at the heart of every quintessentially British Cream Tea. Slavered onto scones, melting unctuously beside a warm sticky toffee pudding or just in a bowl alongside a pile of freshly picked, fragrant, seasonal berries….

An ancient dish which has moved with the times – #worldporridgeday

Oats have been cultivated since at least 2000 bce, they are sturdy crops, keep well, are filling, full of minerals and have saved many a country from starving to death in harder times. They have been used in soups, stews, breads, oatcakes, gruel and most famously in Porridge. Following on from my previous article about…

Spicing up the Welsh Cake for the Autumn

Welsh Cakes have always been my go-to standby for surprise guests; they are so simple to make and are best eaten hot, bounced from hand-to-hand almost straight from the pan. My grandmother, who at the age of twelve took over her family’s weekly baking told me how Welsh Cakes scarcely made it out of the…

Into the woods…..The Forest Showcase Food Festival 2017

As a great supporter of local food festivals, I am always delighted to share my enthusiasm with anyone who cares to listen. It now being ‘food festival season’, I am spoilt for choice. Last weekend I attended a small but perfectly formed festival in The Royal Forest of Dean, about twenty minutes drive from my…