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16 June 2015

17 May 2014

operation; flavour

My mum was cooking a lovely, sticky honey thai chicken for out friends, and i thought, what a brilliant opportunity to test out my skills on other people. I decided to make a starter and perhaps receive some feedback from them rather then just my parents and brother! I decided to get my flavour combination skills brain on and make spring rolls...with a twist! (although i actually ended up doing triangles!) i am ashamed to start off with saying that did not in fact, make the filo pastry, but this seems a big challenge to attempt. but perhaps I'll give it a shot in the not to distant future! Anyway, i did the usual, bean sprouts, carrot, sweet chilli sauce, spring onions and pepper. Then to spruce it up and give it a bit of "oomph" i added lime juice, paneer cheese and corriander. i ummed and ahed about perhaps adding a little ginger and garlic, but i was worried that it might not go with the cheese, or over power the original flavour of the traditional spring roll? what I am pleased to say about this starter is that they came out the oven crisp and flakey, and with a bit of hot chilli sauce to get the taste buds going, my family and friends loved them! I am also proud to say that the spring onions and peppers were local and the chicken my mum made was entirely free range!
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8 May 2014

Day 8: Only 2 Days Left

I woke up this morning with a question: to go to my lecture or not to go to my lecture? I think you can guess what my decision was, especially with exams on the way and panic revision kicking in! Since I had leftover batter from yesterday’s pancake mix, I decided to finish it off. I was really boring too and instead of mixing things up a bit, I had it in exactly the same way as yesterday too! I did however have a cup of Fairtrade coffee on the side for extra energy (these coffee granules came from another local independent shop as well so all tying in nicely with the challenge). My National Geographic subscription came recently and funnily enough the covering topic is FOOD. As a great food lover I would have been interested in reading this anyway but since I am doing a food challenge at the moment it made me especially eager. So I sat down after breakfast and had a good read. Apparently there is an ever-growing concern about the food shortages we may face in the future; it is estimated that the world population will have reached 9 billion by 2050 and this will challenge the world’s crop supplies demanding them to double in yield! Sounds impossible and very scary! One thing that actually seems quite rewarding with these facts though is that eating local helps this problem – supporting local farmers encourages them to produce higher yields and cutting out the supermarket middle-man gives them a much higher profit too. Lunch felt a little bit more wholesome after reading this crazy information and I had leek and potato soup again which was accompanied with some bread. It was all sourced very locally in all the little independent shops I know so the challenge is still going very well. I had circuit training tonight so wanted a nice big meal to treat myself after. This was pan fried veal, mash potato and steamed carrots with a red cabbage and onion sauce. I felt a bit nervous about trying veal as I had never had it before plus I didn’t really like the idea of eating baby cow :( – I am sorry but I had to put a sad face there! But, getting over this and remembering that I eat baby sheep often I managed to enjoy my veal loin and found that it was really tender and flavoursome. Then again to be honest it was yet another great piece of meat from Ruby and White and they haven’t let me down once throughout this whole challenge! I made a cheeky apple crumble as a treat for pudding and this was also very tasty. I am getting increasingly sad that this Bristol Good Food Diaries challenge is coming to an end and so I am going to have to try and think up a future project that makes me think about food in another different way – I have really enjoyed blogging too. Also, I am very open to suggestions on potential food diary projects for the future so if you have any ideas, let me know… But still 2 days to go so don’t panic!

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7 May 2014

Day 7: Only Three Days To Go!

Today started beautifully with a fire alarm drill at 6.50am. If I had a lecture at 9 then I may have thanked whoever decided to do yet another drill at silly o’clock, but since today is a day off uni, you could say I was a little bit annoyed… ANYWAY after standing outside in the cold waiting for my name to be called for 10 minutes, I crawled back into bed where I actually managed to have an extra one and a half hours of sleep. After waking up feeling slightly more refreshed I decided to make pancakes! All of the ingredients were locally sourced and to accompany my lovely pancakes I had some strawberry jam which was made by a very amazing cook I know from South Wales called Tish. She makes awesome farmhouse food and I have never managed to find a Victoria sponge cake which tastes better than hers (she even gets the eggs from her own hens!). Due to yesterday’s severe lack of revision, I really had to go hell for leather and after almost three hours I had enough and the only thing I could think of was food. Lunch today was a take on last night’s meal because I bought two chicken legs at the same time so I thought I may as well cook them together then have the second one the next day with a salad. This turned out to be very successful and again I was amazed with how much flavour I got out of the chicken. Local butchers strikes again! My evening was a little bit busy so supper really came as an after thought. Firstly I had to attend the launch of a nature society in Bristol that I have been following since its start. This was named the Bristol Nature Network a few meetings ago and I think it is safe to say that its official launch party tonight was a great success! The evening didn’t stop there! I then went to a really fun ‘bat picnic’ where many of my course mates and I basically sat in a park at twilight with Ultrasound Transducers listening for bats as they flew overhead. This is why I love my course so much because it’s not always just about sitting through lectures and labs; we also get to measure bat frequencies, visit the Slimbridge bird reserve and also visit Bristol Zoo! Pretty cool huh! I came back at 10.30pm and immediately whacked some bacon under the grill and put some of my locally baked bread in the toaster. I had one of the nicest bacon sandwiches I have ever had! But this may have something to do with the fact that I was absolutely ravenous by the time I came home. This has been another successful day and I think I am really going to miss this challenge when it’s over!

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5 May 2014

Day 5: Half Way There

Feeling revision stress so I am going to keep this very simple! Breakfast was porridge again which was good, lunch was toasted malt loaf with butter and to add a little energy I had a fairtrade coffee too. Supper was a very simple leek and potato soup (one I made earlier) and to top it all off I had a nice rhubarb crumble as a treat. Sorry for the brief log but it's time to get back to revision!

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1 May 2014

Ship-shape and Bristol foodie

After much deliberation - my challenge? To increase my food efficiency! Over the next few weeks I want to try and streamline my shopping and cooking experience by limiting waste, expense, and food miles, as well as increasing the nutritional efficiency of each meal. Being conveniently located in Bristol - a city that prides itself on local food supply, food recycling, and city farming - I'm sure this won't be too difficult, but I'm anticipating an interesting and informative journey. I keep a blog (http://www.jenandjulia.tumblr.com/) in any case that keeps track of good recipes that I find or tweak myself, and photographs that help me keep track of what I'm eating. Mostly my job involves science outreach and talking about the brain, so writing about food consistently will be a brand new experience and I'm very much looking forward to it. Over the next while I hope to write about our brand new garden compost heap and how we limit food waste before it simply gets thrown away, our vegetable and kitchen herb growing, home-brewing including where our hops come from and where our grain waste goes, how you can increase the nutritional value of your food and why this is a good idea, where to buy locally supplied foods and whether this is a consistently viable option, as well as the practicality of making your own version of shop-bought foods like bread and pasta...but for my first post? Well, macarons of course!

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30 April 2014

The True Cost Of Good Food

And so, tomorrow it begins! Today I went and got all my shopping so I can be fully prepared for tomorrow. After spending the best part of an hour going to the butchers (Ruby and White), The Better Food Company and Wild Oats (All of which on/close to Whiteladies Road), I have come home with tonnes of very tasty looking food to get this challenge going. I really noticed the big price crunch between Sainsbury's and all of these local shops. I must admit, my little student budget got a bit blown out of the water. However, even though this food costs more, it looks better and I hope to tell you soon that it also tastes better. I am still feeling very optimistic about the Good Food Challenge! I look forward to sharing my day to day food blog with everyone.

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