Guest Blogger: Joyce Archives - Greenwich Pantry Blog
15 Apr

Loving Food at Greenwich Pantry got us marching into the kitchen

Cooking with Greenwich Pantry

Foodies loving food at Greenwich Pantry is nothing new and there’s a lot to love about food, but if you want to make more of an impression take a leap of faith with our cooking classes. Our enthusiastic team will have you marching into the kitchen with an inspiring collection of food and cookery classes.

“….if you want to make more of an impression take a leap of faith with our cooking classes.”

The last few months had us loving lots of different food. For starters there was February and Valentine’s Day and for some of you lovers who wanted to make more of an impression than a box of cheap chocolates and corny ‘2 can dine for’ deal ever could, some of you in the first flushes of flirtation with food came to us for a sushi class and we made Sushi followers of you; expert lovers of good ingredients whom we’re sure are now skipping if not leaping into more awesome adventures in eating since taking the Sushi Class; finding out your Sushi Type and ‘Finding the Foodie in You’.

Then there was Mother’s Day and competitions but wait; before then, Pancake Day, that flipping crazy (good) day, which featured some of the best pancakes seen careering through Greenwich Market during the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race and with just enough time to get a freshly flipped short stack down, it was National Pizza Day. Yay. And you certainly went about ‘proving’ that when food is homemade using delicious ingredients that are wholewheat, heritage wholemeal and made with a whole-lot of love; food can be a lot of fun, much more tasty, nutritious and way less expensive than when it’s pre-prepared! But all that seems light years away! Who kneads readymade, when a baking class is just round the corner eh?

‘there’s no need to monkey around when it comes to cooking,’

If you’re still stalling, rather than leaping for joy at the thought of cooking, uninspired on what to dine on, or somewhat bored with chocolate eggs and egg hunts then get with the program and join one of Greenwich Pantry’s new classes to get you up-skilled in the kitchen. There’ll be no need to monkey around when it comes to cooking.

Perhaps you’ve been inspired and want to get better at making authentic dishes with Asian flavours? Why not step up to the plate and join our weekly cookery classes, or if you’re after something a bit more special then you could learn to make stunning food and be the envy of your office when you take proper grown up packed lunches to work. Your co-staff will be salivating around you and you’ll be the talk of the town. Everyone’ll want an invite to your table with the cooking confidence you’ll gain on the International Cuisine Cookery Class.

Knowing how to dine doesn’t need to be daunting when you’re well prepared with a stacked pantry of the essentials, so take a leap of faith and ‘Find The Foodie in You’.

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28 Feb

You can be as foodie as you feel

Cooking with Greenwich Pantry

 

You can be as foodie as you feel

Are you a cooking catastrophe who hasn’t reached any of the gastronomic gourmet goals you set for yourself in 2017  if so, don’t give yourself a hard time.

Don’t hold back, let the cooking continue

Banish those can’t do thoughts and this spring,  don’t let anything hold you back from getting your cooking hero badge from friends and family! At Greenwich Pantry, we say, ‘yes you can’ and instead of being told you can’t, we here at Greenwich Pantry are all about helping you so you can!

Cooking and eating healthy is double liberation.   Forget the biscuits and breakfast skipping, take outs and kfcs, maybe,  you’re just in need of a more diverse diet?  Whatever it is, please, try not to tell yourself off. We’re here to help and get you on your tracks, saying ‘yay yay’ not saying nay.

The key is, rewarding yourself for good behaviour and not acknowledging your bad habits. It only leads to guilty vibes and puts you on the path to resorting back to short term rewards.

Break the bad habits, one recipe at a time..

So breaking bad habits; how? Essentially, what you need is to replace the old habits with new and exciting ones. Take new challenges.

For starters, come on an exciting taste tour with us and find the foodie in you.

Banish dreary thoughts with these 5 simple steps and join us at Greenwich Pantry to make new habits a positive part of your life.

  1. Buff up on baking. Try a Bake it Cake it experience with someone you love, or come to a class and make new friends.
  2. Expand your repertoire! Perhaps come in secret while you learn to make scintillating Sushi to surprise  your guests at your next soiree.
  3. Swot up on how to create sumptuous savouries or simply learn how to maximise your nutritional intake and and eat clean.
  4. Do it with confidence. Our monthly cookery club is where you’ll experience the joy of learning a variety of eclectic homemade food techniques, ranging from French through to Asian cooking, taking you into 2016 with a new and exciting world of culinary delights you can replicate easily at home.
  5. Join in! Don’t do it alone. The art to Finding the Foodie in You is something to
     enjoy with others. We’ve oodles of cooking events this spring!
Finally, celebrate your successes! Share it with friends. Primp up your paltry pantry and fill it with exiting and nutritious delights and show everyone what great new yummy things you’re discovering  with us on Instagram.

So there you go! The best way of banishing a bad habit is to put your energy into another one make a habit out of trying all of the delicious things that you make – practice makes perfect..

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01 Dec

Dark Nights. Bright Lights. It’s almost time!

Where did November go? What a ridiculously quick month! The days seem shorter than my attention span for new things and once I finally feel that I’m concentrating on the wonderful spinning world underneath me, I’m just spinning plates. It’s so easy to let it get on top of you, isn’t it. Despite what you’re doing, if it just keeps getting busier and more exciting, go with it. If it slows a little, lucky you, recharge.

It’s a bit too early to start thinking about new years resolutions, even though no doubt, that’ll be upon us in no time at all, but whilst I can; I want to think thankfully for the craziness around me and my constant ability to keep up with it, even though I’m constantly feeling like I’m not.

I want to thank my guiding stars for not bumping into the furniture and for all the pleasantries of new things to come; new people, new babies, friends new and old and discovering that the huge that world isn’t that big after all.

So before you even get to the point, the end of the year where it’s so easy to burn out, keep your star; your eyes and sparkle shining bright. How? Well how I cope, is something quite simple.

Breakfast. I don’t subscribe to the so-called glamour of the 1950’s housewife, yet I do love aprons and cake stands and I do believe in the vitality of the 1950’s slogan of ‘Go[ing] to work on an egg’. I take that literally, for when I mean I have an egg (poached of course); I go to town on it, serving up wholesome homemade wholewheat soldiers or see that the mound of wobbly poached eggs sit on a tasty freshly baked toasted muffin or ciabatta.

So you don’t know how to bake? (Here’s how) Or you don’t have time? As I’ve said before, ‘beat stress bake bread’. There’s nothing like punching into a ball of dough to take the day out of your system, rather then someone else who cuts in line when you’re out Christmas Shopping.

We all need as much peace comfort and joy at this time of the year, and well, that’s how I cope.

Of course, if you’re not into eggs, we’ve got plenty else to keep you going at breakfast. All completely full of luscious and nutritious ingredients that’ll see you not only through the day, but to the end of the year, helping you keep your energy and spark.

Keeping on the subject of retro Kitchenalia, I have always been a retro maximalist, rather than a modern minimalist. I love all gadgets, condiments, all the flavours and all the goodness and that’s not hard to find when you’ve a speed dial to a pantry like Lara’s.

To help you ready yourself for the Christmas rush, my advice is to actually slow down, chill out, take it easy.

I hope you avoided all the unnecessaries of the Black Friday madness? For when is a bargain really a bargain? It’s not, not when it comes to our health and our bodies and our sanity.

If you want to avoid the hellish malls and shopping districts, come and take a gentle stroll down the newly reopened Lovibond Lane from Greenwich Station (which finished just in time for Christmas) and pop-in to our pop-up Greenwich Pantry Christmas Shop and treat your family to Christmas essentials and lovely little luxuries. We’ve Greenwich Pantry  gastronomic gifts to give, that they’ll actually use (and consume.)

With gift ideas galore we’ll also be offering gift wrapping to raise money for Action Against Hunger.

You can also pick up things like treats from Nourish Skin to see you through times of stressed winter skin, create a flavour station with Cornish Sea Salts and Uncle Roy’s and Every Man Foods. There’ll be something to please all tastes, we promise. Even for when the relatives visit and one half of the family have traditions that call for one method of marathon marinading and the other half of the family want option two of tastes, there’s help from the likes of Scarlett & Mustard who’ve turned marinading on it’s head.

You’ve got to love your own traditions though, learn new ones and it just means, like in most families, there’s always more than one way of one way of boiling a turnip. (Hey. We’re cat loving household).

One thing I do like to do, much more than in the Spring, is just freshen up my home. It gets a bit stifling with the heating on and when it’s blowing a gale, I’m loathe to open the windows. So I like to refresh my home with memories of Spring with Green Scents.

Once that’s done, it’s time to put my cold feet up and treat myself to some fine Jam on Toast, watch some sort of costume drama, have a nibble of exquisite chocolate and have a cuppa, knowing I’m just delaying my fate. I’ll be elbow deep with the rest of the world, albeit serenely gift shopping among the madness in about 24 days time. I’d better get baking then. Santa’s coming!

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31 Oct

Hubble Bubble! Make a feast in your cauldron.

Instead of bumping into blood sucking vampires as things go bump in the night tonight, celebrate Halloween, (All Hallows Eve) traditionally.  Did you know that on this date of remembrance for the faithfully departed, it was historically marked by feasting (and something that won’t scare-off vegetarians), it was also customary to abstain from meat.

Foods that were favoured were seasonal English apples, country cider and the humble potato, but back in days of yore when people were hell-bent on witch-hunting, one would have had to have kept shtum about the spice-rack. 

You wouldn’t have dared to pepper your potatoes, or brazenly sprinkle cinnamon and stud cloves on your sweet apple pies for fear of being called out a ‘Witch’!

How ghastly! If you do want to keep it traditional tonight, fear not! It might be fright night, but you don’t have to keep things frightfully bland if you want to be faithful to the festivities.

‘Witch’ is a good job Greenwich Pantry’s shelves are bursting with flavours. That’s what we’re all about: Feasting and flavoursome deliciousness, but do spare a thought, whilst you get your worst witch on in Greenwich this weekend: Think back to the women centuries ago accused of the serious crime of witchcraft; persecuted for flavouring food, cast-out of communities for healing with herbs and accused of all sorts of wrong doings for keeping company with familiars. (That’s the likes of cats to you and me).

Dreadful to think, that in reality the accused women were usually the poorest women in society, marginalised for being the unmarried singleton and with no access to healthcare, would have had to rely on experimenting with natural home remedies. So in the days of the unexplainable, with no way of Googling oneself out of a situation; just the mere sniff of sage, would have landed you in the stocks.

Speaking of stocks, tonight I am going to celebrate all things soupish and bewitching, just me and my faithful cat. With a cup of hot herbal tea, I am going to soothe my sore scratchy winter worn throat with some traditional and antibacterial natural Greenwich Honey & lemon and I am going to hubble bubble boil, with no trouble; cook up a storm.

Tonight as werewolves howl in the wind, out from the windows of my house will pour steam and sumptuous flavours like fresh ground Indonesian long peppers and the bewitching green brew of piquant Anita’s Goan Green Curry Sauce to ward of the Ghouls.

So if you want to try a seasonal spicylicous and vegetarian feast this Halloween here’s an easy delicious recipe for a Bewitching Pumpkin Curry. 

To make 5 portions you’ll need

  1. 2 large carrots
  2. 1 medium pumpkin or squash & a selection of vegetables
  3. Wharfedale Rapeseed Chilli Oil
  4. Anila’s Green Goddess Goan Curry Sauce
  5. The Real Basmati Rice Co Basmati Rice to serve
  6. Some nuts of your choice and spoonful of sugar to toastily caramelise them

This devilishly good recipe is smooth yet chunky and crunchy, with sweet caramelised pieces of tender squash, and veggies with bite. Wolves and goblins and ghosties and ghouls, if you want to trick of treat me at mine, there’ll be no sorcery within. If I don’t answer the door, i’ll just be clanging my saucepans.

I bet Macbeth’s Witches would have loved the texture from my recipe, but I don’t really rate theirs.

“Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howler’s wing”

You can’t help but feel sorry for those puritanical potato peddlers of yesteryear, I’d be praying for flavour. They we’re really missing out. If you need me tonight, I’ll be on my broomstick!

 

XX Joyce

 

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30 Sep

The Harvest Moon shining on a Harvest Festival

We’re apparently experiencing an Indian Summer right now where fruits and berries have fattend from the prolonged end of summer rains and glorious recent sun shine ripens spoils ready to be picked.

Don’t talk to me about spoiled!

In my attempt to make an organic effort for #OrganicSeptember, I avoided fertilisers on my then plump, homegrown ripening pomodoros on the patio. However due to the deluges in August, my poor toms got tainted by blight.

With all of the ruby recipes I’d planned I had a green tomato crop not even fit for pickling, but I had in my store cupboard something that gets me out of a pickle every time; my hero ingredient: What on Earth Organic Tinned Chopped Tomatoes. Although it’s not as satisfactory nor sexy to boast about something from a tin as it is using fresh plucked of the vine produce, I can rest assured that I am feeding my friends and family with only the freshest and finest I can from a can.

So if you’re gardening attempts aren’t all you’d hoped for, at least you can trust that Greenwich Pantry ingredients ensure your food is as consciously canned as if it were your own crop.

What did you try this Organic September?  Although it’s just a month of encouragement to ‘Go Organic’, you really don’t need me to go on about the benefits of traceable food that contains higher levels of nutrients and is naturally preserved at packing point without the use of additives. It’s really the long term choice that’ll benefit your health that outweighs a month of marketing. So if you didn’t go organic last month, don’t worry you can always start today. It’s never too late to give your digestive system and our eco system the care that it deserves.

Did you see that beautiful rouge Harvest Moon a few nights ago?

It couldn’t have come at a better time when we traditionally celebrate harvest and share our spoils, so cleverly coinciding, we ran some cooking skills sharing workshops. Did you see the delicious things that the latest cohort of Cook Eat Party made? I heard the Frangipane tarts you enthusiastic students made, didn’t last.

Cooking Class with Alice

Cooking Class with Alice

As the mornings take longer to grow out of night, give yourself something to get up for! Instead of gimmicky sweet cereals go for something to boost your immunity and energy levels whilst giving your tired tongue a touch of luxury to to taste.

Speaking of cereals; a certain breakfast spot on Brick Lane has had a lot of attention recently, but hey it’s a destination, a Disnification on dehydrated wheat. However you feel, we promise that all of Greenwich Pantry’s breakie bundles are totally gimmick free.

Whatever your stance on the recent protests on the gentrification of the East End, there is a very real urgency for many people in need. So to share this season, please donate generously to your local food bank spots when you can to really get into spirit of harvest festival. Greenwich Foobank supports local people in emergency crises.

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29 Aug

Welcome the ‘Back To School’ season.

Longing for warmth back in March, it felt like I’d never know Summer again. Still, I scowled at scanty bikinis too-early displayed in supermarkets and splayed over tube posters. I even saw some on sale in petrol garages in some parts of the country!

Yet, when it was so hot our shins shone in early August’s heatwave, neither did I take kindly to seeing cumbersome autumnal fashions in stores whilst savouring the joyful much anticipated heat. It never seems like shops allow us to enjoy the experience of the current season, without reminding us of what’s on the horizon.

I once worked in a famous department store. Glorious window displays brought joy and wonder to the west-end, but I’d constantly, contemptuously marvel at the Formula One pit stop performances of the visual merch teams changing the seasonal displays like it was the changing-of-the guard.

Gaudy halloween get-ups got out of the way for Christmas. When chintz was out, The Sales signs went up. After that, floors flooded with vulgar Valentine paraphernalia. Easter accoutrements brought bright Spring changes; Spring clear-out bonanzas then made way for the typical tropical Summer themed tedium which then brought the sales again.

However, what I do welcome is the Back to School season. It’s the one time of year I pack away my cynicism for the ‘selling of the seasons’ along with my summer swimsuits.

It comes from my school days when at the end of long holidays, actually eager to get back to school, I’d start breaking in new shoes or shining up old ones and get my pencil case packed.

At Greenwich Pantry, we can help you get back into a ‘Back to  School’ frame of mind and come to terms with the new season and by that we don’t just mean squirrelling away nuts and goodies for the winter.

It’s not only the kids who can go back to school. We’ll soon be calling register at our next cooking classes. Yes, foodie students, Greenwich Pantry’s Cook Eat Party is back. If you want to get up-skilled in the kitchen this autumn we’ll be bringing you top-notch nutritionists to teach you a thing or two in the kitchen.

For a quick way to prepare super quick suppers and swot up on your spices, we’ve cleverly gathered Greenwich Pantry bundles to help you. These buddied bottles, companioned condiments and stack loads of snacks will enable you to have more time to prepare for the more important things to come this season, making a well stocked food cupboard one thing less you have to worry about.

Headed to halls? Well, our bundles are rather useful for students, too! Before packing back off to Uni, make sure you get sent packing with some staple seasonings to make quick easy nutritious food, rather than seeing your student loan spent at the uni’s ubiquitous local Kebab-Shop.

Finally, the new season doesn’t only mean a make-over and a clear out for your wardrobe. Have you ever thought about a make-over for your pantry? The Greenwich Pantry Makeover Service also means there can be a new pantry to welcome the season’s new healthy happy you, too.

Yeah, didn’t you know darlings? September is the new January! I just love preparation and getting things in order at this time of the year. Just popping open a new jar fills me with possibility and comfort, creasing open the spine of a new note book fills me with excitement as much as breaking in new shoes on the first day of school did. So as well as sharpening pencils, I’ve sharpened my knives and pickled and jammed summer fruit.

I really must’ve been a squirrel in a previous life!

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19 Jul

Weekend Baking Bundles; store cupboard savvy ingredients for bundles of fun.

Aren’t the weekends bundles of fun? Why not use the long light days to rise early and bake your own bread and cakes to go out and picnic with them in the sunshine with freshly fluffy loaves and springy soft cakes.

To get you started with some ideas we’ve put together two ‘Weekend Baking Bundles’.

There’s the  Savoury Baker’s Dozen which contains a trio of things to feel triumphant for when you next bake breads; artisan flour with dipping oils and spread for £13*

Start the day with a wholesome wholewheat loaf using Gilchester’s Organic Spelt Flour.

Once baked, try resisting the temptation of ripping a piece of fresh warm bread open letting the steam escape to dip it into a nutty flavoursome Olive Oil and there’s nothing tastier than Santiago’s Chilean Limited Edition exotic premium oil that really just tastes of the finest olives and is equally delicious with a hearty Red wine from a neighbouring Chilean vineyard.

Unfortunately fresh bread goes stale much quicker than processed store bought loaves, so there’s even more excuse to polish it off sooner. Don’t resist ploughing through the bread bin, slice some doorsteps off  for a hefty sarnie, cut a chunk off a crumbly creamy tangy cheddar and top it off with We Love ManFoods chunky Piccalilli.

Man Foods Piccalilli, Santiago Limited Edition Olive Oil, Gilchesters' Wholemeal Organic Spelt.

Savoury Baker’s Dozen Weekend Baking Bundle

If sweet treats are more your thing then there’s also the sweeter version: The Weekend Treat Baking Bundle, £20* containing store cupboard baking essentials; artisan flours for light cakes and loaves, along with marmalade and spreads too.

No baker or pastry chef should be without the best Vanilla Extract and Uncle Roy’s is one of the most fragrant and pure extracts and with this, a little lasts and goes a long way.

Sweet things need not leave you a sickly taste in the mouth, especially when you use SugaVida. SugaVida is made from 100% pure, unrefined nectar from the Palmyra (Borassus flabellifer) tree.  It’s great for diabetics, vegan and vegetarian diets as it contains high levels of Vitamin B12, too.

If you’re dreaming of a Greek Island getaway this summer, then why not plan it over breakfast after you’ve splatted lashings of Mr and Mrs Greek’s Mandarin Marmalade over your morning loaf. Mmm! It’s yummy. From the sunny climes of the deli-Chios Island.

Another star store cupboard ingredient is from Gilchester’s, their Double Milled Semolina grains will ensure you never need fret over gravelly polenta cake again as Semolina makes for a smoother, lighter cake.

Now, this never fails to impress come rain or shine, it’s another delicacy by Uncle Roy’s; Passionfruit Curd! Simply summer in a Jar! If you don’t want to spoon it over ice-cream, it makes for an exotic topping for scones or you could try making this with the Semolina grain, my failsafe flavoursome cake recipe:

Passionate about Lemons? Say ‘Niente’ to Polenta-Cake.
Ingredients for the Cake:

225 g butter

225 g Tradecraft Fair Trade Organic Raw Sugar

3 medium eggs, beaten

250 g Plain Yoghurt

250 g Gilchester’s Double Milled Semolina grains

1.5 tsp baking powder

Zest of a lemon

Ingredients for the Syrup:

175g Uncle Roy’s; Passionfruit Curd!

3 small or 2 big lemons, juice & zest

100ml water


Directions

Preheat oven: 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3

1.Line a 23cm (9″) circular spring band cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

2.In a separate large bowl whisk the butter and sugar together until they are soft and creamy.

3.Beat in the eggs, whip in the yogurt (don’t worry if it looks a bit curdled), gradually stir in the semolina grains and sprinkle in the baking powder evenly. Beat it all in well until the mixture and I repeat, has evenly come together.

4.Pour the batter into the lined cake tin and bake for about 80 minutes. Check it at 1 hour, then at about 7 minutes intervals after the allotted time. When the cake is done the surface should be golden biscuity brown and firm, but give a bit of spring back. Insert a bamboo skewer. If it comes out clean it’s done.

5.Leave in tin. Let it cool.

6. While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Put the Passionfruit Curd into a saucepan along with the juice of the 3 lemons and the water. Bring the liquid to boil and simmer until the mixture has a thicker syrupy texture. Stir in the lemon zest, then be cool and cool it.

7.Spoon the syrup over the cooled cake while it is still in the tin, and then allow the cake to really cool completely.

8.The cooked grains will have swelled with the syrup. Remove from the tin and slice.  Serve with a blob of Greek yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.

Oh Yeah!

*Psst, prices shown do not include delivery, but if you’re a local and want to collect or have shopped with us before then use code GPCUSTOMER at the checkout for free delivery.

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29 May

Dive in that tin for Biscuit Day!

As if you needed another excuse?!

Crumbly, crunchy, soft and fruity, gooey perhaps, crispy, buttery, covered in chocolate, sandwiched with jam; even the mighty gluten free or wholesome vegan biscuit can’t atone for the feeling of sin when scoffing a stack of golden rounds after pots and pots of tea.

Hey, today though, it’s not naughty, you can let yourself off.

Yes you can reach for that biscuit tin! It’s ok if you had a cookie with coffee, a rich tea at morning-tea, a cracker with lunch and short affair with shortbread in the afternoon. What ever your fancy, you can very well ‘take the biscuit’ today.

I usually try to be ‘good’. I usually start a packet of biscuits a week or two prior, carefully unravelling the rolled wrapper, to only take the first few from the top to return them to the dark cupboard for when needed again.  However it’s always the same. On my desperate return for a biscuit, there’s always a softened stale pile? Why? Oh Why, if it’s not stale biscuits, it’s a half-biscuit drowning tea disaster. Peter Kay knows what I mean. “Quick! Mum! Get a spoon, my b-i-s-c-u-i-t, he plays in slow motion. I think we’ve all been there, Peter.

Other than loosing your bicky overboard in a hot beverage, another reason for biscuit disappointment is that apparently, the sugar in biscuits is absorbent and biscuits are generally high in sugar. So it’s the sugar content’s fault it’s absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. So when biscuits are left out, or stored in un-airtight containers their sugar content mops ups the moisture in the air and hence why biscuits, high in sugar (who knew) go disappointingly soft.

Now, there’s no way on Earth that having biscuits like these are going to last past going stale.

Traditional Torta de Aciete Handmade(!) biscuits are lightly spiced with flecks of anise for a surprisingly different sophisticated twist on a biscuit, made with deliciously fruity Spanish Olive oil and the Almond variety is delicate and not at all over sweet, too.

Going Against The Grain, but totally satisfying my cravings, there are these utterly scrumptious Gluten Free, Organic chocolate chip cookies, they’ve kept all of the nasties out of their recipes to enable them to cram toasted hazelnuts and generous chocolate chips in the mix. Against The Grain’s berry delicious cookies are also a bit special; again gluten free they’re sweetened with apple juice to avoid the need of adding refined sugars; sweet cranberries and tart raspberries do all the flavouring to leave your taste buds singing. I’m sure these fine treats will leave not-so-much of a crumb trail, let alone being left to soften. The only thing that will soften is my sides, should I find myself unable to resist polishing off more biscuits than usual today.

 

against-the-grain-organic-berry-delicious-cookies-278-ptorta-de-aceite-traditional-842-p

 

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29 May

Local Gourmet Pantry Products Pop-Up on Your Doorstep. We Deliver too!

May the sauce be with you.

It was lovely to be welcomed back when we opened the doors of our Spring Colourtastic Pop-Up Shop last month. You welcomed us back with open arms and even brought back your green reusable Greenwich Pantry jute bags ready to stuff with goodies from when you visited our last Pop-Up event at Greenwich West.

We’d like to thank you lovely local Greenwich residents and a few of you who’d journeyed from far and wide, (well Welling to be precise) to fill your shopping bags up again with our delicious authentic gourmet pantry pots and jars and packets to stash away.

You dipped and crunched and scooped through our newest range of artisanal, in some cases hand crafted adventurous ingredients like Beer Jelly, yes a spreadable gel made of ale. Created by We Love ManFoods, (great on cheese on toast or as a sticky sweet marinade too),

Beer Jelly

We Love ManFoods

 

However their creative creation was no match for your intrepid taste buds. You made it no secret that you loved all of Granny’s Secrets wholesome Serbian spreads and sidled up to the shelves to stash away things like Flax Farms silky Linseed Oils (“The Best Present you’d ever received”, one of our lovely customers exclaimed!).

We loved sharing with you some of our new future favourites and some of you little birdies from the Belleville residents association even continued singing our praises, so thank you for all of your support and popping into our Pop-Up shop again. Now word on the street is that you miss us already? So guess what? We’re coming back. We’ll be popping back every Friday over the Summer months. Exact Dates TBC, but please watch this space.

Now we’re not the only ones trying new things, taste explorers. It was so lovely to meet some of you who also have your own foodie adventures around the corner too! One thing I’m really excited about is a new Brazilgerian venture coming to Greenwich. Yes, you heard it. Brazilian-Algerian homestyle food AND it’s going to be vegetarian!

Speaking of which, in retrospect of last weeks theme of it being Vegetarian Week, I’d like to shine a light on some of one of my Veggie Hero Ingredients.

Black Tahini

  Vegetarian Hero Product!

Sun and Seeds Raw Black Tahini , great for a binding base to Falafel, essential to emulsify home made Humous and makes a stunning dark centre piece if you blend it with some cooked cooled red Hodmedod’s Haricot beans or Black chickpeas to make a sophisticated dip.

Fava Beans

Ditch those crisps for Hodmedod’s crunchy healthy snack!

It’s delicious when mixed in equal quantities with Jam Rock’s gourmet pepper sauce, stirred with a dash of another of your new favourites, Sun and Seeds Pomegranate Vinegar  or simply add a spoonful to some lemon juice for a delicious dressing.

One thing we did learn at this last last Pop-Up, is that you all seem to be such a healthy bunch as one of our best sellers was the range of roasted Beans: Hodmedod’s tasty snacking Roasted Fava Beans, which are in fact lots more fun not to mention healthier than an equivalent serving of crisps and salted nuts.

So I hope we can still interest you when we come back soon with all of your brand new favourites and rumour has it, that there’ll be coffee. Yippie. We’ll also be testing your virtuous, healthy compasses under the famous Greenwich time-line with some locally baked tempting cakes. We look forward to seeing you again soon. For seconds… of cake, I’m sure.

Until then, enjoy the last few days of the merry month of May.

Joyce and Lara xx

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30 Apr

Kombucha is a drink to share

Have you ever been so busy that you’ve made a cup of tea to only then completely forget about it? I have. I’ll make a lovely cup of splosh (my preference is to take it without milk, you’ll later be reassured) and in due course see it sitting there staring at me stone cold. I don’t know about you, but I still drink it. I often take with me to bed a warming (caffeine free, perhaps chamomile) tea, but then suddenly grasped by dreams, fall asleep just as it’s cooled to that perfect slurp ready temperature. Typical. However it’s a pleasant rude awakening despite the gasping thirsties striking in the middle of the night, when there it is my good trusty old pal, cold tea. Now this may horrify some of you, but I can’t deny; I’ve even been known to make a cuppa, a pot even then go out, for the whole day sometimes and on my return gulp it down.

Of course soon after I’d likely follow it with a fresh pot. You could call it a sort of aperitif to my main tea. Then after the main tea comes the after tea, tea. I like Green or Mint, or even Green Mint.

So you see, I like tea. Naturally as it should be prepared, hot mostly and if I remember or stay conscious, take it fresh. For a parched mouth, I couldn’t think of a more refreshing lovelier drink.
So I for one, don’t mind an old tea is my point. However recently I was confronted by Kombucha.

Kombucha, popular in the Far East and Russia is essentially made from my favourite ingredient: Tea.

Fermented. Tea. Whoah there. Yes. Fermented Green Tea. Though, it’s the making of this drink that makes it (a really long process) so special.

Like a German Friendship Bread, it starts with a yeast mix that you have to care for like a newborn baby, keeping it warm and fed with sugars. Then once you’ve made your batch from the yeast mix given to you by someone else, you spawn your own batch and then pass the sci-fi creature-like activated mix on. In Kombucha’s case it thrives on naturally present sugars in the tea which cause the creature of bacteria and yeast to feed itself. If only real babies could.

If you’re not ready for all of this; rearing babies or the hobby of keeping libations like a beekeeper keeps bees, then Kombucha does come ready made in the form of Love Kombucha

It’s considered a super drink with probiotic benefits; improving digestion, balancing gut yeasts and also it apparently helps with your focus and mood elevation. It has also been cited as a powerful cure for hangovers because of the potency of it’s gluconic acid,  the powerful liver detoxifier it contains.

This is good because next to tea, my second favourite drink is whisky.

We’re celebrating sharing at the Greenwich Pantry and will be sampling Kombucha this weekend, come down to the basement cafe area of Greenwich West Community and Arts centre and try it along with lots of other delicious things and share your thoughts on this unique drink. Kombucha Tea from Greenwich Pantry

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