pantry 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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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 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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09 Apr

Sun’s Out, Buns Out.

Oh how that big shiny yellow ball in the sky gladdens my heart.

Another thing that brings joy to my soul is Jam. Simply good Jam, with a pot of tea. Jam on buns and on finger sandwiches; oh yes it’s time for the timely old tradition of Afternoon Tea.

I’m not talking silver service, stuffy expensive afternoon tea at a hotel with your Aunty Mabel. Although I’m known to have a penchant for dollies once in a while, we should do it more often. At home, alone, at work even or outside; especially when today is as beautiful as today. Go on have Afternoon Tea, al fresco if you can.

Start by putting down that thing you’re doing. Right now and just get your buns out. Spread them with juicy delicious, tangy sweet delightful jam and have a moment. That’s it, just you and your buns.

Well, share this moment if you will, just excuse yourself if in company but try to make a date of it at least once a week.

Brew a decent cuppa, let the caffeine gently perk you up whilst the sugars do the thing that sugars do and you’ll be right as ninepence. Well at least until supper time.

Right now, I’m indulging in Campbell’s Perfect Tea and the delectable honey-like consistency of Granny’s Secret Rosehip Light Jam on a scone or two.

Rosehips are full of vitamin C, Tea is naturally high in antioxidants and sitting in front of the windows wide open bathed in glorious Spring sunshine, I’m getting a much needed dose of vitamin D, too. You could say that taking Afternoon Tea is practically beneficial to your health, well you could.

Time for Tea

Time for Tea

Ahh, that’s more like it. Now, back to the grindstone for now.

Have a Sunny Afternoon.

x

 

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30 Mar

Spring is Here! A Supper-ing is Here!

After the clocks officially sprung forward, I felt strangely revitalised this morning despite loosing an hour of precious beautiful sleep yesterday.

 

I didn’t even notice that I worked overtime last night as the day drew on into night later and lighter. So this morning, with my house bathed in spring light anew, during my morning routine, I noticed more.
Whilst noticing a bluer sky in light of a high-rise demolition next door. I also noticed more dust in the corners of the skirting boards, oh and more cobwebs around lampshades then in my kitchen cupboards, tatty packets and zipped up unloved ingredients that have gone unused. Oh my! Time for a Spring clean around the home and also in the kitchen.

 

Oh my poor boring porridge, I pondered.
The coconut milk, sat sad at the back of the pantry.
That’s it. This lunchtime I am going to look at ways of spicing things up for Spring suppers, livening up lunches and decluttering cupboards to welcome Spring right into my kitchen.

 

With freshly cut daffodils on the kitchen side, I am firstly going to don the marigolds and get the place scrubbed up.
Nothing beats a fresh zesty spray like this one from greenscents
With Exmoor Water, Fair-Trade essential citrus oils, has Soil Association organic certification, it’s just the ticket for prepping and degreasing with no nasty harmful chemicals.
Greenscents Citrus Multi-surface spray. You'll surface from the kitchen a new person.

Greenscents Citrus Multi-surface spray. You’ll surface from the kitchen a new person.

With that, begone tatty Tea towels!
Gorgeous and helpful designs by Stuart Gardiner are just the thing to dry dishes and keep you in mind of the season springing up before us and what’s fresh and delicious right now.
A Seasonal Guide to British Fruit and Veg

A Seasonal Guide to British Fruit and Veg

 

You’re right. It’s also high time, high tea gets served on something spectacular;  like these perfectly pretty trays from Rice DK. 
High Time for a nice High Tea Tray, isn't it.

High Time for a nice new High-Tea Tray, isn’t it.

 

So what about cleaning our cupboards, revitalising our recipes?
I’m going to have a chat to Lara about The Greenwich Pantry Makeover service and also find out from our competition winners Hannah and Jade, who both won the opportunity to have a fantastic Pantry Makeover, what they switched to spring clean their ideas on eating with more authentic gourmet inspired treats.

 

If you’re interested in trying to make-over your pantry yourself, then daffodils aren’t the only thing popping up in Greenwich; The Greenwich Pantry Pop-Up shop is back! 

 

Pick Lara’s brains whilst picking up some inspiring authentic food at Greenwich West from Thursday 30th April until Saturday 2nd May.
There are tickets to this weekend long event on EventBrite and which cost £5 and is fully redeemable against  Greenwich Pantry treats and speaking of brains, each ticket will donate a pound to local Greenwich based charity The Mental Health Activity Trust. So we can feed our minds and our stomachs whilst sharing the love in Greenwich.

 

I can’t wait to see you there!

 

In the meantime, here’s a funny Tom Lehrer video about Spring.

 

P.S I love pigeons and to add to that; Greenwich Pantry also loves the Vegetarian Society (Vegetarian week is coming on the 18th-24th May), Fish4Ever and BigBarn.co.uk with many of our friends campaigning for healthy and respectful animal husbandry.

 

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09 Mar

There’s No Need to Hop About as Mad as a March Hare!

Here’s hoping you all had a Happy International Women’s Day! Lest we let the momentum fade. I toasted the day whilst following up on our world’s celebrated women and cheered female triumphs via social media. I mainly caught up on errands preparing for the new week ahead and, of my own volition; one of my favourite pastimes of course, spent the best part of the day preparing food in the Kitchen.

However I felt I could exhale a big sigh of relief whilst I reduced my gravy having read Rosamund Urwin’s interview with Adrianna Huffington in Fridays’s Evening Standard.

‘La Huff’ claims: “There are those working around the clock and those who’ve recognised the dangers of that”. 

She goes on to advise in the article: “You can complete a project by dropping it”.

What? Hooray! I thought, as I abandoned a few commitments on the to do list in my mind and focused on smashing some celeriac into puree. Huffy, claims “women find it hard to abandon projects, reading books even”.

What ever the idea, she and Idina Menzel advise; “Let it go”.

However, this is somewhat a counter intuitive to the last Huffington post schedule I read which almost caused me to dizzily spin on the spot:  How to have the perfect workday.

Read it and if you’re not agitated by the exercise routine, conscious of the realistic commuting time suggested and overawed by the eating-prep time then you’re certainly winning. Or are you?

It reminds me of a conversation I had with our Pantry Proprietress, Lara. She says, “we in modern day times suffer terribly from a Hurry Sickness”.

It’s true, there’s always some target to reach, a destination to get to, all whilst not putting ourselves first and it’s all of course set against the clock jeopardising our heath and happiness. Where’s the time for fun in food, supposed to fit into that routine?

Lara, laments: “In the face of hardships and busy lives, we shouldn’t punish ourselves making food the enemy. I want to cultivate a relationship on how not to alienate yourself from food. Small changes can make big differences, so experiment and explore”. 

I couldn’t agree more. Although I’m often guilty of taking myself on a guilt trip, it’s all really about balance and enjoyment. With the Summer months on the horizon as the days draw in later, the influx of health and diet articles flood exponentially into my inbox heightening my awareness of the latest fad.

The main point, Lara emboldens; “There are 7 Days in a week. I understand 50% of the time you’re busy or don’t feel like doing anything. So (in that time) set aside a time to plan meals”. 

However, where our day to day routines have allowed this Hurry Sickness to creep in, this is where the Greenwich Pantry comes in. “It’s about Planning, with a capital P! “, Lara enthuses.

“When you’re on a Journey, you need a map, think about shopping for food and preparing your food- like having a food map. You have to be organised, you have to have a shopping list. A meal plan.  Whilst running your own home, your own life, when all else is up in the air you can decide, ‘this is what I’m going to eat’. It’s about buying the right things to begin with”. 

So for a fresh start, it’ll be soon time to think about spring cleaning, a new wardrobe perhaps, time for opening the windows to the world to let in the fresh spring air. Invite in change, more colour and more excitement for the longer days to come and a great time to think about Make-overs ideas. Usually we think of sprucing up our home decor or appearances, but what about a make-over for your pantry?

Lara wants you to liberate yourself, she wants you to enjoy the difference it brings you.

“Next time you’re on a mission whilst food shopping, think about one thing that you could improve on to invite exciting change beneficial to your health and happiness. For instance, the next time you pick something from the shelf, perhaps from the (online) cereal aisle, think, instead I’m going to try ‘Product X’.  Or if you’re thinking ‘this month I’m going Naturopathic/ Pescatarian’ or are perhaps spicing things up with new flavours; think that the choices you are making are a way to enjoy life through the medium of good food”.  

Lara wants to get the benefits of aspirational eating across and help people find shared interests in food groups, amongst new or old friends and within our families.

So, the next time you come over all vague stalking the fridge for the umpteenth time, perhaps take a moment to plan some meals, get your family or housemates involved. Matchmake what you have with exciting things that you have missing with Lara’s Pantry List. It’s a great idea for a budget night in, get friends round and plan your Pantry.

Now instead of running around, as mad as a March hare, I am going to take it easy and stop having nightmares about dream schedules and I suggest you do too. If La Huff can, you can! So, incorporating Lara’s sterling time and money saving advice to plan meals, here are a few of my top tips:

For a good morning, have breakfast! No time? Grab something to have on the go. Prepare breakie the night before, or my favourite, have breakfast for dinner with my eat cheat-Ayvar. You’d be hopping mad not to.

Take it easy,

x Joyce.

 

Bonallack Bircher Muesli

Bonallack Bircher Muesli

 

 

 

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01 Dec

Popping into the Pop-Up Shop for a treat

Thank you to everyone who came to visit the Greenwich Pantry pop-up shop having seen our tweets. It was great meeting you and I hope you’re enjoying yummy and rediscovered nostalgic treats. Isn’t it nice to treat yourself sometimes?

Greenwich Pantry proprietress Lara’s ethos is that we should be treatwise, but we should treat ourselves. Lara comes alive thinking of the world of possible nutritional enjoyment out there, what we can eat and how we can treat ourselves, daily. Yes, daily!

“Indeed it is possible to wisely treat ourselves everyday, it just means we need to spend money wisely and most importantly recognise the value of what we’re eating”.

Not just a pantry patron;  she’s  a truly well researched curator of foods, a busy working mum who proudly possesses a high integrity for food and is a promoter of produce where she can vouch for the provenience of items sold and their ingredients. She even knows her product providers personally. In fact she’s pretty much pally with all of her suppliers. Praising them, there’s nothing she doesn’t love on the stockroom shelves. Having tried a few things, I couldn’t agree more. My mouth still waters at the thought of trying Uncle Roy’s Passionfruit Curd.

Now, we’re in advent, it’s the run up to a busy festive time. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent all year balancing work, family and your social calendars; where it’s hard to keep up with fashion, or even the house. (Maybe the kids wont let you keep the house tidy?) Whatever your lifestyle, Greenwich Pantry can allow you to feel like the kitchen is a place where you can find solace again.

“The kitchen is a place where we can surround ourselves with beautiful things, even perhaps where we can have order where we can’t necessarily have it in the rest of the house”.

Greenwich Pantry’s  packets aren’t just pretty containers, they contain inherently good things; ethically sourced, which is why Lara is so proud of all of the products.

“Finding value in our food is important: There is its nutritional value, then there’s value of it having pride of place in our cupboards. It’s about treating yourself with the time to prepare. We are all capable of running our lives; jobs and homes. So treating yourself is simply about organising  yourself and what you’re going to eat, it’s just about running your life and body, being decisive about what you want to eat.

So Lara, I agree, aspirational eating is liberating, it’s not just about having pleasing pretty packets.

“How we present ourselves with clothes, how we chose to appear is liberating. Like clothing, I think choices of food can allow you to liberate yourself. Believe in bold choices, experiment with change, make that break from your usual brand, say I’m not going to spend my money on my regular brand of … I’m going to try something that is better quality, beautiful and try enjoying a little bit of luxury through the medium of good food.”

Once again it was great to meet you, those of you who popped in to the Pop-Up shop. The good news is that Greenwich Pantry will be back @57arts for the Christmas Market next week on Saturday 6th December where you can really stock up on Christmas Treats.

Uncle Roy's Wonderful (and it is) Passionfruit Curd

Uncle Roy’s Wonderful (and it is) Passionfruit Curd

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