On Saturday afternoon Steve and I popped into town to get a cup of tea and a piece of cake. I had been teaching all morning so it was nice to get out and enjoy some fresh air on route to one of my favourite cafes in Exeter. Our destination was The Glorious Art House on Fore Street. A quirky place that covers three floors. The top floor being a gallery for local artists. We ordered at the counter and made our way upstairs to find a table. It was busy but we managed to grab the last table which was a godsend as I was ready to sit down after numerous hours teaching my ballet classes and jumping around like a loon! We ordered our teas and coffees and decided to share a piece of cherry shortbread. Oh my goodness, it was so buttery and crumbly. Just how shortbread should be in my opinion. Exactly what I needed after a very active morning.
On Tuesday I received a box of fruit and veggie delights from Veg In A Box. You might remember I did a review a month or so ago on their service and produce. I loved it so much I decided on ordering another box. This time I opted for the “Deluxe” box full of glorious fruit and veg. It feels just like Christmas opening up the box and unwrapping the paper bags to see what is inside. I think this will keep Steve and myself going for a while. I had better get creative in the kitchen! The deluxe box cost me £45.00 with no delivery costs which is great. I am sure recipes will pop up over the next week using the produce from my full to bursting box.
I visited the farmers market as usual on Thursday. I always try and stop by when I am in Exeter. It’s a great way of finding out what’s in season and trying new things. I did just that this week. I happened to walk past Random Cottage eggs and stopped in my tracks when I saw these ginormous eggs. I asked the man what they were and he said goose eggs.. I was instantly interested as I had never seen them before. I asked the stall holder what they were like. He said they were richer than “normal” hens eggs and delicious in an omelette or scrambled. One egg is the equivalent to three hens eggs so I bought two! Half dozen eggs in two… Crazy! Anyway, I did just what he suggested and made an omelette. I kept it plain so I could taste the true taste. He was right.. It was rich in flavour but rather yummy. The following evening I branched out and made a frittata using some rainbow chard from Shillingford Organics and some cheddar from Quickes cheese. So good.. I plan to go back next week to get a couple more.
My lovely friend Lucy popped over on Thursday for some morning tea. We got out the fine china (as you do!) and I got some of my Lyme Bay Winery Black Forest Brownies out of the freezer alongside some scones. I felt it was the turn of my Royal White China by Pip Studios. So pretty and perfect for a bright spring morning. We had a bit of a chinwag for a couple of hours before Lucy had to get her bus home. We managed to get through two pots of tea in that time.. Eek! I had some loose leaf Plymouth tea left over from my event so we brewed up some Drake’s Blend. It was so refreshing but I am surprised we weren’t bouncing off the ceiling!
On top of my morning tea with Lucy on Thursday, Steve and I went for ice cream at a brand new geleteria that has recently opened on South Street in Exeter city centre. Caramello Gelato opened at the beginning of this week and it is already proving popular. Even in this cold weather!
Friday morning before work, Steve and I popped to The Plant Cafe on Cathedral Green for a quick cuppa. I had a deliciously refreshing pot of loose leaf breakfast tea and Steve opted for an Americano plus a kind of seeded and fruity flapjack named s “Buzz Bar”. It was scrummy…obviously I had to try a bit!
On Friday night I raced home after work to get prepared for Johanna’s visit. She was coming for supper and I had decided to cook a recipe that I posted on Friday. Aubergine stew with pine nuts, herbs and halloumi. It really is a wonderfully tasty recipe. I served the stew with a green salad. Totally yummy.. You must try this recipe! I made a bowl of homemade hummus and served it with toasted pita and some fresh crudités. A little starter to enjoy alongside a cheeky glass of wine. I opened the Yearlstone Vineyard wine that I had purchased from Quickes farm shop last week. It seemed a perfect choice as the recipe came from Charlotte Lampards book “Charlotte’s Kitchen” and Charlotte used to run the kitchen at Yearlstone for many years. I totally recommend her book. Simple recipes that are quick and easy to prepare and cook. Nothing takes more than about 40 minutes from start to finish. Bravo!
The wine was beautiful. Really light and fresh. A lovely drop and I would totally recommend it. English wines are so good right now. Get to your local wine merchant and ask about wines local to you.
Johanna came laiden with goodies.. Lemon tart, strawberries, blueberries and cream. The tart was so good that I had seconds and felt like I was going to pop!
My faith in human nature was restored this week with a random act of human kindness. I had posted a recipe on my blog for Black Tor Brewery Onion Soup and a lovely lady through Twitter messaged me about an alternative to Worcestershire sauce. A vegetarian alternative that doesn’t contain anchovies made in Sheffield. Marianne (my new Twitter friend) lives in Sheffield and is very proud of Henderson’s relish and said I should give it a go as an alternative. Henderson’s relish is a Sheffield institution and adds spice and savour to any dish.We chatted a little via Twitter and then she offered to send me some! How kind of her.. I am a complete stranger really but that didn’t stop her and within a couple of days I had a wonderful parcel land on my doorstep. Not only was there Henderson’s relish but some relish flavoured crisps and a Tipple Tails Ginger Tingle. A scrumptious, rich, moist fruit cake packed with stem ginger, walnuts and juicy fruit all steeped in ginger liquor. Everything that I love in a cake.. It’s as if Marianne knew! I just can’t get over how lovely this gesture was. It really has blown me away! Thankyou so much Marrianne. There are some good and kind people out there.