Perhaps the last big Food Festival of the year in Alnwick Northumberland took place over the weekend. Amazingly it is into its 9th year. The big 10 next year. Unless something unexpected happens I will be there. Yes it was a fair journey to make from my part of the North East but praise where its due, during the day all my buses ran to time and connected with not much hanging around in bus stations between the change overs. It must be over thirty years since I was last in Alnwick(I say that)perhaps it was Berwick on Tweed...I have no one I am able to ask.
It was well organised. A big range of products and local food producers. We had some that for various reasons are unable to travel to my part of the North East and also it bridged the gap in that for me to reach them is just a little too far.
I already realise that I have missed some great food and will have to put that right hopefully next year and give more publicity I want local to succeed. I still wonder if I can launch that foodie blog that I would like to.
So first off I met these two lovely ladies, both sisters, Jane Slater and Fiona Woodcock and have running a great luxury cake company since 2008 with that home made feel but saving someone like me the bother of making them and cooking them. The Cakeroot Company
I was spoilt for choice and though I love cake I must admit it has been a long, long time since I attempted to make my own or purchased any but I could not resist and I really do believe(a little of what you fancy does you good)
And just look at what I came home with...
Yes, I decided on a Lemon Drizzle cake but how unusual is this...you've heard of carrot cake well in the selection above is a Chocolate, Orange and Potato cake and a Parsnip, Lime and Ginger cake.
If money and space in the fridge/freezer allowed I probably would have come home with more...an excuse to visit again. All these businesses need supporting but hopefully after six years we can say The Cake Root Company is doing something right.
I found a stall selling a variety of scones with flavours I would never have thought of...an example? A mushroom scone. Sadly I did not manage to find out their name but they were selling a lot of items and I treated myself to two. One is Raspberry and Apple and the other Cheese and Bacon.
And now of course I come to my friend Liz AKA the Gingerbread Mam. Its always good to see her and her family and I appreciate the kindness and friendship I have been shown. In a way I have been adopted. As busy as they are they always find time for me. I know only too well how much time and effort goes into the business.
Emotionally and cost wise. There's the travelling and keeping up the quality of what you sell, coming up with new ideas to keep the range on offer fresh, the adapting of produce for the different seasons. And all the health/safety and accounts to be kept to please the Government. None of these local producers have it easy. In many ways whilst you have to take public safety as important some of what I hear would put some off and the restrictions can mean some new products have to be shelved.
I purchased some Gingerbread and Ginger shortcake(looking forward to that
)and yes as you can see over the weekend at the Alnwick Food Festival there were Gingerbread Men/Woman decorating classes(and yes I had a go too)You can see some images below. And some of the results. We asked permission for the images to be shown but its sad that an innocent bit of fun means being careful(that's why I took the images in the way I have)but we've lost the proud look on the faces of those who took part.
My own version of a Gingerbread Man and the professional one on the right. I love that catchphrase on the products of "Home made, Mam made"
There were cooking demonstrations too and offering his support again to the event was the well known tv chef Jean Christophie Novelli(He's French...in case you had not guessed.)
A great weekend with lots of good memories. A lovely day out for myself. Thanks to those who attended and made it a success and those who organised it and for keeping it a free event.