Okay, so I’ve been having a bit of a technological nightmare as of late; first my SD card decided it would be really fun to wipe about 500 photos. I found something on the internet which managed to recover some of them, but it probably means I’ve signed over my soul to some maleficent hacker. And then after that my antiquated macbook kept telling me my disc was full, so I couldn’t edit any of the photos I’d recovered. Good news it I think everything is back up and running via an external drive, a new SD card and a weekly séance to the computer gods.
In that pile of photos, I managed to recover some from the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016, which took place back in June at the NEC in Birmingham. And technically as the last day of summer I can still claim this is relevant. Unlike the Winter show, which is a real food and drink extravaganza, the summer show teams up with Gardener’s World Live. Personally I quite like this, even though my approach to flowers is pretty much is it pretty and what colour is it, it’s quite nice to get out of the Sisyphean halls and look at some plants. Seriously, there are walls of the stuff, including a pyramid of lilies, it was immense. One of my favourites though, was unsurprisingly an afternoon tea themed get up.
Talking of tea, I was determined to revisit Bluebird Tea Co who are Brighton based and do use the unfortunate phrase of tea mixologists in their marketing, but their tea range and flavours are so good I kind of forgive them for it. This time round I bought so much tea I got a free tote bag and have been happily sipping on their delicious award-winning Nearly Nirvana white silver needle tea with spearmint and jasmine, which is a constant favourite (and something I’ve purchased several times).
Although the BBC Good Food Shows aren’t necessarily local – after all, they also take place in Belfast, Glasgow and London, I always try and scope out some of the local flavours. There is usually some local variety, if not at the Producer’s Village then usually amongst the stallholders. Urban Herbs are a small, family-run, Birmingham-based business qho grow and source some delicious herbs and it’s always great to see them particularly at BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016 which makes so much sense with the gardening outside. Another local producer, Gayani’s Kitchen HQ, were also there showing off their God Dust, an artisan Sri Lankan curry powder.
I did actually wander around lots more food stalls, including Debbie & Andrew’s who do some really delicious, dairy and gluten free sausages and this Good Food Show they had some new products in the form of sweet chilli sausages and chicken & mango chipolatas. As well as trying some at their stand, I took some home with me and used the chicken & mango chipolatas in a curry, which worked really well. Unfortunately these were some of the photos lost to the computer gods.
Anyone that’s been to a Good Food Show before can tell you that there’s usually a fair amount of alcohol stalls and this year there seemed to be plenty of gin stalls…never a bad thing in my eyes! I stopped by the Bathtub Gin stall because they had some expressions there I’d not tried, but my recent-ish attempts at getting into beer meant my curiosity was spiked by the Crafty Devil Brewing Co. I had a lovely chat with the lady manning the stall (my infamous inability to remember names strikes again) and she told me all about the history of this small Welsh brewery. What I like most is that as well the quirky imagery, each of the beers has a recommended song to listen to whilst drinking.
I’d spotted that Firefly BBQ were back and determined to hunt them out. Last time I picked up some of their pig rub and Memphis sauce, which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t used yet, but mainly because I don’t really cook big chunks of meat but it’s nestled in my cupboard waiting for its day. This time I noticed something new and special; hot sauces and rubs in a range called REAVERS! Now if you’re a fan of the marvellous Joss Whedon show Firefly you will totally get the name and if you’re not then stop reading this and watch the show now. I’ve got some of the ghost chilli cajun seasoning rub which I’m yet to get round to using because frankly I’m a giant wimp. But I did pick up some of their Cuban Mojo, although I’ve been sticking it in my turkey meatball recipe rather than as a rub and it’s superb. Hopefully they’ll be at Good Food Show Winter 2016 and I’ll pick up some more.
As ever I really enjoy wandering around looking, tasting and talking about food and drink, and the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016 was a great excuse to do this…and see some plants too. The BBC Good Food Show Winter is back at the NEC from 24 – 26th November and if you can already book tickets here https://www.bbcgoodfoodshowwinter.com/.
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary ticket to the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016 in exchange for a post but wasn’t obliged to be nice. “I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar” *sobs*