During my Eat Sheffield Food Week 4th – 10th July, I will be Blogging about my experiences for each meal. Feel free to download and read my full week’s Sheffield Food Menu Plan (and why not eat along with me too?).
To eat only Sheffield food (food that is grown, sourced or made in Sheffield by artisan Sheffield food producers) can be difficult at the best of times. Add a very hectic design lifestyle into the fold and you get a hungry grumpy Cindy/Missie. I’m the kind of person who really enjoys a good variety of foods – give me pasta, couscous, rice, mixed peppers, sweetcorn and plenty of fresh fruit and veg. I’ve found a lack of fruit in my Sheffield diet – not saying Sheffield grown fruits aren’t available, but to avoid buying fruits from the supermarket and instead nipping up to Sheffield’s Castle Market (which tends to close around 4pm) or having to pick up the car after I finish work and heading up to Beanies Whole Foods, would just be really inconvenient for me, especially with daily demanding and hectic work commitments added to the mix. By the time I do finish work and head off home, I’m hungry and want something to eat ASAP!
I’m also someone who enjoys eating out in Sheffield restaurants or having meals cooked ready for me (I’m sure most of you who know me well will be nodding right now) – and being on a strict Sheffield diet, I’ve not dined out (just the daily visit to PJ taste for a Sheffield lunch). Shocking, I know :) Don’t get me wrong though, I really do enjoy making my foods from scratch – I’m lucky enough to know how to and will always try to find new recipes to have a go at. But this week has really got me to grips with ‘real’ food ingredients – Coppice House Farm chicken breasts, cooking and eating fresh gooseberries, cooking with chervil, parsley and fresh chives, slicing up raw beef from Whirlow Hall Farm? it’s all meant I’ve truly had to get my fingers into real produce! (and to make time for it too….or else I’ll basically be hungry).
I’ve also learnt Local ‘Sheffield’ food translates to more variety – when a farmer is producing food that will not travel a long distance or will have a shorter shelf life, and does not have a high-yield demand, the farmer is free to try small crops of various fruits and vegetables that would probably never make it to a large supermarket. Local producers often play with their crops from year to year, trying out and being experimental with their fresh produce (as found in dishes from Heeley City Farm’s cafe and PJ taste’s huge selection of boxed salads and hot paninis).
Anyway, it’s day 5 of my Sheffield diet (just two more days left)…right, today I ate:
Just Preserves jam made with Sheffield fruit on fresh Cat Lane Bakery granary bread. A berry, berry good taste!
I was spoilt for choice and could decide which jam to have. So I had both.
Now, if you’re like me who tends to stick with their favourite fruit spreads (raspberry) and will have a half-opened jar stuck in the fridge for months, then I’d like to hi-five you. I was rather confused when I was opened to the world of jams and chutneys made in Sheffield for instance – jams, jellies and conserves!? – aren’t these all the same?
It was about time to learn about the differences between fruit preserves:
- Jellies are made only from the juice of fruit, and they are typically the stiffest type of fruit preserves. As a rule, a jam is a thick puree, made from fruit pulp or crushed/mashed fruit.
- Preserves are similar to jams, except that they consist of chunks of fruit (or even whole fruit) in a thickened syrup (for the sake of convenience, the terms “preserves” and “jam” are used interchangeably – I tend to say jam, Conserve sounds too formal :). Traditionally, marmalades are preserves, but they’re citrus-based.
- And a conserve is a jam made from a blend of fruits. Conserves usually contain some form of citrus, as well as nuts and/or raisins (many contain alcohol, as well).
Just Preserves have jams and chutneys of every description including: blackcurrant, blackberry and apple, black raspberry, beetroot chutney, Bradfield Farmer’s ale chutney, gooseberry, rhubarb & ginger, strawberry, strawberry & apple, orange & Scotch whisky. I’d highly recommend their Bradfield Farmer’s ale chutney (went amazing with yesterday’s burgers) and their apple and blackberry jam too. Delicious!
12noon: Toasties with PJ taste sour dough spelt bread hot toastie (bread made with organic Carr House Farm Driffield wheat) roast vegetables (Sheffield-grown) with thyme and smoked Amberwood served with a glass, PJ Tastes’ own brand of soft drinks, Citrus Hits. The flavour I had (pictured below) was Pennine Lavender with Lemon. Oh by the way, PJ’s toasties are huge! so definitely make sure you’re hungry. You can get a lunch-time deal of a sandwich, packet of Yorkshire crisps and bottle of water or Fair Trade carton of juice from £2.95 to £3.95, depending on the sandwich.
Toasties with PJ Taste Sour Dough bread and roast vegetables (Sheffield-grown), thyme and smoked Amberwood. Served with a glass of Sheffield's own, Citrus Hit
On Fridays I tend to out for a quick drink (or two of juice) with colleagues from work – I’m a sucker for the beer garden, especially when it’s sunny and bright. Being on the Sheffield diet this week wasn’t going to disrupt my plans and social activities (and it shouldn’t do anyway)….I had my first slurp of the new Sheffield’s @bluebeebrewery – and WOW what an ale!!
Thank you Rutland Arms for sponsoring my Sheffield Food Challenge with Blue Bee Ale. CHEERS!
Being on the Sheffield diet wasn't going to put me off from going to the pub. I've never been so happy to see a pint of water! :)
Remember, Blue Bee Ale from Rutland Arms (@RutlandArms) Sheffield’s newest brewery are offering a buy four pints get one free loyalty card for all followers of the Missie who ask for a pint of Blue Bee over the food festival week. One loyalty card per person. Flash that Missie badge to the bartender (they might blush!) but then you’ll get a Blue Bee loyalty card – a badge must be present. You have up until December 2011 to colllect up to 4 pints and get a FREE one on Missie at the Rutland Arms. Cheers!
22.20pm: Sliced beef stir-fry. Sheffield beef from Whirlow Hall Farm with mushrooms and onions (from Castle Market), spring onions served with Chinese pak choi (picked from mum’s mum’s allotment in Sheffield) and fresh spinach (grown by @eatSheffield)
Friday night takeaway? Nah...make your own, Chinese beef stir-fry with pak choi and spinach
Dessert: provided by Our Cow Molly ice-cream.
My piece of useful information today is, whilst cooking my dinner this evening I really fancied noodles with the beef stir-fry, the two would’ve gone really well. However, these noodles weren’t made in Sheffield – so I was really frustrated. I was hungry for a variety of carbohydrates – I’d been all potatoed and breaded up for the past few days. Thanks to LoveToLiveToEat, TheFoodNut, GrowingDirect, THE_Knifeman and revitalizefit for all your food suggestions on what to have in replace of the noodles :) – I’ve been doing so well this week, to have the noodles at the last leg would’ve been really disappointing so I bulked up my beef stir-fry with extra pak choi and spinach. My first piece of advice to the next Sheffield Eater that wants to ‘Eat the whole of Sheffield for a week’ (like I am doing) is make sure you LOVE POTATOES…!
Oh and I am suffering serious chocolate withdrawal symptoms too! so have been snacking on Cat Lane Bakery bread smothered with Catherine’s Choice jams to satisfy sweet tooth for chocolate… Bring on Day six!! Cindy/Missie.