Taste have we lost it?

Taste, how do you like your food

Are we becoming a society that has lost its taste?

By taste. I do not mean in the way we dress, or the amount of dubious celebrity gossip we devour on a daily basis. I mean, in this instance, our taste buds.

We all appear to be concerned with perfection in every thing, which in itself is commendable, but when it comes to food, what may be perfection on the outside, is not necessarily so on the inside.

We seemed to be overly obsessed with gluten free, dairy free, going vegetarian or vegan & eating raw or natural foods, food miles etc, however, when it comes to what were are really putting into our bodies, we appear to ignore, what additives or preservatives are in a product & just munch away, as long as it looks perfect & suits our skewed values.

Last week, meat was discovered in two major supermarkets vegetarian ready meals. Wether this was an error on the production line, or an additive – such as gelatine – that had been overlooked in the recipe, it is yet to be known. The point is if we really cared about what goes into our mouths, we would be cooking our own meals from fresh natural ingredients, to ensure our meals are healthy, natural & fresh, not leave it celebrities & mass food producers, too persuade us that their products are the “best thing since sliced bread”.

Food,bread, baking, bakery,homemade
Homemade. The best thing since sliced bread

It is strange, that as we have become so obsessed with food & diet, we seem to have a total disregard for the health & nutritional values of the very stuff that keeps our bodies both healthy & alive.

From my small converted Stable Kitchen in Wiltshire, I endeavour to provide my customers with, fresh totally homemade food, in which I also take the nutritional value into account.

Not for me bowls of the ubiquitous Coleslaw – limp white cabbage & soggy old carrots – smothered in artificial high calorie mayo.

Food,salad, healthy eating,fresh food
Healthy salads with homemade herb dressing
Super homemade salads
Food,homemade,bread,bluecheese,salad
Homemade blue cheese Bread & salad

All my breads are homemade, I offer five different varieties, all made with spelt & rye flours. Soups, in the winter, are all made with fresh local veg & my cakes are all made from my own recipes, being low in fat & sugar, some gluten free. I do not use butter cream or mirror glazes on my cakes, the cake itself needs to be full of taste & you really do not need the extra fat & sugar to mask the flavour. Ok, I know it may be ascetically pleasing, but your body won’t thank you for it, in more ways than one.

On a final point, a yummy, glutenfree Mummy, asked yesterday “What cake do you have” I pointed to the Strawberry & Lemon Mousse cake, pictured in the header of this blog & she replied “That’s not really a child’s cake” When I inquired as to why she said it hasn’t got any chocolate sweets & artificial gold stars on. Ahgggggggg.

Princess Camilla

Another Princess celebrates her special day. 19.5.2018

Food, Birthday Party, Children, chocolate, animals
Animal Magic

The rest of the world was glued to their screens, while another Princess was celebrating her special day in the beautiful grounds of Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire.

Surrounded by a gathering of happy children, a little Armadillo was snuffling around in the sunshine. He was preceded by a selection of other creatures. Some more unusual than others. Three brave – or mad, to my way of thinking – little girls had a large snake, draped across their arms, they were giggling with delight as the slithery creature wound its way across their bodies.

No. Great Chalfield Manor, is not a Zoo or an animal sanctuary, but the setting for Princess Camilla’s Fifth Birthday party.

food, children's birthday party, cake, truffleicious
Food for thought

food, cake, unicorn biscuits, cup cakes, truffleicious
Perfect Table Manners

food, children's party, birthday cake, homemade, Truffleicious
The perfect hostess

After a fantastic time on the lawn with the animals, the children let off steam, playing on  the grass. It was then time to head to the Coach House for the birthday girls sumptuous lunch.  What self-respecting little Princess would not want a Unicorn themed party.  Camilla’s wish came true. There were Unicorns everywhere.

 

The menu consisted of totally homemade food by Truffleicious from The Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield, Wiltshire.

Pride of place was a gluten-free Chocolate Unicorn Cake. complete with Chocolate Unicorn biscuits. Of course there were also unicorn Cup cakes & lots of unicorn decorations.  Mini homemade bread rolls were filled with ham & cheese, with sides of carrot & cucumber sticks. While a cheese & Tomato Pizza Bread also went down well. As a touch of elegance, mini fresh Strawberry tartlets were a well received.

After lunch the children said hello to another animal.  I think a good day was had by all.

food, cake, truffleicious, birthday, party,
Good bye Gypsy

All that’s left for me to say is Happy Birthday Millie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food, as you like it

You are paying for the food & service, but how do you like it?

We Brits are known for a lot of things, but not for complaining. Especially about the food. In particular, food served in our restaurants, sulky serving staff or waiting a long time for our bill.

BBC, Radio Wiltshire, Food, Survey, Programme,
A Good Morning Listen

Yesterday, listening to Marie Lennon’s morning show, Marie spoke of a report she had discovered, regarding our dissatisfaction with restaurants and asked listeners to let her know about their experiences. Apparently a skewed survey, published by a card payment company! suggests, only 7% of us are happy with the food & service we get in eating establishments. The biggest complaint being the time it takes to pay our bill [Well it would have to be that wouldn’t it].

Listening to the Phone In comments, it got me thinking. What do we mean by good food? How terrible does the Waiter/Waitress have to be to be described as bad & how long is a protracted wait for your bill? All of these things, mean different things to different people.

Now, I run a food establishment myself. Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield & I can quite honestly say 75% of my customers are satisfied & the remaining 25% have various gripes. But are they justified?

Most of my visitors know my food is take away, totally home made, cooked in small batches daily & is vegetarian, with a huge slant towards healthy eating. These customers choose to frequent my establishment because this is the kind of food they enjoy. It is their choice of food & they are happy little foodies.

Other people, who stumble upon me by chance, are not so happy, neither are they foodies. These are my most common complaints, if you can call them complaints.

“What no chips ? what sort of place do you call this ”

“Can I have sliced white bread instead of salad with my Ploughmans” ?

“I only like Mr Whippy Ice Cream”?

“I don’t like vegetarian food”

As I type this blog, a lady has just come up to me & said: “You have too many things written on your black board, I haven’t got the time to read it, so I won’t buy anything”

To be fair, the gentleman who said he didn’t like veggie food, did order my Chickpea, Tomato & Rye Pastry Pie. When finished, he informed me it was the nicest thing he had eaten in a long time & in future he would try different foods, which made me feel extatic. I like people who are willing to try something new.

Are the above comments, complaints or just statements of fact? or do some people just like to have a whinge about anything!

Bad service, as it is only me, who cooks, serves takes payment & washes up, I am usually a cheerful little bunny. In busy periods, maybe the wait for service is too long. Most people understand this & are happy to wait, when I have acknowledged them & explained. However, there are the odd few, who feel they are special & need to be served at once. I just smile & carry on.

As to waiting for the bill, my business is “Take away”, – which conjures up to some, a Burger & Chips joint -. I “Take away” the money, when the order is placed – everybody happy -. As for card payments, the signal in my area is so bad, it’s rather a hit & miss affair.

To sum it all up. Food, as you like it, means different strokes, to different folks. What are your thoughts on complaints and the catering trade?

Why not tune into Marie Lennon’s Morning Show, BBC Wiltshire, weekdays 10-12noon, You can find snippets of current affairs, news worthy items & learn something about the Wiltshire way of life. Who knows, it may inspire you to write a blog.

Bread, a Low fodmap Diet no no?

The one thing I would miss on a Low Fodmap Diet would be bread. I love bread, any type of bread. It is said that bread is the staff of life & for me, its certainly true. I am not talking sliced white, wholemeal or fluffy processed baps, I’m talking rustic, nutty granary bread baked by a local baker [I hate the term Artisan] or home made, not the mass produced items, found in Supermarkets. Give me a metre of a proper french stick, a large lump of Sourdough or a Stilton & Walnut Loaf, together with some tangy cheese or home made pate with a side of olives, some crunchy homegrown lettuce, ripe juicy tomatoes & I am in heaven. Of course, I would also like a large glass of red or white, depending on the season, to wash it all down.

Bread, is one of the things I found, caused me great discomfort. A pair of jeans would feel quite comfortable, until I ate some bread. One slice of toast in the morning would have me thinking I had put on half a kilo in 5 mins. So, I decided to experiment with my own recipe Spelt bread. Although Spelt is not Gluten Free, it is lower in Gluten than other flours, due to the fact that it has a different molecular make up, to the gluten contained in modern wheat. Spelt is higher in fibre than most forms of wheat, its naturally occurring gluten is more water soluble, is degraded by heat & easily broken down, by the kneading action of bread making, which makes it easier to digest.

gluten, linseeds, low foodmap, bread, spelt
Home made Low Gluten Spelt & Rye Rolls

Although not suitable for Celiacs, I have found this bread, which I now make every day, is perfect for me. In addition Spelt has more vitamins than wholewheat flour. I vary the changes with this bread to which I also add a vegetable, carrot one day or beetroot the next. Seeds are another favourite.

As well as bread I also make my own pastry with Spelt & Rye flours. Pastry is very easy to make in a food processor or mixer. It takes about the same amount of time, that it takes to fight your way into a shop bought packet of pastry. You can make up a large batch of pastry, weigh it into portions & freeze. You can be sure that your homemade pastry or bread is full of natural ingredients & does not contain any additives, preservatives or large amounts of sugar and salt.

food, bread, pastry, rye, spelt, low fodmap diet,
A vegetarian feast

As I have said in a previous blog Food, what can I eat. You have to experiment & discover what is right for you. If you cook healthy home made food from fresh natural ingredients, you can be sure you are not intolerant to the vast array of “extras” which are added to today’s unnaturally processed foods. But, that’s another story.

Low Fodmap diet, Food avoidance

The low FodMap diet & food avoidance. To be honest this is quite a mine field, as the foods which cause problems in some of us, may not cause discomfort in others.  I have also found, I may be able to eat some foods for a period of time & then POW it comes back & bites me on the bum, quite literally, well not bites, but causes my rear end & tum great discomfort.

For instance, take the luscious avocado, one of the foods the Low FodMap diet suggests one avoids, or at least, consumes only a small amount. [1/4 is recommended]. For years I have happily eaten these, without any ill effects, whole avocados, not just a quarter, but recently my gut is saying NO.  Who knows, in a few weeks, I may be able to tolerate them again, but for the time being, I shall live without one of my favourite foods. As I have mentioned before, this diet is a process of elimination, with nothing appearing to be a constant.

Onions are another food avoidance which the Low FodMap diet pin points. I, personally found brown onions were very problem causing, along with garlic. However, after experimenting, red onions, being milder in taste, proved to be OK causing me no IBS symptoms. Onions & garlic along with chives & leeks belong to the Lily family & are noted for the sulphur compounds they contain.  These vegetables become sweeter when they are cooked. I have not been able to find a garlic substitute, as yet, but in my recipe below, adding some well chosen spices give a tasty kick to a simple soup.

Below is my recipe for a lovely green soup, with a good depth of flavour. The soup can be served hot, but is equally flavoursome served cold. If you can tolerate dairy, stir in a spoonful of natural Greek Yoghurt & decorate with chives.   Enjoy.

Potato & Spinach Soup.  Gluten Free, Dairy Free. V. Low Fodmap.  Serves 4.

2. Tbspns Rapeseed Oil

1, Red Onion, peeled & finely chopped.

1 Stick of Celery, finely sliced.

Carrot, chopped

1 Red Chilli, Chopped

250g Bag Fresh Spinach, Washed

1 Tspn Fenugreek seeds

1 Tspn Ground Corriander

Seasoning.

1/2 Tspn Fresh Grated Nutmeg

1.5 Ltrs Homemade Veg Stock.   (If using a commercial stock cube of powder make sure it does not contain powdered onion or garlic).

METHOD.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the veg, except the spinach & cook covered, until the veg is soft. about 10mins.

Add the Fenugreek & Corriander, fry, uncovered for a further 5 mins.

Add the spinach & pour over the stock. Bring to the boil & simmer for 30 mins or until the veg are tender.  Blitz with a hand blender, add nutmeg & adjust seasoning.

Serve with some homemade Rye & Spelt rolls, sprinkled with Linseeds.

gluten, linseeds, low foodmap, bread, spelt
Home made Low Gluten Spelt & Rye Rolls

Thank you for reading. In my next blog I will be exploring homemade V processed foods in a Low FodMap diet.

 

 

 

 

 

Fodmap foods

The Fodmap diet day 4

OK guys. Low Foodmap foods, do you know which they are?  Have you already identified foods that give you uncomfortable bloating, wind & possibly pain?  Yesterday, I shared with you some of the foods I have noticed, over a period of time, cause me problems. Today, I am listing a few “Safe Foods”, in my next blog I will deal with foods to avoid. Please remember, these will vary from person to person & only through trail & error can you identify which applies to you.

In my previous blog Food, what can I eat. I posted a photo of my homemade gluten/dairy free cake & asked “can you eat this on a Low Fodmap Diet”?  The answer is as inconcise as this diet itself.  Whilst it does not contain any gluten, dairy, additives, preservatives, artificial colours or flavourings it does contain sugar [carbohydrate] SUGAR  . All sugars are categorised as monosaccharides, disaccherides or polysaccharides & are a source of chemical energy for living organisms, including humans.  I think you can probably work out the answer, if you have read my previous blogs on this subject. Sugar occurs naturally in whole foods, but is often added to processed foods to increase the flavour. As to much refined sugar in bad for our health, in general, try replacing it with natural sweetners such as some “Safe Food” Fruits.

SAFE FOODS ( This is not an exhaustive list). 

  • Bean Sprouts, Carrot, Cucumber, Endive, Ginger, Green Beans, Kale, Olives, Parsnips, Red Peppers, Chives, Tomatoes, Courgettes.
  • Blueberries, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Papaya, Passion fruit, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Strawberries.
  • White Potatoes, Turnip, Swede, White Rice.
  • Proteins: Meat, Poultry, Fish & Seafood, Eggs.
  • Fats: Coconut Oil, Lard, Olive oil, Homemade Mayonnaise
  • Fresh Herbs, Salt/Pepper, Spices except those containing onion/garlic powder. Balsamic, Red wine & cider vinegar. Seaweed, Sundried Tomatoes.
  • Water, All teas {No milk} Homemade soups using safe ingredients.
kale, red peppers, low fodmap foods, diet, food groups,
Eat Me

That’s it for today guys. Please follow my blog & leave any comments you feel are appropriate. See you next time, with info on foods to avoid.

Food, what can I eat.

The Low Fodmap diet. Day 3.

Food, what can I eat? Now that is the question. When I first started researching The Low Fodmap diet, after a quick glance, I wondered just what I could eat. Digging deeper, I discovered it was a case of noshing less, of what I had been eating & tweaking a few things here & there.  I have always been a healthy eater, consuming salads, veg & pulses by the kilo in one sitting. BAD MOVE. I need to cut down or remove a few of these bloat producing veggies from my diet.

The Low Fodmap diet is all about removing from your diet [for a period of time], foods which you know cause you discomfort.  You then start eating the foods suggested by the research which has been carried out the “Safe Foods. This method allows you to see if your symptoms persist, ease or disappear. Gradually, you then reintroducing foods back into your diet from the suggested Fodmap food group list.

There are several things to observe, before embarking on the low Fodmap diet.

  • You should consult you doctor first to ensure you do not have any prevailing medical conditions.
  • Unless you are knowledgeable as to what a “healthy, nutritious diet ” consists of, you should consult a dietitian to ensure you are eating enough carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, vitamins & minerals, etc to keep your body healthy.
  • Beware of were you gather your information from.  A Google search has provided me with numerous sites dealing with Low Fodmap lists, of foods which are considered “OK to Eat” & those to “Avoid” many seem to contradict each other & sometimes even themselves on their lists.

As an example of the above, it is generally thought that lactose found in milk & dairy products, is thought to be a sugar to be avoided when starting the Low Fodmap diet. However, on the same chart, two of the foods on the “safe” chart are butter & cream, both of which are made with milk!   Check your information carefully. A good place to start is with NHS.UK 

food, mushrooms, bloating, ibs. low fodmap
Stuff me.

Some of the foods I have discovered on my Low Fodmap diet experiment so far are:

  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes but Sweet Potatoes seem OK
  • Onions (White)
  • Garlic
  • Beetroot
  • Lentils
  • Asparagus
  • Fruit Juices
  • Couscous
  • Dried Apricots
  • Brocolli

Should you eat the cake in the photo above on the Low Fodmap diet?  Find out the answer tomorrow.

Truffleicious, our food at Great Chalfield Manor.

food, homemade, takeaway, Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire
Food for thought

   

07778 157375 TRUFFLEicious 07778 157375

The Stables Kitchen Great Chalfield Manor SN12 8NJ

MENU

SUMMER 2018

Our opening hours: Sundays 1-4pm Tues, Wed, Thurs 12.30-3.30pm Until 31st Oct 2018 Bookings advisable. Coach Parties catered for.

Selection of Freshly Home made bread £2.50

Mediterranean Low Gluten, V. – Rye, Sweet Potato & Walnut Low Gluten, V, Vegan (Allergen Nuts) – Rye & Spelt Low Gluten, V, Vegan. – Italian Cheese, V.

Cheese Twists £3

Olives in home made lemon & Herb Dressing £4-50

Light Take away Lunches

Cheddar Cheese ploughman’s. Salad & Home made Picillili , Choice of Bread

Greek Goat Herder’s.  Feta, Olives, Sundried Tomatoes, Salad, Choice of Bread

Fisherman’s Creel. Smoked Mackerel. Horseradish Dressing, Salad, Choice of Bread

£6.50

Fishy Supreme. Smoked Salmon, Avocado & Lemon Dressing, Salad, Choice of Bread

£8.00

Homemade Fritatta of the Day & Salad  £6.50

Various Salads £4.50

Home made Cakes

Wiltshire Cider & Spelt Cake V. £3.50 Low gluten V.

Orange & Berry Iced Tea Bread £3.50

Fresh Lemon Mousse Cake. G/F. V   £3.50

Chocolate & Orange Mousse Cake. G/F. V £3.50

Devonshire Split Served with Clotted Cream & Jam £3

Fresh Seasonal Fruit Daquoise. GF, V £3.50

Home made Ice Cream GF/V £3.00

All food subject to availability. 

Web site: www.truffleicious.org  Recipe/Travel site  www.truffleicious.blog

teaching : www.truffleiciousteaches.com

email: info@truffleicious.co.uk

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Our food is homemade using fresh natural ingredients. Please ask if you have any allergy concerns. All of the above are subject to availability.

I am a registered food business with Wiltshire Council & hold a 5* Scores on the doors & a Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate

#Recipe Spicy Chickpea, Parsnip – Aubergine

Hey check out this video I made with Quik: https://quik.gopro.com/v/qPkNjlkbHH/

A Clucking good bake

You don’t always have to think of Sunday Lunch as a roast. In the recipe I am giving you this week I have used a whole chicken which I have jointed into six pieces. (you can always use chicken portions if you prefer, )

The vegetables & potatoes are all put in a roasting tin, with herbs & garlic tucked in between, you place the chicken pieces on top & pour over the magic cooking liquid. Pop it into the oven & you are ready to go. No messy carving & all you need to do is reduce the liquid left in the pan to concentrate the flavour & you have a tasty sauce, to pour over your finished dish.

You can use any veg you like, but cut them into the same sized chunks, so they are all cook at the same time.  You can also cook this dish, eat half, cool the other half quickly, store, covered in the fridge for up to two days or place in a freezer container & freeze for three months. (defrost thoroughly in the fridge before reheating) Always ensure that food is reheated in the middle, before serving.

CHICKEN & VEGETABLE BAKE       Serves 6. Gluten Free, Dairy Free.  Time taken 30mins + 1 to 11/2 hours Cooking. Oven Temp 200F 400c Gas 6

Ingredients.

I large chicken, jointed or 6 Chicken Portions.

1kg of Seasonal Winter Veg chopped into chunks. ( I used Celeriac, Carrots, Shallots, potatoes & Swede.)

4 Cloves of Garlic unpeeled.

Bay leaves, Fresh thyme, rosemary & sage.

In a jug mix together the magic mix:

200ml Red Wine.

3 tbspns Olive Oil

3tbspns Tomato Puree

1/2 tspn Sugar.

Seasoning

METHOD

Place the veg in the bottom of a large roasting tin. Put the chicken on top & tuck the herbs & garlic around the chicken.

Beat together the magic mixture in a jug & pour over the chicken & veg.

Bake in a preheated oven for 1 – 11/2 hours until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken & veg from the pan & keep warm.

Squeeze the garlic from the unpeeled cloves into the left over liquid, bring to the boil & reduce slightly.   Pour into a jug to serve with the chicken.

Serve with a green veg of choice.

If you had to open a new bottle of wine for this recipe, now’s the time to sit back, relax & enjoy a glass, or two.

chicken, red wine, seasonal veg, celeriac, carrots
Take it easy Sunday Lunch