Sunday, September 20, 2009

Liverpool Food Festival

Well its actually mainly about my comeback to the baking scene, after years (literally!) of failed trifles, bread-and-butter pudding and crumbles, I finally managed to bake something that people finished eating! hooray for me!

They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating...well, I'm just happy it looked like how a cake should look.
It was chocolate fudge cake (apparently), the original recipe is taken wholesale from my cousin's blog, somewhere I go to to dream about good eating now and again.

Also had a pretty good dinner at 60 Hope Street, somewhere I'd never be able to afford normally as mains go for about mid-20's, however as this week was the Liverpool Food Festival, they had a pretty good deal going on their website (its running till the 26th of Sept so any Liverpudlians want in, head to their site!)

3 courses for GBP18.95 plus a bottle of Rose for 2, sounded like a pretty fair deal, so 5 of us went to try it out. Esther and her sister, Naomi are good foodie people, and Asyikin (an M202!) and Frank made up the party.

Spent a good while discussing what these berries were, and found that the staff didn't know either!

I think my order of starter (Cumbrian ham tart), mains (fillet of Goosnargh chicken) and sweet (Ms Kirkham's cheese with beetroot cake) was probably the weakest of the combinations available - Esther's hake main dish, with Asykin's smoked salmon starter and the mousse dessert were pretty strong options. Even so, the meal was probably one of the best I've had out in Liverpool in terms of English dining. Can't remember much about the wine except that it was Spanish, and there was a lot of it - slept well that night!

Then come Sunday, it was the end of the Food Festival, culminating in a Farmer's Market all along Hope Street. Something like a pasar malam back home, a farmer's market is how UK farmers have a chance to sell directly to the customer, thereby cutting out the middle man and resulting in a higher profit margin.

Looking pretty bare in the morning before it gets crowded later.

I'd planned to meet up with Esther and her cronies from church so heading there after Sunday Service, I found myself confronted with the above scene. Felt hungry so settled for a roll with Gloucester Old Spot hog roast with the stuffing and apple sauce at the shop below.

Let's just say I wasn't blown away. However things looked up as I'd heard there was going to be free performances by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with their resident conductor in charge. Ducking into the Philharmonic, I managed to steal a seat in a box after convincing an elderly couple, that no, I wasn't going to to shout or take tons of photos midway through the performance:-)

Beethoven's 5th Symphony (according to Pa), Haydn's Symphony No. 100 and Beethoven's The Creatures of Prometheus ballet was my introduction to live orchestral music, and it was good.

Tried biltong, which I'd read about in King Solomon's Mines and always wondered what it'd taste like. In real life, its a strip of jerky-like meat studded with seeds (fennel?) and is really really difficult to bite through. According to Esther (who should know since she spent part of her life in Africa), they're meant to be chewed and chewed and chewed. Not exactly sharing material:-)

Total haul for the day: clockwise from top left-

Smoked kippers, which I'm assured will taste absolutely brilliant boiled in their bags and then dropped on top of white bread.

Cain's Raisin Beer, which as a flavoured beer, I don't get to try too often.

A French artisanal loaf, which apparently uses French flour (I obviously have no clue) and therefore is tastier.

Some sweetcorn lobbed into my bag by Esther.

A pot of homemade damson jam - was looking for quince jelly but no one stocked it.

A chocolate tarte and a slice of chocolate ganache cake.

Two venison tarts with orange and juniper toppings.



sarah ong said...

wow...good job on the cake! looks really good
Happy b bday dr ling

siehjin said...

wow, you baked a cake! congratulations jon. =P