Autumnal, Cidery Crumble 

Here’s me waving a cautious hello to autumn. It’s still a little frustrating getting dressed in the morning, I’ve discovered a love for dresses with long arms and high collars, these paired with my signature thick tights and red DMs mean I’m quite often sweating by 11am.

Anyway, I try not to allow this sort of weather issue to affect my joy of cold weather eating. The office is full of chats about stews, dumplings, crumbles and the much maligned steamed pudding and I am here for it.

I was sent some bottles of Old Rascal from Thatchers after a balloon flight, didn’t happen and as someone who isn’t a huge cider lover it’s been used mostly for roast pork. However, my office neighbour and I wondered a few weeks ago if cider and crumble could be bedfellows and honestly I couldn’t see why not. Also it’s been ages since I’ve done a recipe and that’s what this blog was supposed to be for. So, please do give this a go and let me know if you try it. We loved it.

To feed 4 greedy bastards you will need;

Filling

  • Around 300ml of sweet to med sweet cider
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 2 small sweet cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • A generous knob of butter
  • A pinch of salt

Topping

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g oats
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 100g butter
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Gently melt the  butter and add the cooking apples. When they start to soften add the cider, turn up heat a little and stir occasionally. You’re looking for the apple to get very soft and thicker, almost like a sauce.
  • Once that’s happened add your chunks of sweet apple, sugar and spices plus salt and heat throughout. You want the sweet apples to hold more of their shape so it’s not akin to baby foods.
  • Decant into your crumble receptacle
  • For the topping, either pulse everything into a food processor until crumbly or rub together with your hands until you’re happy. I like a few big, stodgy clumps in mine.
  • Pop into a preheated oven, around 200c for about half an hour or until the top is nice and brown.
  • Serve with custard

Butterfingers Needs You

After successfully founding and running the monthly BS5 Market in St George, Holly Chalmers is determined to support local producers and talent from her own community convenience store, Butterfingers.The local BS5 resident is launching a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the new venture. e has just 30 days to raise £10,000 else Butterfingers won’t become a reality.

Just a stone’s throw from St George park and next door to the recently opened Bristol Loaf, the store will stock fresh fruit and veg, meats and cheese, all the essentials, but with one difference – all the produce will be sourced locally. And it won’t just be the essentials, Holly will be linking up with some of the wonderful traders from the BS5 Market to stock their specialist products.

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Holly has just 30 days to raise £10,000 else Butterfingers won’t become a reality. Just a stone’s throw from St George park and next door to the recently opened Bristol Loaf, the store will stock fresh fruit and veg, meats and cheese and all the essentials, but with one difference – all the produce will be sourced locally. But it won’t just be the essentials, Holly will be linking up with some of the wonderful traders from the BS5 Market to stock their specialist products.

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But it won’t just be the essentials, Holly will be linking up with some of the wonderful traders from the BS5 Market to stock their specialist products so you won’t have to wait till market day to stock up

In the evenings and on closed days Butterfinger’s will be offering the space to hold workshops, talks and supper clubs. So whether you’re a street food stall that wants to offer an extended menu, or you’re a silk artist using botanical dyes, this space will provide you with a platform to share your talent and skills. A contribution to this worthy cause may mean a fantastic pop up coming near you soon!

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The Kickstarter campaign will go towards buying essential equipment such as chillers, deli counters and of course a coffee machine.  With the deli becoming a pop-up paradise in the evening, Holly will also need more fittings in the kitchen with much-needed equipment for hosting the perfect supper-clubs.

To contribute to this fantastic, community-minded project, follow this link to the Butterfinger’s fundraising page. Dig deep!

 

Tsukemono takeover @ The Volunteer Tavern 

Those who know where to find good beer and good times have probably already stumbled into the unassuming Volunteer Tavern for a pint of cask ale and a decent roast (if it’s Sunday).

They have now turned the kitchen over to pop-ups, a trend I can get on board with, and their current residents are the fabulous Tsukemono who specialise in tasty Japanese food. I first came across these guys at the BS5 Market where I grabbed some lunch and thoroughly enjoyed some Japanese fried chicken with mayo and pickles.

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A picture of me being joyful about having chicken.

I popped over on a Friday lunchtime and found the pub to be full of diners and managed to nab a window seat by the bar. I ordered a portion of fried pickles, a dangerous choice as many offer these but most serve up something floppy and wet that get left on the plate. I also went for the Katsu- Kare Don, a pork cutlet on a bowl of rice, katsu curry sauce and pickles.

I was also joined by this good boy.

The pickles came out first and they were presented in a little cardboard bowl. They were generously drizzled in a saricha mayo, fried in a light panko crumb and looked very tasty. They weren’t oily and kept their punchy, sour pickled taste whilst also staying turgid and offering crunch. Definitely a good shout by me to order these, burger bars offering similar, take note and take a lesson please.

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My main appeared soon after and I was very pleased with the generous offer. Everything was presented beautifully as you can see, an Instagramers dream with those pickles and Tsukemono’s signature pink lotus root on the side. The pickle (Fukujintsuke) is made with cucumber, ginger, beetroot,, aubergine, daikon and kombu and provided a moreish, crunchy bite with the sweetness making the katsu curry really sing. I polished off the bowl and felt like I had really won at lunch that day.

These guys will be in the kitchen until the end of October and I suggest all of you head over for at least lunch or dinner. The dinner menu expands into the realms of Okonomiyaki (a real favourite of mine, a Japanese potato and cabbage pancake topped with mayo, hot sauce and bento fish flakes), Nasu-Katsu Aubergine and plenty of pickles to munch on whilst waiting. I defiantly want to come back for the “Kimchi Scotch Egg”. They also cater to veggies and vegans so there isn’t an excuse for you not to come!

Find them on FB here

The Bank Tavern’s Fowl Fine Dining Experience

The Bank Tavern knows how to cook, consistently providing some of the best burgers, roasts and nose to tail events in Bristol.  After far too long a wait, I am excited they are back with a “Fowl Fine Dining Experience”. bank tav fowl

Held on the 16th and 23rd of October, you can expect course after course of beak to tail eating, with dishes including bird bacon and pidgeon gibblet haggis. These events fill up very fast so email Landlord Sam Asap to book your place. See you on the 16th!

Bottles and Books is now open!

Open at the top of end of  Gloucester Road, Bottles & Books is, allegedly, the worlds first Bottle & Comic shop specialising in craft beer, real cider and comics.

Bottles & Books is being launched by the team behind Bristol based Orchard Box, the craft cider subscription club, which features real ciders from around the world made by small producers. Bottles & Books will be carrying on in this vein offering a huge selection of specialist ciders on it’s already groaning shelves. 

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Although being launched by the team behind Orchard Box the craft beer selection is not being overlooked, there will be the freshest craft beers from great local & international breweries such as Verdant, Lervig, Wild Beer, Left Handed Giant, Cloudwater, Beavertown, Lost & Grounded and more!

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Regarding their range of comics, Bottles & Books intend to focus on the indie, creator owned and interesting whilst supporting local & UK creators. Of course they won’t be forgetting the bigger titles, with fans able to enjoy superhero titles from Marvel and DC.

Bottles & Books will be a hub for beer/cider/comic geeks with regular events such as meet the brewers, Q&A’s, Tastings & Comic signings

Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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Mid Week Mac is a thing and it’s here

I admit I get some damn good invitations in my inbox, champagne cream teas, two courses of fine Indian food etc and most of the time I leave full, happy and feeling #blessed to have carved out my wee blogging niche.

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However, I wasn’t expecting the sheer volume of tasters I was offered last night at The Urban Standard’s first Mid-Week Mac and Cheese night. Perking up hump day, the Gloucester Road bar has pulled together 10 Mac-Attack dishes that will be exclusively served on Wednesdays. I got to try ALL.OF.THEM. The pic below was taken as my BF had to pull off my boots whilst I lay down for half an hour.

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The menu is split between either burgers or loaded dishes of the cheesy stuff for you to try and pick your way through, every dish I tucked into (with may I add, greedy gusto) was hot, creamy, cheesy and strong enough to taste great but do not detract from the toppings.

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Top dishes of the night for me were;

The burger – a beef patty topped with a mac and cheese fritter, bacon, swiss cheese and pickles

The P.I.G – Mac and Cheese fritter topped with pork and fried egg

Mega Mac Fries – These loaded fries rivaled the Dirty Dirty Fries at The Hobgoblin and are about the same price, well worth trying out.

The Beef and Blue – Topped with beautifully slow cooked beef and plenty of blue cheese

Sweet Potato – Topped with mashed sweet potato and chimmi churi

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You can pick any three topped macs for a reasonable £13, the burgers are all under £9 and you will come away feeling like you might burst. Highly recommended, I will be back.

 

 

Farmdrop Has Come To Bristol

With Bristol becoming one of the top foodie cities in the UK you would expect to be knee deep in fresh, local produce. However, for those of us who work hard, play hard and don’t have the time or inclination to head to Gloucester Road, St Marks Road or Clifton Village to pop to the butchers, bakers and candlestick makers,  Farmdrop is quite the boon.

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Via the jolliest, cow-print electric vans, you can place your order and a nice bloke will deliver within the allotted time, just like Sainsbury’s but without the guilt. I was lucky enough to have been given some credit to try the service for myself and racked my brains for what to buy. As I live smack bang in the middle of Gloucester Road I am literally tripping over the A Boards of a Fishmonger, Butchers, Bakers, Grocers and Bottle Shops so Farmdrop is a wonderfully lazy treat. I went for 2KG of Beef Rib which I intend to roast on a Sunday for friends.

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They were delivered on time by a lovely driver and the beef was exactly what I was expecting which means 10/10 for me really. If you aren’t as geographically lucky as I am, you can expect to find anything from seafood to alcohol, organic fruit and veg, grown in the BS postcode, meat from farms mere miles away and even household goods. They also run a referral scheme so you earn £20 credit by recommending friends, brilliant!

Find Farmdrop here and download the app!

Pictures courtesy of Farmdrop

Whilst I received a complimentary £40 credit this in no way impacted on my opinion. I was not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.