I had a fine time at the Aldeburgh Food Festival the weekend before last. The sun came out in all its glory (lovely for us punters, not so great for the farmers) and I had the fortune to discover the unfathomably delicious fruit cream ices made by Alder Tree. These ice creams are so packed full of fruit like gooseberry and elderflower, rhubarb and ginger, and my favourite of all of them, the summer fruits, that they are not technically allowed to call themselves ice cream. Hence the lovely old fashioned name fruit ices. They seriously reminded me of my childhood…these ices are just like the ones my granny used to make using home grown fruits, cream, sugar and not much more. Delicious.
I was at the Aldeburgh Food Festival demo-ing a few simple recipes using the glut of tomatoes that crop up towards the end of every September. I had a great time making a chilli and tomato jam and fideus, a delectable noodle dish from Veracruz using some local Cromer crab but the real highlight was cooking with the Orford Primary School. Thanks to the enthusiasm and passion of Louise Holland, Jamie Oliver’s manager, the Orford Primary School have a garden where they are taught about growing vegetables, and then how to cook them. Mark Hix and I were sous-chefs to four jubilant kids who barely reached my tummy-button but were nonetheless showing a tent packed with people how to make pizza from scratch. The morning was a total treat and inspiring to see how much children love to cook and eat vegetables when they are involved in the magic of how vegetables are planted and how they grow. If only there were more projects like this up and down the country, kids would learn to love real food again, obesity levels would plummet and the NHS would heave a sigh of relief – wishful thinking maybe but surely not impossible?