Domestic Goddess my arse!

These are the recipes I'm good at... quick, simple, out of the store-cupboard and onto the plate fare. I never spend more than 30 minutes faffing in the kitchen. So there.

This will be my recipe & homemadey remedy diary.

If you have those 'OMG! It's lunchtime and all I've got is a parsnip and a packet of boil in the bag rice.' moments, then you're a kindred spirit and you know that bad planning is often the mother of great food. So welcome to fast slurpy soups and 'really?' salads made from what's left in the fridge.

Never, ever believe there isn't something wonderful to make from the last 3 ingredients in your kitchen. Unless those ingredients really are fairy liquid, eggshells and dead flies.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Celebrate Our Independent Bristol Shopkeepers | buy local

I am in the middle of writing a little call to arms, to encourage Bristolians to shop the Gloucester Road this Christmas. Here for the foodies are 5 reasons to venture up Britains' longest independent high street in plenty of time for the Seasonal Scoff-fest!

1. How about plump bangers, organic birds, free-range eggs and cheese as well as more delicious deli items than Harrod's Food Hall? Try M.J. Dalton at No. 409 for locally sourced pasties & pies, W.G. Stutt at No. 226 for more traditional offal, or Dave Giles at No. 170 for organic meat & wonderful ham. If that isn't enough for you, the legendary T&PA Murray also has an amazing cheese & deli counter - stocked with every type of cheese you can think of and some you can't.

Tip | Always check with your local butcher for the best time to put in your Christmas meat order and if you're after cheese from Murray's close to the big day - be ready for long queues.

2. Only two of the best bakery shops in Bristol! The wonderful Joe's - for proper old school baked goods alongside more fancy items like Bertinet bread and seasonal cakes. Joe's also bake proper job pasties and sausage rolls fresh every day and are rammed every lunchtime so get there early. I'll have a couple of bakewell tarts if you're askin'.

Further down you'll find The Breadstore at No. 45. There is almost always a queue outside this shop at lunchtimes and Saturdays - but it is well worth the effort. Our family survey of mince pies last year voted this bakery's mincers the best in town. I promise you we left no pie - uneaten...

3.Then there's The Real Olive Company shop. This Bristol based company have a little restaurant/cafe in town and you can find them at St Nicks too. On Gloucester Road they have a little deli shop chock full of deliciousness as well as wheat free bread offerings. Bonus! Apparently Saint Raymond Blanc himself is nicking their ideas.

4. You'll also find Vietnamese, Japanese & Korean 'supermarkets' selling goodness knows what in beautiful packaging. You'll find noodles and rice of every type and flavour, miso, tofu and specialist ingredients for authentic Asian cooking - along with all the pots, pans and chopstickage you'll need to stage an alternative Turkey free celebration.  Gloucester Road also has a wonderful  Indian sweet shop which some of us would like to keep a secret. You can also find Polish, Turkish and Italian delis too.

5. Finally for this list, which is not exhaustive I admit. There is a very intriguing  new shop* just opened somewhere near the middle of this amazing street, selling wine and all things somelier to the good people of Bishopston. I spotted the perfect pair of wine glasses for my Pa, and Podge's eyes were out on stalks at the great choice of really rather good reds.

*so sorry, forgotten the name and it is waaay too chilly to charge out and check. Will update asap. xx

Don't take my word for it - hop on a 75/76/73 this weekend and come and explore this great street - don't worry about where you'll have lunch - lord we're positively bristling with coffee shops, cafes and restaurants and did I mention that on a Saturday T&PA Murray set up a bbq outside the butchers and sell burgers in a bun with onions and mustard.

You won't find Starbucks, Macdonalds, Costa Coffee, The Gap, Next, Primarni, Thorntons blah blah blandness.

What is not to love?

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