Last weekend I got to go to one of my favourite annual events.
If you've never been to the Good Food Show, it's a smorgasbord of culinary delights. Food producers tempt you with delicious free samples. Kitchen appliance sellers rally the crowds like street performers. TV chefs entertain from the stage with cookery demos. It's a trade show, of course, so the primary purpose is to get you to part with your pounds (alliterative, me!). But if you're canny and plan for things you can pick up some bargains much cheaper than they are in the shops or online. Last year, we bought our pan set, and next year we will probably buy some decent knives. But this year, temptation was removed by not having a lot of spare cash at all. I say removed.... mostly removed. I think one of us may have cracked and bought some beer and some potted game... (clue - not me!!). Ah, for Christmas, is it? Okay... I can forgive.
Most fantastic of all was that for us this brilliant event was absolutely free!
Our frugal highlight was watching some of the stage shows. We watched Tom Kerridge make salt cod scotch eggs on the Saturday Kitchen stage. We love Tom! After having seen him on Great British Menu a couple of years ago, I saved up to take OH to the Hand and Flowers for his 40th. A 2- Michelin star pub, if you will... unfortunately, not something I can see us being able to do again for a few years.
|"You poured wine on a fish!"|
|Tom Kerridge and a woman with a strange neck-face.|
I bought a copy of Tom Kerridge's book and had it signed for OH for his Christmas present... he let me do the queuing and have my pic taken with Tom. What a lovely, cheerful fella he is! Tom, not OH... ;-P
I also watched cookery demos with James Morton, and Stacey Stewart, ace cake-baker with a beehive. I got to try some madeleines she had made and an absolutely gorgeous mincemeat and chocolate ganache pavlova. Here is a blurry pic of her with a Dalek cake stand.
I also bumped into Frances from this year's Great British Bake Off in the press room. She seems very nice.
The Good Food Show also hosts the Annual Cheese Awards. Just look at all that cheese, Grommit! Guess what happens after the competition... they throw it all away. What a waste - give it to me!
This had to be my favourite stand - Choco Passion. Couldn't afford any of these, but what works of art. And the smell of chocolate from the stand... mmmmm!
No free samples at this stand, but I happily chomped and glugged my way around the show. Favourite tipple I tried was the Kings' Ginger Gin. That was lush. Not so keen on fiery alcohol free beer we tried... Clonakilty black pudding, Snowdonia cheese company Red Devil cheese, these are a few of my favourite nibbles.
I didn't bring home as impressive a haul of freebies as last time: a shopping bag and bar of Galaxy, some mango chutney, prunes, gravy, Belvita biscuits and sweeteners; also a few recipe books and loads of shopping vouchers.