Single Use Plastic Reduction

Single use plastic reduction is in the news a lot these days. As well it should be. All my life I have thought about plastic and its dangers. This isn’t to say that I don’t use it… or even that I avoid plastic – I often feel that those in charge need to make less, make it illegal to make non-recyclable plastic etc… this is all true… but I do recognise that we, as consumers have a role to play. At times I am conscientious. At times I am lazy.

At The Kitchen Table, myself and my truly wonderful staff are often discussing our own practice, personally and as a business. I know that as a small catering company, we do more than most. This has made me a little arrogant! There are times we use plastic and I ‘forgive’ it as there are so many more times when we don’t.

We tupperware most foods and use cling film so rarely I buy a roll less than 4 times a year! However, why not do more? Why not strive to reduce our single-use-plastic use further?

To that end, I put out a call on Facebook, asking if anyone could come and teach me and my staff how to make our own beeswax wraps. That call-out garnered much interest and I realised others wanted to learn too!! So, I have booked Lizzy, from Make at 140 to run a workshop at the unit!

We are hosting a beeswax wrap making course in collaboration with @makeat140 on the 26th November. PERFECT #Christmasgift idea!

#WaxFoodWrap Workshop 

#Plastic is all around us and we need to do what we can to help stop the use of excess plastic and especially #singleuseplastic. “

Lizzy says; “I would like to do my bit and show you how to make your own Beeswax food wrap. These food wraps are made from a piece of cotton fabric and natural beeswax. They can then be used and reused for up to a year to cover, wrap and hold food.

They are designed to be wiped clean with cool water and a small amount of detergent so that they can then be re-used.

These wraps are made with only beeswax, shop bought wraps also mixed with Pine resin and Jojoba oil to give them more of a stickiness.

During this #workshop we will be making 4 fabric wraps each, using either the beeswax or the #vegan#soyawax which is our vegan alternative to the#beeswax. We will have a lovely selection of fabrics for you to choose form but if you have some at home you’d like to use make sure it is washed and 100% cotton and bring it along.”

Just £17 for the morning!

We will supply: Fabric, wax, templates, pencils, rulers, tea, coffee, homemade cake and a lovely space to work in.

You will need to bring: Cotton fabric if you have a specific one you love

Time and date: 26th November, 10am – 12 noon.
At: The Kitchen Table, unit 6 Burke Rd, Totnes TQ9 5XL.

Please EMAIL sima@thekitchentable.org.uk to book your place – places are limited to make sure you book soon to secure your spot (let me know if you have any dietary requirements for the cake)!

 

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The Kitchen Table dream team

The Kitchen Table dream team

Well, it’s been too long since I last wrote, but that’s the nature of being a seasonal caterer! We have had a rip-roaring, busy and fulfilling summer of events; weddings, birthdays, community gatherings, more weddings, business lunches and events, family occasions and pop ups! We have loved every hard working minute of it! This year, we have a fairly solid and lovely staff team – Alice, Frankie, Heidi, Georgia and Bex are my regular chefs/ kitchen supporters, and I literally couldn’t run the business in its new busy format without them! In addition we have had some gorgeous people work at weddings and events with us – waiters, dishwashers and bar people – all of whom bring their own energy, support, cheer and hard work.

This blog post is short and sweet – it’s just to say thank you! Thank you to our regular customers, to our supporters and friends. But thank you, from the bottom of my tired and happy heart to my wonderful staff who help bring you the delicious, creative and seasonal food you thankfully love!

Here’s to an autumn full of more delicious local food; we have an amazing list of upcoming events –

22.9.18 Forking Local Food Festival on Vire Island – free entry! Loads of local food producers, processors, growers and purveyors!
23.9.18 Friends of the Forest Equinox dinner – ticket cost includes dinner by us, storytelling and music! Can’t wait!
29.9.18 The Kitchen Bar is back in the glad for cocktails, food, DJ Jose Verde and frolicking in the woods! Tickets available at The Kitchen Table and The Almond Thief

woodland draft 29.9.18
23-25.11.18 CRUX craft fair where we will be running the cafe which we loved doing last year!

Stuffed lamb and summer catering

Stuffed lamb…. The other day we did a wonderful 60th birthday garden party in Combeinteignhead. One of the lovely guests was so enthused about one of the dishes we served, I thought I would share the recipe here! I’m super lucky in that I have a fantastic butcher; Luscombe‘s Totnes who I give my stuffing to and they roll it in the meat and truss it for me – maybe ask yours if they will do that? Failing that, have a crack it yourself – I am fairly sure it’s doable, just not as neat and tightly tied as a butcher would do it.

Moroccan-inspired stuffed lamb
serves 6
Ingredients
1kg boned lamb leg or shoulder
150g breadcrumbs
x1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
a couple cm of ginger, finely grated or crushed
x1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
handful of fresh coriander finely chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped dried apricots
Method
Combine all the ingredients except the lamb and work into a wet mix – add a drop of water if too dry. Lay out the meat and spread with the stuffing. Roll and truss. Place in a roasting tin and cover with parchment paper and foil and roast in a high oven (220) for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat (100) and cook for a further 4 hours in a low oven. Remove the foil and raise the oven temperature to high again and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving/ shredding.

Serve with salads, sauces and bread. A delicious summer feast! This is a popular dish to serve – who wants to roast lamb for 5 hours? Why not get your local, seasonal and creative caterer to do it for you and serve a delicious celebratory meal for you and your loved ones??

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Exciting Spring upcoming events

Exciting Spring upcoming events

We have some fab events coming up! On the 22nd April 2018 we will be at The Bay Horse Inn for the Beltane Border morris dancing for St George’s Day – we will be serving a delicious BBQ to all the hungry dancers and spectators come rain or shine! See you there?

On the 19th May 2018 Wild & Curious, Elderherbs and The Kitchen Table are uniting to bring a really exciting wild event to Dartington Village Hall – in the day, guests are invited to go on a wild foraging walk. In the evening, we will serve a delicious 3 course meal and have a cash bar selling amazing wild cocktails! The tickets will go on sale soon – watch this space.

The following week, on the 26th May 2018 Me and East are co-hosting an Artisan Market on the Rotherfold Square in Totnes – we have invited some of the best makers, artisans and creatives in the area to sell their beautiful handmade and unique wares, delicious artisanal food and drink and hopefully there will be live music there too.

Supplier of the Season – Winter – Grown in Totnes

This winter, our supplier of the season is Grown in Totnes – our lovely neighbours on the Totnes Industrial Estate.

“Grown in Totnes is about increasing the range of local food available to the Totnes area. Our local farmers mainly produce meat and dairy. We need more variety for a healthy, balanced and climate sensitive diet.
Grown in Totnes is particularly interested in those staple crops that can be dried and stored; these principally include grains and pulses, including the many varieties of peas, lentils and beans. There is a ‘hungry gap’ in seasonal British food between January and May, when there is much less fresh produce available. To ensure our local food security we need storable staples.
The need for locally grown staples was a key insight from an exercise to map Totnes’ local food web, carried out by member Holly Tiffen, in collaboration with the Campaign to Protect Rural England…
Several grains and pulses are well suited to the climatic conditions of the South West, but in mapping the local food web we discovered that currently those grown here are destined primarily for animal feed.
We now have a fully equipped unit in Totnes Industrial Estate, filled with grain processing equipment bought with the help of our community, and locally grown grains and pulses.”

We use their oats, pea flour and will soon be using their white and wholemeal flour. Here’s a recipe we made just today! – (you can swap some of the ingredients to what is available locally to you)

Miso glazed roast squash & cheddar cheesecake
Ingredients

For the topping
500g local, preferably organic squash
2tbs Tideford Organics brown rice miso
1tsp oil
1 tsp hot water
1 tsp white wine vinegar
50g grated cheddar
For the base
150g Grown in Totnes oats
130g pea flour
40g roasted pumpkin seeds
20g grated cheddar
150g butter
For the cheesecake
800g organic curd cheese
150g creme fraiche
140g grated cheddar
5 eggs
salt and pepper
Method
Greaseproof a cake tin and grease the sides. ‘Breadcrumb’ the oats, pea flour, butter & seeds. Press into the cake tin and refrigerate for 30 mins or so. Then bake until crispy (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, cube the squash and roast with some oil and seasoning. Mix the miso with water, oil & vinegar and after 10-15 minutes of roasting, drizzle the squash with the miso glaze. Roast for a further 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, whip the curd, creme fraiche, cheese & eggs.
Halve the squash quantity and lightly mash half. Add this to the cheese mix and empty onto the base. Wrap the bottom of the tin with foil and place in a roasting tin with some water in. Sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with the rest of the squash and cheese and bake in a medium oven for 45-60 minutes. Leave to cool completely before slicing. Delicious with fresh, seasonal salads.

If you are interested in buying some of their delicious and local produce, here is a list of their stockists – you can even get bags of flour, oats and oatmeal from us at The Kitchen Table unit!

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Visit Totnes – holiday let catering

We think you should visit Totnes!

I love all that we do – we help couples celebrate their wedding day, feed families as they grieve the passing of a loved one and commemorate their life, we’ve catered Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s, christenings and important birthdays. It’s such an honour to be part of people’s rights of passages; to nourish people in celebration, mourning, joy and remembrance.

In cooking for people, we are also celebrating the seasons and the bounty of the Devon harvest, the creativity and production of local artisans and supporting other small businesses. So, all in all, without wanting to sound smug, we love what we do!

A particularly lovely part of the business is catering people’s visit to Totnes and Devon. There are so many beautiful holiday lets in the area; from small cottages to large mansions near to the sea, Dartmoor and gorgeous South Devon market towns like Dartmouth, Salcombe, Kingsbridge, Totnes, Newton Abbot etc. What a lovely way to spend your holiday; with your family or friends in a lovely self-catering house in the stunning South Hams. To make one of the evenings particularly special (and easy as no-one needs to leave the comfort of the holiday home), we get hired to provide bespoke evening meal catering, sometimes delivered, sometimes served with staffing to make it that bit more special. We can provide a 3 course meal with drinks service or something simpler to suit any budget or event requirement. We can also deliver a picnic lunch for you to enjoy the next day when you explore the beauty of your surrounds.

We’re featured in the Visit Totnes online guide found here.

This online guide to rental properties is useful if you want to look at what is available in Devon and can be found here

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Miso dreamy

Tideford Organics are our lovely Totnes Industrial Estate neighbours, popup lunch regulars, outside catering clients & the CEO, Lynette, is my small business mentor… So we were very touched and honoured when they asked us to create some recipes using their new miso range. Last year we made some delicious salads and we will be coming up with more ideas in the weeks to come. But, the other day Alice made a delicious cardamom, chocolate, pear & white miso caramel cake!

Here’s the recipe;

Ingredients
150g sugar
175g butter
145g self raising flour
30g cocoa
1 tsp ground cardamom (or more if you like a stronger flavour)
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
x4 pears peeled, cored and quartered

For the caramel
2tbs Tideford Organics white miso
50ml double cream
25g butter
1tbs golden syrup
75g sugar

Method
Beat the sugar & butter together until thick and creamy. Add the eggs & beat until smooth, the fold in the flour, baking powder and cocoa. On the bottom of a greased tin, lay out the pear pieces. Gently heat the caramel ingredients together, stirring gently until melted and golden. Pour over the pears then pour over the batter. Bake the cake for 35 mins in a medium oven. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack. Serve upturned so you see the gooey caramel and pears! Delicious with ginger ice cream :)

This is a really versatile and delicious, locally made & organic ingredient. We’ve been using it in our savoury and sweet cooking. Watch this space for more recipes!

Supplier of the Season – Autumn – Huxham’s Cross

Our newest supplier is Huxham’s Cross Farm, near Week, Totnes. A wonderful piece of land, taken on by Bob and Marina last year, with some really generous loans and donations from the Community of Dragons at the Totnes Local Entrepreneurs Forum. Like we did the year before, Huxham’s Cross Farm pitched at the Totnes LEF and were endorsed and welcomed by the community and have been going strong since. They have an orchard, free-range eggs (The Almond Thief uses them in their famous brunches!), beautiful heritage veg grown bio-dynamically, nuts and grain (that Grown in Totnes are now processing!). The box scheme is open to new members. I definitely think having a box from them or School Farm CSA is well worth it!

 

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“Marina and Mark O’Connell with Bob Mehew of the Apricot Centre, Dartington, are transforming this landpreviously used for high-input chemical farming, into a fertile educational market garden and community-connected farm for biodynamic, permacultural and organic food growing.

Be part of the farm and invest in community shares. The next share offer is to create a training and wellbeing centre on Huxhams Cross Farm.” Huxhams Cross Farm website

World Vegetarian Day

We love celebrating food! And today is World Vegetarian Day! At The Kitchen Table we love food. We love local, ethically reared, free-range & organic where possible meat. We love our dairy suppliers at Country Cheeses & Riverford Dairy and we think Laydilay eggs, mayo & pavlovas are amazing! We have, what we believe to be the very best growers in Devon! Bee Organics, Huxham’s Cross and School Farm CSA supply us with the most beautiful, organic and heritage vegetables and they taste and look spectacular!

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We just love food and we love providing our clients with the things they like and can eat, and we are always happy to accommodate dietary reqs – we have some lovely veggie, vegan, gluten free, low and sugar free recipes as well as traditional or quirky but non dietary recipes!

I thought I would share a recipe I created for a client last year who was vegetarian, allergic to cow’s milk and gluten intolerant and hated rice…. I used Hunt’s Devon cider, local veg, Grown In Totnes oats and sheep’s milk cheese. He LOVED it! :)

Autumn squash & walnut gratin. Serves 8

x2 onions, finely diced
x2 cloves garlic, crushed
400ml Hunt’s Devon Cider
250ml oat/ goat or cow’s milk
2tbs rice flour/ plain flour/ oat flour
50g sheep/ goat/ cows butter/ margarine
seasoning
x2 eggs

750g cubed roasted squash
250g peeled, cored & cubed apple, in lemon juice
200g parsnips, peeled/ scrubbed and cubed, then roasted
200g carrots, peeled/ scrubbed and cubed, then roasted
200g swede, peeled/ scrubbed and cubed, then roasted
200g potatoes, peeled/ scrubbed and cubed, par-boiled then roasted

For the crumble
75g sheep/ goat/ cows butter/ margarine
50g oat flour
50g flaked oats
50g walnuts, coarsely chopped
75g grated cheese
handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped finely or dried sage

Fry the onions and garlic in the 50g of fat. Stir in the flour and with a whisk, slowly beat in the cider and milk and cook on a low heat until it’s thick and the flour tastes cooked. There shouldn’t be any lumps. Allow to cool a little then add the eggs and beat slightly.
Add the cooked root veg and combine well. Season and pour into a baking dish.

Meanwhile, make the crumble by rubbing together the 75g of fat with the oat flour, flaked oats and seasoning to a breadcrumb consistency. Stir in the cheese, walnuts, seasoning and sage. Top the veg with the crumble and bake in a medium oven for 30-45 minutes. Serve with steamed greens and a glass of Hunt’s cider!

 

Forking Local Food Festival 2017

This is one for your foodie calendar; The Forking Local Food Festival on Vire Island in Totnes on the 23rd September from 11am. We’ll be there selling hot tagines, cold savoury snacks and sweet treats. Our suppliers will be Bee Organics, Laydilay organic eggs, Sladesdown Farm, Hodmedod pulses, Huxhams Cross and School Farm CSA. The idea of the event is that all stalls are selling products that have 75% of their ingredients sourced from within 10 miles of Totnes. We will use some British but not local flour and cous cous, sugar, chocolate and some larder items such as spices that are obviously not local, but otherwise the veg, dairy and meat will have come from mostly small suppliers and growers in the South Hams area. This is actually the general ethos of our business, so we haven’t had to make much change to our normal sourcing policy, but it’s nice to be reminded of what is local and to sing the praises of our wonderful local produce.

See you there? For bread from the Almond Thief, ice cream from Dartington Dairy, cakes, hot and cold food from us and so much more! We can’t wait!

Roast local organic beetroot & Sharpham Tickelmore goat cheese tart

Roast local organic beetroot & Sharpham Tickelmore goat cheese tart

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