Hello All,

How have you been? I hope you’ve had a great weekend. What has this Derby foodie been up to? Quite a lot, actually. From attending our third Derby BookCakeClub, and a Cookbook launch, and trialling a whole bunch of recipes in my test kitchen AND discovering a delicious Indian restaurant down the road from where I live (review coming on that coming shortly), plus a whole bunch of writing, it’s been a busy week. Phew, breathe!

Firstly, I attended the mid-week Derbyshire Cookbook launch held at the Bean Caffe. There was a great turnout of local restaurateurs (many who had contributed a recipe for the cookbook), a smattering of the local press and fellow foodies made this a fun evening to remember. I’ll be cooking my way through this cool cookbook, which is packed chockfull of brill recipes and I can’t wait to share my experience of cooking them with you. So, keep your eyes peeled as I’m just getting dates sorted in the diary for cooking days. Check out this gorgeous smoked mackerel sushi roll.  It was very yum, courtesy of Iberico who were serving scrummy canapés on the night (food review of Iberico coming soon).

smoked mackerel

Whilst at the launch, I got talking to Victoria Bate, owner of Baked (artisan bakery and café). I’ve dined there a few times and the food is always fab. I’m a huge fan of their sausage cob and their chicken sandwich (food review coming on that shortly). It was just nice to spend time with people passionate about food and I dearly wish Derby had more events like this, where foodies come together to celebrate good food, great cooking and fabulous spaces.

I couldn’t stay too long, because I had to jet off to the Derby BookCakeClub in Littleover. The book chosen this month was Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Now, I hate trashing a fellow author, because I get not everyone will like your work. But I’ll make an exception here, simply because I disliked the book with the intensity of a thousand suns and would not recommend it, not even to people in prison, because that would really send them over the edge (sorry for un-PC comments here, this is how much it’s traumatised me). Basically the book is one long letter about a Reverend waiting to die. And he’s waiting to die. And we wait along with him as he waits to die. Boring character, zero plot and I’d rather have my eyes gouged out and spoonfed to me sans anaesthetic than to ever read a book like that again. That seemed to be the general consensus, as the rest of the group didn’t enjoy it either. Still, there was cake.

lemon curd sponge

I had baked a delicious Mary Berry concoction (see recipe for that here). It was very delicious, with the sponge having the faintest fragrance of orange (that’ll be the zest) and the cream cheese/buttercream icing was finger-licking good. I’ve just polished off the last piece (I’ve been watching Poldark and eating cake, which has been divine – more on Poldark later in a standalone post).

Also, I discovered a nice restaurant down the road in Littleover called Curryholics (review on that coming shortly I promise). OK, I must dash; got lots of work on Book 2 to do and a whole bunch of social media stuff.

Ciao for now and I hope you’re all having smashing bank holiday weekend.