#Suffolkdiet – Road kill rolls and Heston vs Delia Desert – Earth Day

We have a little tradition round here, a group of friends take it in turns to host a supper when it is one of the group’s big ‘O’ birthday.  This was my chance; ever one to set myself a challenge, I decided to try to source all the ingredients from Suffolk.  This is how the meal went, there is a Spotify playlist to go with the post; it was Earth Day too, so celebrating all good things around us seemed particularly appropriate.

The opening gambit from two of the friends when they arrived was, ‘so are we going to have road kill?’ – Little did they know.

Being fabulous people the first thing they asked was, “is there anything we can do?” – I explained that the one product I couldn’t buy locally was Suffolk butter. I poured some cream into a jam jar and asked them to shake it whilst they talked.  Passing the jar from one to another; we could eat once when we had produced butter.

Starters: Platters –  Salami and Ham from Lane Farm Brundish, Smoked Trout, Mackerel, and Salmon from Pinney’s of Orford, Green Peppercorn Dressing from Suffolk Mud, Mayonnaise from Stokes; mixed leaves from my greenhouse and Road Kill rolls made with white strong flour from Maple Farm, Kelsale.

The Lane Farm meats are dry and not overly fatty so really tasty to eat, especially with something a little spicy like a mustard or the peppercorn dressing.  The Pinney’s smoked fish is delicious.  The fish is soft and delicately smoked, not overly flavoured.  The Road Kill rolls were bread rolls shaped like flattened hedgehogs.  Kelsale flour is not bleached, so even their white flour comes up as a brownish roll, perfect for hedgehogs.  The flour has a gloriously silky feel when you work with it.  I was caught out though by using too much water in the initial mix, so much kneading on a well and frequently floured board was required to bring it back to a good consistency.  I proved the dough over night and did a secondary shaping and proving in the morning.

Another time I would make the rolls smaller, they did look rather intimidating.

Amuse-bouche:  Weed shot.  I made a soup using, Jack-by-the-hedge, cleavers (aka sticky willy), nettles, chick weed, sorrel and land cress from the garden and the lane.  I served the soup by giving everyone a shot glass and pouring the soup chilled from a White’s pear juice bottle.  Variously described as disgusting, smelling like drains and quite nice; I think it is possibly an acquired taste.  I’ll drink the rest for lunch, I guess it will have cleaned the palate if nothing else.

Venus and the Hunter’s return: The main course was a variation on coq-au-vin.  Made with chicken breast, Shawsgate Venus, onions, carrots, potatoes, a good bundle of fresh herbs as a bouquet garni and some chopped pickled walnuts (walnuts from one of the friend’s garden) stirred into the sauce.  I was trying to keep this course low fat, so didn’t thicken it with a roux and used skinless breasts, the little oil I used to soften the onions was local rape seed oil from Hillfarm.  With hindsight this may have been a mistake, the chicken came up rather dry and I wish the potatoes had a bit of a crispy edge to them.  Another time I think I would use a deep casserole, slice the potatoes and do as a layered topping.  The chicken, potatoes and carrots are all from local suppliers and bought at auction at Abbots at Campsea Ashe.  As there were already some veg in the casserole I just served it with a huge deep dish of Birds Eye peas.  Now I can’t guarantee these were from Suffolk but there is a fair to middling chance they were; but equally that they may be the last ones we see.  I have previously written about the pea harvest in this area; what I didn’t know at the time was that just before this year’s crop should have been planted, Birdseye would pull the plug and not renew the contract. Some of the farmers will have planted beans or other replacement crops, but various contractors have been laid off and had to find new work, all at very short notice.

Cheese: I served, Suffolk Gold, Suffolk Blue from Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, Creeting St Mary, and Shipcord, Hawkston from Rodwell Farm in Baylham near Ipswich.  Trying to avoid biscuits, I served them with spiced pickled pears that I made last year and some spiced peaches from Laxfield that I won in a WI draw.

At this point a friend that I knew was going to be late arrived.  It was agreed that she should try the weed shot before being allowed to proceed, she correctly identified nettles as an ingredient.

Heston vs Delia Desert: I am not a great lover of puddings and often pass on them preferring to tuck into cheese instead; so deserts with me are always a bit of a risk.  I gave each person a small plastic tub and a pipette.  The idea was to build your own desert taking as many (Heston) or few risks (Delia) as you like from the following list.

  • Baby meringues, eggs from garden, Aspall Balsamic Vinegar and Billington’s Sugar, at the time couldn’t find British Sugar.
  • Marybelle Creme Fraiche, Yoghurt
  • Coffee Granita made with Paddy and Scotts, Great with Friends Coffee
  • Tea Granita made with Sencha Wild Grey tea from Butterworth and Son
  • Beetroot Jelly made with ‘Beet it’ from Whites
  • Coulis – Wild Blackberry and Raspberry from Whites
  • Chocolate from Hadleigh Maid
  • Walnut Liquor made with green walnuts from friend’s garden (which is what the pipette was for)

Throughout the meal the drinks on offer were Shawsgate Baccus 2004 and a selection of juices from Whites.

The meal was finished off with a gorgeous cake that one of the friends had made, fizz from another friend and there should have been tea and coffee but I think by then I had forgotten that bit – oops.

I am hugely grateful to Eat Anglia, who when I was having problems getting the Kelsale flour called and asked them to deliver some for me especially, that’s service.

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Posted on April 23, 2010, in Auction, cheese, Farming, Foodie/Green/Gardening, frugal, gleaning, Hedgerow, jelly, music, Pea, pickles, Rural Econom, rural Suffolk, Suffolk, Suffolk Diet, Wild food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. The Playlist in words
    Cornelius 1960 – 1960
    America – 1960
    Sean Kingston – Beautiful Girls
    MIKA – Blame It On The Girls
    Justin Bieber – Down To Earth
    Imogen Heap – Earth
    Michael Jackson – Earth Song – Radio Edit
    Eels – Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor
    Ian Bostridge – English Folksong: Oliver Cromwell (Nursery Rhyme from Suffolk) (arr. Britten)
    Gregory Alan Isakov – Evelyn
    Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls
    The Micropops – Fifty days
    White Lies – Fifty On Our Foreheads
    Spin Doctors – Forty Or Fifty
    Marina And The Diamonds – Girls
    Jay-Z – Girls Girls Girls
    Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun
    Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is A Place On Earth
    Take That – Julie
    JLS – Mary
    Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls
    Tom Waits – Rosie
    Status Quo – Runaround Sue
    Scouting For Girls – She’s So Lovely
    Scarlett Johansson – Song For Jo
    Humphrey Lyttleton – Suffolk Air
    The Court and Spark – Suffolk Down Upon The Night
    Doreen Carwithen – Suffolk Suite: I. Prelude: Moderato
    Doreen Carwithen – Suffolk Suite: II. Orford Ness: Allegretto Grazioso
    Doreen Carwithen – Suffolk Suite: III. Suffolk Morris: Ritmico
    Doreen Carwithen – Suffolk Suite: IV. Framlingham Castle: Alla Marcia
    Irma Vallecillo – Sweet Suffolk Owl
    Adept – The Ballad Of Planet Earth
    Calvin Harris – The Girls
    Peter Ulrich – The Witchbottle Of Suffolk
    Linda Sundblad – To All My Girls
    Pablo Sorozabal – Vivia Sola
    Nora Brockstedt – Voi Voi – 1960

  2. Can’t help wondering if the “shot” cleansed more than your palate by the next morning! All sounds yummy tho’

  3. Wow – it all sounds delicious! Aren’t we lucky to have so much on our doorstep.
    I’m up for trying your weed shot – sounds fab!

  4. Am so glad you enjoyed our salami and ham. Ian is so clever with his recipes. Have you tried our Great Taste Award winning Chorizo yet? Yummy!!!

  5. Wow thats some feast you put on there.
    Not sure about the green shot but the rest of it sounds fascinating.
    Am a big fan of Pinneys and Lane Farm produce and always stock up then when I’m up in Suffolk.
    I’ve also just found Lane Farm stocked at the farm shop I use in Essex which is brilliant. I can’t decide on my favourite between the salami and the chorizo. the bacon is lovely too :))
    I would have added the smoked prawns from Pinney’s too!

    • I would have added the smoked prawns if I could have bought them locally ie Earl Soham or Framlingham but none around in time. I had bought the smoked sausages but as you now know I didn’t cook them on the night and have just polished them off for tea – fantastic!

      • Trouble with Pinney’s prawns is that they’re only smoked by Pinney’s, I’m not sure that they catch them off their boats – so don’t know whether they’re very local. Will ask next time I’m down there.
        P

  6. What a fun and memorable night you put on for your lucky guests! Loved the dessert idea, and of course, the butter churning slavery.

    I’ll be 40 in a year and a half… Now that gives you more than enough time to create an Essex Menu. 🙂

  7. SuffolkCheeses

    Sounds grand!! When are you inviting us all around?!!!
    If you want butter, we can make some for you..

  8. This is fantastic, and just goes to show how much this region has to offer in terms of cuisine! If you’re not a desert person – our crème fraiche is wicked with a hot chilli or curry! Thanks

  9. The rolls you made from our white flour look delicious. Have you tried our spelt flour, milled from spelt we grow on the farm? Even silkier!

  10. Wow, what a brilliant spread. I love the idea of getting your friends to make butter by shaking the cream 🙂 I’ve just had another delivery from welovelocalfood again and am getting ready for another Suffolk feast.

  11. Hi everyone! I want to let you know that I am giving away a black winter truffle, the last one for this season! You can enter the contest here:

    It’s easy and the prize is delicious!

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