Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Fine Food and Folks of Liskeard

Thursday was the grand opening of the Liskeard Town Shop and the last day of filming by the Mary Portas team. This followed on from a high street clean up event a couple of weeks earlier, where residents from the town and local area turned out in force to scrub, sweep, paint and plant. CT and I were on planting duty; I don't think I've ever planted as many polyanthus in my life. Thursday's event was intended to showcase the fine foods of Liskeard. Mary, with film crew in tow, commenced proceedings by opening the shop. The gathering throng then descended on the samples of local producers and munched and slurped their way through them in traditional Liskeard style. I had been asked by the good folk of Love Liskeard if I'd like to provide some cake samples. What could be better than combining cake baking with helping my home town? An offer I could not refuse.

For one day only - Mary in overalls

Our very own fudge lady The Gingham Chicken was represented with huge baskets stuffed full of her tasty fudge. Yummy, a new cake shop specialising in wedding and other celebration cakes provided plates of sponge, bakewell tart and little chocolate mayonnaise cakes. I happily drank a glass of wine provided by a local producer, but rather stupidly didn't take note of the name and no, I wasn't drunk. The Liskeard area is fortunate to be well endowed with cheese makers. The award winning Cornish Blue is just up the road as was the now famous Yarg, wrapped in nettles. Sadly, Lynher Dairies outgrew its original premises and has now decamped down west. But we now have a third cheese from the Cornish Gouda Company, the only gouda to be made in the South West. I can vouch for the quality of the cheese, which we've bought a few times from the recently restarted farmer's market. Giel Spierings is from a Dutch family and presumably fuels his epic canoe exploits with his cheese. The cheese comes in various varieties, my favourite being the mature one. The honey and clover is also delicious: aromatic with essence of hay meadow. Cornish Orchards, a now quite famous Liskeard apple juice and cider company was there, but I didn't get to see them.


We were also joined by a not so local producer, but one we felt glad to accommodate. The Brownie Bakers is a Cornish company making scrumilicious handmade brownies which it sells all over Cornwall. We were very happy to have platefuls of their samples to dip into when the desire arose. And last, but by no means least (I hope), was yours truly, with two types of chocolate cake and a few pictures of my cakes of yore. I made a Cardamom Chocolate Traybake and an Apple, Rose and White Chocolate Traybake, both cut into 36 pieces.

Later in the day, my favourite greengrocer, Beddoes unveiled their newly developed leek, broccoli and Cornish blue cheese pie. I am particularly thrilled by this as I love pies and it can be quite hard getting hold of a good vegetarian one - this was delicious. A competition was held to find a suitable name for the pie, but the results have not yet been revealed; I'm still on tenterhooks to see if CTs suggestion of Leekskeard Pie will be adopted. This was to compete with a fish pie from the fish shop and a road kill pie from the butchers - neither of which I was interested in, but their samples disappeared quite quickly I noted.


Other festivities included a window display competition, prepared by art students at Liskeard Community College. I was pleased to discover that the winner was our most excellent bookshop. The local yarn bombers, organised by the Knitting Fairy, were out in force and covered the recently arrived benches in Fore Street. Music and singing competed the entertainment. At some time in the not too distant future, some of this may be appearing in a Mary Portas series on Channel Four. I sincerely hope any footage of me is edited out.

18 comments:

  1. what a fantastic post. Lovely to see and hear more about Liskeard, not somewhere I have been to but I love the sound of all your local food producers and what an honour to be asked to bake cakes which I am sure got scoffed very quickly. I do think Mary Portas looks good, am loving her clothes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura. Liskeard is in a bit of a state and some of the shops where I used to do the majority of my food shopping have closed down, but we are trying hard to liven things up a bit and it is a very pretty town. With no TV, I'd never seen Mary Portas until she descended on Liskeard a few months ago.

      Delete
  2. what nice post, I find so fun and beauty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Gloria, you always say such nice things. It was a fun day :)

      Delete
  3. Wow - well done you and CT. I'm afraid that planting is not my forte at all ... in fact I regularly manage to kill mint!!! Well done on all the cake baking too, does this mean you will soon be going into business?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, see what you mean - killing mint is quite a feat! As you know, I'd love to start a baking business of some sort, but it's sadly not feasible - not at the moment anyway.

      Delete
  4. wow, so cool... the market that I did my demo cooking in a few weeks ago was the result of the Mary Portas pilot scheme but we weren't glamorous enough for them to come and film... apparently they told us that we were too organised!... it looks like you guys had a great day though and well done for mucking in... now how do I get the phone number for the cutie from the Gouda company... (don't tell The Viking!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dom you are incorrigible! I wouldn't go upsetting the Viking if I were you, he might put his horned helmet on an go berserk. In any case, there are a locals ahead of you in the queue.

      Delete
  5. YOu for sure had a lot of fun. Talking about cheese: have you ever tried something called may gouda or something like that? If the Cornish Gouda Company has it, you should give it a try. The one I had, though, was very smelly and ... yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it is generally true that the smellier the cheese, the yummier it tastes. I've not heard of may gouda, but will ask next time I see Gouda Man.

      Delete
  6. Well, here's to hoping that baking business will be feasible one day soon. Well done on all that planting and the cake baking. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trouble is Kath, I really just want to be a lady of leisure who can bake when the fancy takes her ;-)

      Delete
  7. Sounds like a great day, and lots of yummy food to look out for next time I am home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you must try the gouda Lucy, it's really good.

      Delete
  8. What a great opportunity to help out with the local community. I do like Mary Portas (not so much in HotelGB) and her shows revamping retail outlets makes for interesting viewing. She's quite comical. How lucky are you to live in such proximity to Cornish Blue. Fabulous cheese!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jacqueline. I've never seen Mary P before she came to Liskeard as I don't have TV, but she is a very dynamic woman and anyone who wants to help our struggling town gets my vote. Cornish Blue is my favourite cheese, but these days I can only get hold of it in the supermarket - madness!

      Delete
  9. Sounds like you had a lovely day and got to try lots of lovely local produce - very nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caroline, it was fun. It was also good to have a local produce event going on - I sadly miss our excellent local produce shop which closed earlier this year along with our organic shop - sad times!

      Delete

I love to hear from you so please do leave a comment or question.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails