Have a hankering for tasty British cheeses or want to know which summer veggies are in season? Check out Foodie Mama’s monthly catch up, which also includes expert tips for doing London with kids!
I’m sure many of you have the same crazy few weeks ahead as me, visiting friends and family back home every summer (otherwise known in our house as bed hopping our way around Europe!). I approach this silly season with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
For that reason this month’s catch-up is a wee bit BRIT-focused. I’m giving any UK visitors the lowdown on my perfect day with kids in London (slightly older tweens in this case). And for those staying in Singapore, I’ve researched some of the best UK foodie finds on our smaller island so you don’t really need to leave at all!
Foodie Mama’s Great British and Irish Foods Available on Our [Smaller] Island
Inish Bia have a fabulous selection of good value imported produce from Ireland including a super easy soda bread mix, which even includes the baking tin and brown bread crackers for cheese. Their Irish Carrigaline waxed cheese is a super addictive pickie cheese for the kids, and they have a great gluten free flapjack that I’m rather partial to, just before the children get back from school. Pssst! Through 15 July, 2017, simply like Inish Bia’s Facebook Page and use code SASSYMAMA2017 to get a 10% discount!
You don’t need to resort to a tin of Baxters cullen skink to get your fix of British haddock as Marks & Spencer and Sasha’s Fine Foods all stock the good stuff. It’s expensive though, so I’d suggest fishcakes and kedgeree would be good ways to spread it out! Inverawe Salmon is also a favourite of mine, and Cold Storage stock both their salmon and trout as well as smoked mackerel and kippers. Also look out for Cold Storage Waitrose 1 products, which are new.
Marks & Spencer offers all the essential British breakfast fixes such as good bangers and bacon. I also love their marmalades, jams and elderflower cordial.
For Dickinson and Morris British pork pies check out Huber’s Butchery in Dempsey. Just don’t look at the price tag!
Finally, for great British cheeses check out The Cheese Artisans’ newish shop in Greenwood Avenue, run by Oliver Sutton (who hails originally from the Fine Cheese Company in Bath) and The Cheese Shop in Joo Chiat (from which you can buy online), as both deliver great value cheese platters for parties. Try the Welsh winners Perl Wen and Perl Las. Or for a creamier favourite, then award-winning Tunworth always gets my vote. You can’t go wrong with Applewood Smoked Cheddar or British classics like Colston Basset Stilton or Shropshire Blue.
For a snack fix check out British Corner Shop for Skips, treacle tart, British chocolate and a whole host of other UK treats.
Seasonal Stars This Month
Australian brassicas (mustard greens family) are all at their tastiest this month. Roasting broccoli and cauliflower is super easy and yet transforms this everyday veggie into something spectacular. Try my recipe for roasted broccoli, parmesan and mozzarella fritters below, which I serve with griddled chicken for a tasty kids’ supper, as smaller canapé sized for grown ups to nibble with tzatziki, or even as part of a brunch with some crispy bacon on the side.
Recipe: Broccoli, Parmesan and Mozzarella Fritters
- Put 300g broccoli florets (or a mix of broccoli and cauliflower) into a roasting tin and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and some salt and pepper.
- Bake at 200c for 15-20 minutes until just tender and toasted. Then cool.
- Chop into small chunks (like sweetcorn). You can use steamed broccoli instead if you have some left over.
- Make a batter by mixing 2 eggs with ½ cup all purpose flour.
- Gradually whisk in ½ cup milk and some salt and pepper. It should be like runny custard.
- Add 3 tbsp sweetcorn, drained, a crushed clove, garlic, a small handful (50g) of grated mozzarella, 1 heaping Tbsp grated parmesan and the chopped broccoli.
- Chill in the fridge for 1 hour then gently fry spoonfuls of the mixture in oil until golden brown.
- Serve with tzatziki topped with pomegranate seeds (or ketchup!).
This month I’m cooking from…
Rachel Allen’s Recipes from my Mother is a real go-to book, which I can already visualise with spots of chocolate and gravy and creased edges through good use.
Though she sounds like she’s Irish through and through her mum is in fact Icelandic and so there are some fabulous Scandi-inspired fish and seafood recipes in the book as well as many comforting mid-week favourites – crabby potato cakes, kedgeree and salmon with capers, lemon and Dijon butter and a delicious sounding crab chowder which I’m yet to try, but would be a perfect use for the crab we find at every fish market in Singapore.
We tried out Rachel’s chicken and spinach lasagne, which was a real hit with all ages and I can see us cooking it in large dishes when friends and family come to stay.
The Perfect Day with Tweens in London
First thing: Start the day at Tower Bridge and pre-book a Thames Rib Experience. You have to don life jackets and there is a safety check prior to departure. It’s a seriously exhilarating ride and we all LOVED it. James Bond fans will be especially excited as the theme tune is played from the speakers as you whizz down the Thames! You can choose from a variety of pick-ups, drop-offs and departure times.
Mid morning: Take a passenger ferry from Tower Bridge down to Embankment, on the South Bank for a wander along the riverside and to catch sight of the street performers, and find some mime artists to pose with. Depending on when your day began, you might want to stop for a coffee, too!
There are many options in London for getting around. A London Bus tour is a really great way to see all the sites, if you don’t want to walk or get the underground. A taxi is also easy and doesn’t cost a bomb if there are lots of you.
Lunchtime: Get a burger fix at MEATLiquor. Now with outlets all around the city, you can choose from Welbeck Street W1, Covent Garden or the newest at Queensway which has bowling and skating, too!
Afternoon: We hot-footed it to Oxford Street and Regent Street, visiting the Apple Store to gawp at all the latest gadgets and then to H&M for a clothes dress up challenge (worst outfits and best outfits photographed!). Both tweens got a £25 spending voucher as their end of the day treat!
For younger ones there’s also Hamley’s Toy shop for a fun half hour, but we chose the slightly more civilised Liberty Building (more of a mummy fix!) to look at the flower stall and the handbags!
Evening: Chinatown is fabulous at night, or a more grown-up dinner at the end of a long day my current favourite is Six Portland Road, tucked away in Holland Avenue. It’s essential to book but it’s worth it as the food is really outstanding!
Lessons We Love
CulinaryOn at One Raffles place has all sorts of exciting classes happening for adults and children in June – “Modern Mediterranean” and “Glorious Singapore”, as well as more skills based courses. I quite like the look of the grown-up Sunday Japanese class, which is running in June at the same time as a kids’ Asian adventures course, so you can master your gyoza whilst your kids master their Maki!
Wishing all mamas a safe and happy summer, wherever your travels may take you!