BBC Good Food Show ~ Was I Impressed?

Welcome to the Good Food Show!

As a subscriber to Good Food Magazine, I see ads throughout the year for the upcoming Good Food shows that are shown throughout the country: Birmingham, London and Glasgow were the main three for some time.  Then this year, they decided to add a new one at the Glow Theatre at Bluewater Shopping Mall near Greenhithe in Kent.  Woo hoo!  Finally, one near to us.

I booked the tickets at the end of February and made sure we got the Gold Seats for the MasterChef Live show.  As a subscriber, I got a great deal; not only a discount on the ticket price, but I also didn’t have to pay the booking fee.  So two tickets for the exhibition and the Live show was a mere £27.  I couldn’t wait and was counting down the days.

We took the train as it was much easier than driving there.  The train took us right to Ebbsfleet station and from there we were able to hop on a bus which took us directly to Bluewater.  We had to walk through Marks & Spencers and out into the main area of the mall to get to Glow.  We showed our tickets and went into the exhibition hall and started looking around.  I don’t know what it was, but I felt disappointed from the moment I stepped inside…call it a gut feeling.

There were too many stands selling wine/alcohol, cheeses, preserves or spices.  Now mind you, I have no problem with any of those foodie items but I would have liked to see some stands selling things like loose tea, coffee, herbs, honey, chocolates, game meats or other unusual meats, hot pepper sauces or quirky kitchen gadgets/signs, etc.  We did not see one stand selling any of those things 😦 although we did get to taste several samples 🙂

Here's where we got the 7 sausages for £10

We did buy some things.  Got seven different dried sausages for £10, five blocks of cheese with a free bottle of wine for £12 and three jars of condiments (1 horseradish cream, 1 beer mustard and 1 spiced honey mustard) for £6.50 and when you bought 3 jars or more, you got a free jute tote bag.

Our Purchases!

The MasterChef Live stage

The MasterChef Live show was at noon so we headed downstairs to that.  We were about 10 rows back as I had ordered the Gold seats.

We really enjoyed the show with John Torrode and Greg Wallace and they had a cook-off with the MasterChef champions from the past two years.

John and Greg on stage

(Sorry, I took some video of the show but I’m having trouble posting them on here.)

Also wish I knew about the book signing BEFORE I got there…would have brought my MasterChef Bible for John and Greg to sign!

Don’t get me wrong, the exhibition was enjoyable, just a tad disappointing.

Maybe next year will be better…if we decide to go again.

Fruit and Nut Tea Loaf – Fat Free!

With the December issue of my subscription to Good Food Magazine comes a calendar.  Inside the calendar there is always a recipe on each month.  One of the recipes is a Sultana Tea Loaf for March.  The one great thing about it is that it’s FAT FREE!  It does contain some brown sugar, but breaking it down to a per serving amount results in less than a tablespoon per slice (12 slices per loaf).  Obviously if you can manage to get more slices, then the sugar amount goes down even more.  So, because of the sugar, it could be a South Beach Phase 3 or a ‘once in a while treat’ on Phase 2.

As usual, I did some tweaking to it to make it a bit more SB friendly.  I’ll give you the recipe as it was on the calendar and I’ll give you my recipe as changed.  As I’m typing this sentence, the loaf is out of the oven and cooling in the pan.

The calendar recipe calls for the fruit to be soaked overnight in the tea.  I did not do that but left them to soak for about 2 hours.  I also used a bit less flour because whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid.

Recipe as per calendar:

~~SULTANA TEA LOAF~~

250g/9oz sultanas

100g/4oz mixed peel

140g/5oz light muscovado sugar

300ml/10½fl oz hot black tea made with 2 teabags

oil or butter, for greasing

300g/11oz self-raising flour

1 large egg, beaten

Put the sultanas, peel and sugar in a bowl and pour over the hot tea.  Stir well, then cover and leave to soak overnight.

The next day, heat oven to 150c/300f.  Lightly grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line with a wide strip of baking paper.

Stir the flour and egg into the fruit mixture, then turn into the tin and level the surface.  Bake for 1½ – 1¾ hours until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Slice and spread with butter, if desired.

To freeze, cool and wrap in foil.  Thaw at room temp.

Terri’s Tweaked Recipe:

~~FRUIT AND NUT TEA LOAF~~

100g/4oz sultanas or raisins

100g/4oz dried currants

50g/2oz mixed peel

140g/5oz light muscovado sugar

300ml/10½fl oz hot black tea made with 2 teabags

oil, for greasing

275g/9¾oz whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

50g/2oz chopped walnuts

1 large egg, beaten

Put the dried fruit and sugar in a medium bowl and pour over the hot tea.  Stir well and leave to soak for about 2 hours.

Heat oven to 150c/300f.  Lightly grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line with a wide strip of baking paper. (This is what I did and it worked out just fine)

Lined tin

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and nuts. Stir the egg into the fruit mixture then pour into the flour mixture and mix.  Turn into the lined tin and level the surface.  Bake for 1½ – 1¾ hours until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cooling in the tin

Cool for 10 minutes then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

The loaf should lift right out of the tin using the baking paper.

Despite not having any fat in it, it is lovely and moist from the fruit and the tea.