Jul 31, 2015

Walthamstow Garden Party: Walthamstow Cultivates Some Beauties

As the strands of Appetite, E17 Art Trail and Cultivate grew together in Artillery Island’s marquee, the Waltham Forest Cultivate Summer Produce Show took shape on the Saturday. Proud gardeners were invited to submit their precious produce under one of three headings:

  • Homegrown produce
  • Preserved produce
  • Ingenius Planters
Here's Morag's run down of the event and the winners for each category:
"The judges had a great time deliberating, it was all a bit touch and go whether they would reach a decision in time!
Huge thanks to Faruk (a master of vertical planting), Jenny from Norman Loves and Victoria and Helen from Copped Hall Kitchen Garden who kindly acted as the judges on the day.
The winner for fresh homegrown produce was Julia Brown whose Invicta Gooseberries were plump and so so delicious. Grown on allotment - Sinnott Rd. Julia wrote she brough them to the show for two reasons:
  1.  I want to see an annual / regular competition in Walthamstow. This is a start! 
  2. My produce is amazing!
Her prize was the ingenius grape lid from Charles Viancin donated by Grace and Albert Cookshop, 406 Hale End Road, E4
Larissa Lockwood came runner up for her raspberries grown on her allotment and entered into the Summer Produce Show 'for a bit of fun'.

Winner of Preserved Produce was Maud Milton with her organic sourdough - one white and one white/granary loaf.  "We call the starter Mama Lampo. The starter is over 100yrs old, originates from Genoa, via Oslo to E17" Maud was awarded an Organiclea veg box to provide some yummy accompaniments to her bread.

William Forbes & Harriet Podwick came a close second for their collection of jams, jellies and a fruit leather.

To replace the ingenius planters prize, the judges created a spontaneous award for Well Presented - this award had not been previously announced, but despite the challenge of not presenting preserves in anything glass, many entrants took a lot of care in their presentation and the judges wanted to acknowledge this.

The winner was Maisson Al-Jawad who beautifully displayed a golden beetroot, purple kohlrabi, tomato, courgette and nasturtiums on a slate. "All grown from seed outdoors in my small garden in E17" 
When asked "what convinced you to bring it to the Summer Produce Show?" Her answer was simply: "proud of my efforts! (First year properly grown veg)" What better reason could you need? Her golden beetroot was worthy of a golden globe!

To match her beautiful presentation, her prize was a splendidly planted hanging basket donated by Lancasters Home and Garden, Old Station Yard, Wood Street, E17 3NA
Runner's up prizes of a choice of books were generously donated by judge and Copped Hall Gardener Helen Lowther.

Morag also wanted to give special mention to Forbes and Podwick for their foraged produce and Julia Brown’s raspberry Jam. 

Let’s hope we can make Julia’s dream of a regular produce show a reality.

Jul 22, 2015

Walthamstow Garden Party: Wine Making Demo

Ru, from Organiclea, bravely took to the stage as the first demonstration and "act" of the day. 

He shone light on the mysterious world of creating your own wine. It seems though some might have experimented with their own mini microbrewery fermenting away in their garden, wine has more finesse and intrigue surrounding it. 
Armed with bags of foraged cherries from the towpath and plums from the tree in his garden, Ru called for some willing volunteers. 

The first essential step we were told was to sterilise everything: equipment and hands so that they reduce the number of microorganisms competing with the yeast. Once this was done, the volunteers got stuck straight into cleaning, scrubbing, squishing and creating an admirably messy ‘mash’ of fruit. 
Getting stuck in
The "mash"
Ru’s explanation simplified the process and even made the more mathematical calculations of how to calculate the specific gravity and therefore the alcohol content, a little less bamboozling to those starting out.

Fancy equipment
Complex calculations simplified
A few of the right ingredients
One thing he pointed out was the country wine didn’t need to be sweet, in fact he preferred his quite dry.

The equipment he brought with him looked impressive, especially the demijohn, but he explained there were simpler versions you could get online, or surprisingly quite a lot of equipment from Wilko!

Once he had added in all the ingredients and had set it up to bubble away Ru said his main "take home point" was to have patience. All too often the last bottle of wine from a batch he found was the best and he had wished he had waited a little longer for the rest. In general he said you need to wait a minimum of a year until you even think about touching it.

...and voila, vintage 2014
If you’re interested in learning to make your own wine, feel free to contact Ru through Organiclea. Here's a link to some wine they made. Thank you to Ru for being a pioneer with the food demonstrations at Artillery Island.

Jul 17, 2015

Walthamstow Garden Party Post: A trio of fabulous food demonstrations

The Walthamstow Garden Party is back this year with an excitable fizz in the air. It'll be brimming with music, poetry, crafts, and my speciality: food and drink, available by the  bowlful.

We'll be weloming back some familiar faces such as last year's star Northern Imagination, alongside plenty of exciting local stall holders on Artillery Island and a brand new exciting development of three food demonstrations to tease your tastebuds! These include Organiclea, a familiar face to Walthamstow and Hulya bringing her exotic spices to the Island.

The schedule looks like this:

Saturday 18th July

12.30 - 13.15 
Organiclea, taking you step by step through country wine making

Sunday 19th July 

12.15 - 13.00 
Hulya from Made by the Chef demystifying Eastern Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine with a splash of how make them 'free from' allergens thrown in to make it even easier.

13.15 - 13.45  
Organiclea demonstrating how to make tasty salad from their veg box

They're free to attend, on a first come basis. Doors open at 12pm so why not make Artillery Island your first stop for some yummy lunch.

Here's a little more information on Organiclea and Hulya, our brave pioneers on this exploration.

Organiclea - Country Wine 

Come along on Saturday lunchtime to learn from Organiclea wine enthusiasts how to ferment fruit and wild food into country wine with some theory, some practical work, and a if you're lucky maybe even a chance to sample some locally made country wine.

Learn more about what young country wine is and how it preserves the best of the season. In this demo you will learn that wine-making does not need specialist equipment and you don’t have to own a vineyard.

Hulya - Eastern Med & Turkish Cuisine

On Sunday we're pleased to welcome Hulya to the stage; no stranger to the limelight with TV and food show appearances under her belt, along with teaching, judging and writing for a variety of food magazines - it's amazing she has the time to see us!
She'll be showing us how to adapt menus in this evolving market of allergen-free cooking and healthy eating whilst incorporating her background and expertise in the Eastern Mediterranean kitchen. Come along to see what yummy Turkish and Cypriot inspired street food she conjures up in front of your very eyes.

Organiclea - Veg box salad

Organiclea return on Sunday to show you that creating fantastic meals from seasonal veg doesn't need to be complicated or out of anyone's reach. Let the produce speak for itself and join Organiclea for a quick demonstration on a few tips and tricks on how to whip up a sensational salad for summer.

Hopefully see you there! Be sure to say hi :)

Jun 25, 2015

Creative Appetite Post: Final Afternoon Runaround of 10 Venues in Under 2 hours!

Sadly I haven’t had as much time this year compared to last
year for seeing as many venues and meeting as many artists as I would have liked. I did my best though to fit in as many as I could in the final afternoon though.

Here’s a quick round up of my manic run around Walthamstow
(it’s good I knew it so much better after last year’s racing around E17)!

I filled up on a hearty and delicious lunch at Bygga Bo, a favourite café
from last year with their sublime toasted sarnies, who unfortunately were too
late to join up this year - we hope to see them return next time.


Just next to Bygga Bo, it was be rude not to pop in and see their photos adorning their burgeoning produce displays. I liked the "On the buses" and the "Mork calling Mindy" photos best.

What a shop window!

On the Buses

Mork calling Mindy

I’d heard a lot about this last year and was keen to see it myself this time, so I headed straight for it and was pleased that it lived up to expectation. This year’s theme was Roald Dahl’s books and it was such fun to join others on the street pick out each of his iconic stories! The clever Howard Road folk had covered all his books from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to James and the Giant Peach, the Twits were there, as was The Fantastic Mr Fox and the BFG. All the favourite characters and some less well known ones such as the Vicar of Nibbleswicke and Esio Trot. I didn't make it to Dr Knit and the Knitting Laboratory this time, that'll have to keep for 2016!

A treasure trove of childhood memories
The tree of answers and a great poem!
Who can you spot?
Beware they're not all friendly
This one is though!

I ended up leading a happy duo towards the closing party. Enroute we spied the Lady of Shallot in the graveyard - a little eerily it must be said.

Lady of Shallot

I stopped off at the ancient house to see inside and Paul Tucker's beautiful photographs, an exhibition of "Ancient History." The smell of a BBQ was slipping in from the paved courtyard lending another dimension to the display.

Ancient House
Paul Tucker in the ancient realm

I rejoined the merry band of art seekers and picked my way through the higgledy piggledy world of the secret garden.

Great artwork

In the final minutes before the closing bells, like Cinderella I slipped into the Fairy Tale Folk gallery to glimpse the remaining fairy tale inspired photos. Alexis' favourite one about Cinderella had already been collected, but there was plenty to feast my eyes upon. I particularly enjoyed the witty captions that went with the photos. Such as "Farewell to a Hackneyed past" looking back at Hackney.

Alexis and some of his quirky photography

On my way back to the after party I detoured to squint through the railings at some lovely local artistry based on illustrations. The photos were taken with considerable risk of dropping my phone the other side of the railings and having to return when school reopened!
Fire and brimstone
Cute childlike creation

For some much needed gin, raspberry vodka was my favourite tipple closely followed by the rhubarb and gooseberry and elderflower. I loved the artwork from Fletch Fletcher. He has a similar style to mine, observing the beautiful and quirky in the mundane. His exhibition was entitled "The search for beauty in the ugly."

Cheers! A well deserved drink of raspberry vodka on the rocks

Clothing bank model

En route to the school I saw the first of the Where's Wally treasure trail. It looks great fun and I look forward to using google to have a look at it at some point. All those who contributed were entitled to a limited edition map which looked fascinating.

Phew! As expected all of the free nibbles from Yum Yum E17 had been gnawed away, but there was still drink a plenty and some final art pieces from Hatch to admire on the walls. Also importantly, lots of familiar faces to greet and catch up with.

Hatch on the wall

Hatch close up
Tips please

Bumping into familiar faces, Virginia from Wavy Line outside the luminous God's Own Junkyard
What a great E17 race, you all pulled the stops out and I can't wait for The Walthamshow Garden Party. Bring it on!

I do hope to see you there – be sure to say hi if you see me! I'll be sure to clear my camera as it certainly got full with all your great artwork this time around.