Aug 19, 2015

Walthamstow Garden Party: And There's More!

Artillery Island stood proudly in the centre of Lloyd Park and for us was a focal point. It formed part of a much larger exciting collaboration of different artistic, creative and foodie pursuits. The E17Designers Market showcased many of the E17 Art Trail’s beloved creatives including Seiko from D4Discus (I couldn't resist getting this cute Hungry Caterpillar cushion!) and Bridget from Beyond Beading who were friendly faces.

The creative stall was filled with activity from making simple rings with my friends Lucie and Karen from Made by Ore, a most impressive xylophone workshop from the Blackhorse Workshop and printing and bird house building to name others.

Outside the tents there was a cyanotype workshop and the opportunity to create large poppy as part of the latest Significant Seams giant work.


Inside the William Morris Gallery there were levels of activity leading up to hand printing on the top floor. It really was amazing how many levels there were to the man himself too, not just the pretty flowers - and there was even a walking tour on that too. The Walthamstow Garden Party had it covered.


Joining our marquee on Artillery Island was a recycling planting workshops, and a children’s theatre production. Along the bridges there was a travelling story boat and out towards the back far too much to contain here.

Overall another astounding unbelievably packed full weekend of wonder and magic. The weather was glorious, we were blessed with sunshine and warmth to enjoy the buzzing bees in William Morris’s flower garden.

Suffice to say if you missed it this year, get it in your diaries for next year to avoid disappointment.

Walthamstow Garden Party: Surprising Veggie Facts with Organiclea

Kristen from Organiclea mirrored her talk in being an undiscovered gem. Stepping up to take the final food demonstration slot of the weekend she shone a much needed light on the much underrated magic to be found in a simple allotment. Having thought I knew something about produce, Kristen’s 45 minute slot blew me away with so many amazing and interesting discoveries. Using veg all from the Organiclea’s veg box scheme, the audience was introduced to a whole new world of tastes in her final salads.

Here were my top 5 new facts I learned:

1. Out of the over 80 different varieties of salad leaf Organiclea have throughout the year, I found a potential favourite. It’s called ice lettuce and is incredible! It looks like it has little drops of dew on it and is sweet and incredibly crunchy. It actually elicited me to send a tweet to all the major supermarkets asking why we didn’t hear more about it.

2. Beetroot is beautiful, along with being purple it can also be golden, striped, candied and eaten raw.

3. Did you know there are at least three uses for your carrot tops? Neither did I! According to Kristen you can make a detox tea with honey, stir fry them or make a pesto!

4. Tearing tomatoes apparently helps the flavour delivery – and is great fun for children, seeds all over the kitchen! Explosive fun! Salt can draw the flavours out even more, that’s why Kristen put a sprinkle of salt on her salad.

5. Basil doesn’t like being stored in the fridge – instead put it into a cool cupboard and get an extra few days out of it. More fridge space and more basil life win win!

If that inspired you and you want to get your hands on some Organiclea veg boxes and salads here are is their website:

Walthamstow Garden Party: We Hand it to Hülya

Ever since we learned Hülya Erdal, founder of Made By The Chef, was coming to the Walthamstow Garden Party we’ve been looking forward to experiencing her flavoursome Eastern Mediterranean treats. As a professional chef, teacher and presenter we knew our Sunday morning demo slot was in safe hands.

We weren't wrong! In a trice Hülya had fully engaged and enchanted the audience with her hearty laugh and anecdotes about local produce and Mediterranean cooking. 


Bunches of mint were passed around the audience by her capable assistant Julie, along with the falafel mix Hülya had created that morning - a sort of Blue Peter affair.

 We learned that a simple substitution of quinoa for couscous allows a wider range of people to enjoy it as it is wheat free, and we heard that by supporting your local market you can come away with arms of fresh herbs and giant spring onions!

The real test was in the taste. Several appreciative “mmm”s and “yum”s testified her reputation lives on.

If you'd like to see Hülya live in action again you can follow her through her website, twitter and facebook and she'll be on stage again at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair presenting on Tuesday 8th September.  

Meanwhile, here are the recipes for the fantastic Turkish inspired dishes she created:

'Raw' Falafel with Quinoa Tabbouleh nestled in Flat bread finished with Tahini drizzle, Pomegranate Molasses and Sumac 

'Raw' Falafel 

These are a delicious carrot version of falafel that can be made and dehydrated to maintain a raw food diet. Alternatively, you can bake them in the oven which keeps them healthy instead of frying. Great thing about falafels is they're versatility as a snack and main meal and they're gluten free, vegan and vegetarian.

You will need (Serves 4):
·         200g sesame seeds
·         half tsp Himalayan or sea salt
·         5 good sized carrots, peeled and finely grated, (to make up about 300g)
·         2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pureed
·         1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
·         quarter tsp ground cumin
·         quarter tsp ground coriander
·         2 tbsp flax seeds ground in a small processor
·         handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped 

Note: If you don't have a dehydrator, preheat the oven to 180oC/Gas 4.
·         Grind the sesame seeds and sea salt in a food processor until very fine. Squeeze out any excess moisture from the grated carrot then add with the garlic, lemon, spices and ground flax seeds.
·         Process all the mixture till smooth, adding a little water as you go if the mixture is clogging up.
·         Finally, add the fresh coriander and pulse once or twice to combine.
·         Shape the mixture into twelve small patties.
·         At this point, to maintain a 'Raw' diet, you would dehydrate at 115 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 hours, turning once through.
·         If you don't mind baking them, then place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes turning about half way through until golden brown on both sides.
·         Top with the tahini sauce and serve in flat bread with tabbouleh. 

Tip: The falafels can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, both dehydrated and baked, for up to four days. They can also be frozen.

Tip: You can also make the mixture ahead, refrigerate overnight and cook the next day.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad 

Instead of the usual couscous, try using cooked quinoa, which works as brilliantly and adds a nutty flavour and texture to the tabbouleh. Make the dressing or add your own touch.

You will need (serves 4):
·         200g Quinoa, or use the cooked packet version such as Merchant Gourmet or Food Doctor
·         half tsp salt
·         large handful fresh coriander – chopped large handful fresh mint, leaves only, chopped
·         8 baby plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
·         1 pointed red pepper, diced
·         2 small or half a large cucumber, grated and all the water squeezed out 5 spring onions, thinly sliced in diagonals
·         half pomegranate, kernels only 

For the dressing:
·         2 tbsp lemon juice 4-6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil fresh ground black pepper and sea salt
·         1 tsp French mustard, plain or wholegrain 

·         Place a tbsp olive oil in a saucepan and fry the quinoa until it lightly browns and you get a nutty aroma. Then following the packet instructions, cook in the usual way. Once cooked, transfer to a large salad bowl to completely cool.
·         Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients, or place in a jar or bottle and give it a good shake!
·         When the quinoa has cooled completely, fluff with a fork to loosen the grains then add in all the other salad ingredients. Mix through – Add the dressing to taste
·         Tip: This is great served with a drizzle of strained yogurt, tahini and falafels or your favourite meat dish. 

Turkish style flat bread 

If you ever wanted to make your own flat bread then here's a simple recipe to get you started. Serve with your favourite salad and meat or vegetarian dish.

You will need:
·         225g strong unbleached white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
·         50g strong wholemeal bread flour
·         1 sachet easy bake yeast (about 7g)
·         1 tsp sea salt
·         1 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
·         1 tbsp natural yogurt
·         about 200ml lukewarm water to make a soft dough 

·         Sift the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre
·         Pour in the oil and yogurt, then start adding the water. Using your hand, draw the flour in from the sides, forming the mixture into a dough, add a little extra water if necessary
·         Knead the dough on a very lightly floured work surface for about 5 minutes
·         Divide the dough into eight pieces, and then you could divide each ball into 2 pieces if you want to make smaller ones. Knead each piece and form into balls
·         Place to the side on a lightly floured surface or tray and cover with a tea towel, leave to rest for about 30 minutes
·         Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into thin, flat rounds, about 6 inches in diameter or smaller if you're making more than 4.
·         Heat a griddle or flat frying pan and wipe with a little oil until almost smoking hot
·         Cook each flat round separately, for about a minute or two on each side till lightly golden browned and each bread has puffed up/buckled slightly 
·         Pile them up one by one, keeping covered with a tea towel as you fry the rest 

Tip: You can make one or two large breads and bake in the oven or up to 24 small individual ones to cook on the griddle and they work well served hot or cold but keep wrapped in a tea towel if serving later.

Tip: The Tahini dip will keep for a week in the fridge stored in a jar.

Walthamstow Garden Party: Second Day of Stallholders

If you were expecting the same as the previous day you would have been surprised. Coffee and biscuits had been replaced by exotic ice cream from Osinsky.


Honey had moved onto Organiclea’s bench and both Cambodian food and Louise’s intriguing food art had moved in.


Morag's cultivations had had their moment in the sun and had been replaced by Katja Rosenberg's amazing travelling Favourite Words line printing workshop.


Along with a whole line up of new speakers, presenters and food demonstrators Sunday was all set up.

My 'one to watch' new exhibitor was definitely Louise’s Palette2. Such a different offering where using her patisserie experience she created edible works of art to share with friends and family. Certainly a good present for those you know who seem to have everything!


Walthamstow Garden Party: Stallholders Showcase

There was a tangible feeling of excitement in the air as familiar faces and fresh newcomers set up for the first day of trade. 

Northern Imagination were there with their popular porcini dust doughnuts and pastries.

On the other side there were delicious Greek goodies on offer from cake to filo pastry parcels.


Just along was the East London Cheese Board who had all sorts of oozy, smelly, squishy and solid cheeses to discover. I particularly liked this very unusual truffle sandwich of a cheese.

For afters, The Hornbeam had a delicious array of homemade cakes ready to give guests on such a hot summer's day a sugar boost with some tea, including some delicious lemongrass and fennel herbal tea.

Further refreshments were provided by Forest Wines, Woodford and Warner and Northern Imagination with a creative cocktail bar.

Newcomers Moju were handing out refreshing vegetable/fruit juices. I think these were my favourite with eye catching colours and bottles packed full of flavour that were good for you as well!

In one corner we had coffee offerings to go with Queenie and Ted’s brooch making. Across the way was E17’s gallery of delights next to Morag’s cultivate show and Organiclea’s seed bomb making. Each area was lit up with animated conversation, with stallholders harnessing local creativity to showcase E17 at its best.