Tag Archives: couscous

The Organic Food Festival 2009

Lido couscous cropped again

We met last night to discuss the Organic Food Festival 12-13 September 2009 in association with the Soil Association.

First my starter (above) which made me think: my favourite dishes are mush-tastic. I eat lots of grains and pulses, and, let’s face it, they blob.

Please don’t reject my love because of their apparent lack of finesse.

Nourishing, healthy and economical, grains and pulses lend themselves to many tastes.

I ate the above starter (£6.50) last night at the Lido (saved and restored to its Victorian-swimming-baths-original thanks to a community campaign).

Couscous with yogurt, fresh broad beans and coriander – delicious, soothing.

Even when eating out I am drawn to mushy grains.

But why be ashamed? Eating for substance is the organic way.

“We are about inner quality, not outer appearance – that is our hallmark.”

So said Patrick Holden, Soil Association director, recently quoted in the Independent apropos the abolition of those wonky EU-rules on wonky veg.

Which brings us back to the Organic Food Festival.

Last night’s dinner was the inauguration of two things:

1) I was in my new role as food editor of The Source.

2) The Source is helping produce the programme for the Organic Food Festival 2009. And that’s what we doing, round a table at the Lido.

Every September, Bristol Harbourside transforms into Europe’s largest organic market place. The Soil Association organic festival used to be free but became so popular it got rammed so, there has been a charge. This year £1 of the £5 entry fee goes to the Soil Association.

My message?

Join us!

The Organic Food Festival in Bristol Harbourside on 12 – 13 September 2009

Taste the future

Organic is more than a product

– it is our sustainable future.

Couscous cousins

Plate with grated carrots, greens and couscous

Why do people eat pot noodles when there is couscous is in the world? Listen, all you do is pour boiling water over the grains (processed to a teeny size), let five minutes go by while they plump up with water, add olive oil and lo, instant food.

My current top favourite couscous is made from kamut (by Probios) which is good news for all you wheat-sensitive types.

Tonight I added to the couscous, chives (one of the few herbs I can grow as I have pink fingers). I fried onions, mushrooms and chilli, then grated raw carrots (organic of course) and served them with steamed kale and purple sprouting broccoli (cut up quite small).

I made one meal stretch for two unexpected guests, Sarah, my middle daughter, and Juliette, my eldest niece. Juliette, just turned 18, explained how traumatic it was. However she immediately noticed the benefits of being grown up.

How? quizzed Sarah, my daughter the social anthropologist.

Juliette said: “Like. Oh. My. God. I suddenly stopped listening to my story tapes.”

Juliette (pictured) jujudsc10013.jpgwas also disappointed with Delia. “People who are interested in food are just not going to buy Delia. She seems really old fashioned now,” she said.

My mum – the original real food lover empress – is also incensed with Delia for recommending convenience foods while so-called championing the poor. My mother’s letter begins: “Bleeding heart Delia has not done her sums right.”

My mother’s family, immigrants from Russia, lived in the East End of London. They had little on the table and very rarely meat. But they ate well because they knew about food.

Reader, such is my provenance.