In case you were ever in any doubt, it is pretty exhausting doing five days of exhibition at the NEC, but it is also very rewarding...
I arrived very early on Wednesday morning to see what an amazing job our Wendy and Mark had done in designing and assembling our new stand specially for the show. Together with some well disguised kitchen cabinets, Wendy had also brought some aromatic fresh basil, rosemary and geranium to make it all look a lot fresher. This is how it looked half an hour before the first day began:
We exhibited in the Food Lovers area which was a really great part of the hall to be in, since we were with all the artisans and other food producers, rather than competing with appliance and hardware. Also, we had a great position so we saw a lot of people over the five days, all keen to add a touch of fruitiness to their vinegar!
One of the joys of being a producer of a food ingredient with which many are unfamiliar, is that it gives us the opportunity to have a lot of conversations about food, meals, matching flavours, suggested uses and just to discuss how very versatile our fruit vinegars and dressings are. And, at the NEC, we could really give vent to this to thousands of visitors. Also, we took all four of our herb jellies: Rosemary, Geranium, Apache Chilli and Lavender. These proved to be more popular than ever, and led to one customer commenting that "this is the best thing I have ever tasted from a jar!"
We also reintroduced our pouches of olives at the show. My parents used to add two of our flavours to olives and put them in jars: Green olives with our Strawberry & Mint and Black Olives with our Blackcurrant & Rosemary. Needless to say the samples were wolfed down, but the pouches also proved very popular, so we hope to start making these in earnest for you very soon.
"Womersley" is a difficult word to pronounce until you are familiar with it, so it was a joy to meet several people who know the village where I grew up in Yorkshire (and where our story began) as well as a few called Womersley. (If you want to know how to pronounce it, say the "o" as you say the "o" in "woman").
FREE PRIZE DRAW RESULT
We were delighted to get lots of entries in our free prize draw and can report that Mrs Stewart of Newport Pagnell was the lucky winner of 4 Wensleydale Cremaery Cheeses, one of our beautiful slate display stands and some olives, jelly and vinegars.
As a bonus on Saturday, we were joined by Urvashi Roe and Simon Blackwell from BBC Great British Bake Off who both did recipe demonstrations using our fruity vinegars. I will post Urvashi's later, but here is Simon's delicious recipe which he used to make two cakes: after barely a few minutes, they were all gone!
|Simon cuts the cake...
Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake
By Simon Blackwell
200g Self Raising Flour
125g Caster Sugar
¼ tsp Salt
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
200ml Soya Milk
100ml Corn Oil
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
½ tsp Womersley Lime, Black Pepper & Lavender Vinegar Dressing
Rind of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 tbsp Womersley Lime, Black Pepper & Lavender Vinegar Dressing
25g Caster Sugar
Approx 1 tbsp Icing Sugar to thicken
1.Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F.
2.Line the base of a 7 inch cake tin with baking paper.
3.Sift flour,salt and sugar into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
4.Dissolve bicarb into the milk and then pour into the well.
5.Add corn oil, syrup, Womersley Foods Lime, Black Pepper and Lavender Dressing and lemon rind.
6.Beat until the mixture is a smooth lump free batter.
7. Pour batter into the lined tin and bake in the lower middle part of your oven for 25 minutes until golden brown, and until a metal skewer comes out of the middle of the cake clean.
8.Whilst the cake is cooking, heat the lemon juice, Womersley Foods Lime, Black Pepper & Lavender Dressing and sugar until the sugar has dissolved to make a lemon syrup.
9.When you have removed the cake from the oven and it is still warm, prick all over with a cocktail stick and drizzle some of the syrup over the cake so that it soaks into the sponge.
Save half back if you like to drizzle over the cake just before serving.
Many thanks to Simon for this recipe and for entertaining us all on Saturday afternoon. Also, thank you to Callie Blackwell for the slice photo.
|I got a slice!