You know you’re just too attached to your home grown veggies when you feel the need to take them on holiday with you. We’re on holiday right now – albeit in a bring the laptop to do bits and bobs while away kind of way. Excitingly we’re in Ludlow – the UK’s first slow city and home of the food festival. In other words a real foodie town. Unfortunately we were unable to book the Michelin starred restaurant we’d hoped to visit for our anniversary today and the river is so full and fast that there’s no point trying my hand at fishing which I’d hoped to. I am however pleased to report that Ludlow is genuinely different – there are tradional crafts being practiced in the high street, more independent stores than chains and plenty of places selling local food. It really is a wonder.
So how have we taken advantage of this in our first day? I’ll tell you, we’ve had a couple of local sausages. Full stop.
Yesterday we arrived rather too late to shop, so had a supper of spinach cabonara from ingredients we brought from home with pasta from the local garage. Rubbish.
Tonight we’re going to do a bit better I hope – roast local lamb from a local butcher and root veg from the Ludlow Food Centre. Ludlow Food Centre is also a wonder – its the antedote to supermarkets – everything you need, largely made on site – 80% of the goods are sourced from the neighbouring counties of Shropshire, Powys, Hereford and Worcestershire. We bought goodies which included wholemeal sour dough bread and a round of the cheese with no name (really!). Eaten together the initial impression was pleasantly like a creamier version of the Laughing cow, but the after taste is a minty tang which does a little dance right on the tip of your tongue. Delicious and very moreish.
So, being in a centre of local food we’d rely on local food when the shops are open? Not entirely – I couldn’t resist bringing a car seat full of our own veg as it needed picking. We brought rainbow chard, spinach, rhubarb, cabbage and sprouts.
The sprouts were picked as I was concerned about the black and white marks on the leaves, similar to that we experienced with the kale – but having been warned we’d planted our sprouts rather too close together I wanted to get rid. It was chucking it down in Stockport on Sunday so I decided against spending ages felling the sprout tree. I pulled it up, mud covered roots and all, shoved it in a plastic bag and bunged it in the back of the car. It took up a lot of space – but worse, the white marks turned out to be white fly which are pretty much infesting the car now. Unable to stand it we jetisoned some leaves and the roots at a service station, and have now picked the sprouts.
So. Note to self. When going to a food capital – leave the food at home. Whats more, when dealing with infested plants don’t take them on holiday.