Food resolutions for 2010

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What does a foodie resolve to do?

It’s that time of year when everyone thinks about change. They give change lots of thought. Sometimes they even take action! Anyway, here are some things that foodies might be resolving for the year ahead, which might change their actions. Which means if you are shopping for something for them, then you might want to think differently too.

1. Waste less food – a carry on from this year’s make do and mend mentality, this will be the year of the leftover. It makes sense on every level, from economic to social. It will get a boost when The Ministry of Food exhibition opens at the Imperial War Museum in February(put that one down as a foodie day out). In the meantime, there might be more meal planning, more list writing (only shopping for what you want/need, and not what Tesco et al want you to have) and more creative reworking of what’s left. Stockpots at the ready!

2. Use your cookbooks – I think by now it’s probably obvious that I love my cookbooks and the shelves would testify to that too. My personal resolution is to use them more. Which is the easy part. It possibly goes back to point 1 about planning, not to mention creativity with the leftovers. The unspoken part is to buy less of them. Does keeping half a resolution count?

3. Try something new – this shouldn’t be a difficult one for a foodie, but I think really the focus is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. Wander down a different aisle at the supermarket, chat to a different stall holder at the market, dig something out from the back of the cupboard…in fact, do that one first. Most of us food lovers are guilty of this one, we will have hoarded stuff and not tried it. Make 2010 the year you do. I have preserved limes and sumac to use. Now I just need to wade through the recipe books to find out what to do with them!

4. Eat out for the food, not the glory – I’ve never quite understood the obsession with ticking off Michelin starred restaurants. Make it all about the food, the total experience, not just about the stars. Of course the two combine, but eating should be an all round experience, memorable for every aspect. I would take the counsel of those you respect, and those who share similar tastes, which may or may not be Michelin starred!

5. Grow more – lets face it, most of us do not have the space, or time, to be self sufficient. But we can all grow a bit. Grow herbs on your windowsill, potatoes on your patio, strawberries in a compact little tower somewhere. But every bit you grow will taste better, and it’s a great way to get kids into food. And keep your compost bin going with the peelings.

Shop with these in mind and they’ll be grateful that you found foodie gifts with a 2010 twist. In the meantime my resolution came from @ecjc on Twitter: when in doubt, do it. Given two choices, do the fun thing. This I think I might be able to keep!

Happy New Year!

Great photo by dixieroadrash on Flickr

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Taking the pledge without losing the taste

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Belvoir Cordials - great gift for a food lover who likes a good non alcoholic drink

 

I realised when I had published yesterday’s post that there were other old foodie friends that we stopped by at the East Mids Food Festival, with one of them being Belvoir Fruit Farms. I know they are quite literally just up the road, but still we came back with 3 different bottles.

If you’ve not discovered Belvoir, which I am sure in most of the country is pronounced the French way but here is Beaver, then you really should, particularly if you want good cordials to provide adult alternatives to wine. Lets face it, Diet Coke is not a good accompaniment to most meals, and you can get bored of water.

As a great alternative to white wine then I’m very fond of the elderflower. Great with still water, even better with sparkling. There’s now a Elderflower, Gooseberry & Muscat Grape, which sounds a perfect alternative to a white wine on a summer’s day. They’re also really useful as bases for sorbets, when you need a little helping hand!

For something to accompany a beef casserole or similar, then it has to be Spiced Winter Berries. I stockpile this, as it is seasonal, but I love it. Works equally well as a hot drink or cold, you could also spice a warm mugful up a bit more with a grating of nutmeg or a swirl with a cinnamon stick. You can buy them directly from Belvoir, or most branches of Waitrose.

If you were after more traditional alcohol free versions of wine, then The Alcohol Free Shop is probably a good place to start. They have red, white, rose and sparkling wines, plus alcohol free beer and cider. They also stock the Fentimans traditional sodas, like ginger beer and dandelion & burdock. New to me earlier this year was Kingsdown Drinks, which has a great range of British drinks including not only Belvoir Cordials but also Luscombe and juices from Moors and Lawton Cross.

With the Christmas season coming up this is a good time to start thinking ahead to organise some interesting alternatives to any non drinkers you may be entertaining over the season. They’ll be grateful not to be greeted with diet coke or orange juice and lemonade. Or they can be there for those good intentions of your New Year’s resolutions!

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