It’s festival season and my feet know all about it.  Far from relaxing on a festival site I am serving up speciality teas, home baked cakes and now the ultimate in plant based BBQ delights.  The feedback on my food has been fantastic, but it’s certainly not work to inspire stress reduction.

This week I have been mainly putting together menu’s and ordering specialist ingredients. It’s a nightmare with all the requirements for testing and legislation, I seem to do a lot more paperwork than I do cooking and that really is saying something.

IMAGI spent my weekend collecting my new equipment, a rather impressive smoker that needs a damn good clean and the expertise of my hubby to make the trailer easy to tow and manoeuver. It was a hot weekend and we were all stuck in the van, but hopefully it will be well worth the long and sticky journey once the smoker is up and running. I’m rather looking forward to seeing it on its first festival and gauging peoples reaction to it.  It is certain that there is now a lot more demand for plant based cuisine.

IMAGAfter a very long and tedious drive to collect the smoker, it was lovely to stop off for a bite to eat and a cold drink. It was interesting to note that whereas in the 1990’s I was lucky to find one or two veggie options, nowadays there are more likely to be around four or five menu choices and sometimes even more. There are certainly more people turning away from meat and indeed dairy and this is both of the grounds of health and ethics.  I’ve been vegetarian for over thirty years and I am amazed today by the array of products and their availability. I remember having to search the shelves of dusty health food shops for now commonplace ingredients such as tahini and I cannot recount how many times I have dined out on a plate of relatively dull salad.

IMAGIt is nice to see the range of vegetarian and vegan options expanding and in some areas the quality is also improving, although I am not sure I am a fan of all the meat substitutes that seem to be flooding the marketplace. Talking of meat substitutes I have recently read a few articles on ‘motherless meat’.  This is essentially lab produced meat. To create this motherless meat, stem cells are extracted from live cows and are grown on a substrate of fetal bovine serum (FBS). The cells eventually form muscle strands, and these strands are put together to form a product resembling ground beef. Science really is stranger than fiction and I confess that I am really rather alarmed by the concept of ‘motherless meat’, I shall be sticking to my shepherd-less pie.

Well, it’s back to baking for me. I have another twenty rose and strawberry sponges to bake and quite a lot of vegan violet muffins to bake.

Next time I will be writing from the festival field