Gluten Free sandwiches!

I read a while ago, I can’t remember where, that M&S were doing gluten-free sandwiches in some of their stores but I hadn’t managed to find any of the branches that did them until a couple of weeks ago. I was in the Marks and Spencers in Westfield Shepherd’s Bush with my family looking for sustenance before we all trotted off to watch QPR beat Leicester 1-0 (hoorah!) and it was then that I finally laid eyes upon the wonderful sight you see above! Well I must first say that it was lucky I did actually spot them as I think you’ll agree they are a little on the small side. Still, I am used to that in gluten-free food, and it was pretty tasty too although nothing can beat a home made sandwich in my opinion – especially when buying it ready made costs about 4 times as much . Anyway the fact is that now there is the option of having a sandwich at lunchtime if we so wish!

So thank you Marks and Sparks, I for one am very impressed at the speedy expansion of your gluten free offering (including various breads but most importantly cakes and sweets!) and long may it continue!

Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gluten free Warburtons

Oh. My. God. First a TV ad for gluten free bread (I’m sure you’ve all seen Albert Einstein on the Genius ad now), and now Warburtons – one of Britain’s best known bakers are doing it gluten free style. I’m not sure when they started doing it – I haven’t seen it in the shops yet and I only just saw an ad on my Facebook page which is the sole reason I knew about it so I’ve yet to try it but I will say this: we live in exciting times people, exciting times. Apparently crumpets are to follow…

Posted in Food | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hugh’s Fish Fight

I am slightly behind the times I’m afraid and have just watched the first episode of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new programme –  Hugh’s Fish Fight on 4OD. There was also an episode yesterday, another today and they make up part of channel 4’s fish season along with other fishy programmes from Jamie, Gordon and Heston, all championing sustainable sourcing of fish and trying to widen our seafood horizons a little.

Now I knew from having watched the teaser for Hugh’s programme that he was going to be doing his campaigning bit and there would probably be a worthy cause, and I had some idea of the supposed shortage of cod that I have been told about ever since I can remember so I thought it was going to be something to do with this.

However, I was little prepared for what followed and if you watch this clip I’m sure you’ll understand why it got me more than a tad emotional.

That was the viral made to accompany Hugh’s campaign and is a mere snippet of what was shown on the programme.

I can’t believe I have been so unaware of this massive scale wastage in our country – Hugh has certainly succeeded in getting me worked up and, judging by my inability to access the site after the last show finished, many others are worked up too. To think that so much good food is being thrown away, it is just sacrilege, both from the point of view of all the millions of people in this world who struggle to scrape together enough food to keep them alive and the fishermen who are basically having to throw away half their wages and who actually would rather fish less often but be able to keep what they catch.

So if this is making you angry too, I urge you to sign Hugh’s petition here and hopefully the ridiculous EC law that is causing all the wastage will be changed for the better.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Surprise Package!

Well, surprise in that I’d forgotten it was coming!

For the past year or so I have noticed the banner ads appearing on my browser and Facebook becoming more and more relevant to things I have been searching for or information I’ve given, thanks to the increasingly widespread use of web analytics tools. Now I know a lot of people find this a bit intrusive, perhaps even scary but I actually think it’s brilliant. I am now being shown messages that I’m actually interested in so I don’t have to spend time looking for them and ok, there are things I might not have looked for if they hadn’t come up in an advert but I’m not going to click on anything I don’t genuinely want or am not interested in, so for me, being shown pretty shoes like the ones I’ve been looking for can only be a good thing!

Besides my penchant for shoes though, something that has clearly been picked up on is that I follow a gluten-free diet, so I keep seeing ads on my Facebook for gluten-free brands that I recognise: Genius – the fresh bread brand I mentioned in a previous post, Dietary Specials who have an extensive range of gluten-free products in all the big supermarkets, and Juvela who provide much of the gluten-free food that you can get on prescription. So a week or so ago I saw one come up for Juvela inviting me to visit their new website and receive samples, enter competitions, get prescription advice and ‘much, much more!’ I actually already receive paper copies of the newsletter from Juvela which features a few recipes and news bulletins, but I signed up to receive them online instead and also requested a free sample of Juvela goodies. Now I thought this was quite cool but would probably be a couple of slices of bread and maybe a couple of biscuits or something, I mean it’s not exactly cheap! But no, last week I had one of those cards left by DHL saying they had tried to deliver a package, please ring to arrange a better time. Well, I’d completely forgotten about the Juvela stuff and assumed it must be my graduation photos so when I received a text from Mum the next day to say the parcel was from Juvela I got rather excited. (I rarely receive any sort of post let alone parcels!) And my surprise was doubled when I got home and this was waiting for me on the kitchen worktop…

I was rather impressed with the size of this package, and the contents did not disappoint either…

Inside was a pack of two pizza bases, a box of fusilli pasta, a box of tea biscuits and box of savoury biscuits, a white flour mix and a ‘fibre’ mix, a four pack of mini ciabattas and a loaf of white bread which I had already scoffed by the time I took this photo. (I do realise I say that quite a lot and I will try to stop being so greedy!) Anyhow, as well as all that food was a prescription guide and a couple of booklets and leaflets with recipes and all the products available from Juvela.

So what’s the outcome I hear you ask? Well, I have suspected for a long time that it would be far more cost effective for me to get my food on prescription and just pay for a year’s supply, but it always seems like a lot of effort when I can now get everything at a supermarket which is far more convenient as I can obviously just pick it up when I get all my other shopping. However, being prompted to think about Juvela again and being led to their website to peruse their very accessible and useful information and then receiving this box, has not just made me feel quite good about Juvela in general but has made me seriously consider again getting my food on prescription, something I haven’t thought about in a long while.

So going back to the old web analytics and clever targeting of Facebook ads, I really do feel that in this particular situation it’s perfect: I will hopefully save a bit of money, Juvela will make a bit of money (as will the NHS which, let’s face it, they could probably do with), and most importantly of course, my belly will be filled with lots of nice gluten-free food!

Posted in Food, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dried fruit soaking? Christmas is coming!

Now, I am a bit of a purist when it comes to starting Christmas celebrations, I tend to be of the opinion that anything before 1st December is too early. Well actually, technically the beginning of Advent is Sunday 28th November, 4 weeks before Christmas, so anything before that is too early.

However… tonight I came home to the sight (and exquisite smell for that matter) of Mum soaking dried fruit ready for the Christmas cake and I just couldn’t help but be put in the Christmas mood, especially with the cold snap setting in!

I’m sure you’ll agree that even just the glistening fruit in it’s brandy bath is a beautiful sight but just wait for that moist, boozy cake that will be made with it!

Sultanas, glacé cherries, mixed peel, raisins, apricots, prunes, tropical fruit medley, orange zest, orange juice, brandy

Now just let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Posted in Food, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Genius use of a genius

It’s official. Gluten free has finally gone mainstream. Today I saw a TV advert (yes, you read right) for gluten free bread! This is the first time I have ever known of a product aimed primarily at those following gluten free diets, to have an actual television advert. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life! Well, that’s a slight exaggeration, but it’s pretty exciting for somebody who’s been a coeliac since a baby and spent most of my life with nobody knowing what the blooming heck coeliac disease or gluten (the thing us coeliacs are allergic to) was. Well, why would they?

But now it’s on TV! And I missed it too, I had just nipped out of the living room during the break in River Cottage and heard shouts as I rushed back, only to be told I had just missed an advert for Genius gluten free bread and it was amazing, my parents enthusiastically describing the whole thing to me – equally as excited as I was to hear about it! So I have now watched it on their website. It took me a while to find it which I think was a trick missed, they should have had it on the home page, but they have backed the ad up with a Facebook page, Twitter account and new website which all look pretty good. As for the actual TV ad, I think I may have hyped it up a bit too much now, I mean I love it  because of what it is and it’s mildly amusing, but the idea and execution are not terribly original. Still, not a bad first go and I look forward to seeing what comes next in the world of gluten free! I feel sure that this will grow the gluten free category for them anyway and make the Genius name synonymous with it at the same time. Here is the work in question, I shall let you decide for yourselves…

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

British Beauties

Last week on my way to work I was browsing the Metro as usual (usual since I finished reading the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson that is, which by the way, I thought was brilliant). Anyway I came across a report featuring some absolutely breathtaking photographs. It was a snippet of the winners and commended entries from the British Wildlife Photography Awards, currently exhibiting at the Hoopers Gallery in London until October 30th. There were 10 categories:

  • Animal portraits
  • Animal behaviour
  • Urban wildlife
  • Hidden Britain
  • Coast and marine
  • Wildlife in my backyard
  • Habitat
  • International year of biodiversity
  • British seasons
  • 2020 vision special award

The overall winner was this stunning action shot from Steve Young…

Steve Young - Herring Gull in Wave

And these were my favourites…

Lynne Newton - Dragonflies and Dew, winner of the Hidden Britain category

Adam Hawtin - Blue Leaf-Beetle, winner of the Young British Wildlife Photographer category

Marcin Zagorski - Mountain Hare, winner of the Animal Portraits category

You can buy a book featuring the best of the bunch, from the British Wildlife Photography Awards website… It’s certainly going on my Christmas list!

Posted in Nature | Leave a comment