Midlands Food Bloggers Meet Up June 4th 2011

I know, a relatively straight blog title for me .. but it does what it says on the tin !!! There I was on the morning of June 4th absolutely scared witless ! Now I know I come across as a jolly old sort but in all honesty I get ever so nervous when meeting new people !! These people were people I had tweeted with and facebooked but had never actually met !! Was I absolutely stark raving bonkers ???? In truth , its a great possibility !! so as I said .. I was as nervous as a nervous thing ….. the thought of meeting all these food bloggers who probably knew so much more than me , were alot more dedicated and committed and some who even worked all day every day in the food industry YIKES !!! I’m just a run ragged mother of 3 who likes to cook and eat and ramble a bit about it all in my blog !!

I made Chris drive me over to the restaurant .. 99 Station Street in Burton -Upon-Trent .. as I was pretty sure I’ll be needing a wee nerve calmer (!!)  and need one I certainly did !! I arrived at the restaurant and saw a small group of people sat at the bar … so I walked with trepidation through the wonderfully decorated establishment and announced myself as being Julia …… and then dived to the bar for a rather large glass of the old grape juice ! Phew ! I’d done it …… ! As we stood there .. initially awkward in conversation .. the organisers arrived ! Louise from Comida y Vida  along with her husband Owen (Official photographer and nettle/finger slicer of the afternoon) and Jo from Jo’s Kitchen .. !

Right lets crack on … we all sat down to choose our food from a lovely lunch menu at the bargain price of £10.95 for 3 courses ! Oooh what to choose ? Well as soon as I saw goats cheese there was no competition .. I started with goats cheese with a delightfully light yet tangy tomato chutney , followed by beef strips with mushrooms and red onion in a fantastically complimentary sauce with potatoes and seasonal veg .. followed by a Baileys Cheesecake with a huge hunk of chocolate covered honeycomb !! In truth I ordered the cheesecake to compare it to my own version .. which proved a fruitless task as the differences were enormous and no comparison could be made !!! They are both amazing !!

After dinner and  a short but insightful Q & A session with Big Dan, the chef ,we headed over to the home of the owners of 99 Station Street (Ross & Susan) where Ross is currently working on a new branch of the business Staffordshire Fine Foods …. where Ross very kindly took this Bounty of Bloggers into his home and gave us an insight into his passion for smoking foods .We tried smoked peanuts , smoked venison and smoked pigeon breast ( a new one on me and really rather tasty .. not one I’ll be shying away from in the future) before we headed out into a small woodland area in the very beautiful village of Rolleston-on -Dove to forage for ingredients for a broth !! Foraging was also a new one on me but an area of foodieness I hope to explore more in the near future !

We then headed back and Ross made a very simple broth with wild garlic , nettles , stock and a dry cured chorizo .. it smelt absolutely wonderful and the chorizo was bursting with flavour !!! On that note I had to make a sharp exit .. as th’usband was sat outside waiting for me in the car with 2 sleeping twinnagers in the back of the car ……….

I had a fantastic afternoon and met some thoroughly lovely people who I look forward to meeting up with again for many more Midlands based foodie adventures …… So if you’re midlands based come join us @midsfoodblogger on twitter http://www.facebook.com/MidsFoodBloggers on facebook or hop on over and read our blog http://midsfoodbloggers.wordpress.com/

A Bounty of Bloggers ....

Thank you once again to Ross & Susan … and thank you to Louise for the great organisation ..oh and Thanks to all the other bloggers who are jolly fine chaps and chappesses  … xxx

(The only regret of the day ????? Leaving too soon ……. and not getting any chorizo …. lol !! xx)

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