Recently I had a lovely day trip to Nottinghamshire.  

I was up for an award for my mustard.  The first ever Small Food Award for savoury fermented food.  

I made two fermented mustards but one of them was a weird colour so in the end I only entered one.  This one…

I won first prize!  Whoop, whoop, whoop!  

Winning was very exciting, but the nicest thing about it all was that I got to hang out with four amazing women.  My lovely Bread Angels Juli, Gaye and Liz all won prizes for their bread…

and Jane Mason, the Queen of the Bread Angels was there at the School of Artisan Foods (a lovely, lovely place) presenting the awards.  You can check out all the winners here…

We all talked for hours and hours and hours about all things foodie and met some amazing cheese makers, charcuterie folk, and chocolatiers.  I came back very enthused about the idea of making more of my mustards and getting a bit more biznizlike.

Not actually me…

Gaye, Liz and Julia all run courses so if you have the tiniest inkling that you’d like to learn how to get amongst the dough, do check out the Bread Angels website and find one near you.  

Bread Angel Ma Baker  (aka Liz) won a Small Food Award for her porridge bread.  I’ve never made porridge bread but Ma Baker’s has won lots of awards for hers, I so want to taste it!  

Liz kindly tested a recipe for the Columbo cookbook that was quite a surprise to her, and it surprised me too. It’s one of those recipes that doesn’t look much on paper, but turns out to be surprisingly good.

Liz says:

“We loved this! So very easy and completely delicious. Though it did need salt and pepper. Be a great recipe for students. Filling and not too pricey. Only fed three (hungry we were….but I think 6 is ambitious. I’d say 4). My husband is pictured and it turns out he is a massive Columbo fan so most of the meal was spent reminiscing about his favourite episodes. We ate it with lashings of red wine and my daughter had the leftovers later that evening.”

As I said to Ma Baker, it was great to hear that her hubby is a Columbo fan, all the best people are!

At the book launch Liz’s hubby was really enjoying the music that Mr R put together for after the raffle.  Turns out that he’s a fan of the same kind of music and it was great that the pair of them came down to The Nitty Gritty, the club that Mr R runs with DJ Dapper D at the Constitution in Camden.

What a wonderful world it is, making new chums through bread, mustard, music, and COLUMBO!

Juliet Mills’ Chive-Sausage Hoppin’ John

1.5 lbs / 675g sausages

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 x 15 oz can / 400g can kidney beans, drained

3 cups cooked rice (about 1 cup uncooked)

1/4 cup / 11 grams, plus 1 tablespoon, chopped chives

6 oz / 170g can tomato paste/puree

1 lb / 450g canned, chopped tomatoes

Fry sausages until lightly browned.  Sauté green bell pepper in 1/4 cup of sausage drippings.  Combine green pepper mixture with remaining ingredients, except the 1 tablespoon chives.  Pour mixture into large casserole dish.  Top with sausages.  Bake at 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C / gas mark 6 for 25 to 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  Sprinkle the top with additional chives.

Serves 4 

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