Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A Summer of plenty

I've been having a great Summer and as we move swiftly towards those Autumnal months, there's still much more excitement to come.  I've had a whole host of camping experiences recently.  I've just finished a six week series for the Yorkshire Post.  I've been exploring new campsites with food producers nearby and tying the two together with a simple recipe readers can cook on a camping stove.  My travels have taken me all over Yorkshire and I've visited sites I've never come across before.  I'll be going back to each of them, family in tow for a longer stay.  It's been great writing the series, meeting enthusiastic campsite owners and passionate food producers.

I've met and spoken with old hands and new venturers.  Andrew and Angela at Champs Field are new to the camping thing, but they've been rearing cattle and growing amazing vegetables for years.  There's not much they don't know about good food and their Food From The Farm shop is right opposite the camping field.  

Helen and Jon at Silloth House near Settle are also new to the camping lark.  Their campsite will surely be one of the most popular in Yorkshire once Jon finds time to renovate the old open-air swimming pool on the site.  It's been a pleasure and a privilege to go gadding about the Yorkshire countryside looking for great places to stay and fantastic food to eat. I've also been reviewing camping equipment in the series too.  As a result, The Guyrope Gourmet now has a top new tent and stove as well as some other bits and pieces.  I've been most impressed with the new Outwell Monterey 5 tent, which now forms GGHQ, together with Nan the Van of course.   

The side extension is arguably a little over the top, and renders the whole set-up overly expensive on your average campsite as I would have to pay for a double pitch, so I reserve that for special occasions and tuck the van in neatly alongside the new tent.  Very cosy!

Looking forward to the rest of the year, I'll be cooking up a storm at.  Alex James Presents Harvest.  I still can't get over the fact that I'll be cooking in the same field as some of my all time absolute food heroes.  I'm hoping they might stop by for a bowl of mussels in beer & corriander or a mouthful of paella.  Who knows?  I'll be writing about that after the event, with lots of images and tales of outlandish derring-do.

I'm also thrilled to have been booked to cook at Alpkit's 'Big Shakeout' weekend in October.  I've been a fan of Alpkit gear for many years and was chuffed to put it mildly, when they contacted me and invited me along to this marvelous outdoor weekend.  They've even got me judging a Mastersheff (it's taking place in the Peak District just outside of Sheffield) One pot wonder competition.  I'm really looking forward to that.

It feels like one long summer to me - aren't I the lucky one!