Guest Blog from Foodie Mum - Every Little Helps

Tuesday 17 September 2013
I've got a guest blog post for you today. From none other than my Mum. She is the original Foodie Quine as she hails from Aberdeenshire whereas I'm just an "in aboot comer". She's actualy much more qualified to blether food than me as back in the olden days (I'm going to be in trouble for that!) she trained as a Cookery Demonstrator. The same course that Mary Berry did. Claim to fame or what?

Would you believe it, Mum got invited to a Foodie Event that I've heard nothing of?!  I joked that she should do a guest blog post on it and she rose to the challenge so here it is. Over to you Foodie Mum...

We all love to get an invitation, so when one popped through my letterbox inviting me to ‘Join us for an exclusive food evening’ from Tesco, how could I refuse! Apparently I was invited as a loyal customer and I could bring a guest and we would be introduced to their range of bread and pastries.  I could choose the store and date most convenient to me and booking could be done on-line.
Guest and I duly turned up at the appointed time and we were directed to the café area. Nothing much seemed to be happening until two young men and the store manager appeared and started moving tables and chairs around. Turns out our group was the first to have been at the six o’clock slot and there was a notice up to say the café would shut at six. The manager explained that normally for the 6.30 groups they were all set up and ready. Up to now they had only had three or four people attending and we were to be the largest group of fourteen. Turns out, only ten of us appeared. 

The talk was given with the use of a flip chart with photos of the bread/pastries they produce along with the types of flour. Most of us were surprised to discover that everything is baked on site from scratch. Following on from the talk we were taken, pied piper style, to the bakery. We did wonder should the leader have been carrying an umbrella just in case we got lost on the way! The bakery was not in operation as they were clearing up in readiness for the night shift so no lovely aroma of bread baking. Mind you, it would not have been possible for us to be there during baking hours.  I would have loved to have had a go at the doughnut maker and the ‘hot plate’ for the pancakes was huge.  I knew that you can ask to have bread sliced but I did not know you could ask for frozen uncooked croissants to take away and bake at home. This seems to be popular around Christmas time.
Having completed our tour of the bakery we were escorted back to the café. There a sumptuous spread awaited us for tasting. There was a savoury table and a sweet table. The walnut bread was a big hit and the dough pretzel was something new to me. We had butter, jam, camembert cheese and a chilli oil dip as accompaniments. The sweet table was equally exciting but I only had a small piece of the tear and share sticky pastry. Soft drinks were also available. Then there was a short quiz, just for fun, which tested us somewhat. Questions which I can remember are : Who invented the sandwich? Some of us knew but they were impressed with my guest who could not only say it was the 4th Earl of Sandwich but that it was because of his gambling, he didn’t want to waste time by stopping to eat a meal. What did Otto Redwedder invent? We all looked blank. The manager said it was the best thing and we all shouted out ‘bread’. Close, he invented the bread slicer. Who invented the grindstone? The Egyptians.

We were asked to fill in a questionnaire which didn’t tax us too much and whilst we were doing that they handed out goodie bags. My guest and I were most impressed with what we were given. We were slightly puzzled to see a packet of cornflour, almond milk and Demerara sugar included but it turns out all the ingredients, apart from eggs, were included to make the Almond brioche bread and butter pudding recipe enclosed. I made a half quantity of the recipe and it was delicious and I couldn’t have said I was aware that it included almond milk. The other goodies were, raspberries, raspberry conserve, strawberry jam, brioche rolls, butter, camembert , tomato and basil soup, olive oil and balsamic dipping oil, chocolate and caramel tarts, a pretzel roll and a lovely Tesco hessian bag.  I can fully recommend that if you receive one of these invitations that you accept. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. 

Sounds like an interesting behind the scenes event and I've been promised some of the contents of the goodie bag when the Grandparents visit at the weekend for Girl's Birthday celebrations. I couldn't resist checking the web address just incase my own exclusive invite had got lost in the post, but alas the nearest store to me holding an event is 60 miles away. You might be luckier though so definately worth a check. The only condition according to the FAQ's is that you must be a clubcard holder. The FAQ's also say that not all Tesco Stores are currently hosting the Exclusive Food Evenings at the moment, however this may change in the future. Do let me (and my Mum!) know if you manage to book yourself a place as a result of this post.

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