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Bessie the caravan

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With snails and I

One the first day of the Apple Festival at Brogdale - the day 'Molluscs and Me' the paperback got launched, a friend suggested I should have called it 'With Snails and I' - rather witty I thought! Here's me launching it:

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It doesn't look as though it was actually raining at that particular moment but, as it usual on Festival Days, the rest of the time it was.Indoors it was apples as far as the eye could see and a long line of people with strange apples in their hands waiting to get them identified.

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I managed to get away from the stall long enough to get some photos of some fellow stallholders but i was kept pretty busy on Saturday with visitors wanting to know more about snails.

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It was good to see Bessie's caravan there so I was guaranteed my fix of green tea and a slice of some wonderful apple, blackberry and almind cake. She was undercover too so need to get wet while feasting.

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Corinne was there as usual with her Creative Kitchen curries. One thing I value when I've been out all day talking about snails is the chance to take home a delicious curry so I can put my feet up instead of cooking. Putting up and taking down a market stall, getting everything in and out of the car, and standing up all day in between is quite exhausting. After a while in the onslaught of the relentless rain, the stall cover started to leak and drip on me and the books. It sagged as it filled with water and then when the wind got underneath it suddenly emptied itself down the necks of the passers - by. Not very good for customer relations! Perhaps next time it won't rain.

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Broadstairs Food Festival

The sun was hot on my legs while I sat eating my falafel picnic box by the bandstand. It was difficult to believe it was October, but here is the Broadstairs Food Festival again so it must be.

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I'm really noticing packaging more these days so I appreciated the way my picnic was packed in a brown waxed cardboard box. Inside there was a little plastic pot of hummus and another of spicy tomato sauce to accompany five falafels, green salad and red cabbage coleslaw and a bag of crispy fried pastry - all home made and only costing £5 - excellent value.

There were so many good quality food stalls, mostly members of Produced in Kent (www.producedinkent.co.uk) that it would be difficult to list them all but you could buy almost anything from local cheeses, game, pies and cakes to alcoholic beverages of all kinds.  I really appreciate it when Bessie the Caravan is present at an event because of the lovely green tea and cakes. I learned how to make loose tea into teabags and admired the tiny kilner jars used to display the different kinds of tea.

One of my reasons for going yesterday was to watch Charlie from the Marquis at Alkham doing his chef demonstration.

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He produced an amazingly bold menu in such a short time and using all local produce. Duck with wild cabbage, roasted turnip, a fried grated potato mix with blue cheese and onions, and a wonderful sauce with his own elderberry jelly. The pudding was a souffle of apple and cobnuts which came out of the oven impressively perfect.

Weren't we lucky that the sun came out!

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