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Saran Davies

Saran Davies


I am a first year Biological Sciences student at the University of Bristol. I have a major passion for all things outdoors and cooking. I love sourcing local produce and cooking as many things from scratch as possible. I am currently a regular...

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10 May 2014

Day 10: The Last Supper

I woke up today knowing that this would be the last day of the challenge which made me sad. No more gorgeous local food and back to the basic student diet which mainly consists of pasta and pesto… But who can complain? Nothing smells as good as a bowl of pasta topped with pesto and cheese. Yea, I am not believing my own words here either! I am going to miss the incredible pieces of great quality meat that I got from Ruby and White and not to mention the various wholesome ingredients from the two shops: Wild Oats and The Better Food Company. One thing that will stay though is the veg box – that has been a cheeky order since January and doing this challenge has made me see how much more I should value it! Breakfast today was a mango that I bought from The Cambridge Farmer’s Outlet and it was only 50p! Amazing. The guy from the shop told me how he buys them in bulk as supermarket rejects and that if he didn’t buy them then they would either go to waste or be fed to livestock. Crazy to think that supermarkets can reject orders based on sales and demand. Makes it seem so much more important to cut the middle man out and buy directly from these farm shops and markets. And the mango was also juicy and delicious! Only 50p! Lunch was a little experiment with a combination of baked beans and kidney beans on toast. It was actually very tasty and a nice addition to your average tin of baked beans. Everything in this meal was organic and came from The Cambridge Farmer’s Outlet. Now I’ve never been too bothered whether my food is organic or not but since doing this challenge I’ve found that I feel better within myself, less hungry and better than anything I’ve lost a little bit of weight. I think that eating food which is less processed has really helped – I’m not even sure if my supermarket bran flakes are all that healthy! Processing food adds unnecessary sugar and salt when you can have a nice bowl of porridge and monitor your intake levels in a much more effective way. And to be honest, I’d prefer to eat a bowl of porridge with a sprinkling of sugar every morning; especially if it could help my bikini body on its way! Now you can never finish a challenge without going out with a bang! I can assure you that I well and truly topped this fun 10 days with an awesome meal. It could only be the one and only British favourite that is steak and chips! Oh my this was the best meal of the week and all homemade to boot. Again, every ingredient came from the same independent shop in Cambridge and this included steak, potatoes, onions, mushrooms and cream. I made this for my boyfriend and myself and I think it is safe to say that he enjoyed it too because he cleared everything on his plate! This may not sound like much but when you see the portion difference between his plate and mine then you may start to understand. So with the last meal of the challenge eaten and described it has to be the end of the Bristol Good Food Challenge blog… BUT don’t despair because I will be back! I am going to do another food related challenge so suggestions are very welcome although I do already have a few ideas in mind – they’re my secret though so stay tuned. I will be back after exams are over and I have a 4 month summer to write many more things on food related topics. Watch this space!

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9 May 2014

Day 9: Only One Day Left!

I woke up again today with that annoying question: to go to my lecture or not to go to my lecture? But because this lecture in particular happened to be the last one of first year, I felt an irresistible urge to go. I decided to go back to basics for my breakfast this morning and went with a trusty bowl of porridge. I did however go with my walnut addition which was also very tasty. This was yet another locally sourced meal; the oats, sugar and walnuts came from the shop Wild Oats and the milk came from The Better Food Company. It's always nice knowing that the food came from a sustainable source and I also think it tastes better too! I am blogging from Cambridge tonight as I am visiting my boyfriend in university. I had to make a meal for the train so decided to make a cheeky bacon sandwich because the one I had the other night was sooooo good! Again, everything that made up the meal was sourced very locally - and my favourite butchers delivered yet another great couple of slices of bacon. And who can deny that a bacon sandwich is tasty? Always a good choice. With a three and a half hour journey done, I had to source some local food from an independent shop in Cambridge. What felt like an impossible task at the time (it was 17.30 and shops were about to close!), I managed to find an Aladdin's Cave of amazing food! This shop was called The Cambridge Farmer's Outlet and they supply a wide range of fruit and veg, local farmer's meat and dairy produce, dried and tinned organic foods and much much more! Amazed, I was walking round this great independent shop for 20 minutes just picking out all the great looking food and I think I got enough for the next few days even though my challenge is ending tomorrow... But who can resist some amazing looking organic food?? Especially when it's reasonably priced too! Tonight's supper was a nice and simple 'bangers and mash'. I do love my leeks so I added some fried leeks in with the onions to add another dimension to the dish. The leek was much bigger than I thought and it ended up being more like leeks with a bit of mash and sausage. Oopsies. This was another really tasty meal and even though I was on a time and money budget to source it, I managed to find the perfect shop. I think if I lived in Cambridge then I would seldom shop anywhere else. P.S. Sorry about the lack of breakfast and lunch pictures! My phone won't connect to the internet so I can't upload them - these photos were luckily taken on my boyfriend's phone.

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7 May 2014

Day 7: Only Three Days To Go!

Today started beautifully with a fire alarm drill at 6.50am. If I had a lecture at 9 then I may have thanked whoever decided to do yet another drill at silly o’clock, but since today is a day off uni, you could say I was a little bit annoyed… ANYWAY after standing outside in the cold waiting for my name to be called for 10 minutes, I crawled back into bed where I actually managed to have an extra one and a half hours of sleep. After waking up feeling slightly more refreshed I decided to make pancakes! All of the ingredients were locally sourced and to accompany my lovely pancakes I had some strawberry jam which was made by a very amazing cook I know from South Wales called Tish. She makes awesome farmhouse food and I have never managed to find a Victoria sponge cake which tastes better than hers (she even gets the eggs from her own hens!). Due to yesterday’s severe lack of revision, I really had to go hell for leather and after almost three hours I had enough and the only thing I could think of was food. Lunch today was a take on last night’s meal because I bought two chicken legs at the same time so I thought I may as well cook them together then have the second one the next day with a salad. This turned out to be very successful and again I was amazed with how much flavour I got out of the chicken. Local butchers strikes again! My evening was a little bit busy so supper really came as an after thought. Firstly I had to attend the launch of a nature society in Bristol that I have been following since its start. This was named the Bristol Nature Network a few meetings ago and I think it is safe to say that its official launch party tonight was a great success! The evening didn’t stop there! I then went to a really fun ‘bat picnic’ where many of my course mates and I basically sat in a park at twilight with Ultrasound Transducers listening for bats as they flew overhead. This is why I love my course so much because it’s not always just about sitting through lectures and labs; we also get to measure bat frequencies, visit the Slimbridge bird reserve and also visit Bristol Zoo! Pretty cool huh! I came back at 10.30pm and immediately whacked some bacon under the grill and put some of my locally baked bread in the toaster. I had one of the nicest bacon sandwiches I have ever had! But this may have something to do with the fact that I was absolutely ravenous by the time I came home. This has been another successful day and I think I am really going to miss this challenge when it’s over!

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