REBELLION, on film, does Saturday Kitchen Live. Chef Tom Kerridge was demonstrating his special dish of mussels in ale on the Saturday morning cooking programme a couple of Saturdays ago.
Being Marlow-based, where was the ideal place to find an ale suitably noble for a Michelin star quality dish? Obviously, Rebellion’s brewery in Marlow Bottom.
The cooking episode, lasting several minutes, was filmed at one of the brewery’s special open evenings. Mark Gloyens, one of the partners, discussed the esteemed local beer for two or three of those minutes, though Tim Coombes was more camera shy and I only caught a glimpse of him in among the crowd.
The event was obviously well attended but, you know what? I didn't recognise a single person other than the two directors.
If you want to try out that mussel recipe, you can find it on the BBC website.
HAS the Valley’s Red Duck flown its Kingswood Parade nest?
The Red Duck Canteen doors have been closed for a couple of weeks and one of its website pages is no longer accessible. Their answerphone says they are closed until further notice.
It’s never a pleasing event to see a business close, particularly in a small and enclosed community such as Marlow Bottom.
Empty shops in their midst do nothing to re-assure neighbouring traders and probably cause some erosion of confidence in local customers too.
So, maybe it’s farewell to the only dedicated eating place in Marlow Bottom since the Witches Barn cafe and the adjacent canteen once used by Land Army girls.
Pity really, given the right circumstances, a restaurant could be a valuable asset to this community.
HEALTHWATCH Bucks has launched a major new project survey on Urgent Care services in Bucks and want to hear peoples experiences of using the Urgent Care services.
These include A&E, Minor Illness and Injuries Unit at Wycombe, 111 and GP out of hours services.
The survey can be completed on-line by going to www.healthwatchbucks.co.uk If you would like to complete a paper copy, contact Healthwatch on 0845 260 6216 or 01844 348849.
BBC, that’s Bananas, Bees and Chocolate are all having a rough time, and we are beginning to have shopping choice in the valley, and elsewhere locally, affected by shortages arising from those difficulties.
You may have noticed in places like OneStop.
Bananas first; as a regular consumer of these important potassium packages, I was unable to get them in the local shop for a few weeks.
The reason is probably the result of a disease. Bananas are propagated, not by seed, but by cuttings, making it almost impossible to avoid spread of the disease by conventional agricultural hygiene disciplines.
The current disease that is sweeping through the mainly South American countries that supply us is affecting a specific commercial variety Cavendish, by far the most popular type here – just look on a label in the shops. Ironically, Cavendish was first created to replace the Gros Michel that disease wiped out during the last century. The resulting shortage of the fruit is thought by some to have inspired the hit song, Yes, We Have No Bananas!
Anyway, we could be in for a significant banana famine, EU-approved straight or traditional curved.
NEXT, bees are part of the industry of the valley. Various producers sell their honey through local shops. There is less available now, because of a disease, not yet indisputably identified.
Since there is no prospect of creating a new species of bee and it’s not just our breakfast table that’s going to suffer, their loss spells real trouble; it is believed that up to forty percent of all our crops are dependent on pollination by honey or bumble bees.
Worth buying some honey for the store cupboard. It has an advantage in that it never goes off because it contains an antibacterial agent, now often used in hospital dressing, apparently.
But valley gardeners, meanwhile, can do their bit by feeding the bees that survive. Lavender is in flower, and the plants in my road are always buzzing with many varieties of bee. Do your bit for nature by planting some this autumn, or at least, resist removing it from your borders.
CHOCOLATE is the third of our popular delicacies under imminent threat. Again I have noticed OneStop’s selection has been less copiously stocked in recent weeks. Some scientists are gloomily predicting that the disease epidemic affecting cocoa crops may result in a gradual, but severe, world-wide shortage of chocolate over the next eight years.
Already, manufacturers are working on a substitute based on palm oil and more vegetable fat.
The product will be more bendy and sludgy in texture, according to an industry spokesman. Shapes of products are already starting to change – Dairy Milk has rounded the corners of their bars.
It makes people think that they are getting something exciting and completely new, but it’s apparently to overcome the loss of the brittle texture we are accustomed to.
ROCK Bottom awaits you on September 6. Let’s hope the weather holds good because the more who come, the better the Playing Field fund will benefit.
SPIDER fortnight has started early; I hope the conker season is obligingly early too.