The Liberated Feast

Courtesy of Nils, I went along this evening to the Liberated Feast. It was not dissimilar from what I expected but pretty incredible considering the premise: that all the food used in the three course sit down dinner was from donations from organic farm producers, fruit & vegetable box distributors, supermarkets and local market sellers. And on top of this, the great majority was from food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

£10 covered the door charge and the proceeds raised go to two charities: The Milimani Academy in Kenya and Cambridge Foodcycle. Image

On the (vegan) menu was:

Starters: Parsnip, purple carrot and other root vegetable soup with kale chips, bread and guacamole.

Main: Vegetable strudel, roasted brussel sprouts/turnips, mashed potato and cabbage/carrot salad.

Dessert: Blackberry and apple crumble with soy single cream or gluten free & vegan chocolate brownie with banana ice cream.

There were also a limited number of Fairtrade wines sitting around from Chile.

Whilst not all the aspects of the feast were realised (the live band had to pull out last minute and we didn’t get inspirational talks) we still had live entertainment from some hoola hoop performers and a small raffle, together with a great atmosphere from a highly varied group of dinner guests. The person I sat next to has been living in Cambridge for the past 15 years who creates websites (currently with a solar panel installation company) after a brief albeit not very successful attempt at DJing after doing a sound engineering degree. He volunteers with the Cambridge Cropshare (which is affiliated with Transition Cambridge) and said he hasn’t bought any vegetables since June because of a small (6 by 20m) allotment he has leased for the past year at the bottom of Mill Road (together with produce from the Cropshare initiative).

It has been a long term ambition of mine to be able to create an entire meal from things I have grown or collected myself from my local area (probably garden) and whilst this may not be the time of year to realise that, I have started some preliminary attempts to grow coriander and other herbs in the south facing large windowed stairwell of my block of flat. Pictured below however is my girlfriend’s much more successful attempts to grow rhubarb from seed (although from what I read it takes 2 years to get harvestable quantities…). Coriander may yet win despite a slow start.

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