Saturday 20th July dawned dark and wet. Was it a gamble to hold Real Food Rocks in the Lakes in summer? Bringing the country’s leading food and exercise visionaries to Brathay, Ambleside, had generated great enthusiasm and bookings had to close at 700.

I arrived early and got a seat in a room already almost full, to which were added a couple of dozen standing, some sitting on the floor and others listening from outside through the open window. Here are a few highlights (more on my website and I’ll hold a special Jackie’s Gee-Up on it in September):

Michael Mosley

The Mediterranean Diet (the real one with lots of fats, not the standard, bad dietary recommendations on the NHS website) helps with severe depression.

Disappointingly, he said doctors are still taught nothing at all about diet or exercise but they learn for themselves and change is coming as a grass roots movement.

Bobby Frazer, from Great Broughton, who took part in the D-Day Landings has been awarded France’s highest military honour, the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur.

Ivor Cummins Talked about Healthspan rather than lifespan. Bad lifestyle choices can rob you of your health as much as 10 years too early. Good lifestyle choices can increase your healthy time by 10 years. Choosing to address your


diet, exercise and stress can give you 20 extra quality years.

David Unwin Spoke affectionately about the many different animals he has owned starting with ducklings he nearly killed with a vitamin deficient diet of porridge. Later he had to give his cow magnesium, so that it would not have fits. Cows need to eat wild flowers, not just nitrogen-rich green grass. This turned out to be the remedy for a patient’s intractable fitting. Modern medicine often fails to consider nutrition.

The sun came out and a good day was had by all. Let’s hope it’s the first of many.

Top tips: Real Food Rocks!

Jackie Wilkinson Nutrition Coaching 07782 477 364

Something that regularly splits cheese aficionados right down the middle is the question of Blended Cheeses, that is: "Cheese with bits in it!" and I can understand where people are coming from here. Indeed, try asking for your favourite Wensleydale with cranberries or Lancashire with herring and a waft of insouciance at one of our nations high-end Cheese Emporia and you risk being chased from the shop by a shouty, slender, hirsute (*) cheese monger with an uncommon zeal in his eyes for daring to ask for something so crass, you lactic heathen!

I’ve always taken the approach that you should give people what they want and out of a wide selection of some of the country’s finest cheeses, I can find no reason to not stock a few of what I consider to be good examples of blended cheeses. Our revered Monarch’s favoured cheesy tipple is reputed to be Caboc, a buttery, creamy little oddity from the Highlands, liberally coated in toasted oatmeal. You could say that this is a cheese that’s been ‘messed with’. I can’t picture Her Majesty being harried out of Paxton & Whitfield by a fervent, lanky, furry employee for daring to ask for it. So, here are three more interesting examples you should consider trying, before the dappled sunlight on the lawn turns to pots of darkness...


Cornish Yarg is most commonly known for being wrapped in nettle leaves. It’s delicious but after eating, you need to be sure to pop a piece of cheese wrapped in dock leaves down after it within five seconds to take the sting out! Do consider the rather lovely Wild Garlic Yarg, not terribly strong and caustic, more gently pungent and aromatic. A fine- looking thing it is too!

A vividly orange-rinded Harlech cheese is made from creamy Welsh cheddar flavoured with horseradish and parsley. It’s a tad garish to my eye but get past the brightly-coloured wax and the cheese within is rather special. Try mixing it with mashed potato to make a splendid cheesy/horseradishy mash.

We are having a Greek Night at our weekly Friday Bistro and this will go so well with our mushroom stifado in a ‘vainglorious’ bid to prove that the UK and

Europe can come together to make a harmonious whole! Finally, witness the dramatically hued Blackjack from our friend Stephen Greenfield of Inglewhite near Preston. Vintage Cheddar, laced with charcoal make this a visually splendid, arresting specimen for the cheese board and a real talking point. Slice it thickly on to our Charcoal Biscuits for a real treat to the eyes and a taste for the tongue!

(*They are 97% slender and hirsute. No-one knows why. I eschew such convention being neither, although I do occasionally forget to shave. Never trust a thin Cheese Monger).

John Natlacen, Owner

Churchmouse Cheeses Wedding Cakes ISSUE 434 | 22 AUGUST 2019 | 36

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