Archive for the ‘Liverpool Uni’ Category

My Time With

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Emily was the presenter for our University of Liverpool shopping guide and put together a little blog entry for us about her day with us and what she learnt -

So on starting at uni the last thing I was thinking about is what I was going to feed myself over the year to come; rather I was thinking about the societies I was going to join, where my lectures and seminars were and the most important point of where was best for a night out. However it was not long before I had got through my food stash supplied by the parents for the first week of uni (which may I add had been devoured in a few days with only cans of sweetcorn and such left, only to be ignored!). Soon enough I was facing the issue of what to buy and where to buy it. Initially I fell into the trap of the Walmart, going once or twice a week to the popular destinations for students of Tesco or ASDA and spending about £30 on mainly the basic fruit and meat with the odd treat thrown in! Needless to say I’d often return thinking I had nothing to eat and before I knew it any fruit or veg I had bought had gone off and a lot was being wasted. Thankfully I decided to help with student cooking tv in making the University of Liverpool Shopping Guide and it opened my eyes to all the great places in Liverpool to get great food on a student budget!

This opportunity enabled me to look past the world of Walmart and opened my eyes to the variety of local markets that are on offer all around Liverpool, such as St Johns market which not only specialises in food markets but also clothes and bags. (Not great if your aim is to save money on your trip as you may end up poorer having looked at these stalls too!) Both here and along the town streets are stands of fresh fruit and vegtables that help you on your way to having your 5 a day- something the regular student struggles in managing!

As well as this I headed to China town where I was shown that I could pick up numerous spices and oriental ingredients to aid in my cooking for a small price too. This is particularly good if you’re either bored of your typical food and like to experiment or in fact you enjoy the cuisine of other cultures such as Chinese, Japenese ad Korean. Being a self- confessed ‘lazy cook’ I acknowledged the fact that by simply adding a different spice or sauce to a pasta, rice or meat dish I could create an entirely new meal.

A key lesson I learnt making this video was the importance of making a list beofre you go shopping so you don’t lose track of what you set out for which in turn will help you over spend. Similarly by making some sort of meal plan for the week you give yourself a sense of direction and idea of what you have and can eat in that week without needing to go out to spend more.

Thanks to looking past the big supermarket signs with the help of student cooking tv crew, Rob and Eastwood I am well on the way to eating better this year whilst also saving myself pennies- both of which I benefit from now and in the long-term! Cheers guys!

Emily x

What Did Rachel Really Think?

Monday, October 12th, 2009

I really enjoyed taking part in the film – it was very random but good fun. I liked the fact we didn’t know what we’d have to cook with as quite often that’s the case. Often when it’s coming to the end of term you find that you have to just eat what’s in your cupboard, which doesn’t have to mean rubbish meals.

Like we did in the film you just have to be more inventive with your ingredients, such as using mushy peas to make fried rice! Something I’ve found was a great left over meal is during BBQ season. Any left over meat i.e. sausages etc chop them all up and stir-fry them with some green beans, baby sweet corn and carrot (or whatever really!). Then add some sweet chilli or soy sauce and eat it. It’s really nice but you do have to make sure you re-cook the meat properly otherwise I think you could die or something.

Billy the Chef’s Top 3 Stir Fry tips

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

1.  Don’t overload the pan with ingredients.  You’ll need space in the pan to toss everything and let it cook.  Also, lots of small groups of ingredients means more variation and more flavour in your meal.

2.  Slice your meat and vegetables finely so they cook quicker.  The idea of a stir fry is to flash fry the ingredients.  If they take too long to cook, they’ll stew.

3.  Use a flavoured oil if you can, as the flavour will transfer to the ingredients.

And to the Victor….Warm Beer!: Halls Cook Off, Liverpool

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Christian: Let me first begin by saying thank you to for the lovely crate of warm beer. It was a prize that was very short lived thanks to my friends who wanted to ‘celebrate’ with me.

I had a lot of fun doing the halls cook-off and was pleased that I was representing for Lady Mountford! I was pretty nervous before hand because my team-mate pulled out leaving me on my own when every other team was in two’s. I worried that they’d be able to work quicker and bring along more support but it was okay in the end.

The challenge was a weird one! My sandwich was going so well until the jelly – I know like in some places they eat jelly sandwiches but it wasn’t something I wanted to try or make either! Overall though it was just a lot of fun, we got to meet some great people and it created a genuine buzz and that was fantastic.

2009: A Local Food Odyssey

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

What made you believe in being a local shopper?

I think it began because I’m generally passionate about food so I enjoy the experience  of going out and exploring and finding new shops. So it really grew from there, I found going to the local traders much more enjoyable than going to big supermarkets. Generally the people in the independent shops know the products better and get to know you as well, which is a touch I really like.

Why do you feel it’s important more students shop locally?

There are thousands of students moving into communities in cities across the country every year. All too often we just move into the area and live there for 3 years only going to the local supermarket. I think wouldn’t it give the local economy a huge boost if even half of those students decided to get most of their shopping from local butchers and green grocers that source from local farms? It really is sad to see in some areas all the closed down shops that were once part of a thriving community.

What do you think is stopping more students shopping locally?

Mostly I think knowledge – students don’t know where to find the shops, maybe don’t even know they’re even there. I also think in some cases there is a bit of fear in that lots of people don’t know what to ask for in a butchers so they don’t try. Hopefully they’ll see from the film it’s not daunting at all. On the other hand though I can see why some people stick to the security of the supermarket – because they source from all over the world they’re rarely out of stock and you can get things out of season, whereas shopping locally you do have to buy more seasonally.

Going, Going, Gone?: Shopping Locally In Liverpool

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

When it comes to the battle between the independent food shop or the supermarket, it’s pretty obvious who’s got the upper hand.  While independent stores have more knowledgeable staff and generally fresher produce, they are often more expensive and have limited opening hours, not to mention their scattered locations across the town or city.  Supermarkets, on the other hand, are ironically now on every street corner, taking the place of the corner shop.  They’re open for longer, have more variety and now sell not only food, but books, TVs, petrol and insurance.  They truly are a one stop shop for everything you need in your modern life.

For every £10 spent on the high street, £7 is spent at a supermarket, so it’s no wonder that independent greengrocers, butchers and fishmongers are drastically on the decline.  But how did this all happen?

It started in the 50s when an idea from the States came across the ocean and spread in Britain.  Instead of going into a shop and being served by a shopkeeper, the idea was reversed and the customer became their own server, having more time to think about and choose the products they wanted.  Supermarkets became incredibly popular because they needed fewer staff (and therefore lower staff costs), allowed more products to be stored (meaning greater bargaining power with the suppliers), and ultimately created greater choice for the customer.

As this choice grew, naturally so did the size of the supermarkets, meaning many were set up out of the city centre.  Even though they were now out of town, they tempted customers from any independent stores left on the high street by staying open for longer and providing car park spaces.

As their success and profits grew, soon they became the only output for supplier’s products, and with this monopoly, were able to have more control over supplier’s prices.  Suppliers were left with a choice-sell large amounts of their products to supermarkets who wanted it at a low price, or sell a few boxes to a little store who were willing to pay a bit more but would sell far far less.

Supermarkets’ convenience in location and what they sold along with their competitive pricing quickly put an end to the popularity of independent shops.  But should we be that bothered that these little stores are closing down?  After all, isn’t it the independent shops’ inability to keep up with consumer change that’s part of their downfall?

The one thing that independent stores have and supermarkets sorely miss is their level of customer care and the roots that independent stores have with the local economy.  Greengrocers, fishmongers and butchers will all be experts in their trades, knowing how to prepare, cook and store all their products.  They’ll be able to advise you on the best way of cooking what you buy, are more likely to give you discounts or give you items for free, and generally take more care over the service you receive.  They have to do more to keep you as a customer.  Generally, they’ll also source their ingredients locally, putting more money back into the local economy, financially helping the people that produce the food you eat, and keeping down emissions by lowering travelling miles and costs.

But is there a place for these independent shops on today’s high street?  It’s difficult to see how they can survive under such strong competition from the big supermarket chains, especially when supermarkets are more conveniently located and have longer opening hours.  The irony now is that supermarkets are now moving back onto the high street and opening up ‘Metro’ versions of their stores, now replacing the independent corner shops that sell milk at 10 at night.  Independent shops have got a big fight ahead of them to keep their place on the high street.

If you want to find out more about the places Rachel visited on the film here are some links to their websites:

Country Cooks at Liverpool: Jess’s Thoughts…

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Jess: I think I did okay with Nubla’s fish cutlets recipe – it’s fair to say that the balls were too big and I managed to quite badly burn some of them but overall I was pleased. I’ve cooked them since and they were much better the second time. I’m blaming the added pressure of the camera for the first attempt.

I’ve actually tried cooking some more international foods since the filming. I’ve got quite a few friend who are from overseas so we did a similar thing whereby I teach them how to cook an English dish and they teach me one of their recipes.

The favourite recipe I’ve cooked so far is Malaysian dish called Nasi Goreng. It’s a rice dish that I think is ideal for any student lifestyle. It basically consists of any meat or veg you might have left over all cooked together with egg and loads of spices and stuff. Really easy to cook, cheap and really aromatic and tasty.

Country Cooks at Liverpool University: Nubla Speaks!

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Nubla: My experience of taking part in Country Cooks was in retrospect very pleasant! I say in retrospect because at the time I was very nervous that I was going to ruin the food I was cooking. Prior to making the film I didn’t have a lot of experience with British food and I really wasn’t prepared when the team asked us to swap places.

I think the biggest thing I was feeling was that I didn’t want to waste all the wonderful ingredients Jess had brought to cook with! In the end though it didn’t go too badly at all. Which makes me now feel that it’s better to just try and have a go usually it goes ok and if not you’ll know for the next time.

I have cooked more British food since with varying degrees of success. I hope Jess has tried more Maldivian food as I think she liked it and she did cook it very well.

Top Tips for shopping in Liverpool

Friday, October 10th, 2008

There are loads of other markets and great shopping areas all around Liverpool as well as the ones Georgia showed us on her tour. It’s fun to get out there and find them for yourself but just to point you in the right direction, it’s worth checking out the Liverpool City Council website for more info about markets, as well as Liverpool’s Heritage Market website – great for more info!