Festival Food

For New Year’s Eve I ventured up to the Coromandel Gold Festival. It wasn’t very golden, in fact it was Coro Brown… And there I was naively thinking that I might get a tan this summer bahahahahahahahahahahah! One thing that I always struggle with though is what does one eat at a festival? There are always promises of cooking facilities and we always have the best intentions of cooking, but essentially you want food that you can grab and run with and that will get you through the day and the drinking.

That’s where Mr. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall comes in.He calls this a Honey peanut butter booster bar whoop whoop!

They consist of good things

Good for you

And a great amount of bad things! Good for a quick energy burst anyway…

bad things are good for you

This mixture was too good, definitely a struggle to leave some for the dry ingredients. It smelled  divine in the oven, nutty and caramel aromas.

Honey and peanut butter booster bars (from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Everyday)

125g unsalted butter

150g soft brown or muscavado sugar

125g no sugar added, crunchy peanut butter

75g honey, plus a little more to finish

Finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon (I didn’t have an orange so just used 2 lemons)

200g porridge oats, not jumbo

150g dried fruit (I used dried cranberries, dates (chopped) and raisins)

150g mixed seeds (I used sunflower seeds)

Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin (lining essential, this is v sticky!). Preheat oven to 160°C. Put butter, sugar, peanut butter, honey and grated zests in a deep saucepan over a very low heat. Leave until melted, stirring from time to time.

Stir the oats, dried fruit and three-quarters of the seeds into the melted butter mixture until thoroughly combined. Spread the mixture out evenly in the baking tin, smoothing the top as you go. Scatter the top with remaining seeds and a trickle of honey. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until golden in the centre and golden brown at the edges.

Leave to cool completely in the tin (it cuts better when cold), then turn out and cut into squares with a sharp knife. The bars keep for 5-7 days in an airtight tin.

There is a sad postscript to this tale. We got to the festival and it poured with rain. Put our tent up in the rain, got covered in mud. We did, however think we were oh so smart by having our chilly bin just outside the tent, but under our gazebo. Alack alas, water still got in and managed to get into the box with the bars in it and it was not looking particularly appetizing. Much sadness and at the end of the day I cannot say whether it is good festival food. We just ate apples and bought a burger each day instead haha!


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