by Matthew Farrall, Gillie T, Evelyn & Paul Williams.

Two courses of locally produced allotment and garden goodness were served at the Reading Town Meal on Saturday 30 September. The free meal was thoroughly enjoyed by the Whitley Pump review panel.

The main course was inviting ‘allotment tajine’ served with salad and focaccia. The tajine was a subtly flavoured composition of roots, potatoes, pumpkin and greens. The pumpkin was definitely the star of the show. The crunchy fragrant green salad was a perfect accompaniment and early birds were also able to sample the tangy beetroot and cucumber salad.

If there was one criticism from some members of the panel, it was that it lacked salt. However the salty topped focaccia compensated for this.

The ‘Reading town crumble’ had definitely benefited from forethought on the part of some of the food donors. As well as apples and pears which are abundant at this time of year, a few gooseberries, blackcurrants and strawberries from earlier in the season also made a welcome appearance in the delicious fruit crumble dessert.

All the food had been cooked by the accomplished students at The Kitchen at Reading College and transported to the Forbury Gardens. The tajine was kept warm in on-site ovens and the fruit crumble was served cold.

The meal was perfectly accompanied by free, freshly pressed apple juice.

The Reading Town Meal was developed by food4families and is organised from a base at Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) on London Street, Katesgrove.

The Whitley Pump verdict: satisfying wholesome, locally grown food. If you missed out this time it is definitely worth saving the date for next year.

  1. Reading Town Meal
  2. The Kitchen at Reading College
  3. food4families
  4. Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC)