Billingsgate Seafood Training School with Beyond Sight Loss

Hi all,

I’m a very lucky person to have been able to support the Beyond Sight Loss Group at the Billingsgate Seafood Training School in Tower Hamlets earlier this year. Group members who attended really enjoyed the cooking sessions and got the chance to create very delicious and easy to follow recipes, which I’ve shared below so why not give them a try?

Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes (serves 4)

Ingredients:

450g/1lb cooked smoked haddock

340g/12oz mashed potatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

30g/ 1oz butter, melted

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2, eggs, beaten

Dried white breadcrumbs

6 tablespoons oil for frying

290ml/half pint parsley sauce

1 to 2 lemon wedges to serve

Instructions:

  1. Mix the haddock and potatoes together. Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the melted butter, parsley and enough beaten egg to bind the mixture until soft but not sloppy. Allow to cool.
  3. Flour your hands and shape the mixture into 8 flat cakes 2.5cm thick brush with the beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry until the fish cakes are brown on both sides.
  5. Serve with parsley sauce and lemon wedges.
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Photo of two lightly brown Smoke Haddock Fish Cakes in a frying pan.

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes (makes 6)

Ingredients:

115g self-raising flour

90g golden caster sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

Half tbsp poppy seeds, toasted

1 egg

50g natural yogurt

90g butter, melted and cooled a little

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4 and line a 6 hole muffin tin with cupcake or muffin cases.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds together in a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs into the yogurt, and then tip this into the dry ingredients with the melted butter.
  3. Mix together with a wooden spoon or whisk until lump-free, then divide between the cases.
  4. Bake for 20-22 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean – the cakes will be quite pale on top still. Cool for 5 mins in the tin, and then carefully lift onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
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Photo of six freshly baked Lemon and Poppy Seed Cupcakes in a muffin tray.

Happy cooking 🙂

If you’d like to know more about the Billingsgate Seafood Training School you can visit their website by clicking this link: http://www.seafoodtraining.org/ or following their Twitter page: @SeafoodSchool

Written by Christine Edmead

VIPON’s London Zoo Outing on the 29th of June

We were joined by Aqua Ephraim and Tahira Malik at the ELVis office recently and they shared their experience of VIPON’s (Visually Impaired Persons of Newham) trip to London Zoo on the 29th of June.

How was the journey to the zoo?

We all met in Stratford in the morning and we took the Overground train to Camden Road Station. From there we took a bus directly to the zoo. It was a pretty straight forward journey.

What was the group’s impression of the zoo?

The terrain at the zoo was very hilly which made it challenging for some of us in wheelchairs to get around. Also, we didn’t have a member of staff from the zoo guiding the group so we had to rely on ELVis volunteers to be our guides and describe the surroundings. On a positive note, we saw lots of animals including giraffes, flamingos, monkeys…the list goes on! Although, we were disappointed we didn’t get to see the tigers and lions- they were probably resting because of the hot weather. Our newest member Muqqadas who was attending her first outing with the group said she liked the zoo very much and was glad she came along, especially because the group made her feel very welcome.

What was your favourite part of the zoo?

We both loved seeing the tropical fishes and underwater plants at the aquarium. For some of us with some sight the colours of the sea life stood out which made the experience really enjoyable. Also, most of the members really liked the penguins because they could see their black and white skin. We watched them swim and act silly while they splashed us!

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Photo of Shahid, ELVis service user, crouching down in front of a large perspex water tank with swimming penguins.
How accessible was the zoo?

I’d say it’s fairly accessible- the zoo is mostly sight orientated so more work should be done to make it a better experience for VI people. Although saying this we were able to smell the different animals which was helpful for members of the group with very little or no sight. Also, the facilities at the zoo were great and the group loved eating in the restaurant because the air conditioner helped them to cool down.

And what are your overall thoughts about the outing?

It was the hottest and longest day of the year but we enjoyed ourselves very much. VIPON would like to say a massive thank you to the ELVis volunteers and members of staff for making the day accessible and enjoyable for all. Well done!

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Photo of some members of the VIPON social group looking happy and standing besides a very large sign that says ‘welcome to the zoo’.
Written by Aqua Ephraim, Tahira Malik and Ray Calamaan