Feeding Athletes- Portstewart


The Junior Home Internationals are on near Portstewart at the end of October.  In preparation for the event there was training for the Junior Athletes nearby.  Nigel and myself had offered to cater for this Athlete group, and as always we were slightly apprehensive as to the quality of the kitchen. The hostel was very well located for all the training, and we were delighted to see the kitchen was excellent!

We arrived very late due to my GPS being stroppy and bringing us the “scenic” route in the dead of night…  and to be fair, it is at the opposite end of the country.  The hostel was easy to find and we quickly unloaded all the food into the fridge, said hellos and goodbyes left for the night.

Breakfast Prep
Breakfast Prep

The brief was healthy food, fit for athletes.  We started the right way with porridge, fresh fruit and home-produced honey.  Scrambled eggs and freshly made soda bread were to follow, and everyone went off with full happy bellies.

Dinner was going to take a while as I cook beef pieces in the chilli for better flavour, instead of mince.  Also I make the Colorado sauce as the heat factor, instead of using chilli powder.  I find that it gives the heat to the dish without overpowering it.  Mind you, I ate my lunch on friday after making this hot sauce, and although I was SUPER careful about washing my hands afterwards, my cheese sambo was NEVER so hot!

Colorado Sauce
Colorado Sauce

I cook the chilli in the oven slowly for 3 hours, this oven was a gas oven, and did not heat aswell as I’d would have liked so the resulting sauce could have been thicker.

Chilli con carne and baked potatoes
Chilli con carne and baked potatoes

For a little extra we served it with baked potatoes, sour cream, coriander and nachos.  Salad and a big bowl of homegrown tomatoes finished the main course, and there was barely a scrap left, thank goodness.

Accompanients for the Athletes in coloured bowls
Accompanients for the Athletes in coloured bowls

Dessert was apple crumble with ice cream, seasonal and flavoursome, this dessert was almost the stick that broke the sous chefs back.  One of the parents had very kindly donated apples to the cause, and they took a while to peel, but were absolutely delicious, Beauty of Bath are a great old variety.  Unfortunately we were up to our oxers in prep at that stage so there’s no picture.

Shopping for the Athletes
Shopping for the Athletes

I was delighted at how little food we had left over, and even though we ran out of bread (I made more soda bread in the morning- glad I’d weighed them all out), everyone went off with full bellies!  Nigel and I got a lovely email from one of the parents this morning, and even though we were both exhausted getting up Monday, it made it all worthwhile.

“As I munched on porridge at 0630 earlier today I knew there was something missing … the fresh cut fruit, the delightful honey, the waft of baked bread, the prospect of fluffy scrambled eggs as well as the extraordinary graciousness, sense of purpose, organisation and good humour you brought to all our plates and lunches over the weekend.” John.

So many people give up their time and energy to train these Athletes, and athletes from other disciplines, that if all I do is give them a good meal at the end of the day, it’s been worth it!

 

 

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