The Blindfold Run with the RLSB

Back in August 2016, we were asked by one of the brilliant team at the Royal London Society for Blind People to supply some of our popcorn for their “Blindfold Run” goodie bags. We are not ashamed to say a fair amount of Googling went into finding out just how one runs blindfolded, without falling into streams of traffic, bashing into innocent bystanders, and generally just surviving the journey.

But it really is simpler than you think. How do we know? Because we did it!

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At the start, feeling pretty good…

Those up to the challenge to take part in this extraordinary experience are tethered together in pairs, with one runner being blindfolded and the other being the trusted navigator. Halfway through the 5k or 10k course, you then change roles, so each person gets the experience of being guided blindly through the route.

The aim here is not to simulate sight loss, or imply that the experience will be the  same for everyone, but simply to get people thinking about sight loss, and be part of something completely unique!

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…nearing the end, feeling less so good

Imagine being in a pitch-black room; it could be your bedroom, sitting room, or just a place you are familiar with and feel comfortable in…but you’re in complete darkness. Sure you can feel your way around it, you can still smell the familiar scents of a place you would call home, but without being able to see, it would still be a touch intimidating.

Now imagine leaving that room, still in darkness, and running through unfamiliar territory. You have no idea  about your surroundings. Is that person you can hear close enough to touch or are they further away? Every tiny bump or slight turn is new and scary as you have no idea how to gauge it. It sounds ridiculous, but you forget how to turn your body left and right, whether you’re jogging too fast or too slow, and it feels like the world is coming in on you, even though it’s exactly the same as before…I blame that last point on running into some low hanging branches.

What a sweet luxury it was to take your blindfold off and see the world, and how lucky we are that we can do that.

The Blindfold Run is understandably the RLSB’s most popular fundraising event, and has raise dover 70k since it’s launch in 2014. All funds that are raised from the amazing participants goes towards goes towards helping blind children and young people living in the capital, with the belief that every single child can build the confidence and skills to fulfil their potential, even in a world that is sometime’s all about the visual.

If you would like to find out more about the brilliant work the RLSB does for those in need, or to check out the run and sign up for next year, check out their website here!: www.rlsb.org.uk

The Bake is On!: Week 1

To celebrate the glorious return of one the best loved baking programmes on the British television, we’ve teamed up with the lovely people at Lucy Rocks Paleo to bring you a baking competition you can do without stepping inside that fabled Bake Off tent.

You can try out our recipes, or make up your own, they just have to be delicious I’m afraid. How difficult can that be when you’re smothering everything in chocolate?

Week 1 kicks off with a classic tray bake (just without the bake): Rocky Road! You may remember we featured our Popcorn Rocky Roads online a while ago, well now they’re back with the delicious addition of Lucy Rocks Paleo Golden Granola.

If you’d like to try out the recipe yourself, you will need:

  • 1 smallish, deep baking tray, greased and lined 
  • 75g of Cappuccino Portlebay Popcorn (although other flavours will work just as well) 
  • 200g of Golden Granola from Lucy Rocks Paleo
  • 50g of Mini Marshmallows 
  • 300g of Dark Chocolate (or whatever chocolate is your favourite)
  • 50g of Salted Butter 
  • A dash of whatever you would like to decorate your masterpiece with 

For you Rocky Road purists out there, I’m sure you’ll be crying out “Where’s the raisins?! Where’s the cherries?! What is this sham of a Rocky Road recipe about!”. Do not fear cake lovers, as Golden Granola has all of these elements and more! With mulberries, goldenberries, coconut chips and tonnes of other healthy bits and bobs, it’s a wonderful alternative to give your bakes that extra crunch!   lucy-rocks-ingredients-better

Get ready for a picture heavy post, with tonnes of craving inducing images of melted chocolate, because that’s going to feature a lot! First of all, melt the chocolate and the butter together in a heat proof bowl, over a shallow pan of simmering water. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl, and the chocolate doesn’t get too hot! Chocolate cement is great for tiling a ginger bread house, but not for much else.

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This is what chocolate and butter looks like in a bowl

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Just keep on stirring…

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…until it’s glossy and smooth

Right now you’re going to be fighting back urges to plonk yourself on the sofa and tuck into that bowl of chocolate heaven with a teaspoon and a sense of reckless abandon. Hold yourself together! The next bit is a piece of cake…sorry. 

All your tiny marshmallows (bar a few for decoration), Portlebay Popcorn and Lucy Rocks Golden Granola need to be mixed in with a lot of added elbow grease, to make sure every grain and popcorn piece is thoroughly coated in your butter and chocolate mixture. If you can’t quite get everything covered, melt a little bit more chocolate in the microwave to cover those last few patches. It should look a little something like this:

It will get messy, but where’s the fun in keeping everything tidy, eh? Once it’s all mixed together and coated as much as you can get it, you need to start piling the mixture into the baking tray, making sure to get it into as many nooks and crannies that you can. A little like this:

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You can decorate yours in any way your chocolate loving heart desires; we’ve used sugar sprinkles you can find in any supermarket or baking shop, and of course more mini marshmallows.

Place in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours until the chocolate is firm and holds it’s shape, or put it in the freezer for about an hour if you just can’t wait to tuck in! At the end of it all, you will end up with some beautiful popcorn-y granola-ry goodness.

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And there you have it! A simple treat to try at home, and loved by all.

Share your own fantastical tray bakes on The Portlebay Popcorn or the Lucy Rocks Paleo Facebook, for your chance to win some scrumptious popcorn and granola!

Everyday We’re Popping

The lovely thing about making your own popcorn is, well, just that. We pop it, ship it and run everything from under the same roof, which is really rather special. We have a whole host of Popcorn Flavoursmiths working away, filling our little packets of sunshine as we like to call them, and making the whole office smell delicious.

The journey from kernel to popcorn is a short one, as anyone who has made popcorn at home before would know, but there are no massive microwaves here at Portlebay Popcorn. Instead, we use bloomin’ big saucepans to heat up a mix of rapeseed oil and raw cane sugar, to give all our popcorn kernels that glorious crunch.

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A whizz with a wooden spoon

It all starts with this guy, our chief popper and commander. Those saucepans are not to be trusted to pop away without supervision, and Marek is the guy to do it. From here, it’s a race against time to get our popcorn packed away; luckily we’ve mastered popping to bagging, so there’s no popcorn losing crunch and gaining that horrible polystyrene squeakiness. That’s OK for packing tellies, no good popcorn!

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All beards must be bagged, luckily Angus doesn’t mind too much

On to the flavour maker! I’m afraid this stage is pretty hush-hush, so just imagine magical popcorn fairies, delicately dusting each and every popcorn puff with our Original Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup flavour. All that natural goodness is whisked together, and then it’s on to the bagging!

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An overlooked, but integral part of the operation

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From here we do all sorts of technical tests to make sure our popcorn is the best we know it can be.

Anthony there is doing very important things, checking the bagging temperature, pressure, speed and all other kinds other technical buzzwords.

Why do you think Lucas is laughing so much? Because he has it on Easy Street, Professional Taster indeed.

In all seriousness we do need to do regular checks to measure the levels on salt, sugar, crunch and general tastiness. Lucas is the lucky duck that gets his own tasting booth to measure all of these delicious elements!

 

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And here is the finished product! Our signature and original flavour Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup. This is just a tiny part of the popcorn mountain we eventually end up with, but each bag is just as delicious as the last.

This is just a taster of what we do to make sure our packets of sunshine are full of that yumminess you know and love. If you’re a blogger, vlogger or a fellow popcorn fanatic, and would like to get up close and personal with our crew of poppers and our delicious produce, get in touch! We’d love to have you 🙂

Get in touch with Lucy at lucy@portlebaypopcorn.com, or call us on 01752 231 713 if you’d like a guided tour!

 

 

Let us Introduce Ourselves

We are Portlebay Popcorn; a small crew, tucked away in the depths of Devon, popping away our rather scrumptious popcorn. You may have seen our nautical style bags brightening up the shelves of shops, or you may already have firm favourites of our many weird but oh so wonderful flavours. But for the very unfortunate amongst you, you may not know us at all! *GASP*

Here’s a little about us to get you introduced:

We first opened our doors back in 2012, when two chaps named Jonty White and Neil Adams came together to make a popcorn company. Influenced by popcorn trends happening across the US, this motley pair wanted to make a delightful snack that is bursting with that sunny, happy feeling which only comes from eating something that is nutritious and delicious!

I know what you’re thinking, anything that you can buy at the cinema, often smothered in butter or saturated with sugar probably has the same nutritional value as a deep fried Mars Bar – and you would be right! That’s why we don’t do either of those things.

Our popcorn has half the sugar of a Pink Lady apple, we don’t use any mutant ingredients (only the good ol’ natural stuff), and it has almost half the fat of your bog standard potato crisps. That’s a win win win right there!

This blog will be dedicated to exciting popcorn news, what goes on behind our Poppery doors, and talking to you lovely lot about any questions you have about what makes us tick! Pop us a message, we’d love to hear from you 🙂