• In season now: May

    New this month: Asparagus! The food of gods... and carrots are back.

    Still in season from last month: cauliflower, chard, green cabbage, salad leaves, main-crop potatoes (from store), salad leaves, sea kale, spring greens, rhubarb

    Goodbye till next year to: Purple sprouting broccoli (sniff, sniff), leeks, stored parsnips, forced rhubarb

  • What I’m doing here

    This all started when I picked the first strawberries from my new allotment.

    I'd never been so enraptured or so excited by food. It was a shock to find that anything could taste so good.

    So what - I'd never had strawberries before?

    No - all the strawberries I'd had were shop-bought, like as not flown in from intensive growers in Spain or Chile, and eaten in winter when strawberries should be a distant summer memory.

    It revolutionised my thinking about the fresh food we eat every day. I started to wonder if you got the same amazing taste from all types of food grown and eaten in season. And then I decided to do something about it.

    The Year of Eating Seasonally is my little experiment to find out what it's really like not to have it all. The only fruit and veg I and my family are going to eat in 2008 will be what's growing in the ground at the time (or, in winter, what I can get out of store).

    I want to find out if the hungry gap is really as hungry as everyone says it is: whether you're really eating nothing but cabbage all winter; and whether you miss strawberries in December.

    Along the way I hope I'll save a few tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere on my behalf, as I won't be requiring those French beans flown from Chile, thanks very much. And I hope I'll be rediscovering what food can really taste like.

    If you have any comments, please feel free to post them anywhere you like - or you can email me at sallywhite@hotmail.com.

Sprout tops

Domestic goddess rating: zilch – hubby’s cooking today Five-a-day: 5/5, as we eat properly when we have a man-chef Food miles: about 40

On the menu: spaghetti with tinned tomato & bacon sauce (lunch) and halloumi cheese, sprout tops and potatoes (supper)

The quest to prove cabbage-eating is interesting continues… this time we’re trying sprout tops, which are the cabbagey bits on the top of sprout plants. They look just like loose-leaf cabbages, in fact (there’s a surprise) but behave a bit more like spring greens – a strong flavour, but not so strong as brussels sprouts themselves. Chef John Torode, interviewed for the Daily Telegraph, calls them the “It vegetable of the season” and recommends you cook them whole in 3/4 pt boiling water, flavoured with butter, garlic, salt and pepper, for 6-8 minutes. Hmmm… maybe. We just shred’n’steam them just like you would for cabbage – and even the kids eat them happily. 

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