• 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.

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Entertaining the seasonal way

Domestic goddess rating: 100% (dinner party goddess this evening) Five-a-day: 4/5 Food miles: about 40 or so

Having friends over this evening so consulted Head Chef (aka hubby) about possible food options. There was just a little snag…

“What – they’re vegetarian? You’ve got to cook vegetarian for 5 people?” (horrified look)… “Can you use turkey stock?”

Umm… no.

“Right… OK… ” (digs out gorgeous Mediterranean cookbook) “Here’s one. Baked aubergines stuffed with…”

But… aubergines aren’t on the menu till August.

“Hang on. You’ve got to cook for five vegetarians AND it’s got to be seasonal?!

At which point he staggers out, laughing manically to himself and muttering about sprout tops and spring greens not being exactly dinner party material.

Actually, (funny this), I disagree. My guests were just a few friends, they know me well, it didn’t need to be anything fancy (and I expect if I really wanted to I could rustle up some pretty fancy cabbage with juniper berries – must try that recipe some time soon… and my braised red cabbage is something of a show-stopper, too).

I ended up cooking vegetarian chilli – I’m not going to add the recipe here as I think it needs some refining (too many tinned tomatoes, for one thing). I’ll have another go at it next month and see if I can make it a bit less… well… red. But though it didn’t look great, it certainly tasted wonderful, and served with humble baked potatoes and a green salad it was a delicious, healthy and totally seasonal meal you could happily party with.

Hah – who needs aubergines? 


2 Responses

  1. This is a great blog. I am trying to eat seasonally too, and promoting this kind of diet on my blog too, but you really have taken it to a whole new level. I am seriously impressed that you are also introducing your dinner party guests to this idea as well! Keep on keeping on!

    Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

  2. aww thanks Jenn… the blogroll is great, what a fantastic way to connect everyone up. I love the foodie world – I can never get enough recipes to keep me happy! Always up for trying new things, as you know…!

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