• 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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Feeling crumbly

Domestic goddess rating: 20% (reflected glory from the pate at lunch, otherwise I took it easy today) Five-a-day: 4/5 Food miles: about 10

On the menu: Muesli & juice (breakfast); country pate, toast and watercress (lunch); roast pork, mixed sprout tops and carrots (we really like this mix ’em up thing), roast potatoes, and apple crumble (supper)

Crumble has to be one of my all-time favourite puddings. My grandma taught me to make it, and it’s one of the only dishes I can make without looking at a recipe first, so I’m kind of proud of my crumbling talents. I find classic apple crumble is best: but you can mix the apples with bananas (though you’ll pile on the food miles) or blackberries for more variety. Blackcurrant crumble works well too – but we’ve found you can’t mix blackcurrants with anything that’s not very sweet, so they don’t work with, say, apples.

Crumble is also easy to make from frozen supplies – we have four apple trees at the end of the garden and always freeze pack after pack of chopped apples every autumn (I have yet to master storing them… though I had a good try a couple of years back). We also still have several cartons of frozen blackcurrants in the freezer left over from summer, so I may have to remind myself of warmer times soon and dig them out too. Mmmm-hmmm – makes my mouth water just thinking about it.


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