• 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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Remind me not to make this again

Domestic goddess rating: 90% (tried hard even if it wasn’t a success) Five-a-day: 3/5 Food miles: about 40

On the menu: Muesli & juice (breakfast); cheese sandwich (lunch); sausages and kale & potato cakes (supper)

Well, you win some and you lose some.

I was all lined up for a seasonal cook-fest this afternoon, as for once I didn’t have to work late so could spare the time for a new recipe. Now, that’s where I went wrong.

You see, I spotted what looked like a great recipe for kale bubble and squeak (aka kale and potato cakes) on the Vegetarian Society’s website. Great, I thought. Perfect with sausages. And it’ll let me indulge my latest obsession with kale.

How wrong can you be. Just sometimes, you find a recipe that looks great but tastes just awful. Well, not awful, perhaps, but just wrong. In this case, too much mustard (it overpowered the other flavours) – I can see they were trying to pep it up a bit, as the rest of it was just plain bland. I was trying to think what else you could add to make it more interesting – onions, perhaps? bacon?

The idea was great – I love bubble and squeak, and the idea of including kale instead of the usual cabbage really caught my imagination. But this wasn’t the way to do it.

Back to the drawing board with this one, I think. I’ll try to post my experimental attempts to improve it so long as they’re not too much of a disaster!


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