• 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.

Making it up as I go along

Domestic goddess rating: 100% (am cooking diva today) Five-a-day: 5/5 Food miles: about 40

On the menu: Muesli & juice (breakfast); sausage roll from the baker’s (lunch); leek & bacon pasta bake & salad (supper)

Ah, you know you’ve arrived when you start making up recipes of your own.

Princess the Younger demanded pasta for supper, so my noble intentions to do another kale extravaganza were kiboshed in royal fashion. Well, thank god for leeks, that’s all I can say. At this time of year they’re as close to summer veg as you get – tasty, easy to cook with and everyone likes them.

I put them in with some bacon, cooked up some pasta and combined the lot along with some chopped-up olives in a light roux (hey get me, don’t I sound Delia!) with some cheese on top. Baked it in the oven and – hey presto! A dish fit for a princess. Went down a treat with me, too. It’s nice to know you can taste summer even when the frost’s still on the ground.

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