• 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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Baking bliss

Domestic goddess rating: 90% (baking and super-mum… juggling supremo today) Five-a-day: 5/5 Food miles: about 70

On the menu: Toast,  marmalade & juice (breakfast); coffee on the run (lunch); meatballs and spaghetti from the freezer (supper)

Back to school this morning so supper was the usual crazy revolving-doors affair, with hubby off at work and one princess out at gym. We managed OK – though it probably would have helped if I hadn’t put sugar in the meatballs (yeah, all right, I was cooking the rhubarb at the same time and forgot which saucepan was which – told you I wasn’t much of a chef…!) It didn’t taste quite as bad as it sounds. Which makes it still not brilliant. Younger princess made faces but ploughed through it gamely.

It was all in a good cause, though. The rhubarb was filched from another visit to my wonderful local farm shop – the only one around here which stocks proper Yorkshire-grown stuff – and I made the most of it with some utterly divine rhubarb crumble cake. Wow, this is such a great way to use the stuff. Can you get much better than a wickedly indulgent cake which supplies one of your five-a-day – and is in harmony with the seasons, too? Hah – and they said eating seasonally was boring!!


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