• 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.

The geeky seasonal eating website awards

Domestic goddess rating: 0% (worshipping the gods of processed food this evening… it might be seasonal but it ain’t healthy) Five-a-day: 2/5 Food miles: none

On the menu: toast, marmalade and juice (breakfast); cheese sandwich (lunch); Fray Bentos steak & kidney pie, potatoes and PSB (sometimes a girl’s gotta eat processed… supper)

Well, it was Monday evening so everyone was all over the place. Good enough excuse for some serious bad eating. I did discover however that old-fashioned unhealthy food isn’t quite as full of additives as modern unhealthy food. Did you know that apart from a shocking amount of glucose, there isn’t actually very much that’s artificial in a Fray Bentos steak & kidney? Anyway – I love ’em and I don’t care who knows it.

On a healthier note, I was looking into this whole dried fruit thing today and discovered the second-geekiest seasonal eating website in the world (the first most geeky is the wonderful www.discoverkale.co.uk, devoted to the esoteric subject of kale and its relatives). Did you know that the UK has its very own Dried Fruit Association? Well, they’ve very kindly set up a Dried Fruit Information Service, complete with its own website. It’s got recipes and everything.

What it doesn’t tell you – probably because it’s run by dried fruit producers who don’t want you to know – is how to dry your own fruit. The search continues…

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