• 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.

Quarter of the way through!

Domestic goddess rating: 0% (have achieved official scavenging deity status with unashamedly non-cooking day again) Five-a-day: 3/5 Food miles: none

On the menu: toast, marmalade and juice (breakfast); cheese sandwich (lunch); omelette and a slice of bread (supper in solitary splendour)

Here I am and it’s month four! That’s a quarter of the way through the year and I’m still eating seasonally.

That’s not, of course, quite as angelic as it sounds. I’ve been sidestepping the issue an awful lot – spag bol has been on the menu more often than it should have been, and as for my foray into the world of Fray Bentos yesterday… the less said the better.

Having said that, this is the most difficult bit of the year to eat seasonally. All the store vegetables are running out, but nothing else is ready yet. You’re having to fall back on the one or two bright spots in the veg-picking darkness – PSB and chard spring to mind – and on those things which are always in season (I’ve already touched on mushrooms and salad, but I’m finding more of these useful allies as I go along). It gets a little… challenging to find more than the usual handful of recipes for these guys. But I’m doing my best, I’ve found a load of excellent recipes along the way, and most important of all I’m having a lot of foodie fun. 

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