• 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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A warm welcome

Domestic goddess rating: 0% (taking it easy after hectic birthday weekend with grandma) Five-a-day: 5/5 Food miles: none

On the menu: croissants and jam (luxury grandma breakfast); beef casserole and mash (welcome-home lunch from hubby); curry and rice (blimey we’ve eaten well today)

Good old head chef. I mean hubby. I’ve had a truly hectic weekend of it so far – Princess the Younger turned six on Friday (happy birthday sweetie!) and that meant ten six-year-old girls descended on us to rampage around our house and eat jelly for three hours. By the time we’d waved them all off, sponged the jelly off carpets, sofas and curtains, and calmed down the Princesses until they were in a fit state to go to bed, we were hardly worth talking to.

Then Saturday it was off to Grandma’s for the Princess’s birthday treat – a visit to an amusement park where they discovered a previously undetected mania for large rollercoasters. Fortunately I’m responsible for the rollercoaster gene, so I happily joined in and Grandma watched unenviously from the sidelines. All in all, a great birthday, but exhausting – so I was more than delighted to arrive back to a welcome-home lunch from the Head Chef, which was not only utterly delicious but also entirely seasonal. He invented this rather wonderful beef casserole himself, for which I take off my rather threadbare goddess hat to him.


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