• 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.

I heart filo pastry

Domestic goddess rating: 100% (ah I am truly excelling myself this week) Five-a-day: 5/5 Food miles: none

On the menu: toast, jam & juice (breakfast); cheese sandwich (lunch); chicken paper pie and roast veg (supper)

I love the school holidays. At last I have the time to cook, properly, and find lovely new recipes like the one I tried out this evening. This scrummy concoction of chicken and – yet again, but I can’t get enough of the stuff – purple sprouting broccoli was yet another use for filo pastry, a recent discovery of mine (can’t think why I didn’t use it more before).

It’s so easy – you just buy a packet from the shops and hey presto – instant piecrust. It’s cheap and you get enough in one small packet to make about five big pies, and what’s more you can freeze it, defrost it and use a bit more, and then freeze it again. And it looks fab once it’s cooked, too, just like crumpled brown paper. It’s even kid-friendly. So paper pies have become part of our staple diet just lately – and I for one am not complaining. 

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