• 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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The S word

Domestic goddess rating: 10% (lazy daisy curry night :D) Five-a-day: 3/5 Food miles: none

On the menu: toast, marmalade and juice (breakfast); hummus and crackers (lunch); curry (it must be Friday)

I have kind of mixed feelings about celebrity chefs. Sometimes they hit the right note (Jamie Oliver on both school dinners and not eating battery-farmed chicken, for example) but sometimes they miss it by miles – how many celebrity chefs have you seen trying to convince you that you too can whip up a roulade a la blah blah with a cranberry jus? I mean – we don’t all get paid to cook all day, you know… (chance would be a fine thing!) And as for Delia and her abysmal “How to Cheat at Cooking” series…. well, I used to call her the sainted Delia but her halo has crashed and burned with this stunt.

However: today Gordon Ramsay is my top of the celeb chef pops. Why? Because he’s the one and only one to stand up and say “we need to eat seasonally”, with the honourable exception of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – though he doesn’t quite put it like this and besides he irritates everyone half to death.

I suspect Ramsay’s idea that we should fine restaurants who don’t offer seasonal food might be pushing it a bit – but I’m assuming he’ll put his money where his mouth is and make his own restaurants seasonal.

You can get the full story here, including his interview with the Beeb. We need more high-profile people like this speaking out for seasonal eating – the sooner it becomes a mainstream topic of conversation, the better if you ask me.


One Response

  1. I think you have to say extreme things to get a little to happen. So although I think what Ramsay said is outlandish and probably not totally sustainable in reality, I agree with what he is saying in principle and I am glad he is out there saying it.

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