Friday, 30 May 2008

Roadside Cherries

Most of us probably realise that British cherries are not ripe yet. And actually wont be until mid June at the very earliest. So how come roadside stalls in Kent have huge signs up saying entice the innocent driver-by. Of course they're clever - they don't actually say they're English cherries but just imply it in such clever ways as advertising "English Strawberries and Cherries on sale now". See you how easy it is to be conned. So don't fall for these imported cherries - WAIT FOR THE REAL THING

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Should you raise your kids as vegetarians?

Interesting hot topic has come about on the Word of Mouth blog about vegetarianism and 'imposing' your view on your children? Personally I'm of the opinion that children can only benefit from as wide a variety in their diet as possible, if only to expose them to everything, not create various food fads when older or restrict their choices. And I just quake when i watch programmes like Hugh's and see children (and adults) unable to bear the tiniest morsel of anything different (meat and vegetables last night) passing their lips. And i think that bringing your child up as a vegan does start to border on - not abuse exactly - but severe dietary and sensory deprivation. On the other hand, i'm not a mother and i am a committed carnivore (although I do only buy meat i know the origins of and I do think we ought to be eating less quantity, more quality), so i can't say i'm not biased.

Delia's Hypocrisy

Just flicking through Farmers Market Cookbook, by Henrietta Green (2001) and I came across a quote from Delia Smith.

“I support my local farmers market because there I can buy real food with real flavour, just like it used to be. After years of the blandness of mass production it’s like a gift from heaven.”

I’m still in shock about the massive U-Turn she made when writing Delia’s How to Cheat at Cooking. Her principles on making cooking simple for the masses are still there. It seems her morals, however, have fled since her supposed retirement.

I thought Delia was about simple cooking, quick cooking, and healthy cooking. Real cooking made easy for people who lacked the confidence to cook complete meals.

It may be quick and simple to open a tin and slop its contents into a dish and cook, but it can not be healthy and it can not be cheap.

She now seems to love bland, mass produced products – favouring Aunt Bessie’s and McCains, and deserting her previously heaven sent farmers markets for faceless, impersonal supermarkets.

Maybe retirement suits her better.

River Cottage Spring

I was watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new programme last night and I don't know about you but it made me rather jealous! All that lovely spring veg and the group in Bristol who are going to get a pig - makes me want to move out to the country or at least get some outdoor space in London. Note to self, really must join a box scheme! Or find out about allotments - anyone know of any in North West London? How funny was Hugh's new butchers assistant?! I can't believe the intcy wincy piece of lamb's heart she sampled would have ever given her the true taste of the meat. Good on Hugh though, I would never have thought about buying the heart but the devilled dish he cooked up did look delicious. Plus the fresh asparagus dipped in egg really did make me drool.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Saving the planet - my way

I recently moved house - and borough - down south to Crystal Palace and was completely astonished to find that my local council, Croydon, has a recycling policy of fortnightly paper and glass collection and no food-waste collection - a shock after coming from Hackney, who collected both weekly. (And rubbish has to fit neatly into 2 bins with lids closed, handles facing outwards, and there's only one bulky waste collection per year... don't even get me started....) After the first two weeks, paper, boxes and wine bottle piling up (we did a lot of entertaining), I thought 'enough is enough'. We support the Love Food Hate Waste campaign and every time I tip leftovers into the bin, it makes my heart sink a little, so we have decided to take matters into our own hands and compost (The question remains why am i paying council tax...). If anyone has any handy tips on composting (in our last house we had to abandon our gallant attempt because of ants - and if anyone has any tips on repelling those, I am all ears), whether it be the right kind of container, what to compost, how long to leave it for.... then i would love to know. I'm also growing tomatoes, onions (advice please), sorrel and various herbs, so any grow-your-own vegetable tips are all grist to my mill, or rather contributions to the compost.

Calling all Local Food Lovers

This is a blog for everybody who loves (or, don't be shy, ..also hates) anything about local British food. If you want to share a find, you've a bee in your bonnet or an axe to grind, then I'd love this to become the place to shout about it.