Gosh - that was easy - thanks blogspot. Well now I'm here, what's it all about?
Well, I love to cook and I do it as much as I can, for my family, my friends and sometimes just because I feel the need to potter in my (tiny) kitchen. I’m not a professional, but I come from a long line of good cooks; my mother’s mother was a cook at ‘the big house’ when she was only 17. Her mother, my great grandmother, was the sort of farmer’s wife who simply doesn’t exist anymore, with her still room, pantry and her obligation to provide a meal for all the farm workers every day – often to be taken to the fields where they were working. Many of my family’s memories are to do with food. My Grandmother remembered gathering samphire on the north Lincolnshire coast as a little girl in the 1880s. My Dad recalled his mother making huge trays of what we would now call Bombay potatoes when the housekeeping wouldn’t stretch any further. My Mum, still an inspiration in her late 80’s, had chips made for her on a paraffin stove as a little girl in the 1920s because the great kitchen range wasn’t hot enough.
I’ve always cooked seasonally and bought locally – and I do buy the occasional punnet of raspberries or blueberries in the winter, but I believe we lose our connection with the seasons and the land at our peril. Traditional festivals and the foods associated with them really interest me, and I love research! I was brought up in East Yorkshire and it’s great to have that tradition behind me, but I’ve lived all over the UK and now I live in the far south west where the fruits of the land and sea are all around.
So I’ve set myself a challenge. I thought it might be fun to mark the festivals of 2010 by researching then cooking some of the foods that are associated with them. I’ve chosen a wide range of festivals and celebrations, some are pagan, some Christian and other faiths, some definitely secular. I’ve even invented a few for myself! There will of course have to be a good reason for everything to be cooked, it’s not just to blog about and photograph – it’s to eat. So this is the story of my year of cooking traditionally, I hope you enjoy it. More tomorrow.