Wild Food: Foraging on Cowdray Estate

While man has foraged for food since time began, in the mid 20th century before pre-commerical snacks and fast food had been invented, it was also a given that you searched the hedgerows for juicy autumn blackberries, elderberries, hazlenuts, windfall apples and plums. During my childhood eating nose to tail, and field to plate, was the everyday, rather than the trend. Food tastes so good when you’ve grown it or foraged for it.

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This week… chimney tops, ration books and guardian angels

Every September heritage houses, museums and other buildings throw open their doors to the public. Entry and tours are free despite the work of many of these organisations being independently funded, so a donation is welcome. The nationwide Heritage Open Days festival closes today and I took the opportunity take a peek behind the scenes over the nine-day event in Winchester. Here’s what I discovered.

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These are a few of my favourite (autumnal) things

The early mornings are now cooler but by late morning the light mists burn off to reveal the atmospheric, pale autumn sunlight. The leaves on the trees are just beginning to turn colour, with a promise of blazing reds and burnt oranges soon to come. In the UK you need to pace yourself though because spring is a long way off. Celebrating the changing seasons is a form of mindfulness or meditation. Taking things slowly, enjoying the simple daily pleasures of changing landscapes and seasonal food, autumn is a time of year to truly indulge the senses.

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This week… olives, growing, buying and cooking

There are a few basics in the kitchen that are really not worth stinting on. Single-estate coffee, honey and olive oil being in the top ten. The cost may be a little higher but a little goes a long way and quality over quantity is the rule. This week a common thread in my inbox has been olives, growing them and eating these delectable little fruits.

One of the first fascinating facts about olive trees is the remarkable age they are able to grow to and especially compared to mere human beings. It’s awesome.

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Purition Protein Shakes

Food is a big part of travelling. Trying new foods and restaurants is hugely enjoyable and it’s always interesting to find out about locally grown products and how they are prepared, and taste.

Sometimes though it’s a good idea to carry a few favourite foods with you for those times when what you need simply isn’t to hand, for one reason or another.

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In the kitchen: Plastic free?

A few years ago after donating the microwave to the local charity shop, along with the non-stick pans and baking trays, and ditching the cling film (and the aluminium foil), it turns out that going plastic/toxin-free is not that easy. Plastic Free July®starts tomorrow and while I’m not really a fan of the national ‘donut day’ type of intiatives, this is a global movement worth getting behind.

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