Food For Fork #10

Food For Fork #10

For Starters...

Hello. It's been a little while.

I loved writing Food For Fork in 2023 but as Winter settled in there were fewer sustainably minded foodie events and in some ways they were getting rather same-y. I also struggled with geography; with readers from further afield starting to sign up, the Somerset/South West focus began to feel a little jarring.

Recently I've wondered about a bit of a redesign... tweaking the content and instead of monthly, producing a seasonal newsletter. If you're a subscriber you'll still receive The Tale of a Teaspoon articles on a regular basis (I hope you enjoyed What's On The Menu in... Wells) and of course I'm pretty active on Instagram too, so you won't miss me!

I'd love to know what you think... you can just hit reply and let me know.

Why are you subscribed? What things have most interested you in the past... articles, events, new openings and food industry gossip? What more would you like to see... seasonal recipes, food waste reduction tips, developments in food technologies, political action for food and farming?

Just ideas. I'm always open to collaborations and keen to make Food For Fork as valuable to you, my lovely readers, as possible.

So let's start playing around with a few things...

This Season's Specials - Spring

Back on the menu...

I found the Hungry Gap hard this year. My fortnightly veg box became very same-y and I started to feel quite run down. I craved vibrant colours and sweetness from the likes of red pepper, avocado, mango; all things I used to eat without any thought for seasonality or sustainability. Generally I was good and steered myself towards beetroot soup, grated carrot salads or roast sweet potato, but there were times when I caved.

Like strawberries, asparagus is something I remember being eaten seasonally when I was growing up, so I'm looking forward to it's return in the coming weeks. I wasn't overly familiar with spring greens but I am now a convert and will be adding them as a side to many family meals - I like to sauté then add a little sesame oil.

I'm a big fan of rhubarb for it's tartness and recently made a rhubarb and orange compote which we ate as a topping for whipped cream (like a rhubarb fool) and with yoghurt as a very quick and easy breakfast or pudding.

Look out for more seasonal produce in next week's article, A Spring Plate.

Alfresco Dining

If we're lucky we should see some good weather over the spring and summer months and there is nothing I like more than eating alfresco. This could be picnics in the park, BBQ's in the garden or finding the perfect beer garden to wile away the afternoon.

The unreliability of the British weather means we sometimes have to seize the day so it might be worth giving these lovely occasions a little forethought and preparation. How can you avoid clingfilm, disposable plates, plastic wrapped store bought items like dips? If you tend to cook up a fairly meat heavy BBQ, what hearty sides could you swap in? Think chunky seasonal veg, ferments, beans and pulses.

I'm also thinking about how often I see plastic pint glasses being used in beer gardens. Would it be weird to take your own reusable plastic cup, like the sort you sometimes get by paying a deposit at sports events and festivals?

Take 5 minutes to think what your go-to BBQ or picnic shop looks like, and consider how you could make improvements this season.


Events, Instagram & Things I'm Reading

🍓 Wild Weekends - Re Nourish, 42 Acres, Frome, 10-12 May

🍹 Introduction to Water Kefir and Wild Sodas, Frome, 23 May

🌱 Eat Your Weeds (for lunch), Vallis Farm, Frome, 25 May

🍄 Growing Food with Head, Heart and Hands, 42 Acres, Frome, 8 June

🐑 Open Farm Sunday, UK wide, 9 June

🌶️ DIY Fermented Hot Sauce and Other Condiments, Frome 13 June

Over on Instagram I'm loving the knowledge shared by Arthur from The Grizzly Forager and Seren Hawley-Plows from Hedgerow Healing.

A Little Something Sweet...

Are you excited for series 3 of Clarkson's Farm coming out tomorrow? I know a lot of people don't rate Jeremy Clarkson but I loved the first two series for a number of reasons.

1) it was funny 2) it felt incredibly important. Not necessarily in that order.

"Farmer and author James Rebanks has been quoted as saying that Clarkson has “done more for farmers in one series of Clarkson’s Farm than Country File achieved in 30 years“. And many farmers agree." [Quoted from this article, which is worth a read.]

Clarkson is giving those of us already interested in sustainable food and farming the feeling that here is a movement, and farmers are cheering on their unexpected hero with standing ovation. However what difference, outside of the bubble, is it really making? My concern is, like with our abundance of cookery programmes watched by viewers digging into microwaved TV dinners, Clarkson's Farm will be enjoyed for the entertainment factor more so than making real change to the food buying habits of the majority of the country.

I'd love to know what you think.

If you have enjoyed this please forward to your foodie friends and family.
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