1 September 2013

Foodies delight - the jewels of England's countryside

I am back in London after a week in Cornwall and a long weekend in Suffolk. I am rested and well fed. I have eaten so well over the last couple of weeks and so have my children. With all the sun and good food their trousers have become too short on both of them.

Living in London makes me sometimes forget how simple food can be as we have such an array of different ingredients and influences that I love to use. Being out in the countryside or by the sea where farm shops primarily sell local produce helped me get back to the real basics of cooking. Suffolk lamb was some of the best I'd ever tasted - even comparable to the lamb feeding from the herb filled hillsides of Sardinia. On a couple of coastal walks I saw happy cows grazing on the green grass nourished from the sea's morning dew. With every mouthful of the sirloin steak I ate I thought of those cows and thanked them for providing me with such tender delicious meat - although the farmers have something to do with that too.

My children also became a little more adventurous. After years of sitting down with us at the dinning table and watching us eat all and sundry my daughter tried scallops and langoustine tails. On the way back home at a pit stop off the M4 she tried sushi too. This has made me so happy because I have never pushed her into eating anything as her diet has been varied. Now however after years of my influence she is becoming more adventurous. My son too ate some carrots (he has been much more fussy) and tried some steak. He is only three so he has a couple more years watching us eat before his taste buds start to prompt him to become a little more adventurous.

The school term is about to start and so are my cookery classes. I can't wait to start teaching children the basics of cooking again and imparting my love of food to them.

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