I do love to feed people. I have found myself cooking for hungry divers on a research boat on the Red Sea, skiers fresh-off the Swiss slopes, and for gnarly cowboys in Wyoming. This year I’ve got a new challenge. One year, 52 recipes – chutneys, pickles, relishes, ketchups and mustards. Its going to be a year immersed in vinegar and sugar.
My childhood was spent moving from Wales to Brazil and then to Canada then back to England. This fed a prolonged period of wanderlust as an adult, and a fascination with the cultural identity of food, as well as producing addictions to black beans, maple syrup and homous (not together I might add, although, you know, there might be a recipe in there ….)
I put a love of food and of working with children together and developed an award-winning children’s cookery school, and was lucky to work with cooks from 18 months to 18 years old, watching their curiosity grow as they explored food in a hands-on, way.
Chutney and Spice is the next chapter of my foodie adventure. When Tracklements, who are based near Sherston in Wiltshire, suggested that I help adapt their recipes for cooks to make at home, I jumped at the chance (btw, tracklement, according to my online dictionary, means ‘a savoury jelly, served with meat‘). I’m not a big chutney or jelly maker, in fact I’d go as far as to say that this is a very undeveloped area of expertise in my cooking repertoire, but I see this as a great opportunity to learn about these traditional skills, and in doing so to connect with our past, to a time when preserving harvested fruits and vegetables wasn’t just a lovely thing to do in ones spare time to give as presents at Christmas, but a vital spoke in the wheel of survival.
I am looking forward to your comments and feedback, and would love to hear about your own recipes for anything that will keep in a jar.