April Updates

April Showers

Apr 4, 2018

April showers. I’m a bit of a solar panel when it comes to the weather - minus the ability to retain my energy when it goes grey. As soon as the sun goes in, I feel my mood and energy levels decrease. Obviously we all get this to an extent but when I was younger it was particularly bad and I still have to fight the urge to hole up like a grumpy mole rat! I do find the reflections of puddles incredibly magical and try and find little puddles of reflective happiness when it’s particularly rainy. Or just embrace the inner child, get my wellies on and go for a good stomp around in all the muddy, rain-drenched glory. Just a little reminder as we all bemoan the non-existent Spring weather that there are small puddles of happiness to be found everywhere - especially in the great outdoors

Ginger Pig Steak

Apr 6, 2018

Steak Friday! Look at this glorious piece of sirloin. Hot pan, pinch of salt on the meat, plenty of rest time. Obviously when you’re working hard you need to stay fuelled so @sam_stern and I took a nice little lunch break to cook this juicy wonder. We had half each and made a jam packed burrito with homemade goodies including refried beans, guacamole, salsa and lots of fresh herbs and crunchy salad. To say I’m full is an understatement, there is still half sitting on the side. I was defeated. (It will be eaten as a pre-dinner snack of course) Unlike someone else who managed to wolf the lot without pausing to take breath...🐷 When a steak is this good you don’t need much. Happy Friday Friends!

Pigs Head

Apr 18, 2018

Chances are that you don’t like this image. Or you don’t want to look at it. The sun is out for a lot of the UK today and people are thinking about whipping out their BBQ and enjoying the sun. In all likelihood you do like sausages. You’ve probably BBQ’d some sausages at some point, or at least enjoyed some that someone else has cooked. This is where those sausages are coming from. Sure, they’re not made from the head, but it’s all the same animal. So why is eating your hotdog with some salad on the side any different? This pig’s head was sat on the pass @thejuggedhare last week, and I actually take my hat off to them. There weren’t many people batting an eyelid over it either. This picture sits uncomfortably with us as we recognise it, we can distinguish its features and relate them to the live animal. Sausages we cannot. They’re minced, formed and unrecognisable. We don’t need to think about that piggy. And yet if we do think about that pig, are we still going to enjoy our deliciously BBQ charred sausage wrapped in its fluffy bun? I have started to try and really think about the animal I’m eating now. It doesn’t sit comfortably much of the time, but I’ve found with my own pigs that it does. I know how well they lived, I don’t have to imagine them in awful conditions or consuming terrible food to fatten them up quickly. So crack out that BBQ, make the most of the sun while it’s here, but perhaps give just a few seconds of conscious thought to what you’re cooking on there.

Butchers Cabinet

Apr 27, 2018

oday I’ve driven to the Cotswolds for the @susfoodtrustconference ‘The Future of UK Farming’. On the way I stopped off for lunch @daylesfordfarm - I’ve always wanted to come and it is a magical treasure trove of beautiful produce. I ordered some delicious tostadas and then a wonderful sweet potato dahl - although it may not seem like it from this page, I eat and cook a lot of vegetarian food. Sitting in the beautiful dining room I had a sense of familiar unease. I was surrounded by middle class ladies who lunch, and frankly people like myself, with enough money to enjoy lunch out on a rainy Friday. This is by no means a Daylesford bashing exercise, I think they’re wonderful, especially in terms of their animal welfare, but it is something that bothers me time and time again. Yes, it’s possible to create a beautiful space to teach cookery classes, to sell organic produce and serve beautiful food. There’s a captive market with money to spend who are relatively well educated when it comes to food. In the least patronising way possible, it’s not these people that I feel need the most help when it comes to their diet. I met a lady yesterday in London who had never seen a lamb in her life, who felt very confused upon seeing this bleating woolly little animal. I’ve run workshops with children that told me their meat came from McDonalds - the fast food giant, not the favourite old farmer. I’ve made a child cry explaining that their sausages came from a pig. This reconnection and association with our food should not be elite or unaffordable. It needs to be widespread and accessible to all. I’m hoping this conference will be a step in the right direction as we discuss new models for local food systems, public money for public good and delivering high animal welfare and local meat through small abattoirs.

Millie Diamond