I have a confession to make. I’m not a foodie, I’m not obsessed with food and cooking and I’ve never photographed a meal in a restaurant. However, I firmly believe that sitting down to a meal with family or friends should be a normal, everyday activity; that lunch should never be snatched at a desk and that, given a good set of instructions, everybody can cook.
I cook every day (albeit a little unwillingly some days) using British seasonal food where possible. We grow fruit and vegetables in the garden, collect fresh eggs from a handful of chickens and sometimes rear a pig or two. As we live on a farm, I can wander through the fields to collect fruit and leaves from the hedgerows to eat and sometimes I grind our wheat to make flour for bread making. If that sounds rather wholesome, perhaps I should add that I have to exercise great self-control not to eat more than one Tunnocks tea cake at a time.
When Margot asked if I’d like to take part in The Dinner Party Collective my mind skipped back to my parents’ dinner parties. I remember my mother cooking all day in preparation and the joy of coming down the next morning, ignoring the dirty plates and pans in the sink as I sneaked into the pantry to dip a spoon or finger into the half-eaten pavlova or chocolate mousse for a pre-breakfast snack.
Our entertaining is less formal than in my parents’ day and my contribution to The Dinner Party Collective will be for simple dishes where much of the preparation can be done ahead of the party. I’d rather make something uncomplicated and have time to chat with my guests than work like a demon at the stove while everyone else is enjoying themselves. My enthusiasm is for puddings, especially jelly. There will definitely be jelly.
Anne (Life in Mud Spattered Boots)