We often forget about seasons in terms of food – everything is available all year round, or so it seems. it used to be so nice when new potatoes were new, or asparagus was only with us for a brief few months, or nuts in shells were only available in the autumn… Even foods associated with a certain time of year will appear all year round – I bet I could go to the shops now and buy mince pies, and maybe, if I looked hard enough, a Christmas pudding! it seems almost before Christmas we have Easter eggs on the shelves, and no sooner have they gone than it’s fireworks and getting ready for Halloween… maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but it’s not far from the truth. Halloween… I promise I won’t go on about it too much, but that used to be a little local thing, with maybe a children’s party, and a few home-made decorations… now it is a massive business… and St Valentine’s day – I saw Valentines cards for parents, grandparents, siblings, friends… good grief!

Back to seasonal foods… the National March Calendar of Cooking, published just before the 1930’s, lists seasonal fruit and vegetables month by month and offers recipes to use them with.

Fruit

  • apples
  • rhubarb

Vegetables

  • asparagus (forced)
  • beans (forced)
  • beetroot
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage greens
  • carrots
  • chicory (witloof)
  • cucumbers
  • leeks
  • lettuce
  • mushrooms
  • mustard and cress
  • onions (salad or spring)
  • parsnips
  • radishes
  • savoy cabbage
  • scotch kale
  • seakale
  • spinach
  • swedes
  • tomatoes
  • turnips
  • watercress

I’m surprised at some of the items on the list; I guess the salad items were grown under glass!

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