Right, this is a page that is set to grow since, if I am incapable of anything else, I can ace chatting like an old fish-wife!
If you troll through even only a tiny percentage of the web you will realise that food blogging is far from an original exercise; indeed it appears to be a national, nee, international sport! So one would have to ask the somewhat obvious question of why the hell would I add to the veritable canteen of food blogs?
In the mid eighties I started writing a recipe book. It was not a normal recipe book, but one based on a love I had of huge atlases and ancient encyclopaedia that you could read without ever needing to travel or becoming a professor in something or other. They were enjoyable in their own right and I enjoyed them to the full. I had met an illustrator and we came up with the idea of producing the food equivalent. I would write a mixture of recipes and stories of dinner parties and he would illustrate them rather than take a pile of photos.
The idea was laudable, if a little over ambitious, and got grounded by a change in both our situations. It was a pity. I actually wrote about half the book, though the final tragedy was that the manuscript was lost during one of many moves of house. To be honest, I can remember little of what I wrote, but I have that feeling it was amazing, even if the reality, should I ever discover the work, would probably be less flattering to my selective memory.
So, this web site.
Well, I have been blogging off and on for about 15 years (long before it was quite so popular) and those blogs have often included the odd recipe, so it made sense that I should, perhaps, concentrate on the food rather than yell about the rest of the world. This is the result.
The Food Lovers Diary
I could have called it “a load of recipes” or “the book I never finished” or “all about chicken legs” or something. It got pretty close to being called “The Frying Pan of the Soul,” but I called it a Diary instead; it was more honest. But why Food rather than Recipes? The reason is simple. Food is far more than recipes, as Hugh Fernley Withenstall would probably agree. It is about culture, industry, agriculture, politics, health and wealth. It is the back-bone of our society, whether us fussy Britons realise it or not.
It is fine to celebrate it in recipes and food heroes, but we should also be demanding, critical and protective. We need to stand up for proper food, protect local traditions, battle the retail forces that would sell us fakes, and demand the best from our suppliers. That applies to visiting food culture too. I am a great believer that we should respect the food traditions of other nations, and if they want to define with accuracy what is a pizza, we should uphold that here and not let companies like Pizza hut call their pile of trash a pizza.
See? If you love food, you cannot help have opinions about it.
And you can quote me on that!