If you walk into any supermarket you can buy almost every fruit or vegetable now at any time of the year. These are often grown in greenhouses, by hydroponics or under lights and then flown many miles before they reach the supermarket. A lot of people do not understand the seasonal nature of food and the fact that fruit and vegetables have times of the year when they grow and can be harvested. As a child we had a large garden as well as allotments that were tended by my Dad and Grandad. Everything we cooked came either from these or other neighbours’ gardens who had food in season that we didn’t have so it was swapped. Our supply chain was within 100 yards and there would have been no worries about food supply if Brexit had been taking place. Meat came from the local butcher who slaughtered his own animals. Tinned food was a just in case and we didn’t have a freezer until I was about 8 years old. The freezer compartment at the top of the fridge held the ice cream block (packaged in cardboard) on the odd occasions we had it as a treat.
As part of the Aromatic Year we want to introduce the concept of growing some of your own food in a small area and eating food that is in season as we go through the segments. I am creating a set of recipes for each segment using nourishing, nurturing (often vegan) ingredients. Each segment I will share a recipe on the blog.
For Spring Stirs I have created a Blood Orange cake. Blood and Seville oranges are harvested in Spain in December, January and February and are traditionally imported at this time of year. The year’s supply of Marmalade would have been made and stored. As a child I was frightened and intrigued by blood oranges. How did you get blood into oranges? Now I love their bitter taste and love to use them in cooking. I hope you enjoy the recipe!