Jamie’s Dinners

I was down in Brighton for the day and from the excellent bookstall on the seafront by the derelict West Pier I picked up two Jamie Oliver cookbooks, one of which was Jamie’s Dinner.

We are quite literally what we eat. People do not go into a clothes shop and ask for the cheapest rubbish they have on sale (though I have to admit Primark with its cheap disposable clothes is popular). People are fussed what they wear. Why are they not fussed what they eat? Surely is it not more important what we put in our bodies than what we put on our bodies?

I always find it strange that when when people are discussing their favourite supermarket, it is always on the basis of price. I never hear that a favourite supermarket is chosen on the basis of quality.

Supermarkets are cheap because they are selling rubbish. And because they are screwing their suppliers. The first effects our health, the second the health of the planet, and all too often animal welfare.

What we eat not only effects us, it also effects future generations. The expression of our genes may be determined by what our grandmother ate.

The situation in the UK on food is now dire. Children are likely to die before their parents because the food they eat is so bad.

This though is nothing new. I recall twenty years or more ago a Swedish girlfriend commenting on the rubbish women were putting into their shopping basket in a supermarket in a deprived area, sweetened fizzy drinks, crisps and other rubbish.

I recall three years ago when my lovely Czech friend Iva stayed. She complimented me on the excellent pork chops I had cooked for her. She wanted to know how I had cooked, how I had prepared, what I had put on. She found it hard to believe that I had done nothing. It was because I had bought quality pork chops off a local farmers market. The fresh vegetables had come from my garden and you do not get better than that.

Jamie’s Dinners is therefore welcome. Basic recipes, basic cooking skills. There is no more important skill than learning how to cook.

Jamie makes the point. Buy fresh of local markets, buy regional, buy in season.

The first dish is bangers and mash using Cumberland sausages and onion gravy. Sausages do not have to be cheap and nasty.

The August Bank holiday weekend I was at Petwood. For supper Friday night we had Lincolnshire sausages in baps. These sausages were also served at breakfast. The sausages were excellent. I meant to ask where they got them from but I forgot. I did though get the recipe for the delicious roast parsnip and apple soup we had for dinner.

Today, the first Tuesday of the month, I was in Guildford for the farmers market picking up excellent sausages for my dinner.

One of the dishes in Jamie’s Dinners is tomato soup. Buy at the end of the day overripe tomatoes from a street market which they will almost be giving away as they will not be able to sell the next day. Jamie uses these for tomato soup. I toss a couple in a roast dinner with the potatoes when it is almost cooked. They add that little extra.

A couple of years ago I started an article about the dire state of food in Britain. I must revisit.

Synchronicity? On my way home from my day out in Brighton I checked my messages to find my friend Priya Sher was eating that day at Jamie Oliver! When I commented on the Jamie Oliver cookbooks I had picked up, she responded with two comments on synchronicity.

Also see

Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills Launches

Cook With Jamie

Bad Food Britain

The Truth About Food

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