Despite this year's spring being the coldest since penguins roamed Britain, (can you imagine that episode of Springwatch?) I had much hope for the summer. At the very least, we're starting to see some more British produce in the shops now so the weather must be doing something right. Asparagus, watercress and gooseberries are quite definitely in season, as are new potatoes. As the month progresses, we should see more salad veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and fennel arriving. Hazel's brilliantly green pea shooters and pretty pea salad, and Alex's broad bean fritters and green bean and cous cous salad will be the dishes to try later this month; peas, pea shoots, broad beans, french beans and mangetout come into season in late June. Look out for British strawberries, blackcurrants and cherries, too, and when you see them hit the shelves, give our cherry and Amaretto roulade or strawberry and elderflower tart a try.
Eat and drink – If you're like me and you love our Hazel's use of edible flowers in her dishes, but can't grow your own flowers (I'm guaranteed to over- or under-water every plant I grow; green fingered, I ain't) then check out Greens of Devon. While probably not for everyday use, their edible flower selection would be the ideal way to add a touch of colour to dishes on a special occasion. The flowers and herbs are all seasonal and arrive in a specially designed refrigerator container to kep the flowers at their best until you need to adorn your salads and cakes with them. We hardly need any excuse to whip up a cocktail, but these exciting Bob's Bitters from the Whisky Exchange would do the trick. Mix up a hard lemonade with some orange & mandarin bitters or The Right Hand with some chocolate bitters.
Read – If you fancy a change to the glossy food magazines on the shelves of your newsagents, or maybe you've just read them all, try one of the many brilliant food journals out there. The quarterly, Fork magazine is available on your tablet or kindle and a subscription is £9.99 for a year. The online journal, Wolf is a free publication that's full of witty articles, useful tips and excellent recipes and it's one of my favourite food-reads.
Free From Find – This one's not so much a product, but a whole array of free from products in one place! The Allergy and Free From Show brings together producers from across the country (and beyond) and assambles them in the London Olympia, this weekend (7th–9th June) and in the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool on the 26th and 27th October. Tickets are still available for this weekend so you haven't missed your chance!
What's on your menu in June?