Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Today I'm going to be ........ Sarah Raven
I love Sarah Raven, I totally agree with her gardening and cooking philosophy, I want to be here. I knew she was married to the writer Adam Nicolson but I hadn't realised until watching the recent BBC Sissinghurst programme that the family had moved into the former home of Adam's grandmother Vita Sackville-West and were battling with the National Trust to turn the castle back to a working farm and garden providing fresh home grown ingredients to the restaurant. I can understand how this must have felt like wading through treacle. A friend of mine worked in the kitchens of a National Trust property in North Yorkshire, baking delicious cakes, scones and biscuits for the tea room there. When she took up the post the kitchen was producing tiny little scones, less than half the size of a normal one and selling them in pairs. My friend wanted to make bigger scones but she was never allowed to do this, she and I found the miniature ones really irritating and I imagine most of the customers did too.I recently sent for Sarah's kitchen and garden catalogue, as much for inspiration as anything else. It contains a good selection of vegetable, herb and flower seeds, some beautiful collections and an array of great things for the garden, including an amazing pair of lace up boots that Sarah does wear herself. I spent a happy half hour yesterday sitting out on the patio drinking coffee, reading and wondering about those £75 boots.Best of all I got a free packet of seeds with the catalogue, cream sweet pea Mrs Collier which scores 8/10 on Sarah's fragrance scale. I'd already started my sweet peas for this year but I did sow a few from the packet yesterday because I couldn't resist, I am keeping most of them for next year. So I've been busy in my own kitchen garden planting seeds, broad beans, sugar peas, spinach, salad leaves and some companion marigolds and chamomile, Mr FF says it's still too early for most of these but I think Sarah wanted me to do it.