Thursday, March 30, 2006


Well, I've been tinkering around with this blog for weeks now and I think the time has come to take the plunge. Many thanks to everyone who has encouraged me to get on with it, particularly Lindy (to whom I owe something called a meme, not to mention a recipe).

I spent several years of my life in London, working in television, and I now live in the countryside, near Bath in Somerset, in the West Country. The view from my study window is of a field with a small herd of pedigree Friesians in it; I have been watching these prize steers as they grow ever closer to the slaughterhouse moment, but I can tell you they have had a good life. They have a big field with good grass, mates to play with and plenty of time for suckling, idling, bucking, and just rushing madly up and down the field in a frenzy of juvenile gang behaviour.

On the other side of the field is a big tree in which a pair of buzzards have built a nest. They have been together here since at least last summer and I think they plan to raise a brood this spring. Buzzards in this area (that's English buzzards) have been spectacularly successful. It's wonderful to watch them wheel lazily over the fields, floating on the updrafts, wingtips feathered to catch the breeze.

(Where does the time go when you sit down to write a post? I put some bread to rise in its tin, came to my study to write this note, and look what happened. Dough over the top of the tin and starting to cushion out! If only I'd remembered to turn on the oven!)

The West Country produces great organic produce, some of the best beef and lamb in the country, wonderful cheeses including Cheddar, excellent cider, cream and yoghourt, and artisan bread. I want to write about a passion for food, not just mine but that of the people who produce it and I intend to make a point of visiting some of these producers. We are all trying to buy more locally produced, seasonal produce, cutting down on the food miles and improving the taste of what we put on the plate. That's why this blog is called Bread, Water, Salt, Oil... that's the basics!


lindy said...

I'm glad to see you materialize. This all looks very promising.
I was probably near where you live last year. When I was visiting my cousin in Brighton in April, we went to stay with some friends of hers in Bristol for a few days. While we were there we did some wandering, including a day around Bath.
Lovely places.
Buzzards. I had no idea there were buzzards in England.

Poll said...

hello !!

Good blog !

Maureen said...

Greetings from Cornwall. The blog looks great, and you've inspired me to attempt my first loaf in the newly inherited Rayburn.

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