I think I’ve pretty much seen every TV programme that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has made. The quality/interest has varied over the years but I’m really digging (pun intended) this new series.
The show has the same premise as things like Jamie at Home where the focus is on growing and cooking seasonally. Obviously this is all about Spring and early summer and the first episode focused on lettuce, spinach etc.
You won’t see a huge number of recipes but you will see different approaches to vegetables and produce so that they go centre stage. BBQing Little Gems is something I’m definitely going to try.
Two other aspects of the show are a bit shoe-horned in but still welcome. He’s reprising the smallholding idea from his chicken series and following/helping a group of families in Bristol create an allotment with a few animals (initially pigs). I liked the fact that the kids were far more down to earth about the fact that pigs are lovely animals but they are also meat. Some of the more flighty adults should listen to them!
The “get a vegetarian to eat meat” section was odd but one of my favourite bits. The woman wasn’t a proper vegetarian in the sense that she just decided meat was “icky” when she was younger and stopped eating it rather than having any philosophical issues with it. She was taught how to break down a lamb carcass by Hugh’s butcher which reminded me of him doing the same thing on a pig in Ballymaloe several years ago. They then had lamb burgers which she liked and lamb neck which she didn’t.
Hugh also made dandylion and burdock beer from the local hedgerows. The guy helping him had previously had a bad pint of same many years previously and was very dubious. However, three weeks of brewing and Hugh had a winner on his hands. I’m almost tempted to try.
The honey face-off with the kid from Hackney was great fun and the fact that you can move bees 3 feet or 3 miles but nothing in between was news to me. To move them a few hundred yards, you have to move them a few miles first and then bring them back or they get confused by the landmarks. So bee brains can store landmark information? That’s better than many people :-)
So an odd mish-mash of ideas and snippets but it all hangs together well. If you are interested in food gardening and cooking, as I am, you should watch it.