I’m Alison and I live on a remote smallholding halfway up a windy hill in Yorkshire with my husband Chris and our two children.
We try to eat well, with lots of fresh, organic vegetables and fruit, good quality meat, raw dairy and lots of good fats. We eat little sugar or processed food. We follow what folk might call a traditional or ancestral diet, using as much of the animal as we can (though I’m still not a great fan of organ meats), making bones broth and fermenting foods too.
When I started going out with Chris in 2000, his vegetable intake was limited to carrots and peas. He was the quintessential fussy eater. Little did I know that, some 20 years later, my culinary skills would be pushed to the limit under a lockdown situation that meant although I had access to nourishing, organic foods, they weren’t what I would normally buy. Riverford changed its offering to veg box only and I was no longer able to buy the vegetables we ate each week, just the ones that were available. Indeed, many of the vegetables I am now able to buy are ones we might actually avoid because Chris or at least one of the children really dislike them.
We keep hens, and often friends take a dozen eggs here and there, but during lockdown egg production continued and supply started to exceed demand. I buy raw milk and cream from a local dairy and arranged for the owner of a local fish and chip shop to order me a sack of potatoes. I ordered 3kg cheese online from a creamery in Sussex and had a good selection of essentials in the cupboard as well as meat in the freezer from our lambs and a farm I buy beef from near York.
So, knowing I had plenty of fresh vegetables, eggs, cheese, milk, butter, cream and spuds, I started about working out how to use it all up, reducing waste whilst making tasty, but nourishing meals. The Last Tomato takes you on our culinary journey of eating well during lockdown…..
I’m afraid I’m not a scientific cook who follows recipes. I’m more of an artist than a scientist in the kitchen and use “some” ingredients rather than exact measurements. With that in mind, I’ve adapted, stolen and completely rewritten recipes to use up ingredients I have in the house. But everything on here has been enjoyed by all our family of four. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients I’ve used – use these pages as inspiration, as a source of ideas. Swap and change ingredients for what you do have available and enjoy experimenting! Let us know how you get on with these recipes and if you’ve any good lockdown recipes you’d like to share, please send them to us too!