The Year of the Golden Pig

It has been a very short month. One minute we were in the Year of the Dog and then Nancy lam and Ken Hom were on the programme and it became Year of the Pig. This year is very auspicious as it’s actually the year of The Golden Pig. I have no idea what this means, only that it is not meant to be a time of sacrifice – always a good thing when there are 70% off sales everywhere. Not that I am a devout shopper but the programme is on five days a week and I have to wear something.

We are about to enter Fairtrade Fortnight, so my fridge is full of chocolate and even more chocolate – all fair trade. Vicky Bhogal was on the show as Fairtrade’s spokeswoman reminding us how easy it is to choose more ethical produce. Even Sainsburys’ is doing their bit – St. Lucia has been put back in its feet because of their banana sales to the supermarket. Every little helps.

Tomorrow I am eating squirrel with the forager from BBC 3, Fergus Drennan. Apparently he taught himself to forage by reading a book and eating whatever he found in the hedgerows or splattered on the roadside. I don’t know how I feel about eating squirrel. I have so many running around my home in East Sussex, it’ll be like eating the neighbours.

So far this month I’ve also learnt about quinoa. Pronounced ‘keenwah’ not ‘kinoah’, it’s like a nutty couscous but is a protein not a carb. It’s delcious with colourful stuff bunged in like peppers and chillies, garlic and ginger. Yum! Ladies of a certain age will be excited by the ridiculously intelligent properties of turmeric. Mix some into a paste with gram flour and a little milk then put it on your face. Left to dry, it removes unwanted hair. The hair has to be thin though – according to a nurse I met in Wimpole Street. Brides to be have turmeric put on their faces before they marry as it gives them a sheen. I wonder how a person found that out. Maybe they dug up the root and rubbed their face and the followng morning, whilst washing in a pool, noticed how lovely they were looking – or not!

So there we are. We have had chip month, turkey flu, Valentines day, the Oscars, the Baftas and my 30th anniversary of living with my northern git of a husband. I bought myself a beautiful string of mother of pearls, gave it to him in doors and told him to give it to me back as a gift. He did. All he got was the pleasure of my acceptance speech. Ah! the wonders of marriage.

March is on its way, with its flowers and spring lamb. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, wish me luck with the squirrel.