s 1Today is my getting back to normal day in so much as the past few weeks have been hectic and nothing like routine. The beginning of July saw me cooking up ration book recipes at the Dig for Victory Show in Somerset. This was a busy few days that involved me camping for the first time in five years and made me really appreciate the comfort of my bed when I returned home.  It was a fun-filled weekend and I had a great crowd of people turn out to each of my demonstrations. I cooked up everything from ‘Hard Times Omelette’ to ‘Mock Marmalade’ and ‘Mock Crab’. 

After three days at The Dig for Victory Show, I arrived home with my hair still in victory rolls and realised that after a hot bath there would be no time for winding down, as I had to get my house in ship-shape condition for the photographic session with Period Living Magazine that was taking place two days later. So my packaging collection was all put out on display and my kitchen was stripped of anything modern and unattractive. When Wednesday arrived, the Period Living journalist turned up at half past nine in the morning and over a cup of tea I gave a two hour interview about my extensive packaging collection and my work. Then the fun began as the photographer arrived and the three of us pondered and deliberated over what packaging to use in what shot. My two little ones, Hattie and Olivia, were captivated by the proceedings. At four o’ clock that afternoon I waved goodbye to the photographer and journalist. I looked at the chaos and decided to tackle the ‘putting away campaign’ the next day and settled down with a steaming cuppa and well-deserved chocolate biscuit.

Well the excitement wasn’t over as before I knew it I received a wonderful telephone call from the editor of Great British Food Magazine to say that I had won the preserve category in The Farm Produce Awards with my Welsh Strawberry Jam. Well, I cannot tell you how delighted I was. I beamed from ear to ear for the entire day — to be honest, I am still grinning.s 2

After the excitement of shows, competition wins and photography sessions I sat down to find some information about my family history on my maternal side and I was really pleased to finally find an image of my families grocery store, ‘Bouchers’ General Store’, I am now doing more research into this, but it got me wondering if my family history is linked to my love and shall we say obsession with old shop packaging.

All was calm for a few days, but it wasn’t long before  I was busy preparing for a cooking session in London with The Telegraph, so my Edwardian apron was donned as I made the five hour trip in the suffocating heat to Canary Wharf.  It was well worth the trip as the afternoon was great fun and afterwards I enjoyed a delicious lunch at ‘The Gun Inn’ where the service and food was faultless.  Once the haunt of Lord Nelson, the s 3walls of this pub must hold many secrets.

Well I am afraid that I am keeping my witterings short this week as I am now in need of a wake-up cup of coffee before I record Chef Radio in ten minutes time.

A whirlwind farewell until next week from West Wales.

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com