At over thirty seven weeks pregnant, I must confess that I am now eager to meet my new little girl and quite frankly tired of being pregnant. Yes, I know that I should cherish every moment of my pregnancy, but as I seem to have consumed my own body weight in a well known brand of indigestion medicine and am beginning to feel like I really will explode without warning if the baby grows any bigger, I really will be glad to undergo the riggers of child birth and meet my little bundle. I say that now of course, but when I am in the middle of child birth I may not stand by this statement.
This will be my third child and indeed my third daughter, but I am as excited as can be. I did the usual trick of declaring no more children and getting rid of all the baby things, but I have to say I couldn’t be happier than to be carrying my new husband, Rob’s child. Things have been completely different this time around in a very positive way and my only fear is that I will have to rugby tackle Rob in order to get a look in on this baby; for he is already a doting Dad to bump.
Finally, I have had the chance to get the coach-built pram I always wanted and now that I have moved house I have the space to store it. Yes, in the midst of a hectic work life, family life and being heavily pregnant we did a house move on Friday and whilst on the moving day I did feel completely overwhelmed I am actually glad we took the plunge and moved, because we were cramped as a family of three in our cottage and so with a new baby I would have felt like the old woman who lived in a shoe. So, I’ve been in full nesting mode over the past few days and I now just have to work on getting my iron levels up so I can have a home birth.
On the 23rd September I did my last cooking demonstration until the baby is born. I was really pleased to be demonstrating how to make the most of your home grown fruit and vegetables at The Three Counties Autumn Show in Malvern. I got my hands on some absolutely first class local pears, apples, tomatoes and plums and cooked up dishes that included mulled pears, tomato ketchup, pear and truffle ketchup (my absolute favourite) and allsorts of jams and chutneys. The team at the showground were fantastic and the show drew a really great crowd and I even did a bit of book signing, so it was a nice note to end on before retiring myself to a maternity leave that is spent behind a laptop rather than a cooker or indeed racing up and down motorways.
Well, it’s time to go and do the school run and so until next time I bid you a fond farewell from a rather chilly West Wales.
Food has always been of great importance to Seren and despite her being renowned for her historical recipe recreations, her culinary skills were not honed, in the kitchens of top restaurants, but in the home kitchen from the age of being able to hold a wooden spoon.
When Seren was born her mother was taken ill and so she spent her early years being cared for by her grandmother, Minnie. This was to prove instrumental in the development of Seren’s love of cooking, for her grandmother was an accomplished cook, who’s kitchen was always awash with terrine’s, home-made pastry and traditional puddings. Minnie’s love of good food and her zest for life meant Seren’s childhood was filled with days of hedgerow picking, baking, traditional preserving and cooking recipes from the depths of a family copy of, Mrs. Beeton. She learned from an early age how to make Victorian puddings alongside elaborate noble pies and perhaps this explains her love of pastry making and the reason she won an accolade from The Great British Pie Awards this year.
Today Seren has great skill in bringing historical food to life and making it accessible and understandable to the modern cook and diner. Her enthusiasm and love of historical food and British cooking is evident in her presentations and she loves to revive forgotten recipes. She recently took part in ITV1’s Country House Sunday and has given live cookery demonstrations across the country at food festivals, historical houses and castles.
Trained as a herbalist and nutritionist, she has a deep understanding of improving health through food. Her interest in historic remedies and herbal folklore eventually extended to researching British food history, and reignited her early passion for cooking. Fifteen years on and Seren has amassed extensive knowledge and is now renowned for her historical food recreations and interpretations.
Seren’s interest in food history does not just extend to old recipes and cooking techniques, but to ingredients and manufacturers. From the age of fourteen Seren has collected food and drink packaging from early Victorian to the 1960’s. Her collection is now extensive and provides a wonderful snapshot in time that accompanies her vast knowledge of the development of British food and drink companies throughout history. She also has a huge collection of antique kitchenalia and moulds which she uses to replicate historical recipes and portray past eras.
Her training in herbalism and nutrition has not been wasted for despite her merits as a food historian and period cook she also delights in creating British Classic dishes for those with food allergies and intolerances (such as gluten and dairy intolerant). Her botanical knowledge has made her a keen wild food educator and forager that lends unusual as well as historical twists to all her cooking. There are also many points at which food and medicine intertwine throughout history and Seren is able to portray these developments and has also undertaken a lot of research into the British spice trade.
To Seren historical food is not a job, but a way of life.
Visit Seren's blog: Serenity Kitchen