This week I went off to Hawthorne Trenches, in Elham near Canterbury.  The trenches have been recreated at a working farm, by the  farm owners nineteen year old son. The trenches were an usual site to see nestled away in the corner of a rural farm and have been created with the aid of military trench digging guides and images; in order  to accurately reflect some of the conditions of the trenches and show the differences between the conditions of privates and officers.

Hawthorne Trenches are understandably popular with schools and with filming crews and and I was there with the production team of Channel 4’s, Food Unwrapped series. I made myself at home in the trenches and cooked up some WWI sausages, whilst I explained the differences between a sausage and a ‘banger’, and explained how the trenches gave us the name ‘banger’.

IMAGAs we watched my home-made sausages, hiss, sizzle and ‘bang’ on the brazier, I discussed sausage history and enjoyed working with a thoroughly nice production team.

I was working with celebrity chef, Matt Tebbutt who acts as a presenter on the show and he  was rather taken with my description of some lost sausage recipes including one for  veal and oyster sausages. We discussed how sausage recipes have changed and how many varieties of sausages have now sadly been lost.  It was all a bit of fun and I enjoyed every moment of it, hopefully it will be as fun to watch when it airs next year.

IMAGApart from talking about sausages, I have been researching my latest book of revolting British recipes and I have been really enjoying researching some queer, peculiar and bizarre recipes from the past. Getting illustrations for this book is going to be interesting and I think I will have to have a go at recreating a few of the recipes, although I’m not sure I am brave enough this week.

Talking about writing challenges and books, we are of course in November which in the writing calendar spells  National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and yet again I am picking up the gauntlet and attempting  to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.  Of course I have lots of other commitments so this is a challenge, but its a great chance for me to write something fun and out of my ordinary zone, although I must admit food is already forming a central theme.  I’ll let you know how my challenge progress goes, it’s been a positive start but its a long way to go to reach 50,000 words.

Well, until next time I bid you a fond farewell from a rather wet Wales.