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Time to veg out

Why seasonal vegetables are more than just winter warmers

Romilla Arber



Time to veg out

Romilly Arber from the Honesty Group shares her thoughts on seasonal eating, winter nights in with the family and what her business is up to this Christmas.

Cabbages, squash, orchard fruit and root vegetables mean that it is time to get ready for cold, dark evenings and the approach of winter.
For me, November means spending more time in the kitchen, cooking family meals, Sunday roasts and apple crumbles, Strictly Come Dancing on a Saturday evening and enjoying the autumnal colours.
It is a time to be indoors, enjoying good food and spending time with family and friends.
I believe that eating the right sort of food at this time of year will help to protect us from the cold viruses and infections that become so prevalent in the first few months of early winter and I think that this is why the wisdom of eating seasonally should be respected, as it actually makes sense.
Leeks, for example, a winter stalwart, contain allicin, a compound, which as well as being an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal is also an anti-viral, helping the body fight disease and infection.
It is no coincidence that winter vegetables such as kale, cabbage and leek contain the flavonoid kaempferol. Hungarian biochemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi is credited with discovering kaempferol and, while it is not absolutely essential for the health of humans as vitamins are, it is accepted by health experts to have the aptitude to lessen typical winter ailments.
Therefore, the motto is to trust Mother Nature, respect old wives tales and take note of the seasons and what your body is making you feel like eating. It all makes sense.
At Honesty everything is as interesting as ever.
Our cookery school Christmas wreath courses, with the lovely Lindsey Kitchin from the Whitehorse Flower Company, have been filling up and selling out very quickly. We have put some more courses on so take a look.
You might, instead, fancy the Italian Christmas gifts course that Mariella Bliss is hosting on November 14, or the chocolate course that our very own chocolatier Tyrone Hull is running.
All there to increase our culinary expertise and to make our mouths water in anticipation.
The team at the Crown and Garter are all working hard as the shooting season takes hold and our sporting guests enjoy the best of what the British countryside offers both in and out of the dining room.
Don’t forget that our hotel and restaurant makes the perfect overnight stop if travelling on business or enjoying a rural break at the weekend.
Pop into one of our coffee shops in either Lambourn, Inkpen, Hungerford or Kingsclere to see what our bake of the month is for November.
At the time of writing this, I am working on which cake it should be and am stuck – not literally – between a malt loaf cake or a sticky toffee fudge cake. Come and find out which one we chose in the end.
Our beautiful new wholesale unit is up and running. It was a trial at the time for a business of our size to cope with – any major upheaval would test a medium-sized business such as ours. It is a great working environment though, which I know is appreciated by all the chefs and bakers.
I often think back and ponder how Honesty has evolved since the early days of 2014 and my thoughts turn to the challenges of starting and growing a business from scratch.
We are often told by experts in the field that to succeed as an entrepreneur, business experience is absolutely essential, but I think the opposite is actually true.
A business is only as strong as the lessons learnt from the mistakes made on the way to building it up and mistakes are made because of a lack of knowledge and expertise. That’s what I think anyway.

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