Good Food Blog
My life on a plate: Mary BerryPosted at 11:07AM, 19 August 2011 by Caroline Hire - Food editor, bbcgoodfood.com
Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry talks to us about her earliest food memory, best-loved cookbook and what she'd do if she had her time again...
My earliest food memory is keeping hens. I can remember collecting eggs and mum saying, 'Shall we make a pudding?', picking apples for it and making Eve's Pudding. With children I believe in making things that they enjoying eating, they can lick the mixture and get their hands in. I used to do a lot of cooking with my mum.
I'm a great one for knowing the seasons and buying within the seasons. It's so difficult for people now when they go to the supermarket and produce is available all year round.
If I was on a desert island I would take full advantage of all the fish and I would serve it very simply. I'd hope there'd be a bit of butter about. Butter, lemon and fish go well together, with a dash of black pepper.
I don't like gnocchi. I avoid it like the plague. I find it very stodgy and horrible.
My guilty pleasure is my breakfast. I have the very best bread - Paul Hollywood's seeded loaf - a thick slice, lots of unsalted butter and homemade marmalade. I always feel guilty that I ought be to be having something better for me.
My secret ingredient - which no one will like - is gravy browning. When you're making gravy or a sauce and you want it just a shade darker and you haven't time to brown something or your stock is a weak colour, a little browning perks its up. My family will say how rich, dark and delicious it is!
My most-thumbed cookbook is Rosemary Hume's Cordon Bleu Cookery. When I first started out having just qualified - I did a catering and teaching qualification - that was my reference book, it's quite long-winded but gives the correct method.
If I had my time again I'd be involved in gardening. Once the children left home I started to re-plan my garden, take an interest in it, improve it and now I'm besotted. It's a huge relaxation. I enjoy trying to get colour in the garden. I want something to pick all year round and I've just about achieved it.
You can see Mary on Great British Bake Off now showing on BBC2, on Tuesday at 8pm.
Her new book Mary Berry's Family Sunday Lunches is coming out on September 1st, 2011.