The Culture of Food and Drink

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Jane McMorland Hunter & Chris Kelly 10POSTS

Jane McMorland Hunter and Chris Kelly write books on the good things in life: gardening, cookery and craft. Jane lives in London and has a tiny garden, while Chris lives in West Sussex and has the luxury of a larger garden with a vegetable patch and orchard. Their latest book, "For the Love of an Orchard"shows that space need not be a bar to realising your horticultural fantasies.

Jane’s family come from the west coast of Scotland, where she still has a small estate, entitling her to be called the Mistress of Hafton, a title few including her take seriously.  After studying history at Edinburgh University and ceramics at Goldsmith's College, London, Jane went to work in the Cookery and Gardening department at Hatchards Bookshop in London, where she has remained, on and off, for over thirty years. She often writes for the National Trust, a dream come true as it involves visiting wonderful gardens, growing her own fruit and vegetables (in the tiny garden) and testing delicious recipes. Inspired by the book on orchards that she wrote with Chris, she is now writing "Quinces: Growing and Cooking," which will be published by Prospect Books in the autumn. When not writing, Jane has worked at the Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Flower Shows and edits anthologies of poetry.

Chris comes from a family of gardeners who founded and ran Bees Seeds, a major U.K. seed company. He studied English at York University and holds an MBA from the French Grande École des Affaires a Paris. He has lived and worked in Italy, a country that he loves and understands. He is particularly interested in way in which artisan food production influences and informs Italy’s numerous regional cuisines. In addition to the pleasure of writing on the good things in life, Chris works as a management consultant, specializing in technology start-ups and funding.

Together, he and Jane have written gardening books, including "Teach Yourself Gardening." They work as garden designers, offering advice on planting schemes and are especially interested in researching and working on historic gardens.  Their website is Hafton & Kelly.

Main photo: Sweet William flowers. Credit: Copyright 2015 J.M. Hunter

Flowers have crept into our diets almost unnoticed, and now it seems they are blooming everywhere: nasturtiums in salads; courgette (zucchini) flowers, stuffed and

Orange lion jelly

It may be hard to believe in the post-Jell-O era, but for hundreds of years, major set piece architectural and display jellies, as the

Quinces on a tree. Credit: iStock

Now is the season of quinces: Fruit that is delicious in both sweet and savory dishes, is easily preserved, and one that enhances a

A traditional English high tea consists of hearty rustic fare. Credit: J.M. Hunter

For the British, tea is not just a hot beverage; it is a meal. The most delightful meal of the day, in fact, but

A collection of Elizabeth David's cookery books.

Sixty years ago, Elizabeth David's book "Italian Food" first appeared and transformed the way we Brits, and probably many other foodies worldwide, lived and

Vegetable bread and vegetables to be used in bread

Growing your own vegetables and making bread are two of life's great pleasures. How wonderful it is that they can be combined, so that

A picnic at St. James Park in London.

In the United States and perhaps elsewhere, most picnics are simply enjoyable outdoor meals and social occasions, where thoroughly normal groups of people decide

A bee feeds on the blossom of a Meech's Prolific quince. Credit: Jane McMorland Hunter

To a certain extent, all gardens are "unnatural." We take a plot of land and bend it to our will, whether that is growing