It's all about Suffolk: Lesley Dolphin

PUBLISHED: 17:22 20 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:01 20 February 2013

It's all about Suffolk: Lesley Dolphin

It's all about Suffolk: Lesley Dolphin

This month Lesley is living off the fat of the land

This month Lesley is living off the fat of the land

Were feeling very smug and a bit like Tom and Felicity in The Good Life at the moment because for the last few weeks I have been able to stroll across our lawn to the veg. patch to pick our own green beans and courgettes, and dig up our spuds. The flavour of our fresh produce is fantastic let alone the saving on food miles - they travel about 20 yards to the saucepan!

My freezer is crammed full with boxes of home grown fruit as well - strawberries to make delicious ice cream (my jam was a disaster!) and rhubarb and gooseberries for crumble just like my mum makes. I would have frozen the blueberries but they only ever made it as far as Marks mouth and I could sing the praises of the pounds of blackcurrants I picked but I am really not sure they were worth the effort of purple fingers and nails, and the hours topping and tailing them. I mentioned what an awful chore it was to friends and they said I should have taken a dinner fork to help pick them ?? Apparently if you run a fork along the branches the currants will come off in handfuls do let me know if you have tried it. Anyway my blackcurrants are now in the freezer even though they still have those little brown bits on their bottoms. I honestly think life is too short to spend time picking them off - hopefully theyll disappear when I cook them!

I am definitely only an amateur cook but over the next few weeks I am going to be rubbing shoulders with some of Suffolks professionals. For the past 3 years I have been delighted to be involved with this magazines Food and Drink Awards. In October I get to announce the winners at the celebration lunch along with Chef Mark David but before that we have to visit all the shortlisted finalists to pick the best.

Over my years at BBC Radio Suffolk I have been involved in judging all sorts of competitions and I reckon its probably one of the most dangerous parts of my job. How do you choose the winner of the childrens fancy dress at the local fete or the best Easter bonnet without offending all the other people who spent hours working on their creations? I always feel its wise to have a quick getaway organised for after the announcement!

Its just as tough trying to pick the best for the EADT awards because everyone who is shortlisted is passionate and enthusiastic about their business or product. For the past three years I have been very fortunate to meet and judge the finalists in the butcher and drink categories and I have been truly inspired by their hard work and determination to offer a top quality product. This year I`m not sure which category Ill get to judge but I did wonder if I should offer to do the best tea shop just think of eating all that cake in the name of duty!


The summer has really whizzed by and I cant believe its September with the football season already well underway. Ill soon need my warm coat and thermal underwear for our visit to Portman Road on Saturday afternoons! Yes, in the end we bit on the bullet and bought season tickets again this year so I am really, really hoping that Ipswich Town play some entertaining football. My first challenge though is to learn who all our players are over the half of the side is new!! Come on you blues.


Finally last month I was looking forward to my very first music festival at Henham Park. Well I can report that, despite the torrential rain and the mud, Mark and I really enjoyed our day at Latitude. When we arrived we carefully timed our visit to the Bafta tent, partly so we would miss the rain, but also so we could catch Emma Freud in conversation with the rather lovely Ralph Fiennes oh if only I could get him to sit on my sofa!!

Then during the afternoon, despite Marks fears that our fold up chairs were not really de rigueur for a festival, we made great use of them in the comedy tent where we spent most of the afternoon. The sun even made an appearance as we rounded our day off with a glass of Hektors festival brew and Paulo Nutini on the main stage.

The icing on the cake was that we managed to exit the car park without getting stuck in the mud and Mark says we can go again next year!!

Lesley Dolphins afternoon show is between 12.30pm and 4pm, weekdays on BBC Radio Suffolk.

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