Dinner with... Fi Bird
FI BIRD is a mother of six and former MasterChef finalist. She and her husband Stephen founded Stirrin’ Stuff (www.stirrinstuff.org), which works in partnership to educate children about food.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
The Three Chimneys on Skye was perfection – we had local fungi and shellfish.
What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?
Purple soup made from leftovers including red cabbage; burnt risotto; and for pudding, apple crumble made with chilli powder instead of cinnamon – good effort on the kids’ part, though.
What’s in your fridge?
I have two, one for the family and one for Stirrin’ Stuff. The former includes homemade fruit compte (the kids make their own fruit yoghurt creations), lemon curd (left over from a February-issue magazine shoot), French water bottles filled with Angus tap water, some cranberry-and-orange juice, elderflower cordial and Beaujolais nouveau.
What’s your hangover fix?
I’m lucky – my body seems to know when I’ve had enough. I wake in the early hours, get up and drink lots of water. I think that being a mother has helped to slow down my alcohol intake.
What are your most useful kitchen utensils?
A miniature grater, pestle and mortar that I use for demonstrations, and a mini Magimix.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Having been pregnant six times, I have managed to justify gluttonous habits for more months than most. Marzipan is my absolute downfall and our Christmas cake had far too much of it. Another new one to watch me on is St Germain, an alcoholic elderflower cordial.
What’s your classic stand-by recipe?
Risotto – essentially, I am a lazy cook and this caters for groups or the family.
Who would you invite to a fantasy dinner party?
Scottish nutritionist John Boyd Orr; the chief executive of McDonald’s; political activist George Monbiot; Prue Leith; Alexis Soyer – a chef with a social conscience; and Mrs A B Marshall, who would make the perfect ice-cream for pudding. I’d also have music by the Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis.
Which food says home to you?
Have you ever been on a diet?
No chance. However, I do cycle most mornings to try to combat my frequent indulgences.
What’s the one food that makes you feel better?
Moist bread-and-butter pudding, baked in a bain-marie, and custard.
Do you eat airline food?
Not dieting probably equates with piggy tendencies – so yes, I eat what is put in front of me. My kids always got very excited when I managed to fly Scotair and saved the tablet for them. However, one of the older boys tries not to fly for environmental reasons and nags me to take the sleeper instead. I do, of course, scoff the free breakfast.
Do you buy organic?
I write a monthly children’s page for Organiclife and am a member of the Soil Association, so yes, I do buy organic. However, it is not always the affordable, or accessible, option for some of the families of children who come to my cookery demos. Local food is as important – and taste is the key.
How tidy is your kitchen?
When the older children are at home, it is often spotless – Ma’s treat. The reality is that when the heating goes off, the kitchen is the only warm room in the house, and the older boys tidy up to earn brownie points so they can raid the cupboards and fridge, and watch TV into the early hours. It’s hard to quibble over empty biscuit tins and fridges if your kitchen is tidy.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
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Wind direction: North east