My name is Fiona Crump and this is my blog.
I was born and raised in Cheshire but now live in Cornwall with my husband Martin and we have two beautiful and intelligent daughters who are grown up, fully fledged members of the boomerang generation. At the time of writing we are expecting our first grandchild and I could not be more excited.
For the last 15 years or so I have been working with Martin running evolution Personal and Corporate Development; coaching, counselling and training people to be happy, confident and successful.
When I am not working I am most likely to be talking about, shopping for, cooking or eating food. For the most part I am just your average experimental home cook although I do occasionally run The Unseen Restaurant; an “underground” restaurant, at home. This gives me the opportunity to experiment with my cooking and makes me focus on refinement – which doesn’t always come naturally.
I appreciate fine dining but mid-week you are more likely to find me eating beans on toast and watching Masterchef on the telly. I do care about good quality ingredients and sustainability and would recommend buying seasonal, local produce whenever possible. But sometimes it isn’t possible and guilt is really bad for the digestion.
I am also incredibly lucky to live in Cornwall and have some amazing pubs, cafes and restaurants right here on my doorstep. We live in a thriving village which is able to support two greengrocers, two butchers and a bakery for fresh bread and yummy pasties. In addition we grow lots of our own veg in an allotment just a mile from our house. The allotment is also conveniently close to a lovely pub which helps no end when help is needed with the weeding.
My writing so far has been for a limited audience although I was once asked to write reviews of cheeses for an on-line retailer who paid me in cheese – now that was a great job.
So this is my attempt to share my interest in food with anyone who wants to read it. Please tell me what you think and maybe share your own food stories too.
Ok – to be entirely honest it wasn’t my first choice.
With the help of a few good friends I bounced all sorts of ideas about and came up with 10 or so fantastically witty and erudite names for the blog – only to find in every case that someone just as witty and significantly faster had beaten me to it. I mentioned my frustration to Martin one Sunday morning and he suggested bun scuffle.
He reminded me that an old friend from Liverpool used to refer to parties as bun scuffles so we decided to do a bit of research. My understanding was that the term originated when church officials threw chunks of dry bread to the hordes of hungry people gathered outside. The ensuing scramble to lay hands on some sustenance lead to the term bun scuffle.
Later, bun scuffles came to refer to any occasion where the church provided food and the more refined the occasion the more sardonic the use of the phrase.
An entirely different source suggested that the phrase could be traced back to the Victorian nursery where children squabbled over the tea tray suggesting that bun scuffle outlasted the similar phrases “crumpet-scramble” and “muffin-worry”!
During our research (OK, half an hour over coffee with an iPhone), we also found the following headline and illustration from the New Zealand Observer on 14th September 1889 and I loved the idea of ladies swooning over an illegal cup of tea so much it clinched it for me and bun scuffle was born.
What is The Unseen Restaurant?
The Unseen Restaurant started as a challenge. No 1 Daughter bought me a fabulous Benrik diary for Christmas which claimed it would “change my life”. Each week the diary set a challenge – some funny, some ludicrous and some incredibly creative – one week it challenged me to run a restaurant in my own home. So I did. Twelve paying guests (all friends), a choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts, orders taken on the night and I was the chef, the waitress and the kitchen porter. Everyone had fun and enjoyed the food and I spent the next 24 hours lying down in a darkened room to recover.
Sometime later I was raising funds for charity and decided to repeat the process. This time I engaged a little sanity; put together a fixed menu and published it in advance via a closed facebook group. The idea caught on and I repeated it every month for a year featuring a different nation’s cuisine each time (Lebanese, French, Italian etc.). Now it runs a little less regularly but is still a fun night and we now raise funds for Shelter for Humanity – a disaster relief charity.