FOOD MILESTONES DJ and pre­sen­ter Sara Cox shares her food mem­o­ries

The DJ, TV pre­sen­ter and mum-of-three on cat­tle, camp­ing and poi­son­ing her hus­band with sausages

BBC Good Food - - Contents - In­ter­view by ROSANNA GREENSTREET

Sara Cox, 42, was born in Bolton and worked as a model be­fore get­ting her big break in 1996 as a pre­sen­ter on Chan­nel 4’s The Girlie

Show. By 2000, she was a DJ at the helm of the Break­fast Show on Ra­dio One, where she spent nearly four years and recorded rat­ings of around 8 mil­lion lis­ten­ers. In 2013, Sara made the move from Ra­dio One to Ra­dio Two, and cur­rently hosts Sounds of The 80s on Satur­day nights. For Red Nose Day 2017, Sara did a 24-hour danceathon, rais­ing over £1 mil­lion. Mar­ried for the sec­ond time, she has three kids: Lola, 13, Isaac, nine, and Re­nee, seven. My ear­li­est mem­ory is be­ing in a high chair in the gar­den of my dad’s farm in Bolton, at my sis­ter’s birth­day party. I am the youngest of five: when my mum met my dad he al­ready had a three-year-old and 18-month old twins. At the party, a conga line of kids was skip­ping past and shov­ing cake into my mouth, and I found it hi­lar­i­ous. It was a com­plete chok­ing haz­ard – it wouldn’t hap­pen these days – and, of course, it ended badly, with lots of vomit.

The food that I loved at school was choco­late sponge with choco­late cus­tard. The desserts were good at pri­mary school, lots of lovely stodge. The school backed on to my dad’s fields, so I could see him on his trac­tor. My mum and dad di­vorced when I was six or seven, and we lived with my mum half a mile away. But I was at the farm most after­noons be­cause I had a pony that I had to muck out.

We used to go camp­ing in Corn­wall, and I loved our tent to bits. It had two bed­rooms, one for me and my sis, Yvonne, and one for my mum and step­dad. Aun­tie Carol (my mum’s best mate) and her hus­band, Un­cle Trevor, would turn up with a trailer tent – the height of so­phis­ti­ca­tion – and Trevor would bar­be­cue fresh mack­erel. I’ve been ob­sessed with mack­erel ever since.

When I used to go to the cat­tle shows with my dad – he breeds Here­fords – we slept in the cat­tle wagon; he’d sweep it out and put up a cou­ple of Z beds. Es­sen­tially we were out in the fresh air, and we would wake up in the morn­ing ab­so­lutely starv­ing. Dad had a camp­ing stove, and he would fry ba­con and egg and make me the best sand­wich. We’d also have a mug of tea made with his travel ket­tle. I still love camp­ing, and love get­ting out my lit­tle stove. I DJ at Camp Bes­ti­val, and for the past six years we’ve taken the chil­dren and camped. I don’t know how keen on camp­ing my hus­band Ben is, but he puts up with it!

My mum has handed down her broth pan to me. It’s mas­sive – you could bathe an Al­sa­tian in it. She has al­ways made a lovely broth and I do it now: you soak a ham shank overnight to get a lot of the salt out and soak your dried soup mix. Then you put the shank in the pan, fill it with wa­ter, add the soup mix, pile in veg like cel­ery, onion and turnip, and cook for a few hours. My mum worked re­ally hard: when we were lit­tle she did a few dif­fer­ent clean­ing jobs, but later she did hol­i­day re­lief for big coun­try pubs. Af­ter that she ran Con­ser­va­tive clubs with my late step dad, and they had their own pub. I think my work ethic comes from my mum. I’m free­lance, and I find it hard to say no to work. But my hus­band helped me see I don’t have to schlep half­way up the coun­try to do some­thing for 50p and my bus fare home – I can be choosy.

My sis­ter Yvonne lived in Paris when I was 17 or 18. She was work­ing for the elec­tric­ity board as part of her de­gree – I thought it was the height of cool. When I went to visit, she had to

My kids love meat pie, and I love mak­ing it for them, as it re­minds them of their north­ern her­itage

work dur­ing the day, so I goofed around Paris. I was in a bou­tique, and some­body asked if I’d ever thought of mod­el­ling. They put me in touch with a Manch­ester agency and the rest is history!

Paris was lovely be­cause my sis­ter and I saw each other as in­di­vid­u­als, not just the arch neme­sis you had to share a room with. We were al­ways close, but fought a lot; as we got older, we started to get on bet­ter. In Paris, she took me to a restau­rant where we had this beef dish. She made me have a glass of red with it, and told me to taste the beef and then taste the wine. It was the first time I thought, ‘Gosh, this is more than just din­ner – this is an ex­pe­ri­ence!’

When Ben first stayed over I didn’t want him to leave be­cause we were hav­ing such a nice time. I con­vinced him to stay by of­fer­ing to make sausage sand­wiches. But I didn’t de­frost the sausages prop­erly first, and he got re­ally ill – I ba­si­cally poi­soned him! It was Christ­mas, so when I spoke to him on the phone, I tried to sug­gest that it might be be­cause he’d eaten too much choco­late. In the end I con­fessed that it was prob­a­bly the sausages.

I cook my grandad’s plate meat pie for my kids. My grandad was a mas­ter baker, and used to make lovely pas­try and mince pies. For the meat pie, I make a short­crust and then cook the mince with a stock cube. I line a pie tin with the pas­try, put in the mince and top with a pas­try lid. My kids love it and I love mak­ing it, as it re­minds them of their north­ern her­itage. They live in Lon­don, and are used to eat­ing sushi, but I want them to know where they come from too. It’s a tra­di­tional dish that’s ba­si­cally meat, flour and but­ter – they lick their plates clean.

At the mo­ment my hall­way is my kitchen be­cause my kitchen is be­ing ren­o­vated, so I’m us­ing a bar­be­cue, mi­crowave, ket­tle, Nutribul­let, toaster and sand­wich maker to cook. We’ve been eat­ing at the lo­cal Ital­ian a lot too. The last meal I cooked was or­ganic pork loin steaks in a mari­nade with or­ganic as­para­gus – it was de­li­cious.

Sara is an am­bas­sador for the Feed Your Happy cam­paign, which cel­e­brates or­ganic food and en­cour­ages peo­ple to share why or­ganic food makes them happy (#Feedy­ourhappy).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.