You are wrong Mr Gok Wan. No matter how many times you screech “It’s all about the confidence!” through the TV at me, I will not ever agree.

For me, daaaaaarlings, it’s all about the condiments!

On Thursday, I spent all day in the small but highly productive Rubies in the Rubble kitchen. As I stood in the middle of a car park in front of a huge warehouse, I feared that my early morning Hampshire to London fayre was going to be wasted on bad planning and my shocking sense of direction. This luckily was not the case, and I had in fact reached my final destination!

The brainchild of Jenny Dawson, Rubies in the Rubble is a business built on a ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ ethos. Sitting snuggly next to a wholesale mega-shed, Rubies seeks the unsellable. Torn toms, bumped about blueberries, maimed mangoes! Whatever is cheap and useable, Jenny and her lovely team magically turn into chutney, jam or smoothie that leaves the taste buds tingling and the stomach satifisfied.

Sick of staring at my laptop for days, I was so pleased to be part of a team. I chopped tomatoes, sliced onions, stirred mega-vats of bubbling chutney and got involved! As Radio One looped in the background, and Jenny, Rose and myself productively bustled around the kitchen, I got my first taste of Rubies ridiculously tasty red onion and chilli chutney. A deep and rich caramelised delight! The initial sweetness quickly developing to a firework of spice – phwoar!

It was not only the large jar of red onion chutney in my pocket and the spicy tomato smell that I left with that day. It was also the total inspiration of seeing someone who had followed what they wanted to do. Nothing airy fairy about dreams or aspirations or whatever. Jenny just seemed to believe in Rubies in the Rubble, believe in herself and what she could do with the community, and the phenomenal press that has followed has been a product of that.

After all…it is all about the condiments! (Pffftt!)

(Today I tried Jenny’s spectacular red onion and chilli chutney with Swaledale Cheese from Waitrose,
piled high on freshly made bread…)

Thanks so much to Jenny and Rose for letting me get under your feet. I had such a great time and hope I can pop back to see you at some time soon!

See the Guardian for another raving review and check Rubies in the Rubble out here…

Rosie x

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