Ian McMillan

Food Laureate Ian McMillan presents his poem recipes for Morrisons.

Ian McMillan

IAN McMILLAN is a passionate poet, writer and broadcaster. He was also the first poet in residence to a football club, his hometown Barnsley FC. But forget about the football, here are his poems about food.

Humble crumble

Grab your apple and chop it and core it
Get some butter from wherever you store it.
Melt your butter in a pan that’s hot.
Add the apple and some sugar: not a lot

Get more butter and rub it in flour
For five minutes to a quarter of an hour
Stir more sugar in then sprinkle on top
Of the apples and the butter from the shop

Then stick it in the oven till the top turns gold;
Then eat it when it’s hot or save it till it’s cold!

My vegetable almanac

If it’s January it’s got to be sprouts
In Feb I’ll reach for me leeks
If you know what seasonality’s all about
You eat a different fruit or vegetable every single week!

In March I march on me rhubarb and pears:
April is the month for kale
No strawberry or quince catches me unawares
Cos I know when they’re on sale!

In May I chew me spinach and me rocket
June I’m chomping peas
July I’ve a pound of plums in my pocket
In August here’s me Aubergines!

In September, October and November
There’s loads of things to buy
Cos it’s a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
And I’ve a basket full of salsify!

December I’m turned on by turnips
Then the year spins round again
And with the help of my seasonal almanac
I’m the most satisfied of fruit and vegetable men!

Baking bread

Flour salt water yeast
Will make you a feast


Add yeast to the water: let’s go!
Mix salt in the flour. Make dough.
It’ll seem so surprising
When it starts rising
Just leave it to swell and to grow.

Then heat up your oven: put in
The dough that you’ve placed in a tin
After 25 minutes
Your joy is infinite
You’re a baker: let eating begin

Waste not want not

A cool dark place will be enough for many;
Your spuds will love it if you keep ‘em in the gloom
And always put your peppers far from your fruit,
even in a different room.

Place some in the fridge but my no means all;
And if you put ’em in the fridge use a bag with holes:
Spinach likes it there and so do peas
And you don’t have to touch the temperature controls!

Your cool dark place can be Onion Heaven;
Your fridge can be the Land of the Long-Lived Bean
Your cool dark place can make your apples happy
And your fridge can be the centre of the soft-fruit scene!