How to: Buy fruit 'n' veg

By Gregg Wallace

Buying good produce isn't as easy as sweeping through your local supermarket. We asked a man who knows – MasterChef's Gregg Wallace – to weigh up the best ways to get top-notch greengroceries:

Engage with the stall holders. Discuss the origins of the produce, swap recipes. This makes for a so much richer shopping experience.

Don't make your shopping list too precise. If you were going to buy lamb, instead of listing lamb, list red meat. Instead of cabbage list green veg, instead of apples list fruit. This enables you to take advantage of bargains without increasing your spend.

Experiment. Take home an ingredient you've never used. Ask the seller for advice. Google some info and go and play. You will be broadening your repertoire.

'Life On a Plate' by Gregg Wallace is out now

Rotating column: Rough drafts

By Boyd Tonkin

To deckle or not to deckle? In modern design, what begins as a necessity often becomes a choice. Amazon has recently had to reassure customers that books despatched with rough, uneven pages – called a 'deckle edge' after the frame that once held the pulpy fibres – are not flawed or imperfect.

The deckle has been an option rather than default for paper ever since 1801, when the 'Fourdrinier machine' that made flat-cut edges viable was patented. Yet it survived as a classy 'vintage' style. New machinery was even devised to recreate the effect.

Now, US literary publishers often deckle while their UK counterparts go straight. Here, as elsewhere, if you seek the cult of the antique – go to New York.

Instant ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. I kicked up a fuss when my son's teacher accused him of stealing, but have since found his stolen crayon stash. Should I apologise?

A. Yes, but there's no need for further confrontation. Write her a note and instruct your son to deliver it as part of his punishment. If you slip in a Waitrose voucher she may consider the matter closed.


Micro extract: Food fight

"Julia Child continued to receive notes and revisions from the prolific Simone Beck, but she had had enough. Never again, she swore, would she write a cookbook of this all-encompassing sort and certainly not with Beck."

From ‘Provence, 1970’ by Luke Barr (Clarkson Potter, £16.99)

Four play: Three good (one bad) Pearl Harbor movies*

1. From Here to Eternity

2. Tora! Tora! Tora!

3. 1941

4. Pearl Harbor

*attacked today in 1941