First of all, bless Liz for co-authoring the idea of Food Science Day. It remains an ongoing sadness that she’s not here to enjoy these events, or to add her amazing talents and imagination to the proceedings. I’m happy that Food Science Day stands as a small way of us remembering her.

There was only one moment when I thought seriously about regretting being the host for the Second Annual Food Science Day. I was sitting in my lounge, and a smell so rank blew through from the kitchen that I figured either (a) I would be evicted from my flat, or (b) I would never get the stench out of the curtains. Or both.

The good news is that I live on the third floor, and it was windy, and the stink soon blew through. But even an unshiftable aroma monster would have been a small price to pay for hosting the event. Aside from the excellent company, and apart from the fact that I didn’t have to worry about getting the bus home when it was all over, there is a special privilege in seeing a bunch of shockingly talented and intelligent people sitting on the rug in your front room and giggling uncontrollably because they’ve scoffed too many sweets and followed them up with a whole world of caffeine-heavy diet coke.

Over the next few days (or weeks and months if last year’s effort is anything to go by) you can expect to see write-ups of the various pieces of hard and/or slightly wobbly science which took place. I’m proud to see my premises used to push the boundaries of scientific enquiry, even if we did only push them downwards.

It seems the right thing to begin this story with its bitter end, by noting the detritus which remained once the last pioneer of knowledge had departed:

1 peach
1 Garner’s Pickled Egg (in a jar of vinegar)
1 Packet, Nice & Spicy Nik Naks (complete with “Reduced for Quick Sale” sticker)
500g Sainsbury’s Butcher’s Choice sausagemeat
1 0.5L bottle Diet Coke (British)
1 0.5L bottle Coke Light (German)
4 330ml cans Diet Coke (British)
1 bottle Vintage English Perry
1 can Guinness
1 tomato
1 piece brie (or possibly other oozy brie-ish soft cheese)
167g Organic Parmesan cheese
14 eggs
2 slices Leerdammer cheese
2 chicken carcasses (stripped by me to produce 1 big plate of tasty-looking chicken for later use)
1 carrier bag assorted chewy sweeties
1 little pear (local windfall)
1 packet (opened and part-used) Rakusens’s Cake Matzo Meal
1 packet (opened and part-used) Sainsbury’s Golden Breadcrumbs
1 carrier bag unidentified (by me) meat, bag suggests this came from the Afro Food Centre, Peckham Rye.

Note: this list does not include refuse: I’m pleased to say that we didn’t generate much rubbish this year. Mostly it seemed to consist of empty beer cans and bottles. Oh, and the rubbish that I hope you’ll enjoy reading as the write-ups roll in.