I won’t keep you all in the same suspense that I was in tonight – I’ve just got home and thought I’d better write something scrambled and incoherent about the Fortnum And Mason Food And Drink Awards…
“Tonight’s Judges Choice Award, made at their discretion in recognition of a piece of work, an individual or a campaign thought to have inspired people to enjoy, explore and experiment with food and drink.
“Picked by the judges as ‘one to watch’, the award goes to a single mother from Southend, whose delicious recipes, published online, are so nutritious and thrifty that they are being handed out by food banks as examples of how to manage on next to nothing.”
It was at the word ‘Southend’ that the penny dropped, and I’m very glad Xanthe Clay caught me in a hug as I was shaking like a little, extremely surprised, leaf. I made it to the stage, took one look at Claudia Winkleman and yelped ‘Oh my god it’s you!’ (I’m so cool.)
I continued my coolness with an impromptu rambling speech that said something along the lines of ‘it was all very nice to be invited but I thought you all just felt a bit sorry for me eating chickpeas and chopped tomatoes, and wanted to give me some blinis and a nice night out. And, Er, I’m here, with a shiny thing in my hand, and – Thankyou.’
And indeed, Thankyou. Because if I sat typing quietly away about a hundred things I could do with chopped tomatoes and lemon curd, and nobody read it, I’d be shouting into a void. Thankyou every single one of you, for your time, your interest, your responses, your comments, for you.
Thankyou Tom and Xanthe and Fiona and Lisa, for everything, and Ewan and Lindsay and Flo at Fortnums, for being lovely.
I have a shiny thing. And I haven’t stopped grinning all night.
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe