Beca Lyne-Pirkis is best known for her Welsh language cookery show Becws on S4C and as a contestant on The Great British Bake Off. As a military wife too, she loves singing with her local Military Wives Choir and is currently studying to become a registered dietician, combining two of her interests: nutrition and exercise.
In her latest book, Feeding My Army, Beca showcases delicious food designed to keep us all going. From wartime hardship meals to fayre fit for a prime minister, recipes are inspired by her family’s experience of more than a hundred years of army life.
The celebrated chef also explores how military food has been influenced by different cultures around the world in times of war and peace.
She gets ideas from her husband Matt’s store of army food anecdotes and delves into family recipe books, cooking up a storm of dishes, old and new.
She also draws inspiration from three remarkable women in her life who lived through the Second World War – her grandmothers, Nan and Mam-gu, along with Aunty ’Rene, who fell in love and married a wartime American sailor. They’ve all had a huge influence on her in the kitchen. Beca explains how each recipe featured in her latest book has its own story and each chapter its own theme…
Chapter 1 – Make Do and Dig for Victory
“Rationing was strict and yet they managed to find ways around all the rules to cook delicious meals… some of the recipes are ones that should remain buried in history, but many have stood the test of time and are still cooked today.”
Chapter 2 – Cookhouse Classics
“The same cook might rustle up a weekend brunch, a midweek apple crumble or turn their hand to cooking up a storm for mess functions or regimental dinners.”
Chapter 3 – Rations Reinvented
“I’ve taken inspiration from some classic ration pack menus as well as what the awesome chefs manage to make while out in a tent in all conditions, and hopefully these recipes will bring joy and comfort to you and plenty of energy to keep you going.”
Chapter 4 – Keep the Home Fires Burning
“We often talk about what dad might be eating, and the girls will request things that remind them of him – it’s little things like this that make being apart from each other easier to manage.”
Chapter 5 – Solo Suppers
“It made me think about others who might have fallen into the same rut as me – not just military spouses and partners, but anyone who, for whatever reason, is cooking for one.”
Chapter 6 – Postings abroad
“A varied selection of recipes from across the globe that will hopefully inspire you to try something new.”
Chapter 7 – Homecoming
“Having him home is a celebration and usually involves a big social gathering with the family, so this chapter is full of dishes to enjoy around the table as a family again, sharing stories, laughing and getting to know each other after months apart.”
Chapter 8 – In Memoriam
“I felt strongly that I should end the book with something to remember those who we have lost along the way and to honour them and the friendships that keep us going.”
We have three copies of Beca’s Feeding My Army to give away! To win a copy, click here for entry details. Closing date for entries is 18 April 2021.