Tuesday 27 November 2012

Thanks to Alison of Crakehall Water Mill

Despite lots of fields been flooded by the River Swale I managed to get through to a Herriot Country meeting this morning. With Ian Ashton and David Shields at the helm we learnt of interesting things which are going to happen in 2013.After the meeting I went with Alis
on Barnes and two other ladies who run bed and breakfast business for a lovely lunch. A farm shop on the road just out of Leeming Bar heading towards Northallerton. No wonder it recently had won a Flavour of Herriot Country award - Spring House Farm Shop.They were very obliging and they put some pineapple in a ham and cheese toasted sandwich for me -above and beyond what was on the menu. It was clean and warm and an ideal stopping off place so a bite to eat There were some lovely Christmas decorations to buy along with a vast array of Yorkshire goodies. Thank you to Alison of Crakehall watermill for treating me. My turn next time.

Water,water everywhere and not a drop to drink

Sympathy goes to all those effected by the floods. We have our fair share of standing water in the fields but as we are over 990 foot above sea level we are luckier than most. As I was going towards Byland Abbey this morning 2 people were exercising their horses. Memories of 35 years ago when I first used to ride out with Jack when he had point to point horses. Until then I had only been a fair weather rider. We were riding out every morning in all weathers. A 6 mile rising trot was fair more pleasant on a crisp sunny autumn morning than what these riders were having this morning. But they still had a smile for me. Dedication to getting their horses fit for racing.I expect they would then head up Wass Bank. A mile long climb certainly tests the horse's stamina.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Apple and more apples

We went to Rodgers Roses at Pickering to pick up the 2 rose bushes I had bought my Dad for his birthday. besides selling roses and bulbs they also sell fruit trees. My Dad must have 150 fruit trees but there is always room for another . Here you see we got to see what the end result hopefully will be . Armed with pen and paper we walked round twice to make sure we had chosen the right trees. How often do we buy an apple tree and not be able to see what fruit it produces.An apple tree is an apple tree to me - a cooker or an eater. But for my dad the professional we was in his element making sure he choose apples that will see him through the winter .At the farm we have a bedroom called the Apple bedroom and that was what it was used for .A north facing room cooler than the rest of the house the apples were put under the bed. This year there is very few apples about so we wont be walking up the stairs and getting that lovely apple smell drift through the

New arrival

We have had a new arrival. A baby llama was born on the farm recently. As we have had a lot of rain he and his mother has come indoors. Now he has a fluffy coat. He remains unnamed at the moment. No doubt the children will think of a name to call him. He often hides behind his mother and she has a habit of hissing. I tend to keep my distance as I am not sure of her diet. Having shown her teeth to me on more than one occasion.

Sunday 11 November 2012

A night out at the Deliciouslyorkshire Awards

We had a great night at the National Railway Museum in York. Made a change from wellingtons and Barbour jackets to get dress up as it was a black tie occasion. I am on the advisory board to Deliciouslyorkshire and look after the interest of the hospitality side of things. I was also there as I was a finalist -in the top 3 for Yorkshire for the Best Use of Local produce on a plate/menu. I had been judged a few weeks before by the well known columnist and foodie - Elaine Lemm. Although I didn't win I was very pleased to have got as far as I had. Local friends and business were on our table amongst them Jessica Barker and her husband Phillip. They have self catering near Thirsk called Thief Hole Cottages. She had been in a similar position to me a few weeks earlier when she had been short listed in the White Rose Awards. A good night was had by all.I think Jack enjoyed it even though he started off having to wear a dickie bow and having to have his collar fastened
. Surrounded by beautiful ladies,Jessica,Rachael and Emily whose joint ages more or less add up to his.

Saturday 10 November 2012

National Sausage Week

and what better to celebrate it with but with David Lishman's official Yorkshire sausages. And a bargain too. Buy 5 lb and get 3lbs free. As I was in the area I went along to buy my way around the shop. I don't think I have ever been to Ilkey before and didn't realise it was as big or as busy a place. Friendly locals told me where it was and after a bit of careful negotiation I managed to get parked in one of the crowded side streets.not a job I would like to do day in and day out.Back to the shop,there was so much choice.Not only did I come away with nearly a ton of sausage there was a pork pie for the shooters the next day Some home made pate for toast. Then I spied the lamb Henrys which are a favourite of Jacks. They were next into the bag. Shame David wasnt there -he was in London picking up yet another award. Back home the sausages have gone down well. Four generations here give them the thumbs up and a German guest.Wonderbar

Monday 5 November 2012

The Grand Finale - Yorkshire food finder [part 5]

6.30pm and we were ushered into the glass conservatory for supper. Eighteen hungry mouths sat down to a fine 3 course meal. We began with a pork terrine with a layer of tasty pork fat on the top delicious along with spelt toast. Not counting the calories we tucked in to the main course which was beef from James White's the butchers where we had been earlier in the day. Topped off with a three way apple dessert. Shame I had to drive home but then all good things come to an end sooner or later

Into the stock pot of the great - Yorkshire Food finder [part 4]

The next part of our day out before dinner was a tour of James Mackenzie's kitchen and the dining room he has upstairs for private parties. It comes complete with sitting room and bathroom. The set up in the kitchen was amazing with the £50k+ oven. Chefs were hoovering around and trying not to look disturbed as our nosey party peered into drawers.It is all about preparation . Everything waiting to be popped on a plate to garish and enhance. The Michelin star has to be earned and attention to detail is what it is all about. The highlight of the kitchen for me was a huge stock pot bubbling away on the stove. Veal and pork cooking for 2 days I think James said.It looked as if there was leek and carrots in there too. I guess a lot more besides.

Yorkshire Food Finder [part 3]

Then it was back to the Pipe and Glass, time this afternoon had going quickly and it was now 4.30pm. There was a welcoming log fire as we settled down in squashy settees to listen to a very local character -Rob Gibbbon. And what a character he is. Rather than bore you with details you can read all about him on www.moorlandsfarmcyder.co.uk. Rob retired and is now bottling thousands of bottles of cyder as well as apple juice.he started off with it in the back bedroom then as the business grew overtook the bathroom until he had a few explosions.By this time Rob's long suffering wife said outside from now on. and so the story unfolded. he got started with the help of Father Rainer. With the glow of the cyder inside us and the glow of the fire on my cheeks I could have quite happily gone to bed in one of the Pipe and Glass' bedrooms which we were allowed to peek in prior to guests arrival.