Thursday 28 November 2013

A bumpy road....

no more. Our drive had got some larger than large potholes in it thanks to the flood of rain we had it just washed the road away. We had a local firm who came in took off the old tarmac and replaced it with concrete as far as the gate. From there upwards it has been mended with tarmac. So now we are the owners of a posh new smooth driveway in.So we have the before and after photos -a drive facelift.

To cook or not to cook...

But when you have a recipe book like this you will find it very hard not too. I was lucky that my recipe was chosen along with the good and greats of the food world industry.Page 27 if you wanted to know and still page 27 of you aren't interested. Rosemary Shrager,Simmon Crannage,Stephanie Moon,Annie Stirk and Tim Bilton to name but a few. This recipe book has been created by Angela Hobden -first photo -and her band of supporters at Selby College to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research in memory of a young man,Scott Robinson, who died of testicular cancer aged only 18 years old. A student of Selby College and promising young chef. The book launched on 12th November Everyone is very pleased with the variety of the delicious recipes in the book, the beautiful Yorkshire images and dialect and the whole reason behind the book. The initial target was to raise £10,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research,now aiming for £15,000 which if we can reach it, will be amazing. If anyone would like to order any books or are interested in selling them in their restaurant or business pleased could you let Angela know as soon as possible as they have an opportunity to deliver some throughout Yorkshire on Monday 2nd December through Tina Boden who has kindly offered to drive around the county for us. It can't guarantee we can reach everyone but once we know if anyone is interested we can make some plans. Additionally we are trying to gauge if we need to go for a reprint as stocks are rapidly depleting. (we had 3000 printed originally) Therefore if you would like any books please could you let Angela know asap how many and where they would need to be delivered to, so we can make the appropriate decisions. Alternatively if you would like to order a single copy this can be done via our website which we have now set up for paypal payments. After Christmas they are planning more promotion through media articles and are looking at promoting the book and testicular cancer awareness through some professional Yorkshire sporting clubs. This will keep the momentum going and continue to support Yorkshire Cancer Research. Angie and the students Dot, Danny, Kelly, Sean, Hannah and Patrick have worked very hard and their number is 01757 211164

Saturday 23 November 2013

Christmas at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire

Open from today until the 22 nd December. It is only 11 miles from us and well worth a visit

Thursday 21 November 2013

The Awards and met the Stars

The Emmys,the Oscars --no nothing quite as boring..these were the White Rose Awards. Held in Leeds by Welcome to Yorkshire at The Armouries. I went with my friend Susan and we couldn't have had a better place to stay right next to the Armouries themselves. So as guests started to arrive we looked out of the window we they descended very glamorously out of stretched limos and the like. Philip and Jessica Barker had kindly invited us to join them on their table and we were in prime position only a table from the ITV soap Emmerdale celebrities.Jessica looked amazing as usual.Sarah posed with Ken Stirk the other half to Annie Stirk of Absolutely Food and also enjoying themselves Deborah Whitwell and Kate Robey from Provedence Inns .Lots more of friendly faces all too many to mention. Jeff Hordley who plays bad guy Cain Dingle was the star of the evening for most of us girlies. Thanks Cain for giving us a night to remember and something to talk about for a long time to come. The food was delicious -1000 mouths to feed .The awards announced and all too soon it was time to leave. We bid our farewells with thanks to Gary Verity and his Team - From Dee Marshall to welcoming us in to Sarah Barrowby for leading me astray on to the dance floor and Tom Ashurst who was sat tweeting the winners as they were announced. All worked so very hard to give us a truly great night. As we walked into the hotel lobby was it Tom Lister alias Carl King I just saw striding by or was it his ghost.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Bonjour Monsieur

We had the pleasure of looking after a party of guns from France. It seemed Le Grand depart has already started for us. My part in this was to supply the coffee before they set off and then lunch. Strong coffee with slices of sweet cakes and sweet bread was served outside in the warm morning sunshine. The red and white checked table cloth came out and I welcomed them in my best French. Managed to ask how they were,telling them my name and I was l'espouse de Jack.Whew the hardest part was over .. I needed to make an impression with the lunch. It was not a grand affair but a quick warming lunch but I wanted to make sure this Yorkshire woman could give any la chefesse a run for her money. I made tomato and roasted pepper soup .The tomatoes were out of my Dad's greenhouse so I knew I had the taste. This was served with crisp chesses biscuit on the side topped with clotted cream .Quite a feat to transport them from kitchen to table and Jack did a really good job not letting the biscuits fall into the soup .I am sure they knew they had to sit proudly on the side A la Raymond Blanc. They must have like it as they held their bowls up for second helpings. Hot steak pie followed with roasted sweet potatoes which I had cooked in butter and olive oil with a ton of garlic and Cornish sea salt. The French men's eyes lit up at the sight of so much roasted garlic I am sure they had never expected it. Even though I say so myself that garlic was delicious. The finale was thanks to Shepherd's Purse who had supplied me with a cheeseboard. Ampleforth Abbey liqueur was on offer too. I had tried to give them a taste of Yorkshire and I think I succeeded.

Two shops ...or not to shop.

Not one shop but two magical shops right next to each other. Vanished is Vivienne Westwood's shop in Blake Street in York .Arrive is the Yorkshire soap company and their sister shop next door.. After seeing Yorkshire lass soap in the Star Inn the City we had to find the shop that sold it. Marching forward the 3 Musketeers, namely Katrina,Christine and myself stalked along Blake Street to find bubbles in the street. Yes bubbles. So even the worse navigator will find it. Shame was I couldn't take any photos inside as the shop owners want you to feel the magic when you walk into the shop. My plea was if I don't have a photo to show people will they take my word for it. So I had to stand in the street and take photos to tempt you in. Alice in Soapland -beautifully crafted soap and they don't forget the menfolk in our lives too. Soap with miniature wellingtons in ,mini foxes and dragons. For girlies it is rosebuds and cupcakes. Slices of meringues, lush cakes and trifle type creations -all made of soap. I love this shop and cant wait until the little shepherdesses are grown up enough to go in and see it for themselves. With ohs and ahs we finally left and then into next door. Quirky ,classy,different. Beautiful engraved glassware ideal present -say no more Christmas is on the way

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Big Decisions at the Star Inn the City

From East,West and North we do roam. Wanting glitzy food without any foam. A treat for us three was in store. We realised this as soon as we walked through the door. I promise not to give up my day job. This is a yearly ritual for Katrina from The Wold Cottage ,Christine Ryder from Scaife Hall Farm and myself to meet up for lunch and put the world to rights. This time our date led us to the newly opened Star Inn the City. Sister eating and watering hole to the Star at Harome. Here it opens at 8am and has an all day menu that goes through nearly until the bewitching hour. Tucked away at the side of Museum gardens in York -this is an ideal place to go for a quick drink, a snack ,a long drink a leisurely lunch, a few drinks or a dinner in the evening. It dots all the "I"s and crosses all the "T"s. We were served by the amazing Annie. She was helpful and cheerful and probably one of the nicest waitresses I have come across for a long time. So sorry Annie but when I recommend people to venture through Mr Pern's door I will tell them to ask for an "Annie table". Three hours went all too quickly. The food was delicious ,the ambience good and even Helga nailed to the door at the top of the stair case showed how much effort has gone into it being my sort of place. My only moan was the fact I didn't get around to trying one of the many cocktails on offer.It was the Museum Garden Martini which appealed to me -the one who hardly ever drink - Scotch,Benedictine,Coffee Cream and hazelnut Liqueur ....The Squirrel's Nuts. maybe next time I take the bus.

Getting known in Sweden

I was lucky to have 3 Swedish guests stay recently. Helene Hofverberg who looks after the PR for Visit Britain brought 2 journalists on a whistle stop tour. The delightful Anna Wahlgren who hopes to return with her son Jack to see my Jack's dogs. Anna told me the little boy had thought it was funny we were called Jack and Anna and they were too. Cenneth Sparby had time to get a run in before they went out to dinner down the road at the Black Swan in Oldstead to have a gourmet meal. Next morning they all tucked into breakfast and all too soon it was time for them to depart but not before signing the guests book. Anna saying "Thanks for a lovely stay.Jack and I will be back " Helen wrote"Thanks for taking such good care of us,It was lovely here" Cenneth topped it by ! "Being in Heaven -both the bed and the breakfast..Great stay " I think I may have to take a few lessons in Swedish to see what they have written about me over there.If not I will have to make do with the photos they took .