Saturday, 22 October 2016

Playing Host

This week I hosted Keith Gilks who is a journalist for Cycling World Magazine. I was lucky to be able to call on a few businesses I know to help make Keith's stay even more tasty.
Primarily he was in Yorkshire to cycle ,but I wanted to make sure he had the very best of food and drink too.
The White Swan in Ampleforth feed the very tired Keith and after a few pints of baa baa Black Sheep his aching legs were a thing of the past.  He started with Pork and Apple Terrine and had Plaice rolled in Smoked Salmon to follow in the most sublime of lemon cream . I mirrored him on this, while Sarah Barrowby who had come along to talk "cycling" we must not forget why he was in the area. Sarah opted for the Plaice as well but started with homemade soup. There was no room for puddings.  Emily Slingsby very kindly organised that Keith receive a selection of Ampleforth beers which her husband Andy brought to the White Swan for him. A real ale man, Keith was delighted. It was a vey pleasant evening spent in the White Swan which has been newly refurbished and was lovely and warm too which is something the some eating places just don't seem to get their heads around . Quite "Hygge" infact.
After a nights sleep that Keith said he had slept like  King ! It was time for me to serve breakfast. A full Yorkshire of course complete with my son Nicholas's venison sausages.
Soon it was time to say goodbye to Keith and off he went on his next cycling adventure heading in the direction of Sutton Bank.
Hunters of Helmsley had kindly made him a packed lunch with goodies from their deli counter and some Hustwaite apple juice.  Hunters won the Best Local Shop in Great Britain and rightly so ...we love their rare beef sandwiches. As we were not sure if Keith was a rare beef man they opted to make him a cheese and ham one,which I guess was very tasty as they cook their meat on site. I often  get a whiff of their meats cooking when I go by their doors.
Keith's next port of call was Whitby and home for the night .I  just knew he shouldn't miss a trip to the Magpie and a quick call to Ian's team and a place was booked for him for 7pm. The last thing I heard of Keith was a photo he posted on social media of a very large portion of fish and chips curtesy of the Magpie.
Thank you to all you wonderful businesses that made it possible to turn Keith's trip into an even better one than he had expected. Jack often says to me if you are going to do something, do it right and I think we all did .

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Apple Day At Helmsley Walled Garden

They are such a friendly crew at Helmsley Walled Garden.  We are very lucky to have such a  gem of a place only 6 miles from us. And last Saturday I took Geneva , a Canadian guest, along with me to their Open Apple Day . Mike was there talking about his bee hives. The bees playing their part around the
orchards. We were amazed at the different colour of apple juice that was on show all taken from the Walled Garden ,all bottled up ready to drink.
Then we took a quick walk around the garden and into the Orchid House that was playing host to the harvest of gourds. Every year I say next year I am going to grown some for myself..and another year passes maybe 2017 .
This is certainly a hidden gem of Helmsley and Ryedale too. A charity set up many seasons ago by a very enthusiastic Alison Ticehurst ,a lovely lady and had the privilege of knowing. Her enthusiasm was infectious -well she was our doctor's wife, which lead my Dad to lending them a small plough and I think it is still there.


Wednesday, 7 September 2016

September ...

September what does it mean to you ?.....Carluccio's have launched #MadAboutMushrooms, which brings me to write this blog.
I have loved September and all the memories it holds since the year dot. No longer do I have a pony to ride around the fields looking for mushrooms. Transferring them from perfectly formed fungi into a Mother's Pride waxed bread packet and getting them back to the farm the majority of which were only good enough to put in a stew. The buttons were fried for tea with home cured fat streaky bacon. Who could ever forget ?

Life goes on but we still go mushrooming. The mushrooms still grow in the same places within the backdrop of Byland Abbey.  As I said to my Dad, who is 94 in 2 weeks time -he was driving the mule [a mechanically version not animal by the way]  Did we have more hours in the day then? No came his reply things went at a slower pace.

My Uncle Fred was the horseman and it was when I was tiny he would lead me around the fields on my pony looking for mushrooms . I was perhaps 3 at the time. Fred  would lift me down to watch him cut the mushroom with his knife and then I would pluck it out of the grass and he would lift it up again and off we would go in search of the next mushroom.  There is still something magical about picking mushrooms. Go early in the morning when the dew is still on the grass. Mother Earth is a great provider.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

With my competition head on again...

 Now taking photographs is going to be harder than making the chocolate pot.

This is the email I received the other day ...

to another lady et moi .....

Morning Ladies
Wishing you many congratulations this morning for winning Lockwoods’ chocolate pot competition.
Your two recipes have been chosen by Matthew and the head chef.

The next step is for you both to come to the restaurant for a ‘cook off’ at a suitable time and date.
This will allow us to choose the winning recipe to go on the menu.

Before this however, we would like to do a photo with yourselves and Matthew at the restaurant in Ripon before the 6th September (and between 3.30pm and 5pm) 
It would be amazing if you could bring your chocolate pot dish to be included in the picture. But if this is a problem, please don’t worry.

Can you let me know when you would be free this week for the photo.

Once again ladies, many congratulations and thanks for sending in your delicious recipes.