Posts Tagged ‘Harrogate’

Sunrise Walk For St Michael’s Hospice

Sunday, September 26th, 2010
Sunrise Over Studley Roger Deer Park

Sunrise Over Studley Roger Deer Park

We’re off en famille this early in the morning – actually, far too early – for a sponsored Sunrise Walk for 6 miles from Sawley to Ripon Cathedral, raising money for St Michael’s Hospice.  St Michael’s Hospice is a local palliative care charity for people in the Harrogate region, offering end of life care regardless of illness, but with it being best known locally for those dying of cancer.  Our 9 year old son, Jay, was especially keen to do this walk, so our 7 year old daughter is having a sleepover with some friends, so we can get up and out this early in the morning.

[Rest written on our return]

At 5am this morning, it was pitch black and there were no cars on the roads, plus there is a cold bite to the air.  Jay kept on saying that being up this early just did not feel right, which is certainly correct from his point of view.  I do not know whether others have noticed, but the air definitely changed on Thursday last week and that wintry bite has crept into the atmosphere.  I really could do without another harsh winter like we have had for the last two years.

We arrived at Ripon Market Square and set off in coaches to Sawley where we registered along with 180 others in the village hall.  As always, everyone else was dressed for the occassion, all togged up in Goretex jackets, hats, gloves and walking sticks and special walking boots, whereas we came casually attired in normal weekend rig out and some trainers; our clothing seemed to suffice as we were not climbing the Matterhorn.  They reckon that the pledges had racked up about £11,000 in money that would go direct to patient care, which is really excellent.

Just after the sun had risen at 6.30, we set off from Sawley along country lanes, skirting round Fountains Abbey before cutting through the deer park at Studley Roger and into Ripon, finishing at Ripon Cathedral at between 8.30am.  At Ripon Cathedral, we were warmly greeted with bacon sarnies cooked by Anthony Sterne’s Appletons crew, then we went home to collapse.

Bacon Sandwiches From Appletons Butchers By Ripon Cathedral

Bacon Sandwiches From Appletons Butchers By Ripon Cathedral

The walk through the deer park at Studley Roger was beautiful.  The deer were out and about and there was a tremendous stag with massive antlers that seemed to watch our every move as we passed near his herd.  Unfortunately, I forgot my zoom lens so was unable to take any dramatic photos of the deer.

New Season Asparagus

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

There’s nothing simpler, nothing more delicious than new season asparagus.  Some years ago, Sophie and I tried to grow asparagus, but we never had sufficient patience and that project came to nought.  But luckily there are loads of brilliant local growers of asparagus who do have the patience.

Sophie came back with a punnet of fresh asparagus from M.L. & R.C. Snowden, who farm on the Leeds Road between Harrogate and Harewood in North Yorkshire.  They are one of our favourite places for asaparagus, soft fruits (pick your own) and fresh salad leaves.

New Season's Asparagus

New Season's Asparagus

We simply trimmed off the woody ends, washed them, boiled them in our upright asparagus pot until they were just softened and then we served them covered in melted butter and a sprinkling of sea salt – we used Fleur de sel and you could, also, use Maldon salt.  Then we eat them with our fingers. 

Delicious, natural and simple yet indulgent.

Tip: never drink white wine with asparagus as I find it makes the wine taste really metallic.

Recipe For Chicken Breasts Stuffed With Sage And Onion Stuffing

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Thursday last week was a gloriously sunny, late spring / early summer day.  The daffodils are looking gorgeous.  I am amazed anew every year at how the garden comes back to life, while I have been doing nothing to it, after a bitterly cold winter.  Spring is when hope is renewed and the year is fresh of so many new possibilities.  I love it.  And last week the first swallows arrived.

I went to deliver some sample spices to Fodder for their curry night.  Fodder is a lovely farm shop and cafe attached and part of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.  It’s got all sorts of signs in the fields where you park for the Great Yorkshire Show, but somehow it seems hidden behind Sainsbury’s – it may be as simple as most people know where Sainsbury’s is and that’s where the flow of traffic goes.

But everyone should visit it as it’s a wonderful showcase of all that’s good about Yorkshire farmed food and locally prepared foods, from local smoked salmon through to sweets and chocolates.  But they really must get their web site sorted out as it’s still got events for Christmas 2009 and nothing input since.

I was tempted by some chicken breasts from a wonderful Yorkshire chicken farmer, T. Soanes & Son from the Yorkshire Wolds over by Driffield.  The chickens are free range and fed on corn and have great depth of flavour.

I decided that they would make a delicious light evening meal for 4, by stuffing 3 chicken fillets with a sage and onion stuffing, served on a bed of Soba noodles (Japanese noodles made from wheat and buckwheat) and served with steamed asparagus and broccoli.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed With Sage & Onion

Chicken Breasts Stuffed With Sage & Onion

To make the Sage and Onion Stuffing:


1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
80g / 3oz fresh white breadcrumbs
Some wonderful Steenbergs salt and Fairtrade pepper
1 free range egg, beaten

1. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan.  Lightly fry the chopped onion in the oil, until soft and translucent
2. Mix together the onion, sage and breadcrumbs and season well
3. Add enough of the beaten egg to bind the mixture together and use to stuff meat or poultry or to roll into individual stuffing balls