Who’s heard of dock pudding?

Breakfast plate of egg, bacon and dock pudding | H is for Home

Have you ever heard of dock pudding? I hadn’t until this year. It’s a pudding – if you can call it that – that’s very particular to our neck of the woods and this time of year.

Colanders of dock and nettle leaves | H is for Home

It’s a local, Calder Valley dish made of dock leaves, nettles, spring onions and oats – and is traditionally fried in bacon fat. The name ‘dock pudding’ is pretty misleading, not only is it not what you’d consider a pudding, it’s made using Persicaria bistorta. More commonly known as bistort, common bistort, European bistort, meadow bistort, gentle dock or passion dock.

Dock identification | H is for Home

It does however, grow alongside what we commonly know as dock – Rumex obtusifolius – or bitter dock, broad-leaved dock, bluntleaf dock, dock leaf or butter dock. Bistort is quite a bit smaller than dock. I’ve included a photo I took to help you identify the difference. If you’re still not sure about it, wait until June or July when bistort is in bloom. You can’t miss its pretty pink flowers shaped like cotton buds.

Adding oatmeal to dock pudding mixture | H is for Home

There’s a World Dock Pudding Championship founded in 1971 and held annually in Mytholmroyd. It took place just last weekend. During the Second World War, William Brooke Joyce, the last man to be hanged in Britain for treason, mistakenly believed that the people of Yorkshire were starving due to food rationing and were resorting to eating grass. In fact, they were simply enjoying their dock pudding!

Frying dock pudding rounds | H is for Home

I used the recipe from A Yorkshire Cookbook by Mary Hanson Moore and used a metal ring to mould them into perfect rounds. I had mine as a vegetarian option; served on a hash brown with runny egg sitting atop that. Justin had his served with the crispy bacon and egg – his dock pudding fried in bacon fat. We can honestly say that it was really delicious in both dishes. Justin had it again with a full English breakfast and says that in addition to the bacon and egg, it combines well with all other options like sausage, mushroom, tomato, potatoes, fried bread and toast. Dock pudding is a real winner – not only is it naturally foraged, very healthy and virtually cost free – the flavour really enhances dishes. As said, it’s great with breakfast ingredients, but could be used for all manner of other starter dishes and light lunches – or as a main course accompaniment.

Dock pudding
  1. 1 quart snakeweed leaves
  2. 1pint young nettle tops
  3. 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  4. 1 handful oatmeal
  5. small knob of butter
  6. bacon fatDock pudding ingredients
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  1. Clean and remove the thick stalks from the docks and nettles and boil with the onions in a little water until tender
  2. Add some seasoning and sprinkle in the oatmeal
  3. Boil again for 10 minutes, stirring all the time
  4. Add the butter
  5. Leave overnight
  6. Next day, fry large spoonfuls of the mixture in hot bacon fat and serve with bacon
  1. Don't forget to wear protective gloves when picking the stinging nettles and make sure you forage in a place where dogs aren't able to cock their leg!
Adapted from A Yorkshire Cookbook
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Win tickets to York’s Festival of Vintage

Win a pair of Festival of Vintage tickets | H is for Home

We’ve teamed up with the award-winning Festival of Vintage to offer two of our readers a pair of tickets each to attend the upcoming festival. This April 22nd & 23rd it returns for its 7th year to York Racecourse and will once again be showcasing the best in vintage shopping, music, dancing and fashion.

Vintage shelves for sale at the Festival of Vintage, York

A fun and nostalgic weekend, it attracts thousands of visitors, giving a feeling of being transported back in time. There’s a packed programme with three large halls of vintage shopping including fashion, homewares and furniture, two dance halls and music stages plus an impressive classic car display outside all focusing on the 1930s-1960s.

Rack of vintage clothes for sale at Festival of Vintage, York

There are so many extra things to see and do over the weekend such as craft ‘Make, Do and Mend’ workshops where you can learn a new skill, dance lessons covering many styles such as Lindy Hop and Jive and a variety of fashion shows. The Marks and Spencer Archive team returns to share their fashion history with everyone in Q&As and talks as well as show casing their favourite designs on the catwalk. There’s even a ‘Best Dressed’ contest where you can wow the judges and win cash prizes.

Couples dancing at the Festival of Vintage, York

With over 200 hand-picked vintage sellers from across the UK as well as 50 top quality vintage reproduction brands, the event is a honey pot for collectors and enthusiasts. Be it fashion, homewares, music, jewellery – there’ll be something there for everyone.

Vintage fabric for sale at the Festival of Vintage, York

Doors open from 10am-5pm, both days. York Racecourse, York YO23 1EX. For more information visit www.festivalofvintage.co.uk or call 0113 3458699.

If you fancy this as a great day or weekend out leave us a comment below saying what you’d most look forward to seeing or doing at the Festival of Vintage.

Tickets to Festival of Vintage, York

Shared on: Superluckyme | The Prizefinder | Loquax | U Me and the Kids

Keelham Farm Shop

Keelham Farm Shop entrance

We had a lovely drive over to Skipton today to visit Keelham Farm Shop.

Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton

We saw the shop on television at the weekend on the Countryfile programme. We were really taken with the Huddersfield-produced halloumi that was featured.

Keelham Farm Shop floor, Skipton

So we decided to go buy some of that – and see what else was on offer. We filled a trolley with all manner of deliciousness!

Coffee shop upstairs in Keelham Farm Shop, Skipton

There’s also a large ground floor restaurant and mezzanine café with a vintage industrial vibe – now bedecked in its Christmas decorations.

Adelle in the Keelham Farm Shop coffee shop

We found a Hygge-friendly corner! Adelle had a cute little penguin to keep her company while relaxing with a cup of coffee and slice of carrot cake.

Stairway looking down on to the shop floor of Keelham Farm Shop, Skipton

We bought quite a selection of (mainly) Yorkshire produced food & drink… including two types of the Halloumi (or Haloum! – as they call it). A mint variety and a fiery chilli. Justin bought himself a pork pie – he always judges and establishment by its pork pies. To be honest, he bought four different kinds of pie! As well as bread, cheeses, soups, ales, biscuits and puddings.

Selection of (mainly) Yorkshire produced food & drink | H is for Home

We’ve been sampling items for both lunch and dinner – they’ve all got top marks so far! We’ll be making a return trip very soon as we really like Skipton anyway – and this shop is just one more good reason to go.

Cakes & Bakes: Fat rascals

Home-made fat rascals and mug of tea | H is for Home

We were in Ilkley today – collecting items from auction and having a mooch around the charity shops.

flour and cubes of butter in a mixing bowl

We wandered passed Betty’s Tea Rooms, but didn’t go in – the breads and cakes in the window certainly looked good though.

Adding milk to fat rascal dough | H is for Home

Fat rascals are a famous offering from this establishment – and I decided to rustle up a batch when we got home. They’re quick and easy, so a perfect bake if you’re pushed for time (which I was if I wanted to get my Thursday recipe made, baked, photographed and written up in a couple of hours before posting in the evening.

fat rascals dough rolled and sliced | H is for Home

I used a traditional fat rascals recipe from Old Yorkshire Recipes by Joan Poulson (which you can get on Amazon for a penny!). It contained very sketchy instructions, so I checked some of my other recipe books. I found the exact recipe, with the exact, same instructions in Mary Hanson Moore’s A Yorkshire Cookbook. Even though Betty’s and Taylors of Harrogate trademarked the name ‘Fat Rascal’ in the 1980s, the pastries have actually been in existence since the 18th century at the latest.

Uncooked fat rascals on a baking sheet | H is for Home

We love this humble little bake – a bit soft biscuit, a bit rock cake, a bit scone. The Betty’s version is bigger and fancier with its cherry and almond decoration. My fat rascals have a simple sprinkle of sugar.

Home-made fat rascals cooling on a wire rack | H is for Home

They’re absolutely perfect with a cup of tea – we found that eating them just very slightly warm with cold butter was our absolute favourite, but all manner of preserves would work well too.

Pretzel loaf
Yields 1
  1. 500g/17 oz strong bread flour
  2. 1tbsp sugar
  3. 2tsp instant yeast
  4. 1¼tsp salt
  5. 250ml/ 9fl oz full-fat milk
  6. 125ml/ 4½fl oz warm water (blood temperature)
For boiling
  1. 2L water
  2. 3tbsp brown sugar
  3. 2tbsp bicarbonate of soda
For the topping
  1. water in a spray bottle
  2. pretzel salt (I used smoked sea salt flakes)Home-made pretzel loaf ingredients
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  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast
  2. Mix for a couple of seconds on low to combine the dry ingredients
  3. With the mixer on low, carefully pour in the milk and water. Continue mixing on low until you have a smooth, soft, slightly tacky dough
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with cling film or put it inside a large, clear plastic bag and set aside somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size (about an hour)
  5. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400°F/Gas mark
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface
  8. Lift the dough, gently pull the edge of the dough down and tuck under. Turn the dough a ¼ turn and repeat. Do this until you've formed a cohesive round. Place the round on the clean surface and use your hands to gently turn and tighten the dough down over the surface
  9. Place on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a clean tea towel or length of oiled cling film and allow to rise while the oven preheats
  10. Bring 2 litres of water to a boil in a large stainless steel or other non-reactive pan (enamelled cast-iron, tempered glass etc.)
  11. When the water comes to a boil, add the brown sugar and bicarbonate of soda
  12. Gently lift the loaf and carefully ease the dough - top side down first - into the boiling water
  13. Simmer for about 3 minutes, flip the dough over using two spatulas or slotted spoons and simmer on that side for another 2 minutes
  14. Use the two spatulas or slotted spoons to carefully lift the dough out of the water and transfer back over to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  15. Spritz the loaf with water and sprinkle with the coarse salt
  16. Using a lamé or a sharp knife, slice along the contours of the bread about ½cm/¼-inch thick.
  17. Bake for 35 minutes or until deep brown
  18. Transfer the loaf to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing
Adapted from Foodie with Family
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Out & About… Bingley

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mossy wall overlooking a humpback bridge and river

Last Sunday we went Out & About in Bingley, West Yorkshire. The walk was organised by Natalie on behalf of Turtle Mat. It brought together various bloggers from the Yorkshire area.

Yorkshire bloggers on a quick stop in St Ives Estate's picnic area

Bingley is a town we’ve always wanted to see a bit more of; we’ve driven through it a couple of times, but have always been on our way somewhere and couldn’t stop.

Fudge drinking from a stream in Bingley

Our guide for the day was Cedric – originally from France, but a firm Yorkshire fan and indeed, Bingley resident. We can say straight away that from first impressions it’s a lovely little place.

Historic Butter Cross in Bingley town centre

We all met up at the train station and, from our brief view of the town centre, we could see that there were lots of beautiful buildings & interesting corners to save for later visits. A river & canal run through its centre and there seems to be real history all around. By the looks of things, there’s no shortage of shops, pubs & cafés too.

alleyway off the main street in Bingley

Within a few short minutes of setting off, we’d found ourselves in an attractive open park, then passed some charming & well-tended allotments – then into pretty countryside and the grounds of St Ives Estate.

Adelle walking in St Ives Estate, Bingley

We stopped to take in the view on rocks overlooking the valley and Ilkley Moor beyond.

Cedrick, Justin & Fudge on a rock overlooking Ilkley Moor

From here, we dropped back down into town to have our lunch at the Brown Cow pub. We started with a well-deserved pint from a good range on offer. Adelle chose bubble & squeak with poached egg and watercress sauce.

Bubble & squeak with poached egg, tomatoes and watercress sauce at the Brown Cow, Bingley

Justin opted for traditional fish & chips – Fudge was hungry too and was hoping for a dropped chip!

Justin eating fish & chips with Fudge looking on intently

Despite not having much space left, we couldn’t resist dessert to finish. Treacle tart with raspberry coulis for Adelle…

treacle tart with raspberry coulis at the Brown Cow, Bingley

…and waffles and ice cream for Justin.

Waffles with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce at the Brown Cow, Bingley

We were each given a Turtle Mat to take home… perfect for post-walk muddy boots and dirty paws.

Turtle Mat mat with pair of walking boots

On the day of the walk we enjoyed beautiful warm sunshine, so no mud to speak of that day. We’ve had plenty of opportunity to test out the mat since though – well, we live in the Pennines after all!

Fudge in the lounge with the Turtle Mat mat

It’s found the perfect home by the front door and it really does work wonders. Our carpets and rugs might now stand a chance of staying clean!!


Cakes & Bakes: Yorkshire tea loaf

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Buttered Yorkshire tea loaf and cup of tea | H is for Home

This week’s Cakes & Bakes features a traditional Yorkshire fruit loaf. We often sit down for a tea break at about four in the afternoon – and absolutely love this kind of thing as an accompaniment to our brew. Sweet, sticky and full of good things to give you a mid afternoon energy boost.

Yorkshire tea loaf ingredients | H is for Home

There’s a very simple list of ingredients.

Soaked dried fruit | H is for Home

It’s vital that you soak the dried fruit in tea overnight – it makes a big difference to the end result so don’t be tempted to skip this stage!

Adding egg and sugar to Yorkshire tea loaf mixture | H is for Home

It’s everything in one bowl method.

Yorkshire tea loaf mixture | H is for Home

Preparation is easy so you can’t go wrong!

Uncooked Yorkshire tea loaf mixture | H is for Home

The loaf keeps well for up to 2 weeks, but it probably won’t hang around that long though.

Baked Yorkshire tea loaf mixture | H is for Home

It’s delicious served on its own or with a thin scrape of butter (thick scrape in Justin’s case).

Baked Yorkshire tea loaf sliced | H is for Home

Even just looking at it in pictures, we’re tempted to get the kettle on!!

Click here to pin the recipe for later!

Yorkshire tea loaf
Yields 2
The perfect accompaniment to a cup of afternoon tea!
  1. 350g mixed dried fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins, mixed peel. Try adding a tbsp of crystallised ginger)
  2. 350ml strong tea brewed for 3-4 mins
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 200g brown soft sugar
  5. 270g self raising flour
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  1. Brew a large, strong mug of tea (we usually use loose Yorkshire tea... of course! But any strong breakfast or afternoon tea will do!)
  2. Put the mixed dried fruit into a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Allow the tea to brew and cool slightly before pouring it into the mixing bowl (it should just about cover all the fruit
  4. Cover with cling flim/Saran wrap for a few hours, ideally overnight, to allow the tea to plump up the fruit
  5. In the morning, preheat the oven to 170ºC/
  6. Grease 2 x 450g/1lb loaf tins ( or 1 x 900g/2lb loaf tin)
  7. In a measuring jug, lightly beat the eggs before adding them to the mixed fruit and any un-soaked liquid
  8. Add the sugar and flour and combine well
  9. Pour evenly into the loaf tins and bake for 40-50 mins or until an inserted skewer comes away clean. If you're using a 900g tin, baking will take about 60-75 minutes
  10. Leave the loaves in their tins to cool completely before turning them out
  11. They'll keep for a couple of weeks if wrapped in baking parchment and kept in a cool, airtight container
Adapted from Clandestine Cake Club
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/