Tour de Yorkshire
The Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour de Yorkshire Cuisine
I am inspired to write an extra blog post this week. The reason for this is really due to my excitement over the Tour de Yorkshire. Although I enjoy a very steady cycle ride when the sun is shining and the wind is still – nothing compares to the sheer energy, fitness levels and stamina of the teams taking part in this year’s Tour.
I had the privilege of meeting Sir Gary Verity last year and would like to take this opportunity of congratulating him on yet another successful Tour which is testament to his hard work and that of his team.
I looked at the route of the cycle race and was immediately plunged into a period of nostalgia and pride. I am proud to have my roots in Yorkshire. I was born in Hull (East Riding of Yorkshire) but my grandparents were from the West Riding of Yorkshire – Bingley to be precise which is close to Stage 2 of the Tour.
My grandparents moved to Hull during the 2nd World War as my grandfather had to work as an engineer on the docks and they did not return to their roots. However, every year they would rent a holiday cottage in the Yorkshire Dales and we would go fishing and walking just for a week. That was it as far as holidays were concerned – one week in the school summer holidays.
I remember my grandad would sit with me for hours whilst I explored my latest interest. One year I wanted to be an artist and he sat patiently whilst I made an attempt to sketch a bridge and a tree, encouraging me all the time. Another year when I took an interest in photography he gave me a Brownie Camera and took me up hill and down dale so that I could be inspired – teaching me about light and perspective.
So, along with those fond childhood memories food also played a huge part. My grandmother was an excellent cook and in those days every meal was made from scratch. She made her own bread and pastries but never cakes. I don’t know why that was.
During my Yorkshire holidays we would fish for trout and then my grandmother would cook this fresh fish simply and we would have it for supper. Milk was collected from the farm nearby straight from the cow and carried home, still warm in a small milk churn. They were simple and obviously for me very memorable holidays.
Yorkshire has so much to offer. The obvious benefits are the countryside, scenery, openness and big skies. Yorkshire also, and probably most important to me, has an abundance of produce, recipes, history, farming, brewing and protected foods such as Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, Yorkshire Wensleydale and Swaledale Cheese. There are some fabulous eating places and watering holes and I would encourage visitors to the area to enjoy something of what the largest UK county has to offer.
There are so many recipes with their origins in Yorkshire. Yorkshire Parkin, Yorkshire Curd Cheese Cake, Yorkshire Pudding and Pontefract Cakes and these just came into my head without the need to look any others up.
If you look at the recipes section of my website you will find a recipe for Yorkshire Puddings and a Pontefract Liquorice and chocolate tart which featured on Countryfile last Autumn.
As a celebration for the Tour de Yorkshire and Tour de Yorkshire Cuisine I have this weekend developed my own recipe for a Yorkshire Curd Tart. The reason for this – it is a fond favourite but also one that I don’t see in bakeries as often as I used to. Here is the recipe.
As I bring this blog post to a close the teams will be finishing Stage 1 in Settle and Mother Nature has certainly thrown everything at them on this first day. It is windy, cold, frequent showers with some of snow then the occasional blink of April sunshine. I wish the cyclists, supporters and visitors a warm welcome and encourage everyone not familiar with Yorkshire’s many flavours to come along and sample what is on offer and here is a link to the Great British Food campaign Tour de Yorkshire Cuisine.
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