Batter times ahead
Did you know that we have a special day for our own local delicacy? Yes we actually have Yorkshire Pudding Day, and it’s the first Sunday in February (that’s the 5th February 2017) and has been for years (well, since 2008 anyway).
Of course this wonderful dish is popular outside Yorkshire’s broad acres and can be eaten at any time of the year—and not just as an accompaniment to roast dinners either.
Large ones make great vessels for holding hot savoury dishes such as sausage & onion casserole, chicken fricassee, or pulled pork in smoky bbq sauce; but what about the versatility of mini YPs? They can be used as base for canapes, much as you would use a vol-au-vent, but less messy; or even filled with lovely sweet things—think of all the fillings you could put in choux pastry; ice-cream, chocolate, fruit, cream, fudge—you know what we mean!
Although we heartily approve of using ready-made ones for speed and consistency, Yorkshire Puddings are made with batter; which brings us onto PANCAKES and Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday has been a traditional feast day since Anglo Saxon times (anywhere between round 410 and 1066) so rather longer than Yorkshire Pudding Day.
However the ingredients for pancakes are essentially the same as for Yorkshire Pudding—eggs, milk and flour.
Linked to Easter—Shrove Tuesday is always 47 days before Easter Sunday—it’s a moveable feast, which signifies the start of Lent the following day (Ash Wednesday). This year Shrove Tuesday is on 28th February.
In preparation for the Lenten fast, families traditionally used up any indulgent ingredients they had stored away to rid themselves of temptation. And an inventive but simple way to use everything up at once was to make pancakes. Like many Christian festivals, some of the elements have pagan origins—probably the tossing the pancakes on the floor bit.
Anyway, pancake-tossing aside, we like this idea of clearing the larder of ingredients, but we don’t expect anyone to fast afterwards—rather to use it as chance for a spring clean and an excuse to restock and perhaps rethink some menu ideas. We don’t like waste, so why not take stock, follow the example of the Anglo Saxons to design some special dishes around what you have in (of course you might need to supplement these with some new ingredients) and then start afresh for the spring?
Our brochures and catalogues are full of inspiring ideas, and with spring already starting to make an appearance now’s the time to start putting a menu plan into action!
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