Food & Drink

Homemade Blackberry Wine

Northern Living - Homemade blackberry wine recipeThe crop of blackberries is outstanding this year. If you're been out brambling and are thinking of making a little wine here's an interesting recipe.

A word of warming though... Blackberries contain an enzyme which causes the initial fermentation to be vigourous and prolonged. Be certain to sieve all seeds out – step 8 – if there are any left they have a tendency to block the air trap which can only result in one thing when it finally explodes out. A staining sticky foam on ceilings, walls and floors.

Blackberry Wine Recipe

780 grams blackberries
5 litres water
350 grams sugar or 1kg for a stronger wine
1 grams yeast
150 grams raisins (for a sweeter wine)


1. Rub the berries very gently in a tea towel to remove any dust, but do not wash.
2. Place in a large bowl or bucket and pour over 5litres of boiling water.
3. Cover with a cloth and leave for three days stirring a few times each day.
4. Strain the liquid onto the sugar and stir until it has all dissolved.
5. Leave for half an hour.
6. Add the yeast and cover closely.
7. Leave in the container for a further six days.
8. Strain into a demijohn and add the raisins for a sweeter wine.
9. Fix in a bung and place in a warm room.
10. Leave until fermentation is complete.

This should be ready to drink in six months to bring warmth to a cold winter’s day.

Yorkshire Ales - Snaith & Malton

Yorkshire Ales - Northern LivingAdrian Pettitt, and his wife, Vicky are fond lovers and great supporters of local food and drink and have started Yorkshire Ales to showcase what the Yorkshire region has to offer. When asked what his dream job would be? Adrian replied "Yorkshire Ales - selling beer from Gods own County!

Adrian has always been a real ale enthusiast and has been a member of CAMRA for many years. After frequenting breweries, beer festivals and beer retailers across the county he realised that there was a growing number of local breweries and nowhere that had a focus purely on those breweries. A lot of beer retailers offer UK-wide and International beers, Adrian saw an opportunity to help the small and emerging Yorkshire microbreweries and showcase their products. In addition to the retail outlets in Snaith, Malton, and York there is also a growing wholesale arm to the business and there are a number of pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels in Yorkshire that are now benefitting from a diverse and interesting range of local ales supplied by 'Yorkshire Ales'.

Getting started

Adrian set about getting his personal license and then not long after acquiring his premises license. In the meantime he set about contacting the numerous Yorkshire breweries - of which there are over 150. On his mission to gather as many bottled beers that Yorkshire has to offer, Adrian set about driving round the Yorkshire countryside visting all the breweries to collect the beer! A few samples were had on the way and this adds to his knowledge and experience. The flagship shop in Snaith opened on the 29th September 2012 and has a range of 200+ real ales from the majority of Yorkshire microbreweries. Adrian is constantly contacting breweries to extend this range.
Local suppliers

Alongside the real ale available in the Snaith shop there is regularly local produce (all from Yorkshire) from a number of the following suppliers:

Boozy Infusions
The Chilli Jam Man
Sloe Motion
Yorkshire Oil
Yorkshire Crisps
Bracken Hill Preserves
Sawley Kitchen
Brittains Vodka
Luddenden Valley Wines
Selby Honey
Manor Farm Biltong
Three Little Pigs
Taylors of Harrogate
Pure North Cider
Wine from Yorkshire Vintners - Ripon

The Manor House
17 Selby Road
DN14 9HT
01405 860 603

Blackened King Prawns and Fried Green Tomato Salad

Northern Living - Ingenious solution to that glut of green tomatoes you often have a the end of the growing seasonTowards the end of the tomato growing season I've been left with quite a number of green tomatoes which stubbornly refuse to ripen in the past. Our America cousins have ingenious solutions.... So in a month or so when your tomato plants start to look worse for wear, here's something tasty to end the growing season with.


For the blackened King Prawns:

1/2 pound Kind Prawns
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon oil

For the fried green tomatoes:

1 pound green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
salt and pepper to taste
oil or bacon grease for frying

For the remoulade dressing:

1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon creole mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 small clove garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers
1 green onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt pepper and cayenne to taste
For the salad:
4 strips bacon
6 cups lettuce, sliced
1/2 cup tomato, sliced
1/4 cup green onions, sliced


For the blackened King Prawns:

Toss the prawns in the seasoning, cook them in the oil in a pan over medium-high heat until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side, and set aside.

For the fried green tomatoes:

Dip the tomato slices in the buttermilk, dredge them in the mixture of the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper and fry them in oil over medium-high heat, until lightly golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side, before setting on paper towels to drain.
For the remoulade dressing:
Purée everything in a blender until smooth.

For the salad:

Cook and crumble the bacon, mix everything and toss in the dressing.

Home Made Cheese

Northern Living - Home Made Cheese – Why not have a go? You might invent something pretty specialHome Made Cheese – Why not have a go? You might invent something pretty special....

Have you ever wondered about making your own cheese at home? Most families did well into the Victorian era so why not now? Having done a little research it seems there are 6 basic steps:-


To make cheese you need brings milk to a temperature required to promote the growth of the bacteria that feed on lactose and thus ferment the lactose into lactic acid. These bacteria in the milk may be wild, as is the case with unpasteurised milk, added from a culture, frozen or freeze dried concentrate of starter bacteria. Bacteria which produce only lactic acid during fermentation are homofermentative; those that also produce lactic acid and other compounds such as carbon dioxide, alcohol, aldehydes and ketones are heterofermentative. Fermentation using homofermentative bacteria is important in the production of cheeses such as Cheddar, where a clean, acid flavour is required. For cheeses such as Emmental the use of heterofermentative bacteria is necessary to produce the compounds that give characteristic fruity flavours and, importantly, the gas that results in the formation of bubbles in the cheese. Cheesemakers choose starter cultures to give a cheese its specific characteristics. Also, if the cheesemaker intends to make a mould-ripened cheese such as Stilton, Roquefort or Camembert, mould spores (fungal spores) may be added to the milk in the cheese vat or can be added later to the cheese curd.


When during the fermentation the cheesemaker has gauged that sufficient lactic acid has been developed, rennet is added to cause the casein to precipitate. Rennet contains the enzyme chymosin which converts k-casein to para-kappa-caseinate (the main component of cheese curd) and glycomacropeptide, which is lost in the cheese whey. As the curd is formed, milk fat is trapped in a casein matrix. After adding the rennet, the cheese milk is left to form curds over a period of time. The amount of time, and of rennet, varies depending on the variety of cheese being made.


Once the cheese curd is judged to be ready, the cheese whey must be released. As with many foods the presence of water and the bacteria in it encourages decomposition. You must, therefore, remove most of the water (whey) from the cheese milk, and hence cheese curd, to make a partial dehydration of the curd. This ensures a product of good quality and that will keep. There are several ways to separate the curd from the whey, and it is again controlled by the cheesemaker.


If making Cheddar (or many other hard cheeses) the curd is cut into small cubes and the temperature is raised to around 39 °C (102 °F) to 'scald' the curd particles. Syneresis occurs and cheese whey is expressed from the particles. The Cheddar curds and whey are often transferred from the cheese vat to a cooling table which contains screens that allow the whey to drain, but which trap the curd. The curd is cut using long, blunt knives and 'blocked' (stacked, cut and turned) by the cheesemaker to promote the release of cheese whey in a process known as 'cheddaring'. During this process the acidity of the curd increases and when the cheesemaker is satisfied it has reached the required level, e.g. around 0.65%, the curd is milled into ribbon shaped pieces and salt is mixed into it to arrest acid development. The salted green cheese curd is put into cheese moulds lined with cheesecloths and pressed overnight to allow the curd particles to bind together. The pressed blocks of cheese are then removed from the cheese moulds and are either bound with muslin-like cloth, or waxed or vacuum packed in plastic bags to be stored for maturation. Vacuum packing removes oxygen and prevents mould (fungal) growth during maturation, which depending on the wanted final product may be a desirable characteristic or not.


In contrast to cheddaring, making cheeses like Camembert requires a more gentle treatment of the curd. It is carefully transferred to cheese hoops and the whey is allowed to drain from the curd by gravity, generally overnight. The cheese curds are then removed from the hoops to be brined by immersion in a saturated salt solution. The salt absorption stops bacteria growing, as with Cheddar. If white mould spores have not been added to the cheese milk the cheesemaker applies them to the cheese either by spraying the cheese with a suspension of mould spores in water or by immersing the cheese in a bath containing spores of, e.g., Penicillium candida. By taking the cheese through a series of maturation stages where temperature and relative humidity are carefully controlled, the cheesemaker allows the surface mould to grow and the mould-ripening of the cheese by fungi to occur. Mould-ripened cheeses ripen very quickly compared to hard cheeses (weeks against months or years). This is because the fungi used are biochemically very active when compared with starter bacteria. Some cheeses are surface-ripened by moulds, e.g. Camembert and Brie, some are ripened internally, e.g. Stilton, which is pierced by the cheesemaker with stainless steel wires, to admit air to promote mould spore germination and growth, in e.g. of Penicillium roqueforti. Surface ripening of some cheeses, e.g. Saint-Nectaire, may also be influenced by yeasts which contribute flavour and coat texture. Others are allowed by the cheesemaker to develop bacterial surface growths which give characteristic colours and appearances, e.g. by the growth of Brevibacterium linens which gives an orange coat to cheeses.

DIY Kits

There are complete kits available with all the equipment you are likely to need to embark on your first cheesemaking experiment. These kits can be bought on-line There are also on-line sources for the various cultures and rennets you might need for a basic cheddar or something a little more exotic 


The Wellington Oak - Good Food - Warm Welcome

Northern Living - The Wellington Oak - Good Food - Warm WelcomeThe Wellington Oak is situated on the A1079 just outside the town of Pocklington, East Yorkshire. From Wednesday to Sunday they have home cooked food available, which is very popular with the locals as well as travellers heading to or from the coast. The A1079 is the main route between York and Hull and via Market Weighton it is one of two routes between York and Bridlington on the East Coast of Yorkshire. The Wellington Oak is situated at the head of The Pocklington Canal which is fed by two large springs in the foothills of The Wolds above Pocklington. The Pocklington Canal is a broad canal which runs for 9.5 miles (15.3 km) through nine locks from the Canal Head behind the pub, to the River Derwent which it joins near East Cottingwith. Most of it lies within a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Alongside the canal is the Wellington Oak Caravan Site which is a small site accommodating eight caravans with electric hook-ups.

Pocklington is a picturesque market town. The town's skyline is dominated by a 15th-century tower of All Saints church. The town’s architecture is a mixture of quaint old houses and modern buildings and the town has several unusual street names reflecting its history from the Iron Age onwards. Pocklington gets its name via the Old English "Poclintun" from the Anglian settlement of Pocel's (or Pocela's) people and the Old English word "tun" meaning farm or settlement, but though the town's name can only be traced back to around 650 AD, the inhabitation of Pocklington as a site is thought to extend back a further 1,000 years or more to the Bronze Age. In the Iron Age Pocklington was the regional capital of the Parisi tribe and by the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 it was the second largest settlement in Yorkshire, after York itself. Pocklington developed through the Middle Ages while many similar places fell into dramatic decline. Pocklington owed much of its prosperity in the Middle Ages to the fact that it was a local centre for the trading of wool and lay on the main road to York, an important national centre for the export of wool to the continent.

The Wellington Oak,
Canal Head,
North Yorkshire
YO42 1NW
01759 303854



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