Tag Archives: North Yorkshire

The Furry Biker’s Cookbook

29 May
Jack Shepherd explores a North Yorkshire delicacy in an extract from his forthcoming Furry Biker’s Cookbook

I’ve been travelling the length and breadth of the UK in recent months looking for exciting new recipes to tickle the canine tastebuds for my new TV Series The Furry Biker.  In Wales, the Welsh Rabbit was disappointing (owing to a distinct lack of rabbit), and in Edinburgh, the omelette didn’t go exactly to plan (must have been something to do with the Scotch eggs).  The BBC looked at me as if I was mad when I suggested a trip to Venice to try some venison sausage (and suggested I might like to look in on North Korea instead) but I’ve managed to scrape together one or two dishes which have gone down a storm.

My labrador friend e-mailed what looks like a lovely recipe last week and I’ve been dying to try it: feline daube with prunes (a lovely slow-cooked dish done with onions, a little red wine and a twist of garlic) but fresh cat is proving so difficult to get hold of and frozen just isn’t the same.  So I’ve fallen back on an old favourite which I do hope you’ll try (it’s delicious with a Nottage Hill Cabernet Shiraz – £4.98, ASDA):

Dessicated frog with a grass and sheep dung salad

Ingredients

1 or 2 dessicated frogs

A pawful of well-sniffed grass

Fresh sheep dung

Gravy bone garnish (optional)

Cooking time

Just as long as it takes your owner to realise what you’re doing, tell you off and steer you away with a gentle pull on your lead

Serves

1

Method

1.  Rip apart one dessicated frog – now they’ve filled the pond in these are relatively easy to get hold of (if your pond is still full of copulating amphibians however, then you could try: http://www.driedfrog.co.uk).  You could use toad – but they lack the piquancy and aren’t quite as stretchy.

2.  Sniff some tufts of grass on your walk – you can get away with this quite easily because they think you’re looking for somewhere to squat – and rip off a few mouthfuls of stale old grass that a cat peed on yesterday (if you’re not bothered about dressing on your salad you can omit the urine).

3.  Wolf down a bite-sized piece of fresh sheep dung as you’re walking across the field.  This should be done in one slick move like swallowing an oyster – don’t chew.  This time of year they’re rich and tasty and slightly smaller from the lambs.  You will need to make sure that your owners have forgotten that you do this and don’t have you on a short lead to prevent it.

4.  Ignore the sound of your owner vomiting with disgust behind you.

I like to serve this dish as a light snack between meals, ideally as a simple, yet wholesome starter before dinner.  After all, everyone knows that a quick G&T (grass and turd) before supper makes a wonderful aperitif.  Enjoy.

The Furry Biker, 7.30 pm BBC 5, Tuesday 5th June.  Thankfully, NOT in HD.

Too cold to snow?

10 Feb

My elderly patient looks at me earnestly (he’s not called Ernest – that’s just his general demeanor) – “It’s too cold to snow Doctor” he opines with all the sagacity of one who has seen more cold winters than I’ve had, well, hot dinners.  We survey the sky together – the clouds are heavy, black (and pendulous) the effect enhanced by the ubiquitous elderly-person lace curtain hanging limply at the window.  His carer nods in agreement.

I look out at the icy pavement  – I have already almost fallen foul of this  – gingerly stepping out of the car to my feet, I slid gracefully toward the gatepost managing to save myself at the last second.  Thank goodness the carer was there – at least she could have ‘phoned my GP to request a home visit had ended up on the concrete.

Can it really be too cold to snow?  Ever?  I mean, I’m no expert in meteorology but it seems to me that there’s lots of snow in, say, Antarctica and it’s significantly cooler there than it is here in North Yorkshire.  This is one of those problems I’ve pondered since childhood – you know the sort – it’s up there with: “Don’t be ridiculous, you know very well why you have to have your hair cut for Christmas” (I still don’t) or “Of course you have to have bread and butter with your fish fingers” (likewise).

One of the inherent problems of the “it’s too cold to snow” argument is my astute observation that when it does snow, the air temperature seems to be significantly cooler than when it’s hot and we’re smothering children in Piz Buin and standing in queues at ice cream vans.  However, my patient (who’s not called General Demeanor either – that’s just how he appears) is 92 and I’m not going to argue with him – not least because his hearing aid’s currently whistling a passable rendition of “Colonel Bogey” and he’d never be able to make out what I’m saying anyway.  “You’re right, but it does look overcast, doesn’t it?” I venture – loudly.  His carer nods in agreement again.

With any luck, now that we’re safely delivered of January and striding through the icy wastelands of February we can contemplate better weather to come.  Disappointingly, just when you’re out of the snow season and Spring teases you with a few warm days you’re into April showers.  Funny how it’s never too wet to rain.