Wednesday 1 September 2010

Bank Holiday.

We went to Yorkshire for the August Bank Holiday. It's the time of year when the whole country seems to be celebrating with festivals and shows. We drove through Kettlewell where the narrow streets were crowded with families who had come to enjoy the annual scarecrow festival. There were scarecrows in every garden, propped on seats, up ladders and leaning on gates. I had packed my camera and it was in the boot of the car, Himself had already been driving for several hours so I didn't think it a good idea to ask him to stop while I rummaged about in the suitcase.
The Yorkshire Dales are beautiful in late summer when the heather is in flower and it is pleasant for walking.

On Saturday we went to the Wensleydale Agricultural Show and dodged a downpour of rain by being thoroughly engrossed by the displays in the marquee.

My Uncle Will was a keen show exhibitor and as a child I used to help him at the local flower show as he carefully unwrapped his prize chrysanthemums or arranged his sweet peas or a display of black grapes. Crushed grass and canvas, what an evocative smell!

It is a real trip down memory lane for me. When my daughters were small I carried the gardens on plates that they had made to a number of events.

We never had the category of a necklace made of sweets. What a great idea. The entries were all lovely, some very bright and funky, others rather elegant in arrangements of delicately coloured translucent sweets. Such a temptation to eat the sweets and end up with only a pendant!

The carrots in my garden taste good, but they would look rather pathetic next to these.

There was close scrutiny of the prize winning specimens.

Crook sticks for hills and thumb sticks for pasture.
 Himself makes a fresh thumb stick every year. He needs to because he is forever swiping at things, brambles, nettles and so forth. He looks in spring for a suitable branch of hazel and cuts it to size, not necessarily a prize winner, but very practical.

All the animals had been given a really good wash and brush up. Just how pretty can three sheep look!

The British Blue bull being admired. Or was it the handler?

The sun shone on a wonderful display of livestock in the ring.

 Freddie, the show president, handed out the silver cups.
It was a great day out.

On Sunday I went with my elder daughter to Harrogate where we had enrolled on a knife skills course at Betty's Cookery School. No thoughts from us of yesterdays oh so pretty sheep, we were far too busy preparing our rack of lamb, 'French trim'. Really, those French! Can you believe that we had to almost polish those rib bones right to the eye of the meat? Please note the degree of concentration that was needed!
We came home exhausted but with all our fingers intact. It was a great day, and, because we brought all the filleting, boning and vegetable slicing that we had prepared home with us, supper was rather good. I brought all the lamb scraps from my table back for the dog, so she was happy as well!

1 comment:

  1. oh, i love this post. the vegetables look like works of art. you must go to edith hope's garden blog and introduce yourself. you two would really hit it off. the animals look divine too. and i must say i loved knife skills class the best when i was in culinary school. keeping up with the men was difficult but i practiced at home at night and on weekends and i my skills were wicked.