Writing on a cold, wet day in February and just a sleep from the third month of the year, already I’m feeling comforted by the prospect of a second farmers’ market held inside the Witham. This morning (while evacuating the bantams to forage free in the garden), the wind was cold enough to burn your face. Holding a mug of black tea, I watched rain turn to sleet and quickly decided shorts and wellingtons would not be appropriate on this day.
Back in the kitchen, eggs boiled, soldiers buttered, the children who booked fully inclusive, enjoyed the simple pleasures of a Sunday morning breakfast.
My style of cooking will always please more than impress. Based on simple, home cooked fare with few ingredients, sourced from local, quality produces including those found at the farmers’ market and independent traders on the high street, I seek the finer things by way of taste.
For example, take the leg of lamb purchased from Westholme Farm in Marwood, at last month’s market. Westholme Farm produce quality, locally reared beef and lamb. The end pleasure of such simple delicious roasts always include squashing second helpings of potatoes into congealing lamb fat and gravy. With the leftovers we enjoyed a light evening supper by way of tagine of lamb and apricots. Yes I am 15 stone.
Good food also has a strong way of shaping memories. Just like treading old paths they’re able to reduce complexities of life adding calm and peace.
So even if it doesn’t feel like it, spring is almost here bringing fresh flavours and the promise of new produce on our plates. Visit Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market this Saturday 7 March inside the Witham on the high street and prepare your larder.
It would be amiss of me not to mention the unit of a man who balances the fulcrum of the market at the top of the high street, to that of I further downhill. Just William’s Seville Orange Marmalade received Gold at the World Marmalade Awards at Dalemain, Cumbria. His new bling gold labels and posh certificate will be on show in the Witham during the market. Go and give him a big Paddington Bear hug from me!