Friday was officially 'Drive Around In The Rain Looking At Muddy Produce Day'! Hurrah. At last. Sal was up with her little car and therefore we had the means to go out investigating what the local area had to offer in the way of independent food and drink producers.
First stop was Hinchcliffe Farm Shop. They've got a temporary store at the moment due to expansion. The fruit and veg all looked good. I bought a large cabbage for 99p which I later fried up with chilli, garlic and onion and it was very tasty. We also bought two very large free range chicken breasts for £3, the same price as two small non-free range ones in the Co-op supermarket so that was gratifying. However, Sal informed me that the pork wasn't free range (she could see from the housing). This highlights the importance of asking if the meat you're buying is free range. Just because it's sold from a farm, does not mean it definitely is. Don't be afraid to ask.
Next we went in search of booze. Disappointment followed when we discovered Splash Winery had been shut down and even more disappointment came when we visited Holmfirth vineyard but they'd sold out of all their wines! It's fantastic though that they are in such demand. It was a beautiful location for a vineyard (minus the fact that it was pissing it down), good enough to match many I've seen abroad. The good news is that they are expanding and building a new shop and visitor's centre. Here are the vines themselves:
We popped into the village of Holmfirth on our way through and I called in at the local health food shop. They had a fantastic range of spices from Suma. I bought a fajita spice pack and made mexican spiced chicken in the evening and it was the best I've had, far better than Old El Paso or Discovery. For real. It cost 79p for the pack and I had enough to make chicken for three plus chilli for three the next day. Smashing.
Our last stop of the day was to Haigh's Farm Shop, just a couple of miles from Huddersfield. Places like this bemuse me. It had a lot of fresh produce but also a lot of frozen things and brand name products in bulk. Once again, don't assume that at a farm shop everything is fresh and free-range. However, I did manage to buy some just-out-the-earth beetroots. I've never cooked them before but after a couple of hours boiling they were bloody lovely on a salad. Also spotted free range eggs that were just £1 for 6 there so I will be returning for those most definitely.
And so that was the end of our little journey! Quite a productive day. I am very excited for the winter because Sal will be bringing me fresh game and fish from her parents' farm in East Yorkshire. I've never really cooked with either before and am looking forward to learning how to do it. You'll be along with me for every step, don't worry! I'm going to post a couple of recipes that include seasonal produce and are easy and cheap a bit later in the week, perhaps they might get you started.
Lots of love, grassy ones.