Archive for the ‘Seasonal Hedgerow Finds’ Category

A frosty December morning is always a great time to go for a walk and yes I did take the monster (Honey Moon!)

Crab apple hunting

Crab apple hunting

Can you spot the dog?

Here she is practising her camouflage ever ready for the cat next door!

Back to apples…

Crab Apples washing

Crab Apples washing

Look what we found- crab apples and they are frosted and ripe and ready to eat. I decided to bottle them for an early Christmas present for one of our Chefs.

Crab apples draining!

Crab apples draining!

The crab apples came off the tree very easily and after a sort into sizes and a good wash in my sink it was time to bottle them.

I wanted the apples to have a gentle kick but not be too sweet so I added a little cider vinegar.

A quick easy recipe

Look what Matthew Wilkinson from our kitchen’s here at Rudding Park came up with:



Recipe to Matthew’s Apple Jelly

Recipe to Matthew’s Apple Parfait

Recipe to Matthew’s Spiced Apple Cake

Nice one Chef- love it Matthew!

Try these recipes at home or if after cooking Christmas dinner you would prefer to rest and enjoy some of these dishes at Rudding Park why not buy one of Rudding Park’s online gift vouchers. There’s Dine With Wine, Food and Flicks and plenty more to choose from.

Wishing you a very cool yule wild cooks!

Steph x

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Well we are avoiding all puns now with something that is close to my heart Yorkshire Game. Do you know your Pheasant from your Partridge, is your Grouse Famous or have you recently jugged your hare?!


Eddie Gray,Stephanie Moon and Matthew Wilkinson (pictured above at Rudding Park) have picked up the “game gauntlet” and are going for it. The following dishes are live this week on the Clocktower menu to support the Countryside Alliance’s Game to Eat campaign.

Please take your pick from the following game recipes cooked by the following chefs…


Eddie Gray…

To Start

Tea Smoked Wild Duck
Trio of pickled beetroot, pickering watercress

Duck Starter

Main course

Poached Rabbit Saddle
Wild mushroom crust, rabbit and pearl barley risotto, Kale, ginger beer jus

Rabbit Main 2



Matthew Wilkinson…

To Start

Braised Hare Pappardelle Pasta
Tomato, rosemary, smoked pancetta

Hare Starter 2

Main course

Roast Pheasant
Black truffle, tarragon, chorizo, charred squash, butter beans, game jus



Stephanie Moon…

To Start

Fresh wasabi, dandelion and burdock salad, venison wonton

Steph's Venison steak tartar

Steph’s Venison steak tartar

Main Course

Barbeque North York Moor Partridge
Smoky bacon mash potato, collard greens, corn and chilli salsa

So why not try these recipes if you are game!

With some fresh new approaches to classic game, each Chef has made you an easy recipe and a slighty more complex one to flex your culinary arm.

Game On Wild Cooks!

Make the most of Game to Eat Week whilst it is here – Enjoy these healthy, low in fat, tasty dishes at Clocktower before having a go at the recipes in your own home.

Low in food miles but hopefully high in food styles!

Steph x

Just off to pluck a few partridge!



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These berries are tiny explosions of fruit in your mouth that ping pong around giving you a fruit thrill. You can probably tell I’m a fan!

In summer, elderflower floral cordial is lovely, light and refreshing. In winter the elderberry cordial is fruity, heady and goes well in mulled wine or winter fruit jellies.

First find your elder (no folks we are not suggesting you look for your parents!) but simply get out there and look for a tree. They are so full and brimming with berries at this time of year that they practically bend double under the weight.

The berries are dark purple and plump with juice, about the size of a large pin head. Take care when picking them as the juice can get all over your clothes, so do not pick in your Sunday best. The way to make cordial is simple. Follow this quick, easy recipe…

Honey, my dog, is getting into the elderberry tasting too but I must admit she is far happier with the slightly earlier blackberry.

I love to get out and about now we have rowan berries in abundance. Why not try Peter Banks’ recipe? (Managing Director of Rudding Park)

Happy Berry picking!

(Always remember to check the type of berry is correct and edible- I sound like my Grandmother! x)

Elder!  berry Moon x

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Honey before her dip!

Honey before her dip!

(Captain of the boat)

Day one the monster that is Honey ”Moon” decided to take to the canal when my back was turned and my seven month old pup was swimming 10 metres away when I turned around. After much alarm a chap walking by thankfully rescued the dog and we soon had her back in a soft chunky towel. Honey was soon snug and warm wrapped in her towel by the fire. We all learnt that day to never turn our backs for 2 mins!  

Not long after Honey had dried out and raring to go again!

Not long after Honey had dried out and raring to go again!

The journey took us from Skipton on the Pennine Cruises to Foulridge Tunnel near Barnolswick and then back to Kildwick and Skipton.

Foulridge tunnel from inside...

Foulridge tunnel from inside…

Various family and friends joined the boat along the way and all seemed to love the experience of chugging along nice and gently. We really did have good fun.

The first few hours were perhaps the most eventful what with the dog going for a swim then coming across these beauties in the bank side.

Tantelising tastes of summer wild Strawberries

Tantalising tastes of summer wild Strawberries

We used these strawberries in many ways and if you are lucky to come across some yourself why not try this recipe for Strawberry Desserts. I would recommend using the wild strawberries for the shortbread layers as they take some finding guys and then you will need loads of strawberries to make a the smoothie!

 Strawberry, Strawberry, Strawberry

Strawberry, Strawberry, Strawberry

 Then there was the daily sighting of the herons. I find the heron a very majestic bird, a true beauty. I always think that when I see a heron it is a good day so seeing them everyday was a treat. 

Heron the canal it is amazing what you see!

Heron – It is amazing what you see!

One day is rained quite literary cats and dogs and we were in Gargrave so a quick trip to Bollywood Cottage was in order.  This local Indian restaurant fired up the imagination for a canal curry but when on holiday with no spices in sight it was so much easier to run to the curry house! Great on a wet and windy day I can tell you. When it rains on a canal boat you need some warming food.

The Yorkshire countryside looked incredible and the Lancashire countryside too. It was a privilege to travel on the canal and see land I know well from a different angle.

Yorkshire at its finest

Yorkshire at its finest

This photo reminded me of the beautiful sunsets over Rudding Park.

Ahar me hearties!

Steph x (first mate Moon!)

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Being a lifelong Proclaimers fan a chance to meet Craig and Charlie had me in a spin!

Sean wheels 500 miles and now does 500 more!

Sean wheels 500 miles and now does 500 more!

Sean Allerton from RAF Church Fenton is wheelchair bound after he was paralysed when serving with the RAF. Sean decided to set himself a challenge to wheel 500 miles.

The Proclaimers with Sean finishing his first 500 miles

The Proclaimers with Sean finishing his first 500 miles

So who better than The Proclaimers to set him off and most importantly see him home!

This former gunner wheeled for 6 charities that had helped him with his life changing accident.

Craig and Charlie were there to set him off on his way, sadly the weather was a little different on the way back! I went along with a friend who I begged an invite from. Thanks Ron.

Charlie Ried and Steph in the pouring sleet and rain (I look about 30 yrs older! bitter cold needed to try and keep my ears warm!)

Charlie Reid and Steph in the pouring sleet and rain (I look about 30 yrs older! bitter cold needed to try and keep my ears warm!)

Meeting Charlie on the walk was great fun. We discussed their gig at the Grassington Music Festival I went to see a few years back. Also the fact The Proclaimers are going back to America and doing a tour.

To sponsor Sean visit http://www.push500.com as he is now doing 500 more – Just as The Proclaimers sing!

But in the bitter cold of the airfield and the sleet and rain I kept thinking I need a hot toddy to warm me up!

And if I could of I would have given one to Sean and The Proclaimer lads.

So a Wild Cooks hot toddy with a difference

Please see recipe here…..

One vital ingredient is Honey and being a Yorkshire food fan it made perfect sense to use Yorkshire Honey- this is the ingredient that inspired the name of the latest resident in the Moon household please meet Honey!

This is Honey Moon! I know it is cheesy but i love it! We only call her Honey and occasionally Honey Monster!

This is Honey Moon! I know it is cheesy but i love it! We only call her Honey and occasionally Honey Monster!

Yes I have a hound! A King Charles Cavalier and she is 10 wks old.

I hope you try this simple hot toddy with a difference and enjoy!

 “I’m on ma way” as the boys would sing…

Lets hope it is “Sunshine on Leeds” soon a Yorkshire twist to a classic song from the guys.

 Steph x

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00 heaven falling apples in Harrogate!

For wild cooks everywhere now is the time to fill your larders with some 00 Heaven!

James Bond- Daniel Craig is a local guy so perhaps he loves these apples as much as we do!

Bruised and battered apples that have done the ‘skyfall’ are the things we are all given and do not know what to do with.

The odd spot on the apple or slight bruising means eating raw is out of the question so why not roll up the sleeves wash your hands and get busy making some Autumn Chutney.

This is such a simple thing to make and everyone has a different recipe for chutney.

Here is my recipe but the advice I would give is do not be precious about your chutney. It is a robust thing just like Mr Bond!


A change of the recipe here and there makes this base your own and depending on your fruit availability can be adapted to other fruits –pears, plums and so on.

Chutney can more or less get out of any difficult situation you put it in and big pots of bubbling chutney can make amazing gifts at Christmas and not break the bank. Everyone will be impressed with your effort if nothing else!

Can you Adam and Eve it!

Steph x

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Well no wonder the blackberries are early the weather does not know what it is doing at present. Do not get me started on global warming!

Here is a global warmer with a difference!



Why not try our Blackberry Rumtopf…

This is our seasonal innovation for the coming month, the blackberries are on every bush nationwide and it is time to fill your boots people!

This quick and easy recipe is a corker. A great idea for a Christmas gift with a difference.


So were to find the blackberries?…

 Well they are to be found usually on the hedgerow around fields and often on roadside hedges.

The thing to remember here is if the road is a busy one leave them on the hedge as the car fumes will have affected the taste and rendered them nasty and inedible.

I usually go to the Golf Club woods here at Rudding Park and find plenty as well as other areas of the hotel grounds.

Mixed berries

You can make up your Rumtopf with other fruits too…

What we are looking for is prickly brambles (no one said this was easy picking folks. Expect some light scaring! or wear rubber gloves…)

Look for the purple plump clumps of blackberrys

What fun and having a broken Blackberry phone at the moment these Ribena bullets of joy are definitely my Blackberry of choice given half a chance!

Bam a lam whoe Black Berry!!!

Steph x

(With sticky dyed fingers!)

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