I love Yorkshire and its people. Some of my best friends hail from this part of the country: Bradford, Hull, Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield. As a Lancashire lass I should maybe keep this to myself with the war of the roses and all that. I once lived in a place in Saddleworth which was once Yorkshire but then became Lancashire. Or it might have been the other way round. That’s one reason I have a divided allegiance. And we do have a lot in common. I like the fact that they talk straight, call a spade a shovel and eat Yorkshire pudding with everything. I once went to a christening where it was served as a first course with gravy. I thought this odd but quaint. If you go for a Sunday roast they serve it with beef, chicken, lamb. It isn’t quite etiquette, I thought, sounding like Alan Bennett’s mum. I think they eat it sweet and savoury, a bit like pancakes. Nigel Slater has a good recipe with treacle and cream. He says they should be ‘as thick as a duvet’. And as comforting I think. I bet the French wouldn’t eat Yorkshire pud; it would be impossible to explain. Like you can’t make them understand why we eat sweet with sour or vinegar with chips. When my friend Ann and I were in France as students 40 years ago a small group would gather round us and stare, on Thursday, steak-frites day, in the student restaurant, as we poured vinegar on our chips. Perhaps they wouldn’t be so rude today.
Anyway in Sheffield yesterday with Justine I ate ‘Yorkshire fish cake’. It sounded different and tasted delicious. It was battered but very light. Crisp and gooey in all the right places. Served with chickpeas and lentils so healthy too. Like the people, there’s something down to earth about Yorkshire pudding. I’m not good at making them myself. You have to get the right temperature and degree of smokiness of hot oil before you put them in the tray and oven. I am too impatient to wait. Dave, from Hull, makes them perfectly. I think he learned the recipe from his Mum.