Posts tagged ‘Wakefield’

September 13, 2013

Wood Street Market, Wakefield

This Sunday is the third Wood Street Market of the year. I went to the last one and it was lots of fun.

Wood Street is in the centre of Wakefield and the market has helped to revitalise this often-quiet Civic Quarter.  The road is closed and transformed into a hive of activity with stallholders, entertainment and live music. When we visited in the summer, there was a city ‘beach’ organised by the Council too, so the kids were thrilled to see a helter-skelter to ride on – which thankfully was free, because they went on it many, many times…

Plenty of different and freshly prepared street food was available, including pulled pork, Thai satay, coffee, cupcakes, and the local independent beer shop had a couple of beers on tap for those folk who hadn’t driven into town! I bought some lovely fresh scones to take home for a treat and the kids enjoyed ice creams, despite the occasional shower of rain!

We made paper windmills, had some great photographs taken at The Portrait Sideshow (which we loved so much that we’ve bought prints)  viewed a photography exhibition and listened to a variety of live music. One of the musicians asked for audience suggestions and my lovely three year old nephew made him play ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’, which made us chuckle.  It was allegedly written by Mozart, after all!

Wood Street Market

As well as food and music was a nice variety of stalls, including my favourite which was called ‘Jam’  (nice paper goods, craft-based gifts and books) run by the people who own the shop of the same name. Pop-up shops and free family craft activities made good use of empty shops along Wood Street, and will be back on Sunday.

Wood Street Market is a community-led event, created by some enterprising local businesses who wanted to see a change in their city and took it upon themselves to make it happen.  They (and the local council, and their other partners) deserve our support, so if you’re in the area and stuck for something fun to do, then I recommend you go along.

February 22, 2012

Rhubarb, rhubarb.

I couldn’t resist a giant bunch of Wakefield forced rhubarb at the market. Such a cheery bright pink, it’s too beautiful to leave behind. Of course, then I had no idea what I was going to do with such a huge amount once I’d got it all home. A dessert of some kind is usually in order, and rhubarb crumble with custard is an obvious winner.

However, a call was issued to the Twitter hive mind  and my reply (from @gazpachodragon, someone who I only met for the first time on Monday and who I think is amazing) came back. Make rhubarb Bellinis! As the Bellini is traditionally made with prosecco, one of my favourite drinks, it felt a bit like fate.

The recipe originally comes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who has championed the cause of rhubarb for a long while. In fact, I remember when he guest edited an early edition of of Olive magazine. Although the title remained the same, on each page of the magazine, where it usually said Olive, instead it said Rhubarb…

I’m digressing, as usual.

The rhubarb is simmered in orange juice with some unrefined caster sugar, until it’s soft but not hugely pulpy. In the original recipe, Hugh uses 1kg (trimmed and cut into 4cmi-ish lengths) of rhubarb with the juice of a large orange and 125g golden caster sugar. I think I used roughly that – although to be honest, I didn’t measure it thoroughly! Simmer it until it softens, then take off the liquid. Add one part of this to three parts of prosecco or champagne and you’re all done. If you want to make it pretty, you can add an egg whitened sugar rim to your cocktail glass.

Of course, now is peak champagne rhubarb season. Wakefield in West Yorkshire is the capital of the rhubarb growing industry and will hold the annual Rhubarb Festival of Food and Drink next weekend, Friday to Sunday. I’ve not managed a visit to the forcing sheds yet, but apparently, you can hear the rhubarb creaking as it grows in the dark…