Yorkie puds and beans on toast – that’s what winter days are made of Sunday, Feb 2 2014 

Today, February 2nd, is British Yorkshire Pudding Day. YAY, I hear you say. Everybody loves a good Yorkie pud, don’t they? In days of yore they served not only as dinner but also as dessert (if you think about it, Yorkshire pudding batter is basically pancake batter – just add sugar, and you have dessert), and was the ultimate in portable food, rivalled perhaps only by the Cornish pasty.

So what are some of the best ways to eat it? Here are a few of my faves:

Sunday roast. A Sunday lunch is not complete, in my view, without a few of these babies. You can either leave them dry, and enjoy the fact that they are still crunchy as you dunk them in your (again, obligatory) river of gravy, or you can make little rockpools out of them, filling them up with gravy and loving their now satisfying, more yielding texture (handy if they are a bit burnt).

Toad in the hole. The origin of the name is unknown, but more important is its deliciousness and simplicity: just get some fat screaming hot in the oven, along with some sausages, and then pour in your Yorkshire pudding batter and sit in front of the oven watching it rise. Who needs TV? Mini versions (made with cocktail sausages) would also make an excellent canapé at a party. Have also heard of a version using lamb chops instead of sausages: just fry them off first before throwing them into the dish and finishing off with the batter.

Dessert. Add your favourite pancake topping to this for instant dessert. Yorkshire Suzette anyone? Using Yorkies as an alternative to bread to make a sort of bread-and-butter-pudding spinoff also sounds like a plan.

Yorkshire pudding toastie. Invented by my sister, who basically just shoved Sunday roast leftovers between two slices of bread before clamping it all into a toastie maker. Tastes good, apparently. Serve with liberal quantities of leftover gravy.

Yorkshire pudding as edible dinner plate. Fill up with any stew, chilli or casserole and enjoy.

But if you’re not into Yorkie puds, National Toast Day takes place on February 25th. Again, here are some ways to consume it if you’re lacking inspiration:

Welsh rarebit. Cheese on toast gets a revamp thanks to the recipe I use, which incorporates ruby ale and onion marmalade. Mmm fattening.

As a breakfast course. Choose your weapon: I love rhubarb and ginger jams, as well as Marmite (of course!), but everyone’s got their own poison. Try chocolate spread for an indulgent hit or peanut butter for slow-release energy. Add crunch to a bacon or sausage sandwich by toasting the bread lightly beforehand, too.

As a light lunch or accompaniment. Use roasted cherry tomatoes, rocket and goat’s cheese (or feta) to make a satisfying bruschetta. Garlic bread is another classic, of course.

The French way. Use toast, or stale bread, to make ‘pain perdu’: dunk it in an eggy mixture and then fry it before eating it with sugar or jam for your tea.

With beans. For an option that’s healthier than cheese on toast, but just as comforting, grab a half tin of baked beans and heat them up on the hob or in the microwave before serving them on toast. Many a student dinner was made this way!

What’s more, if you tweet on February 25th about how you take your toast (use @worldbreadaward @wykefarms with the hashtag #fiftytastesoftoast) you could win a range of prizes from top brands as diverse as Wyke Farms, Emma Bridgewater, Lakeland and Tiptree. So go on – get twatting and toasting 🙂

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COMPETITION WINNER: Hairy Bikers Mums Know Best Sunday, Sep 15 2013 

I know you’ve all been holding your breaths to find out who the winner of the Hairy Bikers competition is…

…and it’s EMMA WALTERS from STOKE-ON-TRENT!

Having been to Stoke a grand total of once to give a schools talk, it’s a pleasure to know that a little piece of me will be going back there in the form of Emma’s parcel.

Congratulations Emma! I’ll have it sent out this week to you 🙂

COMPETITION: Hairy Bikers Mums Know Best Friday, Aug 30 2013 

Everybody loves a competition, right? And you know Ferret Food and Wines loves you guys, right? So how about a little Hairy Bikers giveaway?

We have ONE copy of this to give away:

It’s that Hairy Bikers classic, Mums Know Best – the original cookbook from their well-loved series.

If you win, you’ll get it in the post with a paw-written note from Ferret.

To enter, please send your name and postal address to soprano_seraph[AT]hotmail[DOT]com before 11.59pm UK time on September 14th, 2013. That’s all it takes 🙂  Our lucky winner will be picked at random. Good luck! And don’t forget to retweet this on Twitter too so that we get as many entrants as possible 🙂