Dear Wild Cooks
Whether you pronounce it “Harwood” or “Harewood” this place is beautiful and a mere 6.9 miles away from Rudding Park.
Harewood House Estate provides some great walks and a chance to go foraging too. Following the Christmas excess eating and drinking period I felt it was time to take charge of the waist line and do something about it!
If you like picturesque views, Harewood is a great place to explore and one to quite literally get your feet wet on a windy wet winter’s day (try saying that after a few Christmas Sherries!) Remember to pick up your camera on the way out – you’re sure to get some great shots.
Home of the Lascelles family, Harewood House is open to the public and offers guided tours, cafes, gift shops and an adventure playground. The last time I came to Harewood was to watch a drive in movie screening of ‘Top Gun’. As Maverick says “I felt the need for speed” time to head back to Harewood…
So last weekend I rooted out the walking boots and drove to the village of Harewood, parked up and walked past the impressive Harewood House gates. We then walked past the Harewood Arms Pub and set off down the back lane and into the estate.
The picnic had been packed, the weather was the best it had been for a good few weeks and, as we set off a little later than anticipated, we even packed the torch incase it began to get dark! Surprisingly there was no Kendal Mint Cake in my rucksack – an oversight on my part but I am trying to lose weight!
The walk was not too busy and the sound of pheasants and my sighting of two deer in the fields was brilliant. The walk had many foraging items along the way including burdock “velcro” buds which indicated places where there would later be amazing burdock roots to pull up, peel and honey roast with parsnips! Please remember that with any root ingredients you must get permission from the owner of the field before pulling it up.
I found Douglas-fir on my walk. This is a particular type of fir that can be safely eaten however you have to know your stuff Wild Cooks as some types of fir can be poisonous and we do not want that on your plate!
So I found some Douglas-fir and decided to make homemade pizzas for dinner. The recipe is simple to follow and good fun to make. If you are concerned about using Douglas-fir, try something else, a herb perhaps to flavour up your dough.
Douglas-fir is a foraged item used by a fellow contestant on something I cannot talk about (under embargo) being shown on TV in four months…! Initially I was worried about using fir as some are honestly quite dangerous but I managed to find what I was looking for and knew it was safe.
As we were heading back to the car and passed the magnificent House, the sun began to fall and the torch was our savior! We were in almost complete darkness for the last 1/2 mile but arrived safely to be met with a flask of hot coffee! When exercising it is great to have a reward and what better a reward than a nice slice of homemade healthy pizza.
Walking has never been such fun!
Steph (your intrepid Wild Cook explorer) x