As the lockdown continues and we’re getting to know our four walls ever more intimately we’re diverting ourselves with food. Can’t just be me and Jill. For as long as I can remember, the first thought to cross my mind every morning is “what’s for tea?” Now, it’s bordering on obsession. I’ve been to the darkest recesses of every cupboard and found cans that would grace a museum. Sardines from 1991? No problem. When they found Captain Scott’s hut after 40 years there was tinned fish in there that was still edible. But once the freezer’s been bottomed (every day’s a surprise; will I ever label stuff?) and you’ve run out of things to do with that overpriced pasta you bought at the airport in 2001 and some dried beans, turn to take-outs. And I don’t mean Dominoes.
Over in my neck of the woods (the Calder Valley) we’re blessed with fabulous food makers and growers, many of whom will now deliver either to your door or put in the post. Within spitting distance of where I live on the tops there’s multi-award-winning Pextenement Cheese – their brie-like Pexommier is fabulous. Just a hop along the valley are the Porcus girls, raising high-welfare rare breed pigs for their amazing sausages, bacon and charcuterie – they also make brilliant ready meals in jars – the posh sausage and beans is a belter. Another mile or so find Luddenden Valley Wines; Gwyn and Elaine Evans make really very good fruit and country wine on their smallholding.
The Moorcock – closed of course – are doing great stuff with take-out sourdough pizzas, ribs, meatballs and their stupendous smoked spuds. They’ll deliver if you live half a dozen miles from Norland, or you can collect. Blue Sky Baker in Hebden is open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 9 til 1, but Paul will deliver if you’re self-isolating. Pride and Provenance in Halifax deliver wine and beer, the first four miles free, and Valley Organics in Hebden Bridge will bring you a veg box if you’re vulnerable and can’t get out – but they’re still open and fully stocked with a good range of fresh and larder items.
You get the picture. If you don’t live in Calderdale, check social media for up to date info about who delivers where – great makers and producers surround you. Use them or lose them.