BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

13 November 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites

Contact Us

Food and Drink

You are in: Lancashire > Features > Food and Drink > SOS - kitchen help required!


SOS - kitchen help required!

Want a recipe for your favourite Lancashire dish? Perhaps you've got a tasty family favourite recipe that you want to boast about? Send in your requests or recipes!

Alex asks...

Does anyone have a recipe for steamed jam roly poly pudding please?

Viv replies...

For the Jam...
12oz strawberries, quartered.
5oz castor sugar
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

For the Roly poly...
10oz S.R.flour
1&1/2oz castor sugar
4oz shredded beef suet
zest of 1 lemon
4&1/2fl oz water.

Method: Heat a small frying pan, add strawberries and cook for 1 minute, add lemon zest and juice and sugar. Cook for 3-4minutes, till sugar has dissolved and sauce has thickened slightly. Blend half of this mixture to a puree. Return it to the pan and mix well, cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

For the roly poly, put flour, sugar and suet into a mixing bowl, and combine well. Make a well in centre and add enough water to form a soft dough. Knead lightly, till smooth. Turn onto a floured surface and roll out an oblong shape 1/2 inch thick. Spread the jam over the surface leaving a 1 inch margin all round. Roll up from the long edge. Place into a loaf tin lined with foil, top with foil and seal tightly.

In a large pan, place an upturned plate, and sit the loaf tin on it. Add water to the pan, to about 2/3rds the way up the pan. Bring to the boil. (Don't allow the water to touch the top of the loaf tin.) Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour. Do not allow the pan to boil dry. Adding boiling water to top up if needed. Pre-heat the oven to 200c. Remove loaf tin from the pan and place on a baking tray in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve with home made custard, or ice cream. Enjoy.


Joan Millard says...

Does anyone know of a website through which I can buy cow heel please?

Jennifer Wright replies...

I have bought it many times in the market hall in Ashton under Lyne but it is now very expensive.  I remember buying if for my grandma when it cost pennies. As the Lancashire folk say 'it sticks to your ribs.' I make soup with it and neck end

Tony replies...

Tony's cooked meats in Padiham sells cow heel.


Yvonne says...

Where I live I cannot buy treacle or golden syrup. Has anyone a cake recipe using molasses as a substitute? Is this possible?

Desmond Quinn replies...

Black Treacle is basically molasses, so you can use molasses (cane) in place of treacle. Check out Tate & Lyle site, for simple recipes.


Maxine and Helen say...

I would love to be able to make chocolate crunch it was an all time school favourite can you help?

Alison replies...

I have a recipe for Chocolate Crunch which my mum gave me. She was a school dinner lady so I presume it is the "real thing"!

6oz Margarine
6oz Sugar
1oz Cocoa
8oz Flour
Vanilla Essence

Melt the margarine in a saucepan, add vanilla essence. Mix together the sugar, cocoa and flour, then add to melted margarine.

Press mixture into a greased tin (mixture should be 1/4inch thick). Brush top with water and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake in a slow oven (I think that would be 150C) for 15 minutes. Cool and mark into squares.


James, Jade & Graham say...

Could we have a recipe for carrot cake please?!

Carol Wells replies...

Sorry, I don't have a recipe for a cream topping but the carrot cake is delicious on its own!

2 eggs - separated
5.5 oz soft margarine
5.5 oz self-raising flour (white)
1 tsp mixed spice
1oz walnuts, chopped
6oz grated carrots
7oz soft brown sugar
2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1oz sultanas

Heat oven to gas mark 5.
Grease and line a round cake tin or 2lb loaf tin.
Cream together egg yolks, sugar, marg. and water.
Put all dry ingredients into a large bowl - add nuts, sultanas and carrots and mix well.
Make a well in centre, add egg mixture and stir well.
Whisk 2 egg whites until standing peaks, fold carefully into mixture.
Pour into tin and bake for 45-50 minutes.


Sam Houldsworth says...

I have started to use red and green peppers with salad dishes, should the peppers be peeled first? Thanks.

Mel from Lytham replies...

No don't peel them!


Janet Simmons says...

ln about 1967 l bought a Margeurite Patten book that had a recipe for egg and bacon pie. l remember that the recipe called for evaporated milk...  l have searched for years for this recipe and even bought most of her cook books but l've never found it again.
Does anyone have a recipe for egg and bacon pie that uses evaporated milk please?

Mel from Lytham replies...

Margueritte Patten has a recipe for Egg Pie and bacon in "Cookery in Colour" 10960-1965. It is  - "Mix together heated canned or cooked vegetables and diced hard-boiled eggs and diced cooked bacon. Bind with white sauce, arrange in a shallow dish and garnish with strips of grilled bacon". No mention of evaporated milk, but perhaps someone used that for the white sauce?


Bev says...

I want to make mince pies. What's the recipe for the pastry? Not flaky pastry

Mel from Lytham replies...

The answer is to go to the supermarket and buy "dessert shortcrust pastry". Then roll very thinly.


Lorraine says...

How do you make mandarins or oranges in alcohol as a Christmas recipe, like the ones you buy in jars?

Janet Simmons replies...

My recipe for caramelised oranges like you buy in jars at Christmas is this..

For every 6 oranges you need

8ozs sugar
1/4 pint of cold water and 1/4 pint of warm water and.. brandy!

Dissolve the sugar in the cold water in a saucepan and boil rapidly till it turns a caramel colour and thickens a bit. Take it off the heat and stir in the warm water gradually and leave it to cool. 

Peel and slice the oranges including inner skins and pith.  Place in good size jars with caramel liquid coming up to about 2/3rds of the jar and top up with the brandy.  Seal the jars well and they should keep for some time.

You can use mandarins etc if you prefer but you'll need a lot more with the water and sugar amounts given here.


Vicky and Maureen say...

Has anyone got a recipe for plain old fashioned Bread Pudding like you had at school?

Janet replies...

Here's how I do my bread pudding - same as my mum did and her mum before her...

About a loaf of bread - I use half brown and half white bread if I can.
12 oz mixed fruit or any dried fruit you like
6 - 8 oz butter or margarine chopped up
half a small jar/drum of mixed spice
Good Tablespoon of black treacle or molasses
1 egg

I cheat a bit and put the bread in a food processor till its all crumbed up and then add enough water to make a very firm dough. Saves all that soaking and it works just as well.

Add all the other ingredients and mix very very well together - easiest with well scrubbed hands..

Put it into a baking dish - a meat roasting pan is fine... and bake for at least an hour on number 4 - 180c I think.

Best eaten cold.

A very forgiving pud and you can add a little more or less of anything according to your taste.  Sometimes I put in a tablespoon of marmalade if I have a jar almost empty.  You shouldn't need to add sugar as the treacle and dried fruit are sweet but sprinkle a little white sugar on the finished pudding. It is very easy to do and you get a lovely big pudding.


Carole says...

When we visited my grandmother she always made pea soup and ribs. Does anyone have the recipe?

Lindley replies...

This is the way my mother used to make it, buy a 'sheet' of bacon spare ribs which she used to cook in pressure cooker, but could be cooked in any large pan. Cook 'til tender. Remove the meat from bones, and return meat to pan. Peas, these days you can replace the dried peas with frozen mushy peas, they are excellent, and need no soaking. Add the peas to the pan with the juice and the meat and continue to cook for the time recommended on the frozen pea container about 20 mins.

June replies...

With Lindley's recipe, you will lose flavour because the bones are cooked separately and bones are cooked in a pressure cooker. Frozen mushy peas are no substitute.

My recipe... (soak bones overnight before cutting if you think they may be salty) Soak peas overnight in PLENTY of cold water. (peas: supermarket brands are not as good as others, they are a bit paler and flake when cooked)

One pound of bacon ribs cut into about four chunks. One pound of dried peas.
Shove in a big pan. Add cold water to at least two inches above the ingredients. Yes, it looks too much but it isn’t. DO NOT ADD SALT. Bring to boil. Simmer for two hours. It is ready when the meat falls off the bone and the peas begin to mush. Sorted and ten times better than the separated pressure cooked version.


Ann Merrick, Celia, Dan and Suliman all ask...

I would like the recipe for mint custard, I had it at school and I really fancy making it. Also chocolate sponge pudding - can anyone help me?

Kayjay replies...

Chocolate Sponge Pudding and Mint Sauce Recipe...

For the sponge:
3oz SR Flour
1oz Cocoa Powder
4oz Castor Sugar
4oz Margarine
2 eggs
1tspn baking powder

Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat for 3 mins. (2 mins if using hand held mixer. Pour mixture into a greased pudding basin, cover tightly with greaseproof paper and elastic band. Put a saucer in a pan half fill pan with boiling water and place pudding dish on top and simmer for about 1hr 15 mins.Keep topping pan up with water. Test if cooked by placing a clean knife in sponge. When cooked the knife should come out clean

For the mint sauce:
1 pint fresh milk
2oz granulated sugar
2oz Cornflour
Peppermint essence
green colouring.

Make as for custard, and add peppermint essence and green colouring to taste and shade you want to achieve.


Nicola and Sue Bee ask...

How do I make the pink custard that was served with an iced sponge cake at school in the 1970s?

Kayjay replies...

Instead of thickening the milk with custard powder, use cornflour instead and pink colouring to your favourite shade


Rosemary says...

Do I need to cook wimberries or can they be eaten raw?

Andy A replies...

As anyone who has ever picked them knows, they are delicious either way. I usually end up with about 3/4 of what I have picked. The problem is that everyone else knows you have been eating, because your lips get stained blue!


Alf says...

When I lived at home, Stalybridge, my mum used to make a dish we called cheese dip. It was basically hot milk and cheese, and the cheese had the consistency of mince meat. Has anyone any ideas how to make it please?

Lee replies...

My mum made this for me too, its very easy just like you said hot milk and cheese.

Very gently heat up a good 5 slices or a big handful of grated cheddar cheese in a pan with enough milk to cover the cheese. Don't heat too much or too fast because if you let the cheese and milk get too hot it will separate and curdle and taste horrible.

Heat till the cheese has melted then serve right away, its very nice on its own but I sometimes pre-fry chopped bacon and add this to the pan whilst heating, yummy. It also goes very nice with buttered toast, dunked in or torn up and tossed in the bowl and spooned out... mmm... comfort food!


Roy says...

I remember from when I was a kid what I think was tater/tattie hash made in a large pan on the stove. The potatoes were allowed to almost dissolve so the mixture was white I can't remember what meat was used, a pastry crust was made separately. This dish was usually served at large tater hash parties - can anyone help me with the recipe?

Lucy from Accrington says...

To make tattie hash:

1 bag of potatoes - peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch cubes
1 to 2 tins of corned beef chopped into 1 inch squares
1 or 2 onions
Gravy powder

Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes in a large pan (preferably a Dutch Oven) Add the onion and corned beef Boil for 30 minutes or so and then rough mash (so it stays lumpy) Sprinkle in gravy powder until the liquid is brown but not thick Add salt and pepper to taste

For the crust:

Plain flour

Blend half the amount of fat to flour then add a little water to make it bind. Roll out and put on a greased tray, bake until golden brown. Break off a piece per person.

Serve with thick white bread and butter and lashings of tomato ketchup!


Graham from Nelson asks...

Has anyone got a recipe for apple and peanut butter soup please?

Graham replies...

1 cooking apple
juice of 1 lemon
3tbsp of porridge oats
1/4 tsp of ground ginger
salt & pepper

Heat milk to just below boiling point
Grate apple and blend with pebutter and lemon juice.
Add to milk with rest of ingredients.
Simmer for 15 mins.
Allow to cool, then blend.


Gillian from Wigan asks...

Does anyone have the recipe for Gary Rhodes' maltbread?

Irene Smith replies...

I downloaded this recipe from BBC Food...


Harold Bowden says...

Are Oven Bottom Cakes the same as Barmcakes and has anyone got a recipe?

John replies...

Oven bottoms are barm cakes. They are normally harder and haven't risen as much as the others. This is because the heat is lower in non-convection ovens (heat rises) at the bottom.

Graham replies...

Oven bottoms are really only barm cakes that have been turned over half way through the baking.  My dad made them for years and they were delicious.


Barbara says...

Can you please tell me exactly what are capers?

John replies...

Capers are the centre part of an european flower, sorry, don't know the name. It is first boiled and then pickled.


Peter Pearson says...

What is the name of the pulses used to make "black peas" that you get at travelling funfairs?

Margaret from Blackburn replies...

Up to not long ago you could still buy black peas from a good pet shop and cook them yourself just by boiling them.

Vicky replies...

Pigeon peas are what you use for making black peas. You can get them from pet shops

Phill from Accrington replies...

I know of a stall on Accrington market that sells them. It's a health stall mainly I think, and maybe other health stores do stock them so maybe it's worth a try. You need to soak them for 24hrs like normal peas. My mother does them every bonfire night and I am the first to fight for them.

Ian Evans replies...

After 'Googling' and phoning, there's no joy at Accrington Market. The lady I spoke to remembered her father buying them at Blackburn market but it was the same story there - no joy. However my other half had more success! If anyone else is ever after black peas here's the link!

James from Grimsargh replies...

Pulses known as Maple Peas or Parched Peas can be obtained at Clitheroe Market

John replies...

Black peas are also called jungle peas & maple peas. Asian food stores sell them as gungo peas. I've made them, but there not the same without eating them on a cold evening out of a poly tub with the smell of diesel and candyfloss in the air. There's a stall on Bury market that sells them hot in a poly tub, mmmmmm. Cooking black peas, like any other of the dried pulses, is important to do correctly. They must be soaked in plenty of cold water for at least 24 hours. Remember the peas will almost double in size as they rehydrate. Drain and rinse in cold water. Put the peas into a pan of fresh cold water, bring to the boil. Boil them rapidly for 10 minutes. If this isn't done, the peas are mildly poisonous. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about another half hour. Serve in a mug with a little of the pea stock and a good splash of vinegar. Enjoy!


David says...

I would like to make pea and ham soup but don't know where to start can someone help?

Adrian Trout from Upholland replies...

This makes quite a large quantity but it freezes well and a portion will reheat in about 3 minutes in the microwave. 

Take 1 kilo bag of dried marrowfat peas and put to soak overnight in cold water.  I leave out the soaking tablets as they contain a lot of sodium and are only there to make the peas greener. Take one ham shank, wash it and simmer in a large covered pan in plenty of water until the meat is falling off the bone.  Remove the shank and allow to cool before putting in the fridge overnight.  On no account throw away the cooking water. Next day, rinse the peas and put them in the cooking water from the ham.  Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about 1 hour or until really falling apart. If you need to add salt, do it now. Pull the meat from the shank, chop into small pieces and add it to the peas. This will make about 12 decent portions.  A good shank may have too much meat but the remainder will always find a home in another recipe.


Katherine, Hannah and Jeannie say...

I have seen lots of recipes for Gypsy Tart but it just doesn't taste like it used to - nor does it taste sadly like the shop bought ones!  Does anyone have the authentic recipe - Gary Rhodes' recipe just doesn't do it for me.  It isn't authentic - or am I doing something wrong?

Helen from Haslingden replies...

This is a Gary Rhodes recipe for Gypsy Tart that a few of you have asked for:

(Pre heat oven to 200C/400F/gas 6)

Whisk 400g (14oz) evaporated milk and 12oz of dark muscovado sugar together for 10 - 15 minutes until light and fluffy.  The mix should be coffee coloured.  Pour the mix into a pre-cooked shortcrust pastry case and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  The gypsy tart will have a slightly sticky surface but will not be set completely until it has been left to cool.  Serve cold.  Easy!


John Mattioli asks...

Does any body have good recipe for Lancashire Hotpot?

Irene Smith replies...

The secret of a good, real, traditional hotpot is the crust. Forget all those books that tell you to put a circle of potato slices on the top! A hotpot has to be stirred and wet, but not too sloppy. That is because the crust cooks in the steam underneath, making it feather light and from the oven on top, making it lovely and crunchy.

Here's my recipe for a real hotpot...

You can make hotpot in any deep container, but a brown earthenware is best.
You just cut up stew or braising steak (not too big - takes longer to cook) Slice up a few carrots, cut up some onions and cut potatoes roughly, (more potatoes than the other ingredients) approx 1 inch pieces - don't be too fussy. BUT the potatoes should be King Edwards, or any good falling potato. Layer up the dish, season each meat layer. Stop about 4 inches from the top. Pour in boiling water nearly to the top and place in a hot oven (Gas 7) with a tin plate on top.(or foil) After about an hour, you will begin to smell it. Take it out and stir it. Use your judgement to turn the heat down if you think it needs it. Usually takes at least 2 hours, but when the meat is tender, make the crust. First turn up the oven to Gas 8, it needs to be hot when the crust goes in, you can turn it down later if browning too quickly.

Use half Atora Suet to self raising flour, usually 8 ounces flour to 4 of suet. Add salt.
With a knife add cold water sparingly - mix gently till it holds together - don't over mix.
I sprinkle flour on the table and gently  shape it with my hands until it fits the top of the dish. Make 2 slits in the middle. Lift out the dish and carefully place the crust on top. It usually takes from 20 to 35 mins - it's ready when golden brown and firm to the touch. Serve with pickled red cabbage and home cooked mushy peas. One more tip! Open the windows - the smell gets everywhere - it is delicious.

Proper Mushy Peas

The secret of these is to cook them in a slow cooker - in a pan the skins separate if they boil. I always do 2 boxes of Bigga marrowfats and check they are well within the sell-by date, or they will be hard. Soak overnight with the soaking tablets, then rinse in a few changes of cold water next day. Put them in a slow cooker, cover with boiling water and leave for about 4-6 hours, or until soft. They will be whole but have a nice bit of thick, sloppy juice. DO NOT add salt before cooking - this makes them tough. You can add black pepper and I like a bit of thyme - optional. When cooked, THEN add salt to taste. They freeze superbly - just warm them gently in a pan. Great to get out of the freezer when you next have fish and chips!

Peter replies...

Lancashire Hotpot is not made with steak! A Lancashire Hotpot is made with lamb, always has been always will be.

Irene replies...

My grandmother (born 1881) made hotpot from the late 1800's with cheap steak.  My mother also made it with steak. I have never been to a hotpot supper where it was made with lamb and I have lived in Lancashire all my life!

Irish Stew is made with lamb.


Thelma says...

What can I do with leftover roast pork?  I dont want to live on sandwiches for ever... hot recipes appreciated.

Wendy from Lancaster replies...

These work well with most left over joints...

1) Boil up joint with a chopped onion and oxo. Leave to cool a little (to avoid burnt fingers). Remove the meat from the bone and chop it. Return it to the stock. Add sliced potatoes and carrots, (or any vegetables you have, such as the leftovers from Sunday lunch), salt to taste and cook until veggies are done. If the resulting stew is a bit fatty, try serving with pickled beetroot or red cabbage. I like it like this anyway.

2) Simply serve the cold meat with chips and baked beans. This was always Monday tea when I was growing up.

3) Use any meat recipe, such as pork in cider, but remember the meat is already cooked, so you don't usually need as long.


Peter from Grimsargh, Pat, Shirley and Tony Cormack ask...

How do you make a Flat Oven Bottom Muffins please.

Michelle from Fleetwood replies...

The secret is to cook them on the very bottom of the oven.

500 grams strong bread flour, tsp of salt 1pkt of dried yeast, 1level tsp baking powder warm water to mix, mix all dry ingredients together then add the warm water still a dough is formed (not too sticky) not too dry. mix and turn out on a floured surface and knead for 10 mins then place back in the floured bowl and leave covered with a warm damp teatowel or cling film till doubled in size, knock back,shape into balls and then roll out with plenty of flour till quite flat, put a hole in the centre with a finger and then leave on the tin you are going to bake them on covered with oiled cling film till risen (about 30 mins to 1 hour depends on the room temp.) then bake on the oven bottom oven must be very hot I use gas 7 or 8 I have tried cooking them higher up in the oven but this produces a more risen bread more like a teacake, so the secret must be the oven bottom.

 KayBezy adds...

This recipe will produce soft baps and muffins, using a Kenwood type mixer.

300 grms strong bread flour
100 grms self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1   tsp sugar
1,1/2 tsp fast acting dry yeast
2 fl ozs milk
8 fl ozs warm water
1 tsb olive oil

Above for soft baps, for oven bottom muffins, omit the oil

Place all dry ingredients in the mixer bowl whisk with a balloon whisk to blend pour oil in the centre start mixer on min speed slowly add the liquid allow it to pick up all the mix, about 60 seconds increase to speed 1 and knead for 5 mins leave mix in the bowl, cover with cling film, and leave in warm place for 1 hour.

Place bowl on mixer, and run on speed 1 for  60 seconds, turn out on floured surface, form into a roll about 2" x 12", divide into 8, using both hands roll each piece between your hands to form a ball, then knead out with you knuckles into a round of about 4", turning on flour 3 or 4 times, place on greased tray and leave for 1/2 hour preheat the oven to 210c preferably fan, bake baps in the centre for 11 mins bake muffins at the bottom for 11 mins turning half way through the bake, you can make a hole on them first if you want to make look authentic.

Whichever you do, place on a wire after, and allow to cool, this is a bomb proof recipe, works every time, and I bake 4 to 5 times a week, just remember baps with oil, muffins without


Owen, Eve and Katy ask...

Could anyone please supply me with a recipe for Butter pies (or potato and onion pies as I believe they're now called) I originate from Chorley and would love to be able to make a "family-sized" one.

Owen replies...

Butter Pie. I finally found a recipe:


Louis says...

Can anyone tell me about brewing the ginger root in a jar; an old Lancashire custom? I would like to know the process. Thanks.

Molly Page replies...

During the 50's nearly every household was culturing one of these plants!  At every friend's house you visited you were offered ginger beer to drink and as far as I can remember it tasted wonderful!  I think it became harder and harder to find new people to hand half the 'starter' on to.  Then suddenly, almost overnight, it all disappeared.  Everyone threw out their plants - I was only 10 so didn't get to know the real reason why.   Later I suspected it had a lot to do with the arrival of the Corona lorries that called each week with a bewildering array of coloured and flavoured fizzy drinks that didn't need feeding.

25g (1 oz) fresh yeast or 15 g (½ oz) of dried yeast
1 kg (2¼ lb) sugar
40ml (8 tsp) ground ginger
Juice of 2 lemons
Square of muslin
9 x 1 pint, or 5 x 2 pint cork topped bottles (Boots and good hardware shops sell these - but DO NOT use screw-top bottles or they could explode!)

For making the ginger beer my Mum used a glass sweet jar bought from the local shop; if you can find one it would be ideal. It is best kept in a cool dark place; we used the a shelf of the larder.

Put the yeast into a large clean jar. Pour in 275 ml (10 fl oz) tepid, blood temp. warm water. Stir in 10 ml (2 tsp) sugar and 10ml (2 tsp) ground ginger.
Cover and leave in a warm place for 24 hours. You have made your starter plant; over the next week you just 'feed' it till it is ready to bottle.

Feed the plant with 5 ml (1 tsp) sugar and 5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger, every day for the next 6 days. Make sure to stir and cover the jar each time.
After you have fed it on the 6th day, cover the plant and leave it for 24 hours.

After that, line a sieve with the muslin, then strain the contents of the jar, reserving both the liquid and the sediment.
In a saucepan over gentle heat, dissolve 900 g (2 lb sugar) in 575 ml (1 pt) water. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes.
Allow to cool until almost cool, then pour the syrup into a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice and liquid from the plant.

Dilute this liquid with 3.5 litres (6 pt) water, stir well and pour into clean, and sterilised bottles. Put a cork in each one and store somewhere preferably cool and dark for at least one week.  Then drink and enjoy - don't be tempted to save it as there will be a new batch coming along next week!


Wash out the large jar and the muslin.  Add half of the saved sediment, then continue from ' feeding the plant'.  Do as my Mum did, pass the other half of the sediment to a friend with instructions as to how to proceed.

Norma Syddall adds...

In his autobiography (Neither Use Nor Ornament) the wonderful Bill Naughton describes something which was done throughout his childhood in Bolton.  It has fascinated me ever since I read it and I've asked many people but no one seems to know what the "bees" are.  "Bees" were put in a jar with water, placed on the mantlepiece for warmth and 'fed' with sugar. These bees only worked (rose and fell in the liquid) if there was harmony and good feeling in the house. After a few weeks the liquid could be drunk but some was always left in the jar to be refilled with water and the process started again.  Some could also be passed on to friends and neighbours and this was usually done on a Sunday and was ALWAYS to be given with love otherwise the little bees wouldn't work.  I read the recipe for ginger beer and that process sounds very similar.  Does anyone know - are the "bees" yeast ?  Bill Naughton never spoiled the magic by saying what they were but my curiosity has got the better of me!


Derek asks...

Is the wimberry part of the blueberry family? Any info on the origins of wimberries would be appreciated.

Marlene James says...

Does anyone have a recipe for Wimberry Jam please?

Richard replies...

Wimberries, are sometimes found in jars under the "Pek" brand at Asda and I suppose other supermarkets. They are called by their other name of bilberries on the jars. They are imported European Wimberries, and so are a little larger and sweeter than our native Wimberries. Alternatively Beacon Fell is a good place to pick them!

Meg Robins replies...

Wimberries look like a smaller version of Blueberries. But Blueberries (an American import I think, grow on bushes.) Wimberries grow on Moorland. Time to pick them is July. There are lots in Saddleworth near Pots & Pans war memorial.

A Ogden replies...

Wimberry is just another name for a Bilberry, also sometimes known as Wortleberries in the south. They grow on moors and are ripe in August usually. They are smaller than blueberries and more acid. The Polish firm 'Krakus' sell them preserved in jars...

Jam: 2.5 lbs bilberries, Quarter pint Water, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 3lb sugar, a knob butter. 8 fl oz commercial pectin.

Simmer berries and water until fruit is soft and pulpy, remove from heat, add sugar, stir until dissolved, add butter, bring to the boil and boil rapidly 3 mins. Remove from heat, add pectin, boil 1 further minute, cool slightly and pot.


Michelle from Fleetwood says...

Whatever happened to the French oven bottom muffins they used to sell in and around Oldham? They also used to use them at the sandwich shop at the top of the arcades.  I think they were decleux (not sure of the spelling) we used to call them rubber muffins.

Deborah Watson replies...

In answer to the question about the decleux muffins.... My Mother used to refer to something she called "declercs" muffins, obviously a corruption of the original French spelling.... oven bottom muffins are still available in Oldham Market I believe or at least they were last time I went.  Failing that there is a brand called "Lancashire Oven Bottom Muffins" which are available in most supermarkets and I believe the Co-Op do their own version of these.


Pauline Haines, Helmshore asks...

Can anyone help me locate WHOLE candied peel. I bake Stollen every year and am looking for whole orange, lemon, mandarin and lime peel. Pref in Lancashire - but anywhere in the North of England will do!

Mike Plowman replies...

It is currently available in tubs from Julian Graves... get there quick before all the Delia recipe followers are alerted!


Marina from Fleetwood says...

Does anyone know how to make cheese and onion like a soup?

Michelle from Fleetwood replies...

The secret is to not use a stringy cheese like cheddar - lancashire or cheshire works well, you first chop up the onions finely and fry very gently in a little butter and oil so butter does not burn then when the onions are transparent and soft add double cream and season with white pepper, you can also add a little worcester sauce to taste, do not boil heat till hot but not boiling and then crumble in the cheese to taste a little sprinkling of nutmeg makes all the difference to the taste. This soup is delicious served with brown crusty bread. You can also float a piece of bread on top like the french do with  onion soup and sprinkle a good melting cheese on top like cheddar. Variations of this soup can be made by using different non stringy cheeses like Danish blue and stilton but the taste will not be so mild.


Janis says...

Has anyone got a recipe for potato cakes please?

Julie from St Annes replies...

My nana from Preston used to make the best potato cakes, she just used to mix left over mashed potato with plain flour until it was the right consistency to roll out, cut out circles and shallow fried until golden brown

Julie Lichtenberg added this...

Here's a great recipe for potato cakes:

Makes 12
450g (1lb) floury potatoes, peeled and cooked
1 x 2.5 ml spoon (1/2 tsp) salt
50g (2oz) butter
100g (4oz) self-raising flour
to taste - ground white pepper (optional)

1. Mash potatoes, add salt, pepper, butter and flour to give a stiff mixture.
2. Turn our onto a floured surface, knead lightly and roll out to a thickness of 1cm (1/2 inch).
3. Cut into triangles and cook on a hot greased griddle (or frying pan) for 4-5 minutes on each side. 

These potato cakes are best served hot, with plenty butter melted on them.  They can be cooled and kept in the fridge for a couple of days - pop them in the toaster to heat them up. Enjoy!


Laszlo says...

How do I make chip shop curry? and or chip shop gravy. Anyone?

Lindley replies...

Curry sauce as in fish shop curry sauce is available at the supermarket, sold in a jar as a concentrate, I love it, you can make up a small amount to have on your home made chips. It is called Wing Yip concentrated curry sauce.

John from Eastbourne replies...

My recipe for easy chip shop curry is to add 1 or 2 tablepoons of curry paste to a tin of cheap tomato soup.

Glynn from Preston replies...

Laszlo asked for a recipe for chip shop curry and gravy. Sorry to say that he would need something akin to a chemists laboratory. Both come in bags as a dehydrated mix and all that is needed is the addition of water and then bringing to the boil to heat and thicken. Even the batter comes in a packet and the vinegar is non brewed condiment (a concentrated mix of acidic chemicals diluted with water for use). When I ran a chip shop at least we used to peel the potatoes and cut up fresh fillets of cod but nowadays many chippies buy in ready cut frozen chips and single portion fish. Nothing today is as it seems.

John replies...

My recipe for easy chip shop curry is to add 1 or 2 tablepoons of curry paste to a tin of cheap tomato soup.


Lorette from Colne and Chris from Thornton-Cleveleys ask...

Has anyone got a good recipe for Lancashire oatcakes (hard) - for 'Stew and Hard'. I buy some ready made from Burnley market, but they're not as good as they used to be, so I'd like to know what goes in them so I can try myself.  Thanks.

Bryan Sellars replies...

I grew up in Derbyshire, and the nearest I can get to the Oatcakes we used to buy is:-
1 lb fine oatmeal (I put regular oatmeal in a food processor and process till the flakes are about quarter the size)
2 teaspoon instant dried yeast,
2 teaspoon sugar,
2 teaspoon salt,
1 desert spoon oil (it helps to stop them sticking ) probably not necessary in a none stick fry pan,
2.5 to 3 pints water to get to a pancake mix consistency, leave half an hour to rise, pour 1 cup into a lightly oiled fry pan and cook for about 4 min. per side.

Renee from Chorley replies...

I believe that the hard Lancashire oatcakes are made from a recipe similar to the one that you have been given and then they are dried out to preserve them.  I know someone who made them and certainly won't be repeating the experiment!  They had to be dunked in soup to soften them!


Phil Watson says...

I am a baker living and working in Weymouth - Dorset, and have been set a challenge to recreate for an exiled Lancastrian something called a "barm-cake"......any ideas ??

Paul Youd replies...

Hi Phil! My dad had a baker’s shop at the bottom of Redlam, Blackburn. He used to make teacakes and barmcakes from a basic bread dough, using lard as the shortening.
Teacakes were the shape of what we’d call baps down here in the South West. Barmcakes were teacakes flipped over halfway through the baking so they were flat on each side. We used to divide customers into 'teacakes' or 'barmcakes. Often a customer would come in and ask for teacakes. On being told there were only barmcakes left, they would more often than not leave the shop empty-handed! And vice-versa!


Meg Robins says...

Recipe required for Cheese and Onion Pie please.

Michelle from Fleetwood replies...

A good recipe for cheese and onion pie was one my gran taught me.  My gran and grandad had a corner shop in the 50s and 60s in Oldham till its demolition and their retirement.  You need good short crust pastry, you can either make it or buy it ready done, a good tip if you make the pastry is use half fat to amount of flour, either lard or dripping and butter, or use all butter or marge, and mix with just enough iced water to bind together, roll out thinly on a floured surface and cut to shape of plate to be covered (plate pies to me always taste better) not too thick - the pastry that is, and then fill with a mixture of good strong cheddar cheese and onions (pre cooked and seasoned till soft) then layer the pie starting with the onions until it's as full as you like remember the cheese will melt down so it may seem like a lot of cheese at first don't skimp, place a top of rolled pastry on top and trim and finish cutting a little hole in the top of the pie to let the steam escape, remember to season each layer well to taste I like mine peppery. Then bake in a hot pre-heated oven till golden brown when nice and brown the pie is cooked, this pie is as good cold as it is piping hot, but remember hot cheese is very hot so leave to cool a little if you can wait!


Trusa, Christine, Stuart and Cynthia ask...

I am looking for retired dinner ladies who can give the recipes for chocolate concrete?

Lynn replies...

To make 6 portions:-

12oz Plain Flour, 7oz of margarine or butter, 3oz granulated sugar and 4 heaped table spoons of cocoa powder.

Method:- Mix ALL ingredients together until they look like dough and leave the bowl clean.  Place in a baking tray and press down, until approx half and inch thick, press down firmly. Bake on Gas 3-4 for approx 30 minutes, or until centre is firm to touch. Cut into six portion before allowing to cool slightly.  Serve with thick custard or even mint custard (you can cheat with making mint custard by just adding peppermint essence to your normal custard!)  

Sonya Thrush replies...

I have the recipe for Chocolate Concrete...

510g margarine
510g sugar
680g plain flour
55g cocoa
20g baking powder 1 egg (size 4)
pinch of salt

Mix all dry ingredients together. Rub in margarine. Beat the egg and add to the mixture (for best results mix entirely in a food mixer or processor). Knead lightly until mixture blends together. Press into well-greased shallow tins. Bake gently for 25 - 30 minutes Gas mark 4. Do not overbake. Put a lid on the tin and keep hot otherwise crunch will set hard - like concrete!


Kathy asks...

Can anyone tell me where I can buy bread soda. I have looked where I can think of but no luck. Many thanks!

Mary Keegan replies...

Bread Soda is otherwise known as Bicarbonate of Soda


Sue asks...

How can I make sure cherries don't sink to the bottom when I bake a cake?

Eileen replies...

All you need to do is place the cherries or fruit mixture in a clean bowl and toss with a bit of flour before adding to the cake mix. This stops the fruit from sticking together and will bake evenly throughout your cake.


Charles Andrew asks...

I would love to know how to make decent mushy peas.

Edith from Great Harwood replies...

Buy a packet of marrowfat dried peas.... available at any supermarket.... soak peas in a pan of boiling water add bicarbonate tablets and stir until tablets have dissolved, soak overnight. Next day rinse well with cold water (very important)... place peas in a pan, add boiling water until peas are covered, add a little salt. As soon as peas are boiling, turn heat down and simmer for about 20 mins,  stirring occasionally. Good luck!


Bill asks...

Can anyone give me a recipe for panackelty?

Edna replies...

My mum's receipe for Panackelty: In an oval casserole dish or roasting tin, place a layer of thinly sliced potatoes; layer of chopped onion, layer of crumbled tinned corned beef, layer of chopped onions, layer of unsmoked chopped bacon, topped off with layer of sliced potatoes, season to taste, 6 tbsps water, few dabs of butter on top cover and cook in oven (180c) for about one and half hours. If rind on bacon cut off, place on top of panackelty as when cooked nice and crispy.

Yolande replies...

I have researched this and it's a fry up of left over Sunday lunch vegetables served with left over roast meat. I used to have this as a child on Sunday, fry until crispy in a big omelette pan. Hope this helps.

Bill Gilhooley adds...

We knew it as Pan Haggerty as its original name. As follows:- Roasting dish, layer of round sliced potatoes, layer chopped onion, sprinkle of dried sage, another layer of potatoes This goes on ad infinitum depending how many you want to feed. Add salt and pepper. Over the last layer of potatoes lay a scrag end of lamb or mutton if you're posh you can use fatty leg chops. Cover and cook in med oven 160'C for 1 hour Uncover and brown off for about 1/2 hour. Yummy and a good belly filler.

Kate adds...

My mum used to make a dish called panackelty in the following way...
The day after you have had roast pork, slice up the remaining pork thinly, along with an onion and several potatoes. In a deep ovenproof dish, place a layer of potatoes, followed by a layer of onions then one of pork. Season generously.  Continue this until you have used all the ingredients finishing with a layer of potatoes, adding some of the gravy part way through and the remainder over the top.

Roy adds...

Pan haggerty (done on the stove) and panackelty (done in the oven) are two completely different traditional British (mainly north eastern) dishes, but both are fantastic supper dishes.

Maureen adds...

Pan Ackelty is a Geordie dish that I haven't had for years, very similar is Stovies from Scotland... corned beef, potatoes, onions, a pinch of mixed herbs and seasoning, water ot stock and simmer in pan until cooked.


Catriona asks...

Potato croquettes always seem to burst when I deep fry them. Any tips on how to prevent this?

Yolande replies...

As long as you coat them in flour, then beaten egg then your breadcrumbs, deep fry in hot oil, they shouldn't fall apart


Dawn from Bolton asks...

How do you make the traditional potato hash? And how do you make a meat and potato pie with a shortcrust pastry lid?

Vernon Warburton replies...

2lb potatoes peeled and diced
four carrots diced
1lb stewing steak
1 onion diced

Fry off your steak and your onion, cut up carrots and put into your pan. Brown off meat and veg with meat and onions for five minutes then make your stock from oxo about 1 pint. Pour into pan and cook until potatoes are cooked, season with salt and black pepper and put into an ovenproof casserole dish. Put to one side while you make your pastry with 4oz plain flour 2oz lard or butter and 2-3 tsps of water. Mix together to make a nice short pastry, wrap in cling film and put in fridge for half an hour. When you're ready to bake, roll out your pastry and roll it round your rolling pin and put on top of your casserole dish, put in the oven for about 25 - 30 minutes or until it is done - it will be very nice, good luck!


Helen asks...

My favourite school dessert was chocolate sponge and custard also some kind of shortcrust with jam and then lattice on top... can anyone give me a  good Lancashire hot pot recipe and the recipe for Yorkshire puddings?

Yolande replies...

Yorkshire puddings: Try this one... 1/4 pint of plain flour, 1/4 pint of milk and water, 1/4 pint of eggs (add two extra white) a generous pinch of baking powder, salt and pepper. Put everything in a jug, blend with electric device, or whisk really well by hand.

Michelle replies...

Hot Pot: I have always made a Hot Pot from bacon (or bacon bits). It was how my Grandma made it.  You first butter an oven proof dish - earthenware always seems to make it taste better - then you proceed to build up with layers of bacon cooked onion potatoes and baked beans untill the top of the dish which you finish off with lots of fatty bacon over the potato and then cover with foil and bake in a hot oven for the first 30 mins, then turn down to minimum where it can be left practically all day turning up the heat to max uncovering the top to brown and crisp the top.  It used to be a really cheap dish. It still can be if you can buy bacon bits.  It is very filling and excellent served with crusty buttered bread. You need to season with pepper well as the beans and onion can be quite sweet; salting also depends on how salty the bacon is. You can quicken up the cooking time by partly cooking the potatoes first if you wish.


AB asks...

Has anyone have a recipe for 'Singing Lily'? My grandma used to make it years ago, it was similar to a large eccles cake, very tasty! Thanks in advance.

Dawn replies...

Make Shortcrust Pastry (plain not sweet) Roll into a circle 1/2cm thick.
Pile raisins into the centre then bring together pastry over them to form a parcel.
Make sure the pastry is joined together well. Then roll out again to approx 2cm till you can just see the raisins showing through top.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Cook in oven 190 till partry is cooked.
Eat hot or cold - spread with butter. It's georgous when hot and the butter melts over it.

My Nan always made 'Singing Lily' with the leftover pastry from making a meat and potato pie.


Jackie asks...

Does anyone know whether winberries are the same thing as blueberries? Thanks

Helen replies...

Winberries are otherwise known as blaeberries or bilberries.


Richard asks...

Please could someone give me a recipe for parch peas?

Reuben replies...

Soak the peas for 24 hours in a bicarbonate of soda solution then drain and rinse. Put peas into a large pan and cover with about 2 ins of water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the peas are soft. Serve hot with vinegar and lea and perrins sauce

Helen replies...

To all the people baffled by parched peas they can be readily bought on pet stalls/shops as maple peas or pigeon peas

Sirsa replies...

You can get parch peas from the buthcer in Orchard Street in Preston town centre, and from several stalls in the indoor market, soaked first, then cooked slowly, add pepper and vinegar/mint sauce brilliant!


Stephanie Peel asks...

How do you make Rag Puddings please?

Paul replies...

Old recipe for rag pudding...

one basinful plain flour
one basinful suet
one basinful currants
one basinful sugar
one basinful candied peel
a little salt
one tablespoonful treacle
one or two eggs, well beaten
warm buttermilk
one teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda

Dice the suet finely and work it into the flour. Add all the other  dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the eggs into a hole in the center of this dry mixture. Dissolve the treacle and soda in the warm buttermilk and add gradually to the other ingredients to
give a moist consistency, stirring well with a wooden spoon. Put the mixture into greased bowls, cover with greaseproof paper and clean cloths, and tie securely. Boil in the usual way for four of five hours. From Mynytho, Caernarvonshire.

David Cross replies...

In Rochdale rag puddings are a savoury meat dish. Though I now live on Tyneside, I still cook these. This is my mum's recipe:
6 oz Self Raising Flour
3 Oz shredded suet
pinch salt
cold water
6 oz Casserole Steak
half an onion, chopped
salt and pepper
Put flour in bowl, add suet and salt and stir together. Add water a little at a time to bind together. When you get a ball of pastry, roll it out to measure about 9" by 7".

Put half the meat in the centre of the pastry, then the onion, then the rest of the meat on top. Add seasoning.

Dampen the edges of the pastry. Fold the long ends to the middle and seal closed, then fold and seal the short ends. Wrap in a clean white cloth and fasten with string, cotton or pins.

Put in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, and simmer for 3 hours.


Sue Tongue asks...

My son is trying to find a recipe for an old school pudding (about 11 years ago).  He thinks the base was pastry then there was a sort of cornflake mixture on the top with golden syrup.  Can you help.... he is desperate for some!

Edith from Great Harwood replies...

Recipe for old school pudding...

pastry 340g,  cornflakes 235g,  marg 150g,  sugar 150g,  syrup 150g,  jam 150g

Line tin with pastry and bake blind. Next spread the pastry with jam, melt margarine, sugar and syrup in a big pan and stir in the cornflakes, Bake in moderate oven for about 10 mins and that's it, your're done! Good luck and enjoy!


Tina asks...

I am hoping that you can answer a question for me. I would like to freeze down some meat dishes that I cook for the family. Steak & Mushroom with a puff pastry lid. Lamb Hotpot. Shepherds Pie. I know that they freeze well, but I need to know if I can freeze them in foil dishes, the meat etc. will be in direct contact with the foil, will this taint the meat etc. at all.

Margaret from Blackburn replies...

Tina. You certainly can freeze meat in foil I have done this for many years I buy the small foil containers and I put meat of every description in them also chicken, corn beef hash, shepherds pie etc. I always label them and put the date on never had any problems at all.


Pam asks...

I have lost my recipe for treacle parkin. I have a sponge parkin recipe. Could someone please provide me with one. Thanks.

Lynne replies...

Recipe for parkin...

4 oz self raising flour, 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda,  1/4 tsp salt, 4 oz fine oatmeal,  1 oz mixed peel (optional), 4 oz black treacle,  2 oz sugar, 2 oz butter, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of milk.

Sift together in a bowl the ginger, bicarb, salt, oatmeal and peel. Melt the treacle, sugar and butter, stir in the egg, pour mix over dry ingredients, mix well and add enough milk to make it pour. Bake for about an hour gas mark 3 325f 170c

Paul Balm replies...

The easiest Parkin you'll ever make.

simple get a cup (the size is down to you) I use a 7ins square tin and a large mug.

1 cup of brown flour
1 cup of oats
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1tsp ginger
In 1 pan warm a cup of milk with a half heaped tsp of bicarb
In the other pan melt 4ozs of butter with a heaped tblespoon of black treacle.

Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the warm milk/bicarb and treacle/butter and stir.

Put in the middle of the oven for about 1hr- 1/2 at 190c.

Send in your questions or recipes by completing and submitting the form below.

last updated: 02/06/2009 at 12:33
created: 04/10/2005

You are in: Lancashire > Features > Food and Drink > SOS - kitchen help required!

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy