How about some homey English fare for a cold night? The Nutty Baked Cabbage and Cider Pears are traditional dishes from Dorset, while the Fat Rascals (isn't that a fun name?) are from Yorkshire. You don't have to use lard in them; vegetable shortening or butter will work.
For your listening pleasure--a playlist from Internet Archive of the Harry Hudson Orchestra, a British dance band from the 1920s.
|Cider Baked Pears|
|Nutty Baked Cabbage|
1 green cabbage
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup blanched almonds
Serves 4 to 6.
Preheat oven to 425˚ Fahrenheit. Grease a shallow 1-quart baking dish and set aside.
Quarter the cabbage, remove the core and roughly chop. Boil in a large pot filled with salted water for 5 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring, and keep stirring until the milk is amalgamated. Bring sauce up to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in the cheddar.
Combine the cabbage, sauce and nuts in a mixing bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake in the center of the oven, 20 to 30 minutes or until browned. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Amanda Persey, ed., “Nutty Baked Cabbage” in Favourite Dorset Recipes (Sevenoaks: J. Salmon, Ltd.), 38.
*See Ronald Hutton, "Brigid's Night" and "Candlemas" in The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).