Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dinner and Dance Music: The Harry Hudson Orchestra

More snow!
Happy Groundhog Day/Candlemas/St. Brigid's Day/Imbolc/whatever-you-may-call-it.  February 2nd has been a holiday for centuries, symbolizing the return of light and the coming of Spring.*  If you feel like celebrating, Kerry Apple Cake is a traditional Irish dish for St. Brigid's Day.

Fat Rascals

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
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.


Fat Rascals

Cider Baked Pears

*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).


  1. This is a view from your home? it's so beautiful.

  2. The photo is from our living room window--it was too cold to go outside!

  3. This sounds like very soothing fare for this brutal winter weather we are having. BTW, speaking of British cooking, do you have the Jane Garmey book, Great British Cooking?

  4. Laura- you would think with all the British cookbooks I have I would have that one! It's now on my Amazon wish list.

  5. Oh my goodness, I'm loving all these recipes. You just might help me keep my new year resolution to learn how to cook more/better.

    Absolutely love Harry Hudson and his orchestra, amazing.

    P.S. I've given your wonderful blog an award. Stop over and see!

  6. Ginger- I'm happy to help! And thank you so much for the award.


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