Friday, February 24, 2012

Dinner and a Movie: North and South

Before we get started, head over to Sunday's blog Ciao Domenica (a fantastic blog you should check out anyway) and read "Do We Need a Support Group?" (warning: contains Downton Abbey spoilers but you've already seen it, right?). I was thinking I needed to do a series called "For the Downton-deprived" and Sunday has generously confirmed that suspicion.

Who doesn't love Mr. Bates? I mean, besides Thomas and O'Brien. So--if you haven't already, you should check out North and South. It's even available on Netflix streaming. Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates) plays Nicholas Higgins, an industrial worker whose family is befriended by Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe), an idealistic young woman who has recently moved to the northern mill town of Milton from the bucolic south of England. Margaret's concern for Milton's workers brings her into direct conflict with the handsome yet dour mill owner, John Thornton (Richard Armitage).

I made a "North and South" Oven Supper to go along with my (now third) viewing of North and South. I even got Paul to watch it with me this time. Sure, everything's beige and green, but it was tasty!

Back: Nutty Baked Cabbage, Front: Season Pudding

Season Pudding (an "Old Yorkshire" recipe)

2 slices stale white bread (about 3 to 4 ounces total)
2 tablespoons steel-cut oatmeal
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 cup herbs*, minced
a bit of milk

Break the bread into chunks and place in a large bowl with the oatmeal. Cover with boiling water (just enough to moisten) and leave, covered, while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 1-quart casserole.

Mash up the soaked bread with a fork and stir in the rest of the ingredients. You'll need just enough milk to  get the batter to just firmer than dropping consistency. Spread into the greased casserole and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until interior is set and top is crunchy.

Serves 2

Adapted from "Season Pudding" in Florence White, ed., Good Things in England (London: Persephone Books, 1999), 194.

*1 sprig thyme, a few sage leaves, a bit of rosemary and enough parsley to get to 1/4 cup


Nutty Baked Cabbage (from Dorset)


  1. Oooh, yes, I Do need a support group! hehehe. And I've watched North and South and it rather gray. I need to watch it again though. Doing my family research I learned that my husband's family spend a couple of generations in a milling/mining town in the north of the UK and so I always thought of this movie when I learned about them. I thought "no wonder they jumped on a ship!" lol.
    Another instant movie with Mr. Coyle in it is "The Glass Virgin" by Catherine Cookson. It is sort of over-the-top and ultra harlequin romance since all the Catherine Cookson movies on there are evidently romance novels. But he plays the Spanish-via-Ireland riding instructor that the young lady of the house falls in loves with and runs off with ;) it's worth a watch! Now off to go find my support group ;) this dinner looks so yummy, as always!

    1. The Glass Virgin keeps showing up in my Netflix recommendations. I had no idea Brendan Coyle was in it. It does sound a bit ridiculous, but also like it might be quite fun!

      No wonder your husband's family came to the United States. I don't think working in milling or mining sounds like much fun. Of course, a lot of immigrants arrived in America and went right back to mining or factory work. :-/ North and South always makes me glad that there are labor and environmental laws!

  2. IMHO you have buried the lede by mentioning Mr. Armitage after Mr. Coyle, but I forgive you! :D Yeah, I'm a huge Richard Armitage fan, and this is probably my favorite (the best) thing he's been in. But I do love Brendan Coyle, too. In fact, I've been watching him in Lark Rise to Candleford to help me through until Downton comes back again.

    This dinner looks really interesting--a savory oatmeal!--and comforting, too.

    1. Oh, I love Lark Rise to Candleford. I wasn't aware of your deep and abiding love for Richard Armitage... ;-) I think this is the only thing I've seen him in, but it's very difficult not to fall in love with Mr. Thornton.

  3. Ah, a book and recipe that I read often and love! We don't call it season pudding in Yorkshire, but call it a savoury bread pudding and we omit the oats, I have a recipe on Zaar for it! Yours looks FABULOUS and as ever I love your post!

    1. Here in America, we'd call it "dressing" or "stuffing" depending on geographic location. It's very much like what we have with our Thanksgiving turkeys. The only difference being that dressing usually has eggs and turkey stock, which makes it very luscious.

      I love Good Things in England, as well. It's inspiring but has a tendency to be rather charmingly vague when it comes to the instructions. I like reading measurements in "gills" and "wineglasses" and "teacups."

  4. This is so clever. North and south recipes. Love it.

  5. I love your dinner and a movie posts - so much fun. I love Downton Abbey and am pouting as to why we haven't seen the second season here yet. (Do watch out for the second season of Holmes - episode two based on the Hound of the Baskervilles was not as good as the first episode, but inventive and still lots of fun). Have a great weekend.

    1. We're supposed to get the next season of Sherlock in May--I'm definitely looking forward to it. I can't believe you haven't seen the second season of Downton yet! What's up with that? I figured you'd see it before we did.

  6. You come up with the most interesting concepts.
    Season Pudding, I'd like a bite of that.

  7. My DVR is full of Downton I just need to make the time to watch the episodes! Another unique and tempting dish...looks yummy! Off to check out the cabbage recipe~

  8. You sound like your dad: everything's beige and green! He's always worried about the colors on the plate. LOVE Downton Abbey, so sad now that the season has ended - we watched the last one twice!

  9. I haven't quite finished Downton Abbey, so thank you for the spoiler alert warning. I'll have to watch North and South again when I'm done - terrific suggestion. I love your movie and menu pairing!

  10. I don't know why I am into thos "masterpiece theater" style shows, but loved North and South. Up there with the Colin Firth version of P&P.

    By the way I have a blog and I put your site on my sidebar (lower right) on my blog. We have totally different styles, but you were my inspiration to start my own "Dinner and a Movie" and my "Wanderlust Food Diaries" articles.

    Thanks for the inspiration. My readers over here in the USA think my "Dinner and a Movie" is original, but I have to give credit where it's due.


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