Really feeling the James Herriot vibe

LOCATION: Housesitting in the Yorkshire Dales, England

WEATHER: Typical English weather – cold and rainy. Highs in 40s

We took the homeowners to the airport and managed to figure out how to get home, through small villages. They have kindly loaned us their Peugeot to drive while they are away.

It rained most of the day, but we didn’t let that stop us. We piled on the clothes and went to Northallerton, a bigger town about 10 miles from here. (It is strange to be using miles again instead of kilometers). We went to the Saturday market. Ducking between stands with mud puddles everywhere, we bought some veg and meat from various vendors.

We did some shopping in the supermarket too, which was super crowded due to the Easter holiday. I am going to try to do a typical British meal for Easter, so we bought some nice lamb. Unlike in the USA, it is plentiful and relatively inexpensive here.

After the trials of shopping, we stopped at one of the pubs downtown for a restorative lunch and a beer.

Back home, we watched the baby lambs (just 2-3 days old) in the field right behind our house. They are so cute. I remember a spring-time episode of All Creatures Great and Small when James Herriot was delivering baby lambs in the cold, wet weather. Just like today!

Then, we donned wellies and took the dogs for a walk. We followed a muddy road behind our house, then through the pastures. The mud was very slippery and when the dogs pulled, we almost fell down.

There are lots of beautiful pheasants in the fields. They are much bigger than their American counterparts. This guy was in the field next to us as we hiked by….

DINNER: An English fish pie. At the market, we bought a bag of “fish pie bits”, just enough to make a nice pie. It was a combination of several kinds of fish, just the bits that they had cut from filets. I had to google a recipe for it. First I poached the fish in milk. Then, layered it in a casserole dish with some smoked kippers. Then, some peas. I made a white sauce with leeks and poured it over. Then, a layer of English cheddar cheese. Then, a layer of mashed potatoes, topped with some more grated cheese. After baking, the cheese turns into a golden crust, and it was delicious! Yay!

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