Author: Meryl White

Meryl is a writer and presenter, sharing her passion for traditional baking. She has a keen interest in food history from the Georgian period onwards and writes regularly on her blog and elsewhere. Meryl was born in the Dearne Valley and spent most of her working life in leadership roles in education and local government, raising young people’s achievements and aspirations. She is an enthusiastic volunteer, including Inspiring the Future and Young Enterprise.

It’s all glamour at the Corner Café

Meryl White
corner café

The Corner Cafe was no ordinary café, but a place of ritzy glamour with a ballroom and stage for all kinds of live entertainment. Experience the 1920s with Grandma Abson’s lemon pound cake recipe.

Celebrating Eid al-Fitr

Meryl White

Meryl White kicks of the Eid al-Fitr celebrations with a delicious recipe for Sheer Khuma. This is definitely not one to miss!

Beside the seaside in Bridlington

Meryl White

Memories of family trips to Bridlington We didn’t go on holiday much in the 1950s, but I do have a distant memory of day trips to Bridlington. Being a railway family, we always went by train, pulled by a steam engine, from Bolton on Dearne station where we lived in the station house. It took […]

Fiesta time in the Rhubarb Triangle

Meryl White

Rhubarb was especially popular in Victorian times and cookery books of the era were full of recipes for pies, custards, fools, jams, jellies and chutneys. Growers in an area around Leeds, Wakefield and Pontefract discovered that the soil was particularly conducive to producing early sweet rhubarb in dark forcing sheds, and that harvesting it by candlelight would bring it to market in a pink and luscious state. This became known as the Rhubarb Triangle.

Let’s have some flippin’ fun with pancakes

Meryl White

Flipping ‘eck – it’s Pancake Day today, so let’s use ingredients such as sugar, fat and eggs before the beginning of Lent and 40 days of fasting leading to Easter. Well, that’s the tradition, which goes back for centuries.

Sweet treat for Burns Night

Meryl White

Meryl White provides a Prune and Whisky Tart recipe and an invitation to an online Burns’ Night event. Let’s stay safe at home and celebrate Burns’ Night by raising a toast to this famous Scottish bard and maybe try out Fiona’s recipe. Slainte Mhath! Happy Burns Night!

Baking for Epiphany

Meryl White

Meryl White’s latest recipe celebrates epiphany with a look at some festive recipes from around the world. Here she shares a recipe for Galette des pommes – apple tart.

Apple Latkes for the Festival of Lights

Meryl White

In every celebration, it’s customary to eat traditional recipes which have been passed down the generations. Hanukkah follows the same pattern with an amazing feast of foods to celebrate the Jewish ‘Festival of Lights’. Hanukkah is the Hebrew and Arabic word that means ‘dedication’ and it’s often called the ‘Festival of lights’, as a candle […]

Celebrating Diwali with a treasured family recipe

Meryl White

This year, Saturday 14 November is the third day of Diwali, the festival of lights. Celebrations take place over five days known as Dhanteras (Day of fortune), Naraka Chaturdashi (Day of knowledge), Diwali (Day of light), Annakut (New Year) and Bhai Duj (Day of love between siblings). Diwali is considered the main day of the […]

Remember, remember … Yorkshire Parkin

Meryl White

Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why Yorkshire Parkin should ever be forgot! When the trees are ablaze with fiery reds and golds, that’s the signal to bake Yorkshire Parkin. If you don’t know about this delectable treat, it’s a type of gingerbread, traditionally made with oats […]

Yorkshire moggy cake knows how to purr …

Meryl White

So here comes autumn, ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and Yorkshire Moggy Cake.  I must assure you that this delectable treat is not made from a Yorkshire breed of cat (so Larry the Cat can rest easy). It is thought that the name Moggy or Moggie may come from the Old Norse word ‘múgi’ […]

The apple of my eye

Meryl White

This has to be one of the best apple pie recipes I’ve ever tasted, so when my neighbour passed me a large bag of apples, it gave me a perfect excuse to bake it. The recipe comes from a Dutch friend of mine, Cobi, who told me that there are many different versions, but this […]

Ooh ’er Betty

Meryl White

Mention the name ‘Betty’ in Yorkshire and we’re dreaming of any one of the several smart tearooms across the region which bear the name ‘Bettys’ (note to all our new proofreaders – there’s no possessive apostrophe). The story behind Bettys starts with a young Swiss baker / confectioner who landed in Yorkshire in 1907 and […]

The taste of Lavender is as good as the scent

Meryl White

How I’ve appreciated the smells of lavender growing in my garden this year reminding me of visits to Lavender farms across the UK and Provence in France. As well as being a beautiful plant, lavender is well known for its soothing scent and the calming benefits of its oil. It’s a classic in the world of […]

Yorkshire puddings at the ready!

Meryl White

Here in Yorkshire, God’s own county, we celebrate Yorkshire Day on 1 August. The origins of this day allegedly go back to the Battle of Minden in Prussia, during the seven years’ war, where the English defeated the French army on 1 August 1759. It was said that the heroism of Yorkshire soldiers, who fought […]

Discovering a minted Yorkshire recipe

Meryl White

Intrigued by an invitation to visit Queens Mill in Castleford last year, I was delighted to be taken on a tour of the mill and site. They say that the mill’s history can be traced back to Norman times but there’s a hint that the Romans were grinding flour nearby too. It’s a mammoth task […]

Say ‘ello to Yorkshire Brack

Meryl White

People ask me what I’ve been missing in lockdown and I have to say I mostly miss my family and friends. I also wish I could be out and about doing my baking talks, although it helps that I’m starting to do them via Zoom. Meeting people in community groups has proved a great way […]

Try baking ‘Yorkshire drop’ this weekend!

Meryl White

Grandma Abson knew a thing or two. An early networker, Grandma Abson knew there was much baking expertise out there to learn from, so right from her first days in service in the 1900, through to the 1970s, she was an avid collector of recipes. In addition to her own collection, over her long life […]

Discovering a Yorkshire cook and her “Portugal cakes”

Meryl White

Do you get those ‘Rediscover your day’ photo alerts on your phone? The other week I had one for an event I’d attended just over a year ago in Pontefract, in those ‘carefree’ days of March 2019, where a cookery book was awarded a blue plaque. It was unveiled by local MP, Yvette Cooper. ‘English […]

Lockdown cooking across the North-South divide

Meryl White

Pots away! As a nation, why did people suddenly panic-buy pasta and pizza? I remember reading that some people think these are the key ingredients for the famously healthy “Mediterranean diet” – so perhaps that explains the empty supermarket shelves? But if the aim was to boost our immune systems, why haven’t we heard more […]