Midlife Crisis Smoked Goods

Angela Cahill busies about in her tiny, immaculate shop looking, it has to be said, rather pleased with herself. Open only a matter of weeks, folk are already beating a path to her door. She’s been selling at Farmer’s Markets for a couple of years with husband Sean, at the same time running a pretty high powered career. Then, like many of us, Angela ‘reached a certain age and I thought let’s have a mid-life crisis!’ so ditched the big job and plans for the shop were born.


Ex-chef Sean has been experimenting in the smoke house (aka garage) and he’s settled on a method that lends a subtle, nutty flavour to the food. I’ve never been a fan of smoked cheese, but Pextenement cheddar has been given the Cahill treatment and it’s a revelation. Meat is locally sourced and fish arrives from Fleetwood. They dry-cure bacon, ham and charcuterie, and make their own sea salt butter. Angela stocks bread from Blue Sky Baker, and from Holmfirth, preserves by an outfit called Peckish who produce really unusual varieties; the blueberry and liquorice jam is fabulous and I can’t wait to try the pea & mint pesto. We arrived home with a fab loaf of bread, a pack of butter and a tub of richly smoky mackerel pate. And I can testify that the beetroot and gin cured salmon is TDF. We love it when a mid-life crisis is put to such good use.

Chapelbank Smokehouse, Crown Building, 99 Halifax Road, Ripponden HX6 4DA

T:01422 820610 and 07849 198036


Open Thursday – Saturday

Sally’s Pasta

It’s always worth a call into the Bear in Todmorden. I popped in this morning for some fabulous Pextenement cheese, which is made within sight of my ‘office’. (Cheesemaker Carl’s niece Hannah used to deliver on a Saturday morning but she morphed into a teenager and unaccountably found better things to do. Boys, drinking, that sort of thing.) Today in the Bear there was a young woman cooking something by the counter and it looked rather good. Turns out it’s ravioli made by Sally Wellock – yes, of the Wellock family, who have been supplying veg since 1961 to some of the most prestigious restaurants up and down the country,



She went to Italy with her dad, sourcing tomatoes, and stayed with a family who one night served up delicious ravioli, which Sally replicated back home in Nelson. It’s very good indeed; light, full off flavour, immensely satisfying. If you’re going to have what we call a slut’s dinner (ready made meal for one) forget Tesco, this is the one. Good to see the youngsters picking up the baton and running with it. There are three varieties on offer; spicy beetroot, pea & mint and wild mushroom, coming to deli near you soon.  www.sallyspasta.uk @sallysPasta

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