Yorkshire Shepherdess surprises again with her new bestselling book

Interview: Amanda Owen’s new book of stories, photographs and recipes has been one of the big bestsellers of the festive season but it was at least partly inspired by Harrogate.

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 24th December 2021, 12:23 pm
The Yorkshire Shepherdess' Celebrating the Seasons with the Yorkshire Shepherdess: Farming, Family and Delicious Recipes to Share by Amanda Owen is  published by Macmillan.
The Yorkshire Shepherdess' Celebrating the Seasons with the Yorkshire Shepherdess: Farming, Family and Delicious Recipes to Share by Amanda Owen is published by Macmillan.

The Yorkshire Shepherdess may live and work with her her husband Clive and their nine children at their farm at Ravenseat, near Richmond but it was while taking part in an event in Harrogate she had a lightbulb moment.

Talking to the Harrogate Advertiser on the phone while making her first cup of tea of the day, Amanda said: “I’ve always wanted to do a book of my photographs and recipes.

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“After the success of the Our Yorkshire Farm TV series, I’ve been asked to do a lot of presentations for WIs and at theatres in recent years.

“As part of that, you have to show pictures so everyone can get a feel for your life. I’m always taking photos for social media, so it wasn’t too hard.

“One time I was asked to do a presentation for Harrogate Photographic Society and I thought, “wait a moment”.

“The other thing I get asked a lot is “what do you feed your family on?”

The end result is Celebrating the Seasons with the Yorkshire Shepherdess: Farming, Family and Delicious Recipes to Share, published by Macmillan.

After its release, it quickly raced to number three in the Sunday Times bestsellers list.

But this is far from her first successful venture into the world of publishing.

Previous books including A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess and Tales From the Farm by the Yorkshire Shepherdess and all made the bestsellers lists.

This is, however, her first book of recipes.

Mind you, like the Yorkshire Shepherdess, herself, this is by no means a conventional cookery book.

Amanda may believe in buying good, seasonal ingredients when it comes to feeding her family and includes her favourite recipes here, from wild garlic lamb with hasselback roast potatoes to rhubarb and custard crumble cake and Yorkshire curd tart.

But Britain’s most famous hill farmer is no fan of, er, making a meal of it.

Amanda said: “My recipes are very forgiving. The way I do it, if you put something in the oven it can be a little late without ruining it.

“The timings don’t have to be exact.

“I don’t have time for all the frills when I’m putting a dish together.

“Most people who know me know it’s chaos.”

The Yorkshire Shepherdess’s appeal is based partly on her positive spirit and partly on her ability to surprise and confound expectations.

It’s something she’s pleased to have to have got across in Celebrating the Seasons with the Yorkshire Shepherdess

Amanda said: “People assume if you are a farmer, you will be at war with vegetarians but it’s not about that; it’s about cooking with good, healthy ingredients and knowing what you are putting on your plate.

“We don’t eat meat every day at home but we do always know its provenance.”