SOWOOD WI launch cookbook in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Sowood Women’s Institute, one of the largest groups in West Yorkshire Federation, have launched a cookbook to raise vital funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA).

The cookbook, called ‘A little book of Yorkshire Yum – a recipe collection from Sowood WI’ was produced by the group during the second lockdown, and consists of an eclectic mix of recipes from WI members past and present and guest contributors including the Yorkshire Air Ambulance crew with their banana and blueberry muffins, and local TV chef Brian Turner who submitted his favourite sage and lamb cobbler.

Described as ‘frankly fantastic food from fabulous folk’ the cookbook has 78 recipes ranging from culinary classics such as Nettle soup, scones and parkin to innovative takes on modern world food which include the Samosa Pie and a speedy Thai green curry. The cookbook also contains gluten free, vegetarian and vegan recipes.

Retired Yorkshire born potter and artist, Pat Kaye, illustrated the recipes throughout the cookbook and the traditional and quintessential style front cover. Each of the recipes have handwritten style text which evokes a heart-warming sense of reading someone’s much loved, passed down family recipes.

The illustrations were drawn during an emotionally challenging time for Pat when her husband was terminally ill. Speaking of her drawing, Pat said: “When my husband went to bed at night, I kept doing a few drawings until I had worked my way through the book. Art is very therapeutic for me and I love drawing.”

Pat was also keen to get involved with the project having experienced being airlifted by another air ambulance charity when she fell and broke her ankle whilst walking her dog in a remote area in North Wales.

The official cookbook launch will take place at the Sowood Community Centre on 11th September at 2pm and local residents are invited to sample some of the mouth-watering recipes the cookbook has to offer, and to learn more about the charity it is supporting with stalls from Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Julie Astbury, current Sowood WI President said: “The recipes in this collection have been collected with love -love for the friends for whom we have made the recipes; love for the memories they evoke; love for the friends and relatives who first wrote them down and made them family favourites and love for the sheer joy of making and eating our food!  We were also very fortunate to receive a recipe from TV Chef and fellow Yorkshireman Brian Turner so we are absolutely delighted with his contribution to our fabulous cookbook.”

Helen Berriman, West Yorkshire Community Fundraiser for Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said: “We would like to thank Sowood WI for their continuous support and generosity and we are delighted to have been chosen as the beneficiary for the proceeds of this cookbook.  It really is a truly beautiful book and we know it is going to be very popular as all the recipes sound wonderful!

It costs £12,000 a day to keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances maintained and in the air and the money raised from the cookbook will help greatly towards our vital funding and enable us to keep both of our helicopters airborne and saving lives across the region.”

The ‘Little book of Yorkshire Yum’ costs £10 plus postage and packaging and all the proceeds go to Yorkshire Air Ambulance. To order your copy, please visit: