If you watched Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas this week you will have seen Sarah Puckett make a spectacular TV debut in a tree decorating competition.
Sarah, owner of multi-award winning York business, Puckett’s Pickles, was a runner up with her fabulous vegetable-inspired creation.
The Heworth-based artisan food producer has made a big success out of pickling everything from cauliflower to spiced apples, and we love her slogan “happy pickles to leave a tickle on your tongue” – but her love of veg also extends to Christmas decorations with a difference.
She says: “I grew up in a household where food was revered and I have always loved pickled vegetables, both for their taste and their beauty.
“Mum and I always made garlands made from vegetables, herbs and flowers to decorate the house at Christmas, so when I saw a competition to decorate a Christmas tree that would be judged on TV, I had to enter.”
Sarah was one of over 6,000 applicants and was delighted to reach the final four and win a trip to Blenheim Palace to dress a five foot tree that had been grown on the estate.
She decorated with sprout garlands, tomato baubles, purple cauliflowers, bright green romanescos, artichokes, January red cabbage, pheasant feathers, sea holly, spray roses and Yorkshire Wolds lavender. The end result was sensational, despite the tree toppling over half way through dressing it.
“It was a heart stopping moment, but the other contestants rallied round to help and we managed to start again,” says Sarah.
“Although my tree did not win the competition, I had a fabulous time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was really pleased that I held my own against the other ladies, who were stylists and designers, but I couldn’t have done it without the support of my superb suppliers; Busy Lizzies Flowers, Loves Greengrocers, Wolds Way Lavender and ‘Christmas Minion’ Jennie Palmer from Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil.”
It’s been a manic couple of months for Sarah and Puckett’s Pickles, with the normal Christmas rush combined with filming for the programme and winning the Taste of Yorkshire category in the White Rose Awards. Her Carrot and Cardamom Chutney and Oriental Carrots also won coveted Great Taste awards.
“Once Christmas is over, I’m just looking forward to vegging out for a while,” she says.
First though, she’ll be enjoying a Christmas dinner, which will include the family tradition of serving sprout puree, with any leftovers used as a sprout pate for sandwiches the next day. Yummy?!
*Sarah hand makes Yorkshire pickles and chutneys in her kitchen at home and started Puckett’s Pickles in 2012 after a career with Pret a Manger. You can buy Puckett’s Pickles from farm shops, delis and cheesemongers throughout Yorkshire and online from www.yorkshires-finest-foods.co.uk For more on Puckett’s Pickles visit www.puckettspickles.co.uk