Tag Archives: honey

Ice cream for breakfast

Ice cream must contain all the calcium and vitamins of milk, and with the addition of honey and walnuts it has to be positively healthy. It It also tastes good.

I can’t think why you don’t see it recommended as breakfast more often.

It’s difficult to write a follow-up to that; I’m just sitting here thinking of a brave new world where we have ice cream for breakfast.

At the risk of treating this like Twitter, I think I’ll leave it there, as I really can’t think of anything more to say.

 

Carry on Baking

You see before you the blog of an unhappy man. I’m short on time and I have somehow managed to consign the hundred or so laboured words of my first attempt to pixelated oblivion. I’m not quite sure how it happened – a flurry of fingers, a wrongly selected key and it just disappeared. I cannot find it.

Today’s session, free from the tyranny of seriousness and sourdough, was a  light-hearted affair featuring an amount of witty repartee and a helping of classic double entendre in the style of the Carry On films. Everyone enjoyed themselves, everyone baked good loaves (though some were of a decidedly rustic nature) and everyone took turns in the jokes about soggy bottoms, or, more rarely, nice firm bottoms.

If you recall our last attempt at Honey and Oatmeal bread, when Gail was away, we produced similar loaves – excellent but rustic – and did it all without needing to resort to smut about bottoms. The session on that occasion was conducted with the reverence and decorum that only a group of middle-aged men can bring to such a proceeding.

I’m not saying anything more, you may draw your own conclusions.

In passing, we had some form of icy snow last night in Screveton (though not around our house in Nottingham) and we now have two bookings confirmed for the craft fair on Open Farm Sunday.

It’s all looking good.

 

Oat and Honey Bread

We had four for bread, and after I spent last night preparing dough for an overnight rise, I was pleased to see it well risen. That was when the members of the class told me that last time they’d made it they had started it from scratch. The best laid plans…as they say.

 

After that things went to plan, apart from me misreading the recipe and trying to bake an hour too early.

We had TESCO biscuits (from the ordinary range this time, though more of them) and a lot of tea. Two of the group have just returned from India and described a place of cheap food, fantastic sights and long distances. Well, they actually described a lot more, but those were the things I found interesting.

Sounds like everyone has had a great time.

Meanwhile, I hear you shout, what about the bread?

Well, it emerged from the oven in various well-browned forms, though I wasn’t convinced it was properly cooked. It’s the browning effect of the honey that does that. I would describe it as a hearty bread, exhibiting, as my bread often does, the big bubbles that denote a lack of knocking back and the dense lower layer that indicates a lack of kneading. It’s still good to eat though. Bearing in mind that I cut it too early so that I could get the photograph, it is really quite good. It’s a little heavy if you want to be picky, but it is full of oats, honey, milk and oil so it’s not going to be fluffy like a cloud is it?

Taste is good, with the salt balancing the honey whilst still allowing a little sweetness to come through.

It was very good with my lunchtime Stilton.

In terms of rising one of the loaves started from scratch rose the best with an overnight one coming second and the others (one of each method) looked pretty similar. The fifth lot was taken home as dough due to  alack of time. It seems to be the kneading rather than the preparation method that determined the rise. The mix temperature of the overnight loaves never rose beyond 15 degrees, whilst the ones baked from scratch did get up to 23 -24 due to the use of lukewarm water, just short of the recommended 25 degrees. I could have made this higher when I mixed them last night but I thought I’d use cold water to mix as they had a long rise in front of them.

I suspect the overnight loaves have probably developed more flavour, but don’t have away to check this – should have thought to cook one from scratch this morning.

The recipe is now in the Recipe section (that’s under the Resources tab).

 

Time goes by…

We had another party yesterday, but by the time I’d got it on the table there was no time for photos so you’ll just have to take my word for it. I did get a couple of photos of the meal but by the time I sat down several of the guests were off getting seconds so it just looked like a couple of sparsely attended tables with dirty plates.

On the positive side, the plates were empty (well, mostly) so it can’t have been too bad. There was also enough left for my tea tonight too – red cabbage with apple and cranberries, parsnips with honey and mustard and squash with garlic. Two out of three had improved with age. I’ve never quite got the hang of adding taste to squash so let’s call that a work in progress.

I have had some success with a brown sugar glaze, but sugar glazed squash and honey glazed parsnips seemed a bit similar.

The sausages were good, probably the best batch we’ve ever had, which brings us round to Friday…

We had eight piglets this morning. There’s a small problem regarding my ability to upload photographs but once I get it fixed you will have a photo. Mother and babies are doing well – they are all feeding well and she is lying there grunting in a relaxed manner.

Saturday. Here, as promised, are the photographs.

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More food

It’s a shoot day on Saturday, though from the casual attitude of the pheasants we saw this morning they haven’t it’s clear they haven’t been told.

I’ve no strong feelings either way – I like birds but I also used to enjoy shooting. The lack of feeling is further intensified by the fact that I don’t find pheasants particularly enthralling. though I am quite fond of partridges in both their varieties. We have a number of red legs about. They potter down to the barns like middle-aged married couples in thee summer evenings to browse through the poultry food.  There were as many as three pairs at one time this summer,

We’ve also raised grey partridges this year. Also known as English partridges they have been going through a rough time over the last  few years with a 91% decline in numbers between 1967 and 2010. Hopefully we will be able to do something to stop the decline.The farm has spent a lot of effort on hedges and headlands and the gamekeepers have been working hard so there is a good chance of improving the population.

As we wait and see at least people won’t go hungry on Saturday as I’ve been cooking Honey and Treacle tarts for lunch. I don’t always get on with celebrity recipes, though I won’t go into it here, but this one worked well. I didn’t have any black treacle and I upped the ginger after my practice run, though that could be down to my powdered ginger being a bit old. I might tone down the orange and have a go with root ginger next time. And I cheated by using ready-made pastry cases. Life is too short to make pastry.

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Nearly forgot to say – the recipe makes a bit too much filling for a bought in pastry case – I’m going to cut it back by around 15% next time and see how it goes.

Back from holiday

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After touring Kendal Farmers’ Market and a number of farm shops (a story which might crop up in days to come) I thought this might be a good time to say that we do sell stuff on the farm. As you can see above, we sell apple juice which we press on the farm. We also sell honey, but we don’t do much with that – just rob bees and shove it in jars.

Though I’m a determined omnivore I have to concede that vegans have a point when it comes to bees. We run them ragged all summer pollinating crops and flowers then when they have filled their stores for the winter we steal the honey. However, I like eating honey and don’t have any immediate plans to give it up. Having said that, when I consider how hard they work to make honey it will give me cause to think next time I eat honey.

A spoonful of honey represents the life’s work of 10 worker bees. It takes the work of 7,500 workers to fill one of our jars and in doing this they visit 1.5 million flowers and fly 40,000 miles. It’s little wonder that they only live six weeks.

We’re open for sales from 9.00 – 1.00 on Saturday mornings when the Community Cafe can also provide you with drinks, cakes and breakfasts. Directions can be found here. Due to the international nature of the internet that means that most people reading this won’t be able to visit – sorry about that, but if you are ever around you will know where to find us.