Tag Archives: oats

Loose Ends

The header picture shows the bag of oats Julia bought from Heckington. They are produced at the Maud Foster Mill in Boston (yes, American readers, we have one too). She is determined that I am going to benefit from slow-release carbs and extra roughage in the coming year.

You’d have thought they would have stocked oats from their own mill, but it seems not.

I’m thinking of doing a series of posts on mills as there are plenty in Lincolnshire, and the surrounding counties, with many of them having tearooms attached. I’m trying to work a joke into posts/mills, or post mills but it’s not quite working yet. I’ll work on it as I think the world of mill blogs needs a joke or two.

Today’s work consisted mainly of washing windows and serving customers. This is a picture of the new shop, illuminated by sunlight streaming in through the newly cleaned windows. Once the building work is finished they are going to allow me to clean all the glass in counters and cabinets. As you can see, there will be a lot of work.


The new Collectors’ World in Nottingham


After work, we had roasted vegetables with belly pork and kale. It marks the start of my new healthy eating campaign. Well, healthyish. It’s a start.


Belly pork with roasted vegetables and kale

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).


Second post of the day

Sorry if it seems like I’m running a bus company, no blogs for a while then two come along at the same time…

It was quite a good week last week and it mostly got steamrollered by Open Farm Sunday and the scarecrows.

We saw a red kite over Screveton for the first time in the four years we’ve been here. It was a great view too, with a really good silhouette against a beautiful blue sky (and who had left his camera in the back of the car? Yes, me.)

We had chocolate slab cake after one of the mothers made cakes for a volunteer event that was cancelled. Sadness at the cancellation was, I’m sorry to say, short-lived when I looked into the tin.

I know I lead a dull and boring life, but they are surely highlights even in the life of an exciting celebrity. Did Demi Moore see a red kite? Did anyone give Barack Obama a chocolate slab cake? Does my choice of celebrity mark me as being out of step with the modern world?

Anyway, far from the lifestyle of the rich and famous, we also had around 325 children in the activity tent over the course of Open Farm Sunday.

I was quite pleased with that – 325 kids who now know a bit more about food, farming and the environment., though I know it’s a drop in the ocean when you look at surveys like this that tell us 40% of people don’t know we grow oats in this country (I selected that one because of the next paragraph, but some of the other findings are equally worrying).

Then I started thinking about future events – it will be World  Porridge Day in  October and part of that is about Mary’s Meals – we’ve supported them in the past and they’ve just fed a million kids. A million! I’m now slightly less impressed with our 325.

However, we have another 30 coming in tomorrow (leaving me just 999, 645 of the million) and we’re doing insects and habitats with them. This calls for less blogging and more reading as I’m hopeless with insect ID.

Watch this space…