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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Red Berry Pavlova

So as promised (better late than never), here is the Recipe for Pavlova, although I didn’t have 6 large eggs because we had sold all of ours so I used 17 Bantam eggs instead! And I did load some extra berries on the top, including blueberries, redcurrents and what not, more the merrier if you ask me! Enjoy!



Red Berry Pavlova


6 large egg whites, at room temperature
350g Caster Sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Red Berry’s

800g red berries hulled
40g icing sugar
2 Tablespoons of raspberry eau-de-vie or Kirsch (optional)
Squeeze of lemon juice
300ml Whipping Cream

Makes 1 x 20cm cake

Preheat the oven to 200/gas mark 7. Cut a circle of baking paper to fit a 20cm cake tin 9cm deep with a removable base. Rinse the tine with water, put the paper circle on the base and rinse again.

Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until they rise to a froth. Sprinkle over the caster sugar a few tablespoons at a time, whisking well with each addition. Whisk in the cornflour, then the vinegar. You should have a very stiff, glossy meringue.

Spoon the meringue into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Place the pavlova o a baking sheet in the oven, reduce the temperature to its very lowest setting and bake for 1 ½ -2 hours keeping an eye on the surface to make sure it doesn’t colour. Remove the pavlova and run a knife around the edge of the tin.

Put a third of the berries, the icing sugar, the eau-de-vie if using and the lemon juice in a liquidiser and puree. Pass through a sieve into a bowl, taste and add more sugar or lemon juice as necessary. Halve or quarter any large strawberries and mix the remaining fruit in with the sauce.

Remove the collar and transfer the pavlova to a large serving plate. Whip the cream and spread thickly over the top of the pavlova. Spoon the berries and sauce into the centre with extra around the base if like. Serve straight away.

Recipe from the book Gorgeous Cakes by Annie Bell which is available from Amazon

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


I'm no expert when it comes to "what is a weed" and "what isn't a weed".
For example, when I moved house in January, I moved all my garden plants with me, including (unknowingly) a couple of weeds!

I planted them in the garden thinking they were "proper plants" until they shot up last month and i realised they are actually the same ones you find covering the verges on the A roads! Oops!

Weeds get everywhere! You can spend a whole day digging the little s**ts blighters out, filling your wheelbarrow with them and feeling sooo proud of your nice clear garden. Then you turn your back for a second and they're back, just like childrens nits! You think you have them all then they return!!! (Bet your now scratching at the thought of them!!) ha!

No matter how much time you spend eradicating the pesky things, (which I spend LOADS of time on my knees digging them out individually) you have to admit, when you dig up a lovely batch of carrots & spuds from the veg patch, it does make it all worth it, right??!!

I would love to hear your tried & tested tips for getting rid of weeds, comment below!



Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Curry Night!

Lush - That is the only word I can use to describe the taste of one of our table birds! Lovingly prepared by my hubbie to be in a curry for dinner tonight!

Four down, two still clucking around in the coop. A little late I must admit, but we've been super busy with work, kids, village fetes etc that we just haven't had the time to do the deed to all of them.

We have three currently in the freezer, and I have to tell you one of them was a very fat and healthy 7.25lbs!! Thats small child size!!! (He's being saved for christmas!!!)

And just so you know:
Answers to the most asked questions I get regarding the table birds:
Did you kill them yourself? Yes
Did you pluck & gut? Yes
Did I feel a little guilty? Yes...a little!
Is it really worth it? Yes it can work out a little higher than a shop bought chicken, but it's all for the taste. The tatse of that fresh homegrown chicken, a bit like your own homegrown fruit and veg. You just can't beat it!

So there you have it, from a day old chick to an 18 week old bird to my dinner table!

Now where's my meat cleaver.................


Monday, 18 July 2011

Elephant Garlic

I’ve never used Elephant Garlic before but we found some in our local farm shop (Wykham Park) last week and decided we would get some and give it a go – it came with a handy recipe card (recipe’s below) with it too.

I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from it but the cloves were enormous! Some may say ‘elephant’ size! The smell was a lot milder than normal garlic (I’m not sure if it’s that way for all of this type of garlic or whether this one was particularly mild) but I will make sure when we get more to analyse the smell!

So we used some in a fab lamb curry on Saturday, spen makes one of the best lamb curry’s ever, it’s slow cooked for hours to make the meat tender, I will ask him for a recipe and put it on a blog for you all because it really does taste quite wonderful! We also used some with our roast beef yesterday and have enough left for our beef stir fry tonight (made from the left over roast beef from yesterday).

I desperately need to attack the garden at some point this week – I’ve done what I do every year (and vow not to do this every year), I get all excited about sowing seeds and growing vege’s etc and then I get busy with work and the garden has to take a back seat and then things get a bit overgrown and take far longer to sort out than what they would if I spent just a little bit of time doing it even when I’m busy.

We are also a bit over-run with chicks at the moment – Keith (our lavender pekin) has been very busy with his ladies and although we are selling quite a few, they keep hatching out so we have little mouths to feed all at varying stages. Hatching chicks out whether it be naturally under a hen or in a incubator never losses it’s magic though, they are just so cute and fluffy and affectionate!

Ok best get back to the grind stone, chickens to feed, house to tidy, emails to answer and businesses to get on with!