From the kitchen

Wild Thyme Farmstay

Delicious food all season from the garden – from our first fruit of the season (cherries) to pumpkins!  We’ve also included a photo of what we receive from our neighbours every start of November.

In this beautiful tradition, they spend all day lovingly preparing gifts of food to pass to all the neighbours, in memory of their ancestors.  There’s always a little candle included which we burn and remember ours too!

 

I’m in the garden

So much life and beauty in the garden.

Curing hams

P1060040

We’re making our first attempt at curing hams.  There are 3 stages to the process.  The first stage to submerge the whole of the back leg in brine for a week to 10 days.  The brine is a sweet one which includes salt, sugar and saltpeter.  The room should be about 8 degrees centigrade.

After the 10 days, we washed the hams thoroughly to get rid of all the salt and hung them up to dry.  It is very important that they are totally dry.  The saltpeter has been absorbed by the meat and now they are now in a fridge to ‘equlaise’.  This means that in the next 12 days the saltpeter will continue to cure the meat.

Watch this space for stage 3….

Sowing tomato seeds

Growing tomato plants from seeds

Our first seeds of the season are tomatoes.  Growing tomato plants from seeds takes a little bit of care but once established tomato plants are fairly hardy.  We have them all wrapped up in a blanket and plastic covering by the wood burning stove.  Tomato seed germination occurs at a fairly constant temperature of 21 degrees.

They don't want to be too wet so we watered the soil and left it for a few days by the stove to warm up.  Then sprinkled various varieties on top, including cherry tomato seeds, and covered with a sprinkling of dry seeding composting.  Finally a sprinkling of water.

Saving tomato seeds from last year's crop is the cheapest and best way to get your seed.  Most of these are ones we saved from organic varieties we bought previously and others are from tried and tested varieties our neighbours gave us. 

Julie’s Recipe Chicken Liver Pate

homemade chicken liver pate

 

Recipe Chicken Liver Pate

This is a recipe from one of our guests, Julie, who stayed in the eco guesthouse last summer.  I didn’t realise it was so easy to make pate.

Ingredients:

8oz chicken livers

8oz butter

2tbsp brandy

1/2 tsp savory or thyme

1/2 tsp nutmeg or mace

4 cloves crushed garlic

Fry livers in 1oz butter.  When tender, mince them.

Melt 5oz butter in pan and pour into liver.  Add brandy and 2oz butter.  Pour some brandy into pan to rinse out yummy stuff and add to livers.

Mix well.

Put into a ceramic pot with lid and smooth over.

Melt 2oz butter and our over pate.  Leave for 2-3 days before eating.

Toi’s Onion Comfit Recipe

Recipe for confit of onions

This is another delicious recipe from our friend Toi.  A great way to use your baby onions and is delcious with cheese or cold meats.  Very rich and lots of flavours.

750g of baby onions

50ml water, 50g honey , 50g brown sugar, 100ml sweet white  wine, 100ml balsamic vinegar, 70ml olive oil, 3tbsp tomato paste, 1/2 teasp cumin, pinch cinnamon, 2 cloves powdered, salt, pepper

 

Peel onions and sautee in olive oil until golden brown.  Add remaining ingredients.

Mix well and cook, covered on very low heat for 1 and 1/2 hours.

I didn’t bother jarring it but it kept in a container in the fridge for a couple of months.

 

Organic sausages

Organic pork sausage recipe

 

Organic Pork Sausage Making

2lbs lean pork

1lb fat pork

1lb breadcrumbs

1/2 oz pepper, pinch of nutmeg

1/4 oz sage

Mix the breadcrumbs with the meat and mince all together in your big old hand mincer.

Add seasoning and put through the mincer again.  This meat can be frozen as is.

To make sausages, you’ll need either synthetic skins which you can buy on the internet.  If you can get them, it is best to use pigs’ intestines which are scraped and washed.  They are much more pliable and easier to work with.

Home made pork sausages

Replace your mincer attachment with your sausage funnel.  Fasten your sausage skins (a 2-3 metre length) onto the end of the funnel and push the whole length onto the nozzle.

Tie a knot at the other end.  Stuff the sausage and herb mix in the top and gently begin to turn the handle of the mincer.  Keep adding your sausage mix.  When your sausage meat has run out, stuff a bit of bread into the top of the mincer to force through the last of the meat.

Tie a knot in the end of the length of casing and twist into sausage lengths.

Delicious pork sausage sandwich

Make  a yummy sausage sandwich!