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. 

Homemade Scotch Eggs

Scotch eggs recipe

Our favourite recipe for making our own scotch eggs:

Ingredients:

1kg sausagemeat (seasoned with salt, pepper, sage, nutmeg)

150g dried breadcrumbs

10 hard boiled eggs, with shells removed

Beat 2 eggs with a tblsp of water

Dip hard boiled eggs into the beaten egg and cover them with a coat of sausagemeat. Roll the covered eggs in the beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs. Dip fry in hot oil until golden brown.

A good tip is to keep the layer of meat quite thin and make sure the oil is not too hot, otherwise the breadcrumb coating burns before the meat is cooked.  Time the frying of the first batch of eggs and cut one in half to see if the meat is cooked.  Then adjust the timing accordingly.