Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Competiton Time - Follow my blog for a chance to win!


I am lucky enough to offer one lucky blog follower a super prize!

Fresh off the press I have a copy of 'Last Fling' by Sue Gee and it's signed by the author!!

All you have to do is follow my blog for a chance to win. Then leave a comment with your name and e-mail address (so I contact the winner).

Plus if you get a friend to follow and leave a comment saying "your name sent me to follow" you get an additional entry (no limit on friend entries so recommend away!)

Closing date for entries is 30th August.

Have fun

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Toy Review - Lamaze Captain Calamari

Brand: Lamaze
Toy name: Captain Calamari
Age Range: 0 months plus


This quirky colourful octopus is a godsend in our household and we do not travel anywhere without the Captain strapped to the changing bag.
The bright colours and patterns really capture my daughters attention and whenever her bottom lip trembles the captain is a great distraction.
His 'tentacles' are easy for small hands to grab and squeeze and the different textures provide endless exploring oppotunities for those little fingers.  The tentacles also holds a couple of textured rings and a lovely colourful rattle, once again these are easy for her to handle and she also enjoys kicking this for the sounds of the rattle.
The detailing on this toy is fabulous and I always receive comments on how unusual and loveable the captain looks.  With an easily attachable ring design this toy can be used over a pram, on a bag or anywhere you need!
All in all this is a top buy, I know a few mums who also have a captain and they all love him.

Rating: Colouful, light and well designed...a must have for all those new babies

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Best Sellers ....My Recipes Part One

Within our little farm shop (not a glamorous one with lots of gingham and straw, though I can wish) I sell a number of crafts, baked goods and preserves.  So I thought I would share some recipes of my best sellers, so you can try them yourselves or if you fancy ordering any through me once you see the ingredients list.

I try and use local produce in all of my cooking and if it can't be grown by the farm/in the garden/or down the road at another local producer I will always buy from local suppliers (I try to avoid supermarkets and support the independants i.e. greengrocers).

Fail Proof Scones

Always a winner and I make personal orders at least once a fortnight for these.
Whether they be savoury, sweet or plain I always stick to one standard recipe.  Trust me on this I have worked through alot of different scone recipes in my time but I swear by Paul Hollywood (the artisan bakers recipe) - which can be found on the bbc website under The Great British Bakeoff recipe list.
I never have any issues and his handling of the dough technique is superb (they even have a little video for you to follow).

I find all Paul Hollywood's recipes and tips useful and really look forward to the new series he is filming at the moment.

St Clement Marmalade

Whenever I make a batch of jars we sell out within a week (actually I have a batch of back orders for jars of this at the moment but the baby doesn't seem to understand that making preserves needs alot of attention).

Its called St Clements because it is a mix of oranges and lemons (remember the rhyme 'ornages and lemons say the bells of St Clements'?).  This is a lovely sweet marmalade with a lovely refreshing tang to it that I prefer to the standard seville orange marmalade which is tart and sometimes bitter. 

I find this recipe will make 4-5 standard size jars.  Make sure before you start that your jars are clean and sterilised and that you are using equipment that can take citric juices (in my younger days had a plastic grater/madolin which melting when I used a lemon on it ...bad cheap plastic).


2lb Sweet Oranges
4 Large Lemons
1.5 litres/2 1/2 pints filtered water
3lb granulated sugar

Wash your fruit and then grate the peel of all oranges and lemons (make sure you dont grate the plith, which is the white stuff underneath the peel just before you get to the flesh) and put this into your preserving pan.
Half the fruit and juice.  The juice goes into the preserving pan with the grated peel and tie the remaining flesh and pips in a large mulsin bag.
Add the water and muslin bag to the pan and bring to the boil.
Once it reaches the boil turn down to a simmer and leave for two hours.
Put your sugar into a baking tray and put in the oven on a low heat to warm ten minutes before your citrus fruits are ready.
Remove the muslin bag from the pan after the two hours and drain.  Put the liquid back into the preserving pan and discard the contents of the bag.
Add the warm sugar to the pan and stir till the suagr is dissolved then bring to the boil.
You need to get the marmalade to a 'bubbling boil' or if you have a preseves thermometer the setting temp is between 220 and 225.
Once you reach this heat constant stiring and checking the mixture is required until your ready to pot up.
My trick of telling when my preserves are ready is the saucer technique - put a clean saucer in the fridge for a few minutes until cold to the touch then drip the marmalade onto the saucer.  If after a few minutes the marmlade blob is a jellylike texture or has a skin to it then your ready to jar up!
Decant into your jars and seal with lids ( no need for wax seals) and leave to cool.
There you have your St Clements Marmade ..yum!

Now I have to put a disclaimer on here that the stuff is hot, you are responsible for hurting yourselves not me ( though I burn myself all the time, hot jam on hands is not a good idea!)

Anyway I hope you enjoy and I should be getting off to bed as I am egg grading tomorrow morning if I can get the baby off to sleep at the farm.

Take care,

Saturday, 11 June 2011

One Man/Woman Band?

Why is it when you become a parent you also become a Pack Horse and a walking One Man/Woman Band?
With the amount of favourite toys I take with me every day whether I am just going to the farm, a quick sprint to the supermarket or any other trip I find that when I walk a musical cocophany follows.
My daughter loves Lamaze toys at the moment and the noiser the better so on go the wrist and feet rattle bugs. On the top of her bag is her musical inch worm *rattle, squeek* and attached to the outside is Captain Calamari *more rattles*.  This is not to mention the several different outfit changes she goes through every day due to her competing with every nappy to wet her clothes and a change for me (as my daughter decides if she likes mummy's outfit and if not a large amount of posseting or mini mil vomit comes up on it, till I change into something she prefers).  The nappies, wipes, bags, changing mat, phone,camera (just in case she has a good picture day).  No wonder I find myself developing arm muscles.
So off we go rattling, squeeking and if we are lucky smiling away to our destination just hope its not a long way as my back aches just thinking about it!

New beginings

And thank you for taking time out to visit my blog.

As my profile says I am a farmers wife and new mother an completely new at blogging so my apologies if I ramble, please forgive me as I have a feeling most of my blogs will be done late in the evening after the little ones asleep and I have a minutes breath to take.

I will tell a bit more about my past history and stories later on in my blogs but at the moment I will concentrate on the present and hope you will like it...enjoy and please follow me.