Thursday, 26 November 2020

13 maybe an unlucky number for some so the NYMNP have added one more

14 reasons why the North Yorkshire Moors National Park in which we live make it such a special place .We hope you will come and stay with usin the Spring, when the area is vibrant and as nature wakes up after its winter hibernation
Special places have special qualities. Here are 14 things that we think make the North York Moors stand out from other places – 14 more reasons to visit, live and work in this special corner of England. Great diversity of landscape Sudden dramatic contrasts associated with this Wide sweeps of open heather moorland Distinctive dales, valley and inland headlands An abundance of forest and woodland Ancient trees and woodland rich in wildlife Special landforms from the Ice Age Exceptional coastal geology Majestic coastal cliffs and sheltered harbours Distinctive coastal headlands A special mix of upland, lowland and coastal habitats A wide variety of wildlife dependent on these Settlements which reflect their agricultural, fishing or mining past Locally distinctive buildings and building materials A long imprint of human activity A wealth of archaeology from prehistory to the 20th Century A rich and diverse countryside for recreation An extensive network of public paths and tracks Strong religious past and present Ruined abbeys and ancient churches Strong feeling of remoteness A place for spiritual refreshment Tranquillity Dark skies at night and clear unpolluted air Distinctive skills, dialects, songs and customs Strong sense of community and friendly people A place of artistic, scientific and literary inspiration A heritage of authors, artists, scientists and explorers

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Stir Up Sunday ...

🥄 Today is Stir-up Sunday: traditionally the day when home cooks ‘stir up’ their Christmas pudding mixture on the Sunday before the Advent season - and the countdown to Christmas - begins. Here is a recipe for a traditional Christmas pudding. Christmas puddings are easy to make and you can add or take away ingrediants as you choose. I hope that you enjoy making it one. When you stir the mixture you need to make a wish. I think most people will be wishing for th esame thing this year . The smell of it cooking really makes you feel Christmas is just round the corner. Note though I usually love scrapping the last bits off and eating it raw with a spoon as in sponge cakes and even the Christmas cake. But with suet in this, it is what you could say an acquired taste and not what I would go back for seconds for before it was cooked. The recipe will make two 1kg puddings. Ingredients as follows: 🍇 250g raisins 🍇 250g currants 🍇 185g sultanas 🍊 150g mixed peel 🧈 250g suet or vegetarian suet 🍞 250g breadcrumbs 🌾 90g flour 🎄12g mixed spice 🥚 2 whole eggs 🍬180g demerara sugar 🍺 275ml beer 🍹 40ml dark rum 🥃 40ml brandy 🫖 If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can substitute for orange juice or cold tea. On Christmas Day, reheat your pudding in a bain-marie for 3-4 hours. Remove from the basin using a rounded knife or palette knife, flip out onto a plate and serve up with plenty of white sauce with plenty of rum in it I have been known to heat one up in the microwave but make sure you dont overdo it as it can make one go like concrete.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Apple of my eye

I wonder where the saying apple of my eye came from .So looked to good old Google and Wiki came up with this apple of one's eye.... Special favorite, beloved person or thing, as in The youngest was the apple of his father's eye. This term, which rests on the ancients' idea that the eye's pupil is apple-shaped and that eyes are particularly precious, appears in the Bible (Deuteronomy 32:10). As it was a Sunday and a glorious afternoon I thought it was very apt to having this for my blog heading today. I suppose I was the apple of my Dad's eye I am the youngest and the oldest too. For me, my Dad is very special too. At 98, he loves life,is very wise and does so much. We took the opportunity to go and pick some apples. No chance of me driving. So now it is apple pies,apple crumbles,apple cakes,apple sauce,stewed apples and plenty to eat until Christmas. The ones that had already fallen off we left for the birds to eat. It is days like this when it is good to be alive and so glad we thought to plant those fruit trees. Fruit trees grow quite quickly and you can usually reap the benefits within a year or two. These will have been planted probably 20 years now. 20 years has gone by so quickly. We plant trees every year as my Dad has always said you should plant for future generations to enjoy as his fore elders had planted many moons before. We have owned the same land for nearly 130 years as a family. He has enjoyed trees throughout his long life and I suppose that love has rubbed off on me. My favourite is the mighty Oak probably planted a mere 100 years before. Often thought to be slow growing, the native oak is really relatively quick on good soils, reaching 20m (60ft) in 50 years. It is a remarkably long-lived tree, too; some of the oldest oak trees growing in this country are pollards, up to 800 years old. Many famous named trees have large boles with circumferences up to 14m (45ft) and stag horned heads. We have all sorts of trees and plantations of ancient woodlands that guests are welcome to walk through. Some which are not quite as common, usually bought for birthday and Chrsitmas presents. My "portfolio" of trees include fig, acacia, walnut and a couple of Wellingtonias, a Canadian maple as well as Eucalyptus. On my Chrsitmas present list this year are copper beech and a peach tree. Oh and I forgot I have a mature lemon tree and 9 young ones I have grown from pips. Also a yuzu tree from a pip ...just one so fingers crossed it will florish.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Friluftsliv ... are you up for this .

#Lockdown 2 - We have added the word "Friluftsliv" to our vocabulary . We are also taking "Friluftsliv " to another degree here at Carr House Farm .... more to follow very soon.
Just in case you didn't know what "Friluftsliv" means -open air living, fresh air and embrace what is all around us in the countryside. We are lucky to have mountains of it around here . Offering another choice of what you do when you come to stay with us here in the heart of the countryside.

So as Friluftsliv opens up into our lives more than ever before, we have something else to thank the Vikings for .

We all need something to look forward to and to get us through this trying time. Everyone will have highs and lows until Spring comes again. We always feel better with sunshine and long light days but I always think if you have something to look forward to ,enjoy something new whether it be an experience or learning something or a small gesture of kindness. It is not about huge expense it is about filling our hearts with joy from the small things in life.

Until then I have been down to Castle Stores -Bentleys Wool shop in Helmsley to buy some wool. I won't be knitting socks for soldiers as the saying goes but I actually find it quite therapeutic until the cat decide to commandeer the ball of wool and wont give it up

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Halloween next week and Christmas around the corner

 So have you got your pumpkin ready. 

Looking to find yet another pumpkin soup recipe and usually revert to an old faithful.  It isn't that many years ago that Halloween was more celebrated in America than here . Pumpkins were treated a bit like wild mushrooms as if they were only the food of witches on broomsticks and that Pumpkin soup was boiled in a cauldron. 

As social media fills our pages with photos of pumpkins , their bright orange skins seem to brighten many a dull day . I wish I had planted my seeds earlier but I am desperate to keep the one and only plant I have as it has a bit more of sentiment to it than normally . It was 5 years this week since my Mum died  and she was always saving seeds . I found some in a cupboard this year which she had dried and saved me from 2013 in an old pill bottle. Recycling isn't a new word to us . And blow me, I now have a  pumpkin plant  with lots of flowers on.

I was in Helmsley yesterday for a quick shop and parked just over the bridge as you go . I saw "Pip" on his bike heading towards his shop/workshop, but was too far away to shout Hello . I thought I hadn't been in for a while and I really must when I had got my groceries. Pip is Paul Garbutt, who along with his lovely wife Henny have owned and run Bridge Street Framers for over 35 years. Pip formed a band and still plays  and every Thursday in lockdown he cheered up many folks not only in Helmsley where he lives but others too as it went on social media as he stood in the street and with his guitar strummed away belting out the favourite songs many from the 60s. Interesting enough Pip was the front man singing  and playing the guitar, but in the gallery guess who I spied ? Dave yes it was Dave Cook the drummer in the band who was busy making frames . Dave in his young days ran CC Racing and was known for his precise maintained racing cars. So no wonder the frames they build are so noticeable and well made when they have craftsmen like Dave making them. 

 It doesn't matter what time of year you go in there is always something to tempt you . I had heard they had moved from local gossip but was relieved to know they still where they have always been , next to the brewery  and a few yards up from the butchers. 

So why not a bit of early Christmas shopping point in not being organised . You may say we all have our own tastes and it is true .So you either know exactly what would excite someone and snap it up ,tuck it under your arm and feel proud as punch you have ticked the box on the first Christmas purchase for 2020... or wonder. No need to wonder anymore, why not buy a gift token and then they can choice their own and love it forever. Even suggest a trip with them and enjoy a lunch out too. Helmsley is that sort of a place. With being next to the brewery and if you have a husband like mine who hates shopping you could always leave him to sample the local beer and browse the gallery in peace. 

I didn't see any framed works with pumpkins on but I did find this one find this one with an owl on which I thought was very apt for the time of year. As well as buying originals and prints from BSF you can take your own masterpieces in to be framed . 

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Oh how Deer ... and precious

 How I love Autumn. 

The trees are looking amazing all warm red,oranges  and some days the skies are too as the sun rises and set. The former I don't normally see as many of you know I am quite a night owl. Although this morning I was up before 4am as we have just been having some new shelves put up in the and I needed to fill them ...well more like I needed to make space. 

I think it looks as if I will be back to writing my blog more often as we are going back into stranger times, so here goes.

I take some of the dogs out during the day when Jack is on the shoots and in fact have quite enjoyed it . I managed to pick quite a gathering of blackberries [before the devil spit on them ]- Some say the 10th October but as I looked this up I feel there is more sense to the date being the 29th September,which is Michaelmas.  After that the early frosts seem to come and make them all mushy . 

 I gathered quite a lot of fungi and we have survived although I left some in their natural habitat as I wasn't too sure.

The longer I walked the more the dogs seemed comfortable to do their own thing and  I liked that too as I wasn't tripping up over them all the time . They are very good and always come back when I shout ...well most of the time .

And look what I came across ... the photo below show a little fawn curled up in the sunshine. probably no more than a couple of days old. I have never been to one so close before and it warmed my heart for days.To begin with I wasn't sure if it was dead or alive .then I saw its ear twitch and a step nearer you could see its tiny body breathing . I went back a couple of hours later  without the dogs  just to check it hadn't been left .By this time it had opened its eyes as I heard a noise high above me .Its mother was calling out as I made a quick exit as I didnt want its mother not to come back for it .

Nature is such a marvellous thing and this last few months as the pace of life has slowed down for many of us we start to see things more or less on our doorstep .