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 . 




Saturday, 26 September 2020

Still gathering in the Harvest

 It has been a bumper year for fruit and vegetables,  so the house has had a lingering smell of vinegar over the last few weeks. Cucumbers ..there are only so many ways to eat cucumbers. I have not let any go to waste as made them into bread and butter pickle and not a piece of bread in sight. How it got its name as it is said it is so good to eat you only need bread and butter with it . We like it with cold meat or pork pie. It also went down very well with some Scotch eggs I made .They are easy to make and I think fry better when they are coated with semolina rather than bread crumbs and seem to hold to the sausage meat better. You may like to give it a try. .Also another tip about sausage meat is to make your own with minced pork . Just add some bread crumbs,herbs and an egg to bind it together. Works out it doubles in volume and so makes it a cheaper way to make your Scotch eggs,

Now I am into the hedgerows collecting rosehips, brambles and elderberries .I am concentrating more on picking rosehips as they have a higher value of Vitamin C in and at least don't stain your hands like elderberries. 

This morning Jack said when he was out with the dogs it was trying to snow. Do we really need it yet . It is certainly log fire weather now .

 I am busy saving any paper,  as in the Spring I am hoping to run courses for 6 people here. "A 6 friends get together" and will talk more about it in later postings  . But in the Spring looking to put together courses for you . The idea is to have one party of 6 people who are old school friends , relations - 3 generation parties  or just 6 friends wanting to get away and spend a few days together in a safe environment . We live in a dark sky area and what we take for granted is not what others have. So to enjoy eating a meal under the stars what better way to finish your day off. 

My website is going to be updated shortly and will then reveal all these new and exciting programme of stays that we hope may be of interest to you . And there will be always something you can take home with you too .

So now back to the pickling kitchen .






Wednesday, 2 September 2020

September is here.

Jack was off first thing yesterday morning back on the shoots. It was the first day of the partridge season. The day sets off just like sending your child to school, but for me it is sending the husband off. Clothes already laid out ,so no last minute rush.  Sandwiches, flask, more clothes in case the weather changed. Even wasp spray incase a dog got attacked. And goodness knows what else he had with him.

It is always strange the first day he is away after having him here since the beginning of February but with no lunch to get ready I was able to crack on with plenty of jobs. I was blanching  and putting beans into the freezer. Skinning tomatoes and putting them in too . I am nearly at the end of my tomato harvest, so started raiding my Dad's greenhouse.

The days are shortening, but with it brings those lovely Autumn smells and colours of the countryside.  Harvest is  a busy time in lots of ways for us .My dad is disappointed he can't go to the sheep sales as he is over 70 . On the 25th, he will be 98 and is still as wise as an owl and as cute as a monkey. He was having beetroot sandwiches for his tea last night as he likes to boil them and says I don't cook them long enough. He has grown enough to keep him in beetroot sandwiches for the winter.

Hope you all managed to watch the first in the new James Herriot series last night. It is great to showcase the area, but coming from a farm I think I could have done a better job of calving that cow. But certainly the best hours viewing I have watched for a long time .

The Harvest Moon was full last night and will shine for 3 nights at least . Marvellous how nature helped the farmers light the fields before tractors were thought of .







Friday, 21 August 2020

2020 Summer Newsletter - if you would like quarterly ones please go to website www.carrhousefarm.co.uk and sign up

Well what a roller coaster ride 2020 has been so far. Here's hoping this email finds you safe and well.

Here in North Yorkshire, we have been keeping our heads down and have set out to do lots of things. We are in our 42nd year of ‘should be welcoming’ guests so making things better here for when we are open up again. I really miss having guests staying, so if I can't cook for you, Jack is getting double helpings here! My Dad enjoys the extra baking too.

I have even been making bread and some damper bread which you make in flower pots. I have dried wild garlic and made proper mint sauce enough to feed an army so need some more shelves up in the store cupboard.

First we set on and had a stretch of the driveway concreted so gone are the potholes and a drain down the side so hopefully this will take away the excess rain that used to wash down in bad weather.

The grandchildren have spent some lovely days here playing in the stream and waterfalls.

We were named as one of the top 6 places in the UK for our picnic area which is up in the woods and only accessible to our guests.

We have seen the deer bringing their two fawns within 15 yards of the house when they would be no more than 2 days old.

We have had some lovely puppies and now they have gone to their new homes.

So keeping the best until last

We are thinking to put in 2 rooms… fridges, toasters, microwave and a selection of crockery, cutlery etc. so you can make you own meals and snacks so you do not have the hassle of having to go out to eat.

This is not full self catering but we are asking for your comments to see whether this is something you would like to see happen or are you happy for things to stay as they are and you just come on a bed and breakfast basis. Also any other ideas of how we move forward to providing you with what you think would enhance your stay with us.

Again we trust you are safe and well and look forward to seeing you when time allows.

Best Wishes from

Anna and Jack
Carr House Farm B&B
www.carrhousefarm.co.uk

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Hidden Places and more gardening in August

A place I am going to visit in September when the schools have gone back.

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Hidden gem: Hayburn Wyke

Found along the Cleveland Way National Trail, hidden beyond deer-dwelling woodland, the secret cove of Hayburn Wyke offers a pebbled paradise, home to a host of shallow rock pools at the foot of dramatic cliffs. A place to explore from both above and below, those longing for a relaxing coastal walk you can dream of strolling along the clifftops, discovering an old railway line and wandering through ancient woodlands, full of stunning native trees in all their autumnal glory.

But there again it is maybe not as nice as been here,but for me it is a change and everyone loves a change.

It has been a busy time in my summerhouse turned greenhouse as I am the proud owner of 2 cucumbers. I say the proud owner but haven't eaten them yet, but we have had lots of tomatoes .I thought this marrow was very "designer" too, it had just grown like that.  I have picked the first blackberries - we call them brambles and will have them stewed with apples.

And lastly for today there is a brand new James Herriot series  -All Creatures Great and Small coming out in the Autumn. I think I will have to start writing my blog a bit more often again  as so much has been happening of late and I want to keep you up to date with all that is going on. 



Saturday, 25 July 2020

July - Harvest comes early

3 weeks on and nearly the end of July .The days are  noticeably shortening and harvest has begun. Whether it be fruit,vegetables or herbs we need to spend all our spare hours making use of all this produce for future months. Even trees are being harvested ,yes trees have a life span too and we happily now have a good store of dry logs for the winter.

So often have I thought to make mint sauce as we have so much mint in the garden, but never seem to get round to it. Lockdown as given me the time to do such things. I am on the ball making mint sauce enough for two households ,my Dads and ours and I guess a few to give away too . Mustard jars with the yellow plastic tops are the best to use as the vinegar can't rust the lids and it is just a nice size to keep in the fridge. Beggars cant be choosers so I have to use a wide array of jars.

My tomatoes are doing well and getting ready nicely, whereas my Dads havent started to turn red yet. His cucumbers are ready for eating and mine are like well, let's not mention them.  So it is nice to swap. We are having a race to see who can get the first runner beans. Mine stand about the height of me now but no sign of a flower as yet.  The peas have been pulled, blanched and in the freezer and we have started on the broad beans. My dad and I sit at the table shelling them and talk of happier days when it would be a proper family event . We had rows of them in the field. My Dad and uncles would bring them in sackfuls and we all had our place around the table chatting away as we did them. My Mother would be in the back kitchen with the cooker on full blast and steam pouring out of the door blanching them. I cant write about it anymore as it makes me sad as those lovely family members are not with us anymore. It must be so hard for my Dad too, but he doesn't complain. But all of you who knew them ..Fred,Appy and my Mum , will know what I mean.

 Then there was fresh rosemary and garlic to stab into the cheese we started supper with this evening .

The waistlines never get less as I spend time baking , tonight it was plum pies .This one reminded me of Bowie ... such a vivid imagination people used to say to my Mother and I guess something never change.  It was just the plums had boiled out .

And I reckon the 4th photo down deserves someone to appreciate its art and pay me millions of dollars for this piece... might call it the end of the coffee cake .... or the scrapings of the bowl ...well it seemed more digestible to me than an image of an unmade bed