Monday 29 November 2010

Snowy Approach to Wass

We came back from Helmsley this morning turning off the A170 coming down Wass bank and the entrance to Stanbrook Abbey down into the village of Wass. Although the snow scenes are very pretty to look at it means lots of extra work making sure all the animals are warm fed and watered on the farm. Pipes are getting frozen up. It is harder to get around so I am so glad I bought a pair of Ness wellingtons when I was up in Edinburgh the other week. They are marvellous in the snow with good cleats [ if this is a Yorkshire word it means grips] on the bottom of my wellington. My cheeks are rosier than normal.This afternoon I am going to make a few more last minute Christmas cakes. My dad has been out feeding the pheasants and saw three deer near the wood side. I am busy keeping the bird table stocked up for all the little song bird. Wish my camera had a longer lens as the first to eat after I had put some more food out was a robin -you couldn't get more seasonal than that if you tried.

Sunday 28 November 2010

George and Ameila's Christening celebrations

This afternoon we went to the Christening celebrations of Jack's great-nephew and great-niece,twins George Arthur and Amelia Anne. Their proud parents are Richard and Val Robson. Richard is also Jack's godson. Jack soon had picked them up as he loves children and crossed their palms with silver -well a £1 piece -as he does with all young babies he sees.Val's 90 year old grandma baked the cake and it was very much a family effort to mark such a wonderful occasion.The wind and snow was making it a very wintry day outside but it was warm and buzzing inside the marquee. Hopefully these little treasures are now tucked up in their cot. Apparently they go to sleep holding hands...sweet. Thank you for a lovely time and hope you like the photos Hopefully it wont be long before we see you all again.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Castle Howard opens....

this Saturday -27th November until the 19th December. Lucky children will sit by the fire and meet Santa Claus. Decorated beautifully for Christmas for all to see. Castle Howard is just one of the 60 stately homes and castles we have in Yorkshire.So when you hear of people going to visit the chateaux in the Loire Valley tell them there is only 16 but we have 60 such properties in Yorkshire.
I went to a Welcome to Yorkshire roadshow meeting yesterday at the Spa in Scarborough. Gary Verity and his team at delivered "The Big Picture" on Yorkshire.They are all working very hard getting out there to let you know -Yorkshire is great and what we have to offer. With 179 independent breweries in Yorkshire, where many a great chef came from and returned to, we are the county with the most Michelin starred restaurants in England outside London.Apart from them there are 30 -40 top class eating places serving top quality local produce and a numerous array of choices for whatever takes your fancy. Yorkshire has always been known as God's own Country - granted the Gods have been kind to us.Game and meat from the Moors and dales ,fish from the coast and fertile land to produce the very best of vegetables and fruit. Nobody will go home hungry after they have visited Yorkshire. We are now the European capital of food and drink. The coast has 22 beaches and coves. A stunning coastline with 4 Blue Flag beaches-Whitby,Scarborough,Filey and Bridlington. I could go on why not come and see for yourself.

First snowy day of 2010 at Carr House Farm

A lovely sight as you can imagine. It is very cold outside but lovely and warm inside . My guests today have left the car here and gone for a walk in the snow hoping to get to Ampleforth Abbey Tea rooms for their lunch.

Friday 19 November 2010

Rubi-Sue's new old chair

Rubi-Sue came with her Mummy this afternoon. Great Granny Ruby found out a little chair we have all sat on over the years which had belonged to Rubi great great granny. She was happy to perch in it and could get out of it by herself but had to be lifted on to the seat. She still has a nasty cough but she was more up for playing today and took amusement from hiding under the table cloth than her toys and teasing GG George by nearly handing over toys then not letting him have them. When she coughs she even put her hand over her mouth. It amazes me and although I can remember lots of things Nicholas did when he was young I think children are far more "switched on" these day.The rate she is going she will be a good help working out all the mod cons for me -like when I was staying at the Missoni the other night it was far too high tech for me.Good job we changed from £s,shillings and pence when I was at school.She went for her first day to school at Terrington Hall Prep nursery this week but will not be able to start full time until she is 2.Time goes by so quickly it doesn't seem two minutes since she was born.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

My Trip to Edinburgh,HRH Princess Royal,The Missoni and the Witchery.

So much to do and so little time to do it in.
Remember the saying "Travel intercity like the men do"- on Monday Jessica and I went North by train to Edinburgh going to a meeting at the Missoni Hotel,staying there too- what a funky place it is. My eyes are just getting over it.Clashing purple and greens,striped black and white carpets and only glass for a window and mirrors every where. I should have taken a degree in how to master the ultra modern controls for everything in the room including the air conditioning.It was funky and totally different to here. Mirror door and partitions that I kept bumping into.Ideas for my new bathroom. Good to experience but wouldn't like to live in such a trendy way .Missoni-Edinburgh have just won the Best New Hotel in Europe. Thanks to Jeffrey,his team and Lindt for their very generous hospitality.
We shopped till we almost dropped,dined at the Witchery which was fabulous.All these things I would do again.
Having just bought a pair of NESS wellingtons -the ones that are part tartan which I have had my eye on for ages now and a treat from Brora for Rubi-Sue. We surely were in the right place at the right time when HRH Princess Anne or Royal as she is now known passed as she was coming down from the Castle. There were very few people on the street Jessica and I waved,HRH actually saw us and waved back and smiled also. I couldn't believe the effect it had on me. My legs went like jelly and I shivered all over it was really odd. I would have practiced a curtesy had I known we would see her.
The top photo shows the Assiette at the Witchery,the two below are in the dining area in the Missoni Hotel

Saturday 13 November 2010

'Twas the sound of his horn brought me from my bed

The Sinnington Hunt met this morning at The Wombwell Arms this morning at 11am. It was good to see so many children there who had been taken to see the horses and hounds, a few were mounted. Dawn Otterburn was there with one of her grandchildren on a tiny pony - It doesn't seem long ago that you would see her out with her own children -so nice to see another generation coming along.The horn was blown and off they set through John Richardsons' farmyard and fields,along through ours and into Craykeland woods. They didn't manage to find a fox but stirred 4 deer who we had pleasure in watching from the top of the hill, leave the woods to grace the fields but they seemed quite relaxed about the whole episode.We left then as it was a chill wind and the hounds would be heading eastwards towards Ampleforth College and beyond.

Thursday 11 November 2010

McArthur Glen Designer Centre-by a doting Grandma

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday we had glorious sunshine,today we had the strongest winds and the rainiest of days so thank goodness for indoor shopping. Must be 6 years since I have been to this centre outside York. I met Rubi-Sue now 14 months old and her Mummy for some girlie shopping time. How good this little girl was. Other than having two little walks and to stop for her dinner she sat in her buggy "reading a book or two" putting up with this shopping trip for 4 hours.She didnt go to sleep as you could see she wasn't going to miss a trick. She brought chunks of cucumber and peanut butter sandwiches, a drink and some grapes. Mummy said Rubi would have some chips too. There she was sat up like a little lady dipping them in a little box of tomato sauce then popping them in her mouth. Straight in and no sauce on her face. I was amazed.She had finished her drink then started on my banana milk shake.Her little face was a picture she sucked it up through the straw and then tipped it up as well as Jack does with his pint. She wasn't beyond sharing either, holding out her hand to give me some of her grapes.
Cant wait until she is old enough to have a pony. I had a chestnut one,it was always a bit of a handful . I have always thought grey ones have a sweeter nature so now Granddad Jack is looking out for her a little grey mare. If any one knows of one please let us know.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Saved again by James Martin ....

...devilled kidneys that is one of the goodies on the menu for the shooters breakfast in the morning. I need a recipe fast ,as always, I have far too much to do and too little time to do it in. I am sure if you gave me 6 balls to juggle I would drop the lot.That is why I am going to bed hungry as I forgot until I have just got finished preparing for tomorrow morning that I hadn't had my supper worse still hadn't taken it out of the Aga. I decided although I would like curly hair that I would not succumb to eating burnt offerings.In the world of the Internet I often look a recipe up on the web . Needless to say I always put in James Martin's name too. I like the way he cook straight forward and no fiddling about, you get the delicious end results too. Now I have to go and look out my shooting clothes for tomorrow . I will need a couple of plastic bags too to keep my feet dry as my Hunters are leaking.They are like dear friends I dont like to part with them but I am afraid their days are numbered

The Wold Cottage are the winners....

of the Deliciously Yorkshire breakfast award. When Christine and I met up with Katrina last week she said she was going. We hoped they would do well and so they have -they have won. Here you see Katrina and Christine braving the rain and then Katrina tucking into her lunch when we ate at Middlethorpe Hall.
She is also a doting granny with the title of Granny Gray .Since her little granddaughter was born 5 months ago Katrina has managed to see her every month since then. As the baby lives in Dubai it is quite a feat. So I guess winning the award was quite a doodle compared to that. It was after 1am when Katrina had got in last night,today she is off on a well deserved holiday and of course dropping in to say Granddaughter on the way. I mustn't forget to congratulate husband ,Derek, too as he has been known to rustle up a good breakfast too. Safe travels Katrina and Derek and trust you wont need the umbrella x

Thursday 4 November 2010

Ladies who Middlethorpe Hall.

Here you see my dear friends Christine Ryder from Scaife Hall Farm and Katrina Gray from the Wold Cottage in the elegant drawing room before we were called to lunch today at Middlethorpe Hall,Bishopthorpe just outside York. We had a wonderful lunch of elegant sufficiency, as my mum would say, which lasted nearly 4 hours -so you can see we put the world to rights. We all have bed and breakfast places and Katrina has self catering too. One of us is hosting Status Quo when they are visiting the area at a later date. -how exciting. The waiters,who were from Cannes, were very charming and let us sit at the table way after the other diners had departed. It was a most enjoyable time and we vow to do it again as Christine said -save me from a day in the lambing sheds and we cant let her down.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Trip to Holland.

Went with my friend Susan on a mini holiday to Holland the other week.When Nicholas was young we took him to a fairy tale park called de Efteling and although I have wonderful memories of it. I needed to refresh my mind for taking Rubi-Sue and the boys. We had a good crossing from Hull to Europort. I took the car and with our lives in my hands as I had not driven on the continent for over 6 years. It is an hours hard driving with often 4-6 lanes of traffic to think about. I was well impressed with my little car, that a lot of you think should have bit the dust long ago- 113k and still going strong. We had a wonderful time in Efteling but it was bitterly cold and I have decided it is definitely a summer outing. We just had an hour or so to stock up at the supermarket in Kaatsheuvel. I bought geneveer to make the equivalent of sloe gin and some cheese, chocolates and other bits and pieces. Another smooth crossing and time to read a whole book cover to cover made for a very pleasant trip.

The Hare Inn's Cheese Souffle go to town...

The Hare at Scawton have now launched Smithy's Souffles, a pair of individual souffles you can buy in upmarket delis and shops and will soon be hitting the top supermarkets. What a wonderful idea. Geoff has been creating these for a life time making it the signature dish at the Hare. Jan is so enthusiastic about it all, backing him all the way doing a lot of research and marketing this wonderful addition to our shopping basket. It has a shelf life of more than a week and will keep in the freezer too.Ideal to keep and pop in the oven should you have unexpected guests for supper. Breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner for that matter. I had one of mine for breakfast the otter morning . Versatile as an egg but then they are free range eggs and made with mature cheddar cheese. Even a token on the back to redeem at the Hare.
After the other souffle got eaten as well I decided that is what I needed for supper last night I fiddled about for ages making one. It was fine for a hungry soul,rose a treat but I substitute the mature cheddar for Parmesan ,jong Gouda I recently brought back from my trip to the Netherlands and a good helping of Spanish Manchego that was kicking about in the fridge. All I can say with the help of Italy,Holland and Spain to provide the cheese it was not half as tasty as using a good old Cheddar from England. Photos the top souffle being Geoff's and the bottom one mine.

Monday 1 November 2010

Rubi-Sue and her farmyard friends.

It was a lovely autumn afternoon and Rubi-Sue arrived with her Mummy and had a tour of the animals on the farm. What a delight -there are pigs that grunt,cows that moo,sheep that Daddy had brought in from the field that go baa, hens that clucked,dogs that wagged their tails,cats that meowed,quails that scurried about,partridges did the same. Pheasants that called out, and the geese that went hiss and ducks that quack.She is now walking and there is no stopping her as she toddled off the full length of the stack yard to investigate looking through the bars of the gate while we got the sheep in.Hopefully it will not be too long before she is chasing them in herself. All of these animals we take for granted as they surround us all the time. Which was her favourites - I think it is great granddad dog called Floss and the geese she couldn't quite work those out.