Wednesday 23 December 2020

Christmas Newletter

View this email in your browser 🎄 Bringing you Warm Wishes from Jack & Anna at Carr House Farm B&B
We had a very busy Autumn with the added joy of wonderful weather, Autumn colours and stunning skies. The orchards were full of fruit and the harvest was good and plentiful. I have been busy baking little gifts for the people who have made our year a nicer place to be, and to older people who miss home baking. I have a job in hiding it all from Jack as he has quite the sweet tooth! All I have to make now are some apple cakes. I hope I will be able to go to see my Dutch friends next year and give them my cake and take one of of their specialities. I have also been busy knitting for the little grandson with a dinosaur jumper with a stuffed dino on the front. Jack is set for getting in the Christmas tree tomorrow. Christmas in the countryside is so fun as I bring in the greenery from the woods and the smell that floods the house brings back memories of years past. As usual I will be having two Christmas dinners, one with my dad at 12 noon and another with Jack at about 5pm. That is our Christmas. Our tree will be in the summer house so the grandchildren will be able to see it without coming into the house. We will also look forward to having picnics with them in Summer like what we did this year. We are not big present givers and in the past I have had a bicycle pump, a battery for my torch, and this year I would like a metal potato peeler. We are located in the North York Moors National Park which has just been designated an International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association. I am hoping in 2021 guests will be able to enjoy long table suppers sat under the stars. WiFi is installed in the bedrooms so that guests do not have to use a shared space to get their updates which I am sure will be welcome news. There are more in our plans for what we are doing for guests so they do not need to venture out once they get here if they would prefer not to. With foraging and art courses to be on board. There are also more eating places popping up so if you would rather go out than make your own you will be spoilt for choice. And lastly as I went up the woods a couple of months ago I saw this little fawn waiting in the sunshine for its mother to come back for it. I just want to share this with you and leave you with the thought of how marvellous nature is. We’re surrounded by nature and on our live outdoor webcam you can get a glimpse of the local wildlife for yourself. The best time is early in the morning to see the most activity before the squirrels pinch all the food from the bird table! View the live webcam Facebook icon Instagram icon Twitter icon YouTube icon You are receiving this email because you opted in on our website Carr House Farm B&B Carr House Farm Ampleforth York, North Yorkshire YO62 4ED United Kingdom Add us to your address book

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 . 

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 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

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.


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

Thursday 9 July 2020

Man with chainsaw

Man with chainsaw makes more space in the garden . Another part of our exciting 'Lockdown' programme .

Can't wait to see it finished and all climbing plants surrounding it .Place to sit and stare and breathe the beauty of the air .

I love using a chainsaw ,well who doesn't. But today again I had to leave it to the professional.  I said goodbye to the remnants of my beloved pear tree. Three firs which were planted out as little Christmas trees over the years and grown far too high , the rest of the the laurel that Jack took out to try to let sunlight to a bedroom window and also  a few self seeded bushed.

My vision for this is to create a sitting /eating area cocooning us with sweet smelling and colourful climbing roses, passion flowers and clematis and any other bits and bobs that I come across . Maybe a bed of sunflowers next year .Some of you may remember when Jack planted half an acre a few years ago to brighten things up . Any suggestions are welcome .

Hope your day was as productive as ours

Look who came to see the waterfall ..

This must be our video of the year even though you have to be quick to see it.I was clearing some of the debris away near the waterfall and heard a grunt and then another and it went on for 5 minutes or so .So I climbed up the bank side and [you have to be quick to see it at around 11 seconds in ] a deer had come to inspect what we had been doing . It is just above the waterfall but I am sure if I had been really still it would have come even nearer. This was 2.30 in the afternoon so when we say we have deer in the back garden we really do have. I guess the grunting was the fact I had blocked its path down to the back garden gate. 
Will be interesting to see if arrives later or if I have disturbed it for today

Monday 6 July 2020

Jack's good idea

When Jack goes somewhere to eat, he always seems to be the one who makes the best choice from the menu. Go on a drive and he says lets just have a look down here and it turns into somewhere amazing when we were in New Zealand 14 years ago, we turn right and ended up at the Huka Falls...never heard of them before.

Last week, when the grandchildren were here they spent 2 very wet and happy days in the stream at the side of the house . Jack decided to make it a bit more fun for them as they tried to damn it up and so the idea grew. In 2021 we will be offering we will be offering a very unique space for guests to enjoy .And of course there will be days that the children will have their own waterpark. We need to get some tubes and clear the way stream for them too . I love using a chainsaw, there will be plenty of opportunity to do that from what I can see.
So here you see the beginning of something very new, very unique and very private. We will be able to let friends and guests enjoy when they come to stay with us here at
It isn't everyone who can boast they have their own private fresh water relaxation pool 2- 3 ft deep with waterfalls and shaded areas to enjoy the tranquility and peace of the countryside in their back gardens. As recommended in @cocotravels blog of perfect picnic places for 2020