Wednesday 23 December 2020
Thursday 26 November 2020
Sunday 22 November 2020
Wednesday 18 November 2020
Wednesday 4 November 2020
Saturday 24 October 2020
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 ..no 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
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 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 .
Monday 28 September 2020
Saturday 26 September 2020
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
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
Tuesday 18 August 2020
Saturday 25 July 2020
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 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
Monday 6 July 2020
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.
Thursday 25 June 2020
Wednesday 24 June 2020
They ended up taking their dirty clothes and washing them in the water like the people do at the side of the River Nile. Then putting them back on again. Emmy had just got some new Joules wellies which had a ruler marking on the back of them which can in very useful. So off the wellies used to come off to see how deep the water was.
I said they were like water nymphs. But then maybe they were just wood fairies. So after happily playing for over 2 hours with no fall outs ,they had fairy buns and a change of clothes and went home smiling .