Tuesday 26 May 2020

Family Bake Off : Savoury Tart


This last weekend's family bake off was to cook a Savoury Tart. The judges found this one quite a difficult one to score. their consensus was however that they would like to taste each one!
I thought this time that rather than give you the results and tell you who cooked ech one i would give you all the chance to be judges yourself. would you like to score them from 1st to 5th and give a few encouraging comments.
So here are the entries.
1. Full English Breakfast.

2. Quiche Lorraine 


3.Caramelised Red Onion and Bacon Tart 

4. Callie's Quiche, souffled with cheese and bacon.

5.Salmon and Asparagus with a lemony and wholegrain mustard.                                               


So it's over to you now before I reveal the results!

Sunday 24 May 2020

Staying in Touch

Social Interaction is an important part of most of lives. The current lockdown has put this to an extreme test. We have all had to become inventive in the ways we stay in touch. There are still old fashioned ways such as the post and I have tried to make a point of sending people a few cards. I also send food parcels to younger daughter especially since we have found a hiding place for the postman to leave packages outside her door.
Social distance chats are becoming the thing too. Stopping on walks for a bit of a catch up or in our case when selling eggs and corn.
It is the Internet however that has been a lifeline to most of us. Emails, Whatsapp groups, Zoom, FaceTime and blogging have become essential parts of our lives. Quiz nights, bingo, bake offs have all been reinvented. 
Long chats with younger daughter are particularly important and while we FaceTime she shows us around her home and garden sending pictures as well. Sometimes I get the feeling she misses the dog more than us and I suspect the feeling is mutual. Poppy therefore also has her turn at FaceTime! 

Saturday 23 May 2020

An Afternoon Walk

This is actually a walk from mid April where I took my camera along meaning to post it. Somehow it got forgotten amongst my other photos. So off we go.

It's surprising how different things look from this now, a month later. The grass is much longer and greener, the trees are now in leaf and the lambs below are much bigger.

This is a crab apple tree which we gave my brother in law and his wife a few years ago. It has fantastic blossom and the fruit is a good source of food for birds in the autumn. You can see that it is well guarded to prevent the deer eating it.

There are also two bee hives on the edge of this field. They are usually tended to by one of the cousins but she has recently had a baby so has found a beekeeper to deal with them this year.

This walk takes us just through the edge of the quarry where you can see the deep red soil.

Then across the road into a small woodland area much of which was surface quarried in the past so is quite undulating.

The path skirts along the side of the woods.

It then drops into the top of the woodland which at the time was a sea of wild garlic.

I have probably mentioned before that the broad leafed garlic tends to dominate over the bluebells however the further you go in the bluebells become more evident.

They become a carpet of blue with their subtle perfume in contrast to the much heavier harsh garlic smell.

There has to be at least one Poppy picture.

Friday 22 May 2020

Cool Off Time

Poppy like many Labradors loves water. She doesn't think twice about jumping into any puddle or water trough that she finds. I wasn't too pleased when she jumped in this one because it's not very clean, she needed a hose down afterwards. It is also rather close to the electric fence and I was worried she would touch it as she climbed out. Don't worry I lifted it out of the way.

This old bath had been a trough for many many years. This however was Poppy's last swim in it.

Farm work is pretty up together at the moment, we can't currently go anywhere for the day and brother in law and sister in law couldn't take their holiday away. Consequently a lot of extra jobs have been done around the farm including replacing the trough. Poppy was soon able to try out the new one.

Just right on a baking hot day and the water was clean!

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Meringue Bake Off : The Results

Yesterday I posted about my entry of a Summer Fruit Roulade. Today as promised are the rest.
My sister in law joining us for the first time made an extremely delicious looking pavlova. One of the judges' comments was "that's what I call a pavlova.".

Younger Daughter also made a fruit roulade which I would definitely give high rating to especially as it had a lemon curd layer.

Farmer Daughter worked really hard on her entries and I can vouch for the fact that these petite meringues not only looked good but tasted yummy.

She also made a scrummy lemon meringue. It was all made from scratch but unfortunately her lemon filling didn't set.

My niece also made a lemon meringue which also looks tasty. I also liked the idea of the individual ones. However should I mention bought pastry and a packet lemon filling? Probably not.

Great piping on the meringue though and as she said the challenge was the meringue itself.

So the results. Not easy is it? The top three were revealed and to my embarrassment I came first. Second was Younger Daughter with her roulade. Third was Sister in Law for her pavlova. I would say that everyone was a winner for working so hard. 
Next weekend is a savoury tart so I am hoping not to do so well on that one.

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Meringue Bake Off : Summer Fruit Roulade

Summer fruit always gives a visually pleasing image. They are truly mouth watering and who could resist popping one of these in their mouth?

They were the basis for my entry for the family bake off this last weekend. Once washed they were left to dry on a cloth while I made the main part of the challenge : the meringue.

I had decided on a roulade for my meringue attempt and I used Mary Berry's recipe with a few adaptions. Firstly no almonds but I did slip a little bit of pink colouring into the mixture just swirled through.

There was no Greek yogurt in my lockdown fridge so I substituted it with half fat creme fraiche to mix in with the whipped cream.

I also added more of a variety of fruit.

Rolling it up is always the most stressful moment. Then the recipe advised to wrap in baking parchment and store in the fridge.

Immediately before serving I gave it a dusting of icing sugar and a bit of decoration. 

The plate was a birthday present for my 60th and was just the right colour.

Here's your slice. Enjoy!