Post archive

New Potatoes arriving later this week!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Thank you very much for signing up to the new newsletter. This is being sent to the new distribution list, I won't be pestering you to sign up again!

 

 

Green Vegetable choices are getting very limited now. I have broken my 'No Imported Vegetables' rule this week and have some Calabrese from Spain. Not ideal, but it gives you an option from Cabbages or Leeks - the only other 'Green' around this week.

Good news though!  Cornish new potatoes are starting to be lifted this week, and fingers crossed we will have some in the shop on Saturday.

Talking of Saturday, Linda will be in the shop for the day. Danny and I are off to the Bedfordshire Young Farmers Show and Rally.   This is a great event, being held at Scald End Farm in Thurleigh, worth a day out if you haven't anything else planned.  

More info here:  http://www.bedsyfc.co.uk/rally/rally-2018/

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
This makes a lovely light supper or a lunchtime dish, I hope you enjoy making and eating it.

Seared salmon with asparagus salsa
This light and fresh recipe is low calorie, but full of flavour. It serves 4 people.
 
Ingredients
For the salmon
1 lemon, zest only
1 lime, zest only
2 tbsp coarse sea salt
320g/11oz fresh salmon fillet, skin removed, cut in half lengthways
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
 
For the asparagus salsa
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
½ red chilli, seeds removed, cut into small thin strips
½ red onion, finely chopped
½ cucumber, peeled and seeds removed, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
3 tomatoes, skinned and seeds removed, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
½ lime, peeled, pith removed, finely chopped
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
few drops Tabasco sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
 
Method
For the salmon, mix the lemon and lime zests with the salt in a small bowl, then rub the mixture onto the salmon. Cover with clingfilm and marinate in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Brush the salt mixture off the salmon and pat dry.
Heat a frying pan or griddle over a high heat. Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon fillets and fry for 30 seconds on each side. Remove the salmon from the frying pan, dust with paprika, wrap in clingfilm and set aside to cool. If you like your Salmon cooked through, allow 2 minutes per side.
 
For the asparagus salsa, reserve 5cm/2in of the tips and slice the remaining stems into thin rounds. Slice the tips thinly using a Japanese slicer or vegetable peeler and set aside.
Mix the asparagus stems, chilli, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes and lime together in a bowl. Add the balsamic vinegar and a few drops of Tabasco sauce, to taste. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, spoon the salsa onto serving plates. Slice the salmon into eight slices and add two slices to each serving plate. Sprinkle over the coriander and top with the asparagus tips.

 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4


Data Protection Statement:  You have kindly supplied your name and email address, for the express purpose of receiving news about the Black Cat Farm Shop.  We will never sell or pass on these details to anyone else without your prior permission.   You can Unsubscribe using the link below to stop receiving these emails. Your details are automatically deleted from the system.

Data Protection Reminder and a great Asparagus Recipe

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Wasn’t last weekends weather glorious? I hope that you were able to enjoy yourselves – I had a great time at the MayDay celebrations in Ickwell, lots of people about but plenty of time to chat to new customers and old.
 
You’re probably tired (like me) of this whole GDPR issue. However it is very important that I have your permission to email you each week. If you have already replied to this email – I have added you to the list.  Thanks also to the people who clicked the link last week, you too are now on the new list. 
For those who haven’t done either yet, please do so as soon as possible. You can Unsubscribe to the list at any time, I will not be offended. If you don’t get yourself onto the new list by the end of May you will no longer receive these emails from me.
 
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We’re getting to that bit of the year when vegetable choices are getting a bit thin. We still do have:
Asparagus, Cauliflower, Pointed Cabbages, Red and White Cabbages, Red and White Onions, Leeks, Mushrooms, White Sprouting Broccoli, Spinach, Carrots, Parsnips, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash and Garlic.
For Salads we have Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Celery and Little Gem Lettuces. 
Fruits in stock are Eating and Cooking Apples, Pears and Rhubarb.
 
Hopefully arriving next week will be Cornish New Potatoes, and in about 2-3 weeks the local strawberries are starting.
 
Our hives of bees are expanding really nicely now, the ones near the Oil Seed Rape in Cople are very busy bringing plenty of nectar in. Fingers crossed we will be back in stock of honey in late May/early June.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
This makes a lovely light supper or a lunchtime dish, I hope you enjoy making and eating it.

Herby Asparagus & Bacon tart
 
Ingredients
 
250g rough puff pastry or use bought puff pastry
little flour, for the tray
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp olive oil
100g bacon lardon
100g ricotta
85g mascarpone
zest 1 lemon
2 tbsp each snipped chives and chopped curly parsley
1 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
bunch asparagus, trimmed
 
Method
 
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out the pastry to about 15 x 30cm, the thickness of a £1 coin, and trim the edges. Transfer to a lightly floured baking tray. Score a 1cm border, making sure you don’t go all the way through the base. Prick all over the base with a fork, brush the edges of the tart with beaten egg and bake for 15 mins.
 
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan and fry the lardons until golden and crisp. Mix the ricotta, mascarpone, lemon zest, herbs and half the Parmesan in a bowl with salt and lots of black pepper.
 
Remove tray from the oven, squash down centre of the tart and spread with cheese mixture. Scatter over the bacon, reserving the oil. Place asparagus along length of the tart, alternating direction of the tips. Brush with a little bacon oil, scatter over the remaining Parmesan and bake for 20 mins more. Serve warm.
 
For a vegetarian version, just omit the bacon.
 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4


Data Protection Statement:  You have kindly supplied your name and email address, for the express purpose of receiving news about the Black Cat Farm Shop.  We will never sell or pass on these details to anyone else without your prior permission.   You can Unsubscribe using the link below to stop receiving these emails. Your details are automatically deleted from the system.

May Day BBQ's, Celebrations and GDPR

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Hello All
Another rainy day today – but the forecast is looking good for the weekend. Lots of catching up to be done in the garden, and of course Monday is a Bank Holiday so a chance to get out with the family.
We have a good stock of things to go on the BBQ, and our salad things are now all UK grown with the Hertfordshire Tomatoes becoming available.
 
If you’re looking for something to do on Monday, what better than a traditional May Day celebration? I will be having a stall at the Ickwell event near Biggleswade. Stalls open from 10am, Franklins are doing a great BBQ for late breakfast as well as lunch. The parade usually leaves Northill about 1.30pm, with the crowning of the May Queen at 2p followed by the dancing round the Maypole.

The other event is in Eaton Socon nr St Neots, from 12-4. Stalls, Food, Crowning of the May Queen – it’s all there.
 
This is the last week for the Purple Sprouting Broccoli. One of the benefits (?) of the cold spring is that Paul has been able to keep cutting it for a month longer than usual. There will still be White Sprouting for a few weeks yet.
 
We have lots of Woody’s Asparagus – I’ve heard that local outdoor grown asparagus is being cut for the first time this week – we should have some in a few weeks once Woody’s crop has finished. The main difference between the two sorts is that the outdoor tends to be a bit tougher.

 

 

You’ve probably received a lot of emails about the Data Protection (GDPR) Rules changing. I have set up another mailing list on this system – can you please follow this link  http://eepurl.com/dsMXFj and register yourself.  If you replied to a previous email, I can add you manually.  From the end of May I will be sending to this new list only, so please – if you want to continue receiving these e-newsletters, take the time to register.  You can of course, unsubscribe at any time, and I respect your decision to do that.  I will never share or sell your personal data.

 

 

We've had a top up today from Mrs Middleton - so plenty of Oils, Flour, Mayonnaise and Dressings in stock now. We've also had a delivery from Wooden Hill Coffee - more Coffee Grounds now available!

 

 

Recipe of the Week
I usually do recipes that include fruits and vegetables that are in season. For a change, the theme of this weeks recipes are eggs. I hope you enjoy them.
 
Spanish tortilla
Make a classic Spanish omelette filled with pan-fried potatoes and onion. It makes a delicious light vegetarian meal or an easy tapas dish.
 
Ingredients
1 large white onion, sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
400g waxy potatoes, peeled, quartered and finely sliced
6 garlic cloves
8 eggs, beaten
handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra to serve
 
To serve (optional)
1 baguette, sliced
4 vine tomatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
drizzle of olive oil
 
Method

  1. Put a large non-stick frying pan on a low heat. Cook the onion slowly in the oil and butter until soft but not brown – this should take about 15 mins. Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes (if using) by scoring the skins with a cross, putting them in a bowl and pouring over just-boiled water. Drain the water after 2-3 mins and the skins will peel away easily. You can then coarsely grate them.
     
  2. Add the potatoes to the pan, then cover and cook for a further 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally to make sure they fry evenly. When the potatoes are soft and the onion is shiny, crush 2 garlic cloves and stir in, followed by the beaten eggs.
     
  3. Put the lid back on the pan and leave the tortilla to cook gently. After 20 mins, the edges and base should be golden, the top set but the middle still a little wobbly. To turn it over, slide it onto a plate and put another plate on top, turn the whole thing over and slide it back into the pan to finish cooking.
     
  4. Once cooked, transfer to a plate and serve the tortilla warm or cold, scattered with the chopped parsley. To accompany the tortilla, take slices of warmed baguette, stab all over with a fork and rub with the remaining garlic, pile on the grated tomatoes and season with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

 
 
Egg custard tarts
These Portuguese-style golden tartlets are perfect to finish off a dinner party or as an afternoon treat with coffee.
 
Ingredients
For the pastry
200g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, chilled
 
For the filling
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornflour
100g golden caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 cinnamon stick
thick strip of lemon zest
250ml milk
250ml double cream
 
Method

  1. Tip the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Slowly add around 150ml very cold water, or just enough so that you have a soft dough that picks up all the crumbs from the outside of the bowl, but isn’t too sticky to handle.
     
  2. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill while you coarsely grate the butter. Roll the dough out onto a floured work surface to a 30 x 40cm rectangle, then sprinkle the surface with half the grated butter to form an even layer. Don’t worry if the butter clumps together, just make sure the pieces are evenly distributed. With the shorter edge facing you, fold the top third of the dough towards you to the centre and the bottom third up over it. Give the dough a quarter turn, then roll out to the same size as before, sprinkle with the rest of the butter and repeat. Wrap the dough tightly in cling film and chill for 30 mins while you make the filling.
     
  3. Put the egg yolks and cornflour in a large heatproof mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar until pale and thick. Split the vanilla pod in half along the length and scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds in a medium-sized saucepan, along with the empty pod, the cinnamon stick and the lemon zest. Pour the milk and cream over the aromatics, stir and heat very gently until only just simmering. Pour the hot mixture over the egg yolks and whisk well. Pour the custard back into the pan and warm through for 2-3 mins or until thickened slightly to a consistency similar to double cream. Strain the custard through a sieve into a large jug and set aside, covered with cling film.
     
  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with butter. Take your pastry out of the fridge and roll it flat to 40 x 20cm. Starting at the longest side, roll it up tightly to make a long roll of pastry. Trim the ends, then cut into 12 pieces, and turn them cut-side up on the work surface, so the spiral is facing upwards. Carefully flatten them out until they are big enough to line the holes in the muffin tin, trying not to skew the spiral shape too much. Press into the tins, then carefully pour in the custard mixture, filling each tart almost to the top.
     
  5. Bake for 30 mins or until the pastry is cooked through and the custard is just starting to puff up but not balloon.
     
  6. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool and sink gently back into shape. Serve cold with coffee.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4


Data Protection Statement:  You have kindly supplied your name and email address, for the express purpose of receiving news about the Black Cat Farm Shop.  We will never sell or pass on these details to anyone else without your prior permission.   You can Unsubscribe using the link below to stop receiving these emails. Your details are automatically deleted from the system.

Cauliflowers and BBQ's

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Wow, last week was a bit of a shock to the system! Lots of salad items and things for the BBQ sold well over the weekend with many people making the most of the lovely weather. There were quite a few disappointed customers though looking for new potatoes.  As you know we only stock fresh, seasonal, local items. Most people round here have only just planted their new potatoes, so it will be a while yet before they are ready – please be patient.  We will keep an eye out for the Cornish new potatoes as they are really lovely, and not too expensive.
Don’t forget, now we are into BBQ season, we stock charcoal and firelighters.
We have quite a few cauliflowers in the shop this week, so there are two great recipes at the end to help you use them up.
 

 

 

Trish is away at the moment, but we are hoping that she will be able to drop some fresh quiches and scones off on Saturday. In the meantime, there are some in the freezer as I ordered extras last week.
The outdoor grown White and Purple Sprouting broccoli are both doing well – lots of flowers on both now. We also have poly tunnel grown Spinach, Rocket and of course Asparagus.

For those thinking ahead to the next Bank Holiday weekend, just to confirm that Sue will be at Ickwell May Day festivities on Monday 7th May, from 10am to about 4pm when the dancing finishes. It's a great event - they have been celebrating May Day in Ickwell for over 450 years. Lots of great stalls there too. The shop will be shut that, and all other bank holiday Monday's.

We do like to have a range of locally crafted products in the shop. New Ewe is Soap and Hand Lotion made with Sheep’s Milk from Bevistan Dairy in Carlton.  We also have some beautifully scented soaps made by ‘St Neots Handmade Soaps’.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Here are two great recipes using Cauliflower.
 
Roasted aloo gobi.
This extra special vegan curry uses roasted cauliflower and potatoes to bring out their flavour. You can also serve as a side to meat curries. Serves 4.
 
Ingredients
 
400g floury potatoes (such as Maris Piper or King Edward), cut into medium-sized chunks
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
4 tbsp vegetable oil or sunflower oil or rapeseed oil
8 curry leaves
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 small green chillies, pierced a few times
1 tsp golden caster sugar
1 lime, juiced
small pack coriander, chopped
basmati rice, naan and natural yogurt, to serve
 
Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Tip the potatoes into a large pan, fill with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-6 mins until starting to soften but still holding their shape. Drain well.
     
  2. On a large baking tray, toss the potatoes and cauliflower with the spices and 2 tbsp oil. Season well and roast for 45 mins, stirring halfway through cooking, until the veg is soft and starting to brown.
     
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large pan. Fry the curry leaves and garlic for 1 min, making sure the garlic doesn’t brown. Add the tomatoes, chillies, sugar, lime juice and some seasoning. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins until the tomatoes have broken down.
     
  4. Add the roasted veg to the tomatoes. Simmer for 5 mins, adding a splash of water if the curry gets too thick. Stir through the coriander and serve with rice, warm naan and yogurt.


Moroccan spiced cauliflower & almond soup
 
Satisfying and comforting soup is the ultimate meal in a bowl, like this smooth and spicy North African blend. Serves 4.
 
Ingredients
1 large cauliflower
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp each ground cinnamon, cumin and coriander
2 tbsp harissa paste, plus extra drizzle
1L hot vegetable or chicken stock
50g toasted flaked almond, plus extra to serve
 
Method
 
Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Fry olive oil, ground cinnamon, cumin and coriander and harissa paste for 2 mins in a large pan. Add the cauliflower, stock and almonds. Cover and cook for 20 mins until the cauliflower is tender. Blend soup until smooth, then serve with an extra drizzle of harissa and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.
 


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4


Data Protection Statement:  You have kindly supplied your name and email address, for the express purpose of receiving news about the Black Cat Farm Shop.  We will never sell or pass on these details to anyone else without your prior permission.   You can Unsubscribe using the link below to stop receiving these emails. Your details are automatically deleted from the system.

Rhubarb, Rhubarb - and Asparagus!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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What a difference a week makes!  Its so nice to see the sun and feel warm again. I predict that we’ll be seeing a few bare legs and flip flops at the garden centre this weekend.

The Curly Kale has now finished, but there is still plenty of White and Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Cauliflowers and Savoy Cabbages.  The Rhubarb is doing well and is now a decent length. We have, of course, got plenty of Asparagus now from Woody in Wyboston. It really is lovely.
 
For those planning the first BBQ’s of the season this weekend, we have sausages from Southalls, and will have some burgers and a few other things this weekend.  We also have Charcoal from Wassledine in Gravenhurst and firelighters too.
 

 

 

I was having a good clean of the black display unit last week – sadly my stock rotation on a few lines has gone haywire. This means we have some still very edible, but reduced in price, jams and chutneys.
 
For those interested in honeybees, I was able to inspect our hives on Monday and Tuesday. Whilst we have lost 4 colonies over the winter, the remaining 3 are strong and are building up well.  This is a timely moment to remind you what to do if you find a swarm of honeybees. If you are in Bedfordshire please follow this link to Bedfordshire Beekeepers website. You will be able to find a local beekeeper who can come and move them for you.  If you’re not in Bedfordshire, its worth checking out the British Beekeepers website, and find someone local through that route.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
I’ve got Rhubarb on my mind….. so here’s 3 great recipes.
 
Stewed rhubarb
Make the most of this vibrant veg with our easy stewed rhubarb recipe. Perfect for serving over vanilla ice cream for a simple, elegant dessert.
 
Ingredients
500g rhubarb, cut into inch long pieces
1 orange, zest and juice
100g caster sugar
 
Method
Put the rhubarb into a saucepan with the orange zest, juice, sugar and 2 tbsp water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 8 mins until the rhubarb is cooked but still holds its shape.
 
I love this with a sprinkling of museli and a big dollop of Angela’s Greek Style (unpasteurised milk) yogurt or Bevistan’s Sheep’s Milk Yogurt. Both are available at the shop but must be pre-ordered.
 

Rhubarb gin
Use seasonal rhubarb to make a G&T with a difference, or top with soda water for a refreshing summertime drink in glorious pink.
 
Ingredients
1kg pink rhubarb stalks
400g caster sugar (don't use golden - it muddies the colour)
800ml gin
 
Method

  1. Wash the rhubarb, trim the stalks and discard the base and any leaves. Cut the stalks into 3cm lengths. Put in a large jar with the sugar. Shake everything around, put the lid on and leave overnight. The sugar will draw the juice out of the rhubarb.
  2. After 24 hrs, add the gin, seal and shake everything around. Leave for about 4 weeks before drinking. You can strain the liquor off through a muslin-lined sieve and transfer to a bottle, but I often just leave the rhubarb and booze in the jar and ladle it into drinks that way. Over time the rhubarb and the gin go a much paler colour – this doesn’t look as dramatic. The upside is you that have to get through it fairly quickly!

 
 
Rhubarb cordial
A refreshing cordial that takes 10 minutes to prep. Use up a glut of fresh rhubarb and make the most of summer
 
Ingredients
300g golden caster sugar
zest and juice 1 orange
zest and juice 1 lemon
450g rhubarb, chopped
1 slice fresh root ginger, peeled
 
Method

  1. Put the sugar in a large saucepan with 300ml water. Bring to a simmer then add the zest and juice of both the orange and the lemon along with the rhubarb and the ginger.
  2. Cook the mixture over a medium heat until the rhubarb is falling apart.
  3. Pour the mixture through a sieve lined with muslin into a clean heatproof jug then transfer to sterilised bottles. Keeps in the fridge for up to 1 month.
  4. Serve approx. 25ml of cordial per 100ml sparkling water, or to taste.

 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4


Data Protection Statement:  You have kindly supplied your name and email address, for the express purpose of receiving news about the Black Cat Farm Shop.  We will never sell or pass on these details to anyone else without your prior permission.   You can Unsubscribe using the link below to stop receiving these emails. Your details are automatically deleted from the system.

Rhubarb, Asparagus and Data Protection!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Hello All
I must apologise for not doing an e-newsletter last week. I had a really rotten cold and struggled to do more than the basics. I’m feeling much better now, so normal service has been resumed.

You will have seen lots of emails and other press about the new Data Protection regulations being introduced from the end of May. Please watch out for special newsletters from me about this – I need your consent to store your basic details (Name, email address) in the Mailchimp system. I will never sell or pass your details onto anyone else, but I still have to ask you.  If you’re happy for me to store your details, please hit the reply button now and I can add you manually. Otherwise watch out for the link. You can, of course, Unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time by following the link at the bottom of this document.  Thank you for your patience.

So what’s new this week? We have early Rhubarb from Bromham and the first of Woody’s Asparagus from Wyboston! The bundles are a minimum of 300g each, and are £4 - the same price as 2015, 2016 and 2017.
 

 

 

We also have from Carlton near Bedford, Bevistan’s Sheep’s Milk, Yogurt and Soft Cheese. It’s been a long time since August, it was a real pleasure having some of their yogurt with my cereals this morning.  The milk is pasteurised, so safe for everyone to consume.
It’s also been a week for topping up of stock, so lots of chocolate and other sweets from Mandy at Sweetie Love; Apple Juices from Watergull Orchards; Sheep’s, Goats and Cows cheeses from Wobbly Bottom Farm; Sour Dough Bread from Jo’s Loaves, and of course our regular range of vegetables, fruit, bread, milk and meat.

This probably going to be the last week for Curly Kale – its been a great winter crop but needs to make way now for other spring vegetables.

Veg grower Paul fro Bromham and I were chatting this morning - it looks likely that new potatoes are going to be late arriving this spring. It’s been so cold and wet, a lot of growers have only just started them. The crop takes about 12 weeks to grow (planting of seed potato to lifting first crop).

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Some Asparagus hints. Buy as fresh as possible, in the shop we store it in about 1” of water so that it doesn’t dry out and change this daily. You will find the stems never become dry and tough – so you can eat all the spear with a minimum of trimming.
When you cook Asparagus, the spear will cook fastest at the top end, so if you can, stand upright in an asparagus kettle or a deep saucepan. This way the bottom is boiled, but the top is steamed. You can of course, lay it flat in a large frying pan, or microwave it.

I first published this recipe in April 2015, many thanks again to Pam who gave me the recipe.

Asparagus Soup
A good 1/2 lb asparagus spears wiped and trimmed (the shop bundles weigh approx 300g)
1 pint chicken stock (a cube or two is fine)
3 sprigs parsley and a small bay leaf
1 1/2 ounces butter
1 1/2 ounces corn flour
1pint milk
3 fluid ounces double cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and white pepper and a teaspoon sugar (I add these at the end)
 
Cut the asparagus into short lengths reserving a few tips for garnish. Bring the stock to the boil then add the asparagus pieces and herbs. Bring back to the boil and simmer, covered, for 30-40 mins. Discard the herbs, allow to cool then whizz in blender or push through a sieve.
Melt the butter in a clean pan and stir in the flour, add the milk a little at a time stirring all the time until the mixture is smooth, add the asparagus purée bring to the boil and simmer for 2 mins.  Adjust seasoning and add the cream.  Heat through but do not allow to boil.
Serve garnished with the reserved asparagus tips which have been cooked separately in a little boiling water for 10 mins with the lemon juice and drained well.
This will serve 4-6.
“Unless it is a special occasion, I omit the cream”.
 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4


Data Protection Statement:  You have kindly supplied your name and email address, for the express purpose of receiving news about the Black Cat Farm Shop.  We will never sell or pass on these details to anyone else without your prior permission.   You can Unsubscribe using the link below to stop receiving these emails. Your details are automatically deleted from the system.

Easter Opening hours and some great recipes using Leeks

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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It's nearly Easter, and we have some delicious Easter goodies in the shop. 
Hot Cross Buns from Gunns, homemade Cupcakes, Decorated Hard Boiled Eggs, and hopefully tomorrow something choccolatey!

Easter Opening Hours are:

Good Friday 30th March. Open 9-4
Easter Saturday 31st March. Open 9-4
Easter Sunday 1st April. Closed
Easter Monday 2nd April Closed (Garden Centre including Restaurant is open)

I hope those who went to Southalls Lambing Day last Saturday enjoyed themselves, and congratulations to Michelle from Great Barford who won the box of vegetables. I don't know the name of the person who won the 'Name the Lamb' competition, but apparently it's name is 'Hiccup' (from drinking its milk too quickly!!).

If you weren't able to be there, Franklins of Thorncote Green near Biggleswade have theirs tomorrow (Good Friday):

Franklins of Thorncote Green. Good Friday (30th March) Lambing Day. 10am. Trumpetons Farm, Thorncote Green, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 1PU

"Please join us on Good Friday for our Annual Lambing Open Day here at Franklins Farm. You will have the chance to meet our sheep flock, and if you are lucky even see a lamb being born! Please wear suitable clothing and wellies. No dogs please, and no smoking. Foot dips and washing facilities are available, and essential after touching the animals. There is a small admission charge, adults £2.50, children over 2 years £2, but no need to book, just turn up. Refreshments will be available from our BBQ".

 

 

 

We have plenty of White and Purple Sprouting Broccoli this week, along with Cavalo Nero, Curly Kale, Spinach and Savoy Cabbages.  The stored parsnips and carrots are doing well.  
We also have great news in that the Cauliflower emergency is over, and they are available again at a reasonable price.


Linda has been busy - for all Bee lovers out there, these cushions are really good value, and there is also a matching doorstop.

Amongst the soft toys, we have a lovely cuddly Easter Bunny.

 

 

Recipe of the week

Leeks are so versatile, and they are still plentiful. Here are a couple of delicious recipes to make this weekend.

Buttered peas & leeks
 
Ingredients
4 leeks, finely sliced
25g butter
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
400ml vegetable or chicken stock
500g frozen peas
4 spring onions, finely sliced
 
Method
Gently soften the leeks in butter and oil in your largest pan for 15-20 mins until almost meltingly soft. You can soften the leeks up to a day ahead, then just reheat in the pan before continuing the recipe. Stir in the stock, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins. Stir in the peas and spring onions for 3-5 mins more until the peas are defrosted and cooked through, then season and serve.
 
 
Kale, Ricotta and Leek Lasagne
Try this vegetarian alternative to this classic family dish, lasagne. With layers of greens and fresh pesto this kale, ricotta and leek lasagne is low in calories and super easy to whip up, a great midweek meal.
 
Ingredients
kale 300g, woody stems removed and leaves chopped
rapeseed oil 1 tbsp
trimmed leeks 3 (about 400g), halved lengthways, washed and chopped
garlic 1 clove, crushed
ricotta 350g
vegetable stock 150ml
fresh pesto 4 tbsp
fresh lasagne 250g, about 8 sheets
parmesan (or veggie alternative) 30g, finely grated
 
Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Drop the kale in boiling salted water, bring back to a simmer then cook for 5 minutes. Drain really well.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the leeks with a good pinch of salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until really soft.
  3. Add the garlic to the leeks and cook for 2 minutes. Keep 4 tbsp of the ricotta aside then stir the rest into the leeks with the kale. Mix everything well then add enough vegetable stock to make it a little saucy but not watery. Take off the heat.
  4. Put a 1/4 of the sauce in the bottom of an oiled baking dish approximately 18 x 25cm.
  5. Top with 1 tbsp pesto then 2 sheets of lasagne. Repeat 3 times, ending with lasagne.
  6. Mix the rest of the ricotta with another splash of vegetable stock and spread over the top layer.
  7. Scatter over the parmesan and bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.



 

Whatever your plans this holiday weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4


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Turnip Recipe, new line of soaps and Easter Opening hours

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop
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I am really hoping that last weekends 'mini beast from the East' is the last of this springs cold weather - things are getting so far behind already! Lots to do with the bees, and everyone has things to do in their gardens. Let's hope we can catch up over Easter.
Talking of which, here is a reminder of Easter Opening hours:

Wednesday 28th March. Open 10-4
Thursday 29th March. Open 10-4
Good Friday 30th March. Open 9-4
Easter Saturday 31st March. Open 9-4
Easter Sunday 1st April. Closed
Easter Monday 2nd April Closed (Garden Centre including Restaurant is open)

Thank you to everyone who braved the cold at Potton Market last Saturday, I was really lucky, in that my spot had some shelter from the wind.
The small amount of snow that we had stopped Danny from playing golf on Sunday. He spent most of the day building a new cash desk for the shop. Many thanks to Val and Mark for the worktop, my parents for their kitchen cupboards, to Stuart from Stamford Interiors for removing the cupboards so carefully and of course Danny for building it.  It's been about a year in planning, and feels really good that it's now done.
If you are looking for days out this spring, I can highly recommend these two:

Southalls (Home Farm) Lambing Charity Day in Great Barford.  Saturday 24th March 2018. 10-4. 
Home Farm, Bedford road, Great Barford, MK44 3JF

"Join in with the fun and joy of lambing day at Home Farm, Great Barford and raise money for St John's Hospice.
The farm's first open lambing day is on Saturday 24th March, 2018. Help feed the lambs and if you are lucky, see some lambs being born. 
Other attractions will be the cattle, farm machinery and name the lamb.
Bacon rolls, cakes, tea and coffee will be available to buy. 
Gates open at 10am till 4pm.
Home Farm is located near the centre of Great Barford, Bedfordshire.
Don't forget your wellies!"

Franklins of Thorncote Green. Good Friday (30th March) Lambing Day. 10am. Trumpetons Farm, Thorncote Green, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 1PU

"Please join us on Good Friday for our Annual Lambing Open Day here at Franklins Farm. You will have the chance to meet our sheep flock, and if you are lucky even see a lamb being born! Please wear suitable clothing and wellies. No dogs please, and no smoking. Foot dips and washing facilities are available, and essential after touching the animals. There is a small admission charge, adults £2.50, children over 2 years £2, but no need to book, just turn up. Refreshments will be available from our BBQ".

Cakes this week from Trish are Butterscotch, and Cherry & Almond. 

If you are trying to give up plastic bags, we have a limited number of cotton bags-for-life available with our lovely logo on.  We are sometimes asked why we continue to supply plastic carrier bags. We have not been able to find a strong enough paper bag, but the green ones we have are made from recycled material, and are strong enough to be used at least 3 times if not more.

We have a new line of locally made Soaps in the shop. They are hand made by Kata, more information about the is on her website.
https://www.stneotsnaturalsoap.com/
Recipe of the week
 
Turnips are a very under-utilised vegetable, I struggle to find ways to use them other than in stews. I found this recipe today, and think that it will become a favourite.
You can substitute some of the turnip for potatoes if you wish.  For a vegetarian option omit the bacon.

Sliced turnip & bacon bake
 
Make the most of turnips with this flavoursome recipe, perfect with slow cooked lamb, or as main course
 
Ingredients
85g butter
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaf
large onion, finely sliced
1½ kg turnip, peeled and sliced
100g mature cheddar, grated
 
Method
  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Heat half the butter in an ovenproof frying pan. Add the bacon and cook for a few mins, then add the thyme and onions, season and cook for a further 8-10 mins until the onions are soft and golden. Scoop the onions into a bowl, leaving the buttery juices in the pan.
     
  2. Off the heat, layer the sliced turnips in the pan with a scattering of fried onions, a sprinkling of cheese and some dots of butter between the layers. Season with a little salt and plenty of pepper as you go. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1-1¼ hrs until the turnips are tender when prodded with the point of a knife. Leave the cake to relax for 5 mins. Turn it upside down onto a plate or board, then cut into wedges and serve.

 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 
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White Sprouting Broccoli now available!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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The last of the 2017 planted vegetables have finally become available.  White Sprouting Broccoli is the cousin of the Purple, and slightly more delicate in flavour. You can eat the leaves, stalks and the delicate cauliflower-like heads. It only takes 2-3 minutes to steam - it can be used in any recipe that calls for the purple variety.  Experience shows that it won't be available for too long, as soon as it really warms up it will finish, so make the most of it now! At £2.50 kg, you do get a lot for your money.

This Saturday (17th) sees the first market of the year in Potton. Known as the 'Spring' market, I don't think I'll ditch the thermals yet - the forecast is for it to be cold again for a few days, with the possibility of more snow.  The market is from 9am to 1pm, and has a great variety of stalls - Meat, Fish, Bread, Cakes, Chillies, Coffee, Honey, various crafts and of course local vegetables and homemade preserves. The Party of Potton team will also be there serving up freshly cooked Bacon and Sausage Rolls.
Danny will be in the shop on Saturday morning.
 

 

 

As we are drawing closer to Easter, I will be making Hot Cross Buns for sale in the shop. These were pictured just out of the oven this afternoon. They are made using an Apple & Cinnamon Bread Flour, with added Sultanas and Mixed Peel - fair to say the shop smelt pretty good today!

A reminder too, Easter Opening Hours are below:

Wednesday 28th March. Open 10-4
Thursday 29th March. Open 10-4
Good Friday 30th March. Open 9-4
Easter Saturday 31st March. Open 9-4
Easter Sunday 1st April. Closed
Easter Monday 2nd April Closed (Garden Centre including Restaurant is open)

If you are looking for days out this spring, I can highly recommend these two:

Southalls (Home Farm) Lambing Charity Day in Great Barford.  Saturday 24th March 2018. 10-4. 
Home Farm, Bedford road, Great Barford, MK44 3JF

"Join in with the fun and joy of lambing day at Home Farm, Great Barford and raise money for St John's Hospice.
The farm's first open lambing day is on Saturday 24th March, 2018. Help feed the lambs and if you are lucky, see some lambs being born. 
Other attractions will be the cattle, farm machinery and name the lamb.
Bacon rolls, cakes, tea and coffee will be available to buy. 
Gates open at 10am till 4pm.
Home Farm is located near the centre of Great Barford, Bedfordshire.
Don't forget your wellies!"

Franklins of Thorncote Green. Good Friday (30th March) Lambing Day. 10am. Trumpetons Farm, Thorncote Green, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 1PU

"Please join us on Good Friday for our Annual Lambing Open Day here at Franklins Farm. You will have the chance to meet our sheep flock, and if you are lucky even see a lamb being born! Please wear suitable clothing and wellies. No dogs please, and no smoking. Foot dips and washing facilities are available, and essential after touching the animals. There is a small admission charge, adults £2.50, children over 2 years £2, but no need to book, just turn up. Refreshments will be available from our BBQ".

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
White or Purple sprouting broccoli with Parmesan & herbed crumbs
 
A superhealthy accompaniment to your Sunday roast.  Serves 6
 
Ingredients
25g butter
4 tbsp olive oil
50g white breadcrumbs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
25g grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
700g purple sprouting broccoli
a little olive oil, to drizzle
lemon wedges, to garnish
 
Method

  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. When the foaming subsides, add the white breadcrumbs and stir constantly over a high heat until crisp and golden. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and the chopped thyme leaves. Tip the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool, then stir in grated Parmesan.
  2. Add the purple sprouting broccoli to a pan of boiling salted water, so the water just covers it. Cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and put back in the pan, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and reheat, shaking gently.
  3. Arrange neatly on a warmed serving dish and scatter over the Parmesan crumbs. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.

 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4


Data Protection Statement:  You have kindly supplied your name and email address, for the express purpose of receiving news about the Black Cat Farm Shop.  We will never sell or pass on these details to anyone else without your prior permission.   You can Unsubscribe using the link below to stop receiving these emails. Your details are automatically deleted from the system.

Leeks are still great but the Cauliflowers did not survive the big freeze 

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Thank you for your patience and understanding with the bad weather last week – we are all relieved it has now gone and things are warming up. Thank you especially to all the shops suppliers who managed to get to us every day that we were open, and also to Danny for driving us on Saturday – the road to North Crawley where the dairy is was very bad.
 
It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday – but don’t panic if you haven’t booked somewhere to go for Breakfast / lunch / Afternoon Tea. How about getting the ingredients, and making it for your Mum instead? Here at the shop we have everything you may need – have a look at the photos for some inspiration.
 

 

 

This weeks featured vegetable is Leeks. Whilst they are traditionally an autumn/winter veg – if you leave them in the ground they will last right through until the early spring. Use instead of onion if you find that flavour too strong. They are great for soups and stews. I hope you enjoy the recipe (they taste really good!).
 
It is also Sour Dough Bread weekend; fresh loaves will be in the shop from 9am on Friday morning.
 
One casualty of the bad weather is the Cauliflower crop. As the severe cold weather affected a large part of Europe as well as the UK, they are going to be in very short supply for a number of weeks. This week we could have got some Italian ones, but they were about £2 each and very small. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next crop to come through.
 
A bit of advanced warning, the shop will open at 12.30 instead of 10am next Wednesday (14th March). Sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Leek and Onion Scones
 
Leeks are a great winter vegetable, and if you leave them in the ground they will last right the way through until the spring.
You can make the leek and onion mix in advance for this recipe, it's better if it is cool when you mix it with the flour.
Delicious on their own, buttered and/or with cheese. Great with any vegetable soup instead of bread.  Try grating a little cheese over the tops before baking, or adding in a couple of rashers of cooked and finely chopped bacon.
 
Makes approx 24 Scones.
 
Ingredients
1 tablespoon Rapeseed oil
1 large Leek, cleaned and finely chopped (use all the Leek)
1 small Onion, finely chopped
Pinch of sugar
450g (1lb) self-raising flour
Salt to taste
110g (4oz) butter
250ml (9fl oz) milk
 
Method:
Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8.

  1. Either grease a baking sheet or line with baking paper.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the leeks and onion with a pinch of sugar until soft.
  3. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt in a large bowl, and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Stir in the leak and onion mix and sufficient milk to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Roll out to approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. Use a round cutter to stamp out 14 x 5cm (2 inch) rounds.
  5. Knead together the leftover dough and cut into more rounds. That should give you approximately 24 scones.  Place on the baking sheet and brush the tops with milk or beaten egg.
  6. Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

Welcome to Spring!! We are open, but with reduced hours during this snowy period

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Welcome to Spring!!   I hope that the snow and ice haven't been too bad in your areas - driving conditions are tricky, and there are lots of reports of schools being shut around the Bedford area tomorrow (Friday). 
Whilst I have been able to get to the shop the last two days, I will of course pay attention to the road conditions.  For milk and bread customers, I will text or phone you if I cannot get to the shop.
I would like to say a huge Thank you to all the shops suppliers who have managed to get things to us this week.

Tomorrow (Friday 2nd March), I would suggest that you try and get to the shop between 10 and 2. I'll do my best to get there earlier and stay later, it really does depend on the road conditions.

This week we are featuring Purple Sprouting Broccoli in our 'Recipe of the Week' section.  We have featured this several times already this winter, but I think that this is a great recipe and you can swap the broccoli for other vegetables.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

Due to a mix up on the order this week, we have lots of individual Chicken & Mushroom, Minted Lamb and Steak pies. Only £2.75 each, they are delicious - and have big chunks of meat and lovely gravy. Wobbly Bottom Farm in Hitchin dropped off a top-up order yesterday - nice to have a good selection again of goats, sheep and cows milk cheeses.

Talking of milk and cheese - Bevistan Dairy at Carlton have let me know that lambing has started, and they are hoping to start milking the sheep, and making yogurt and soft cheese by mid March. I'll let you know the exact date as soon as I have it, in case you would like to start ordering the milk.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
I picked up a couple of new cookery books this week, and spotted this one when I was having a browse. Whilst the recipe says Monkfish, you could use any firm white fish (Plaice, Cod, Haddock (not smoked). You could also swap the Purple Sprouting Broccoli for Curly Kale or Cavalo Nero.
 
Monkfish & Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Coconut Curry
 
This should feed 4 people, serve with thai or basmati rice.
 
Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped.
2 teaspoons Fish Sauce
Juice 1/2 lime
1 red chilli de-seeded
1 green chilli de-seeded
2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds
2 teaspoons crushed cumin seeds
2.5cm piece fresh ginger chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 lemon grass stalk
1.5 tablespoons rapeseed oil
5 curry leaves
300ml coconut milk
350g purple sprouting broccoli, stems split into two
500g monkfish, cubed
1 red chilli de-seeded and sliced thinly
 
Method

  1. Add the onion, fish sauce, lime juice, red and green chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, lemon grass and half the oil into a food processor, and process to a paste. Tip the mixture into a frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the curry leaves and coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate frying pan, add the oil and stir fry the broccoli for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
  3. Add the monkfish cubes to the curry pan and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add the broccoli spears. Continue cooking for another minute.
  4. Serve the curry with rice and sprinkle the sliced red chilli over the top.

 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

Parsnips - perfect for roasting, have you tried making them into soup yet?

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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This week we are featuring Parsnips in our 'Recipe of the Week' section.  They are a great vegetable, a really lovely flavour. I love them roasted, but they can also be boiled/mashed (try half/half with potatoes) and they make great soups. I hearty winter stew wouldn't be the same without them.  I hope you enjoy the recipe at the bottom.

Thanks to Linda for being in the shop last Sunday. It meant that Danny and I could get away to Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk for a couple of days break. A couple of good walks, a couple of good meals, some great beer and a very nice cottage to stay in just back from the centre of the village. 
 

 

 

Visitors to the shop are often surprised at the range of vegetables available, even in the middle of winter. If you haven't been in recently, this is what's available:

Potatoes (Maris Piper and Picasso), Carrots, Parsnips, Leeks, Cauliflowers, Savoy Cabbage, Red and White Cabbage, Beetroot, Garlic, Red and White Onions, Spinach, Cavalo Nero, Curly Kale, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Celeriac, Jerusalem Artichokes, Mushrooms, Swede, Turnips plus Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Celery and locally grown Rocket.  We also have Eating (Cox) and Cooking (Bramley) Apples.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
 Salted caramel parsnips
 
Don't reserve salted caramel for desserts - it works perfectly with earthy roasted root vegetables too.  This serves 6.
 
Ingredients
1kg parsnip, peeled
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
50g golden caster sugar
large knob of butter
1 tsp sea salt
 
Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Halve the parsnips, then cut the thicker end in two lengthways. Boil for 5 mins, then drain well and leave to steam-dry for a few mins. Meanwhile, pour the oil into a shallow roasting tin or a lipped baking tray and heat in the oven for 3 mins.
  2. Remove the tin from the oven and carefully add the parsnips to the hot oil. Turn them to coat, and make sure they aren’t overcrowded (otherwise they won’t crisp up). Roast for 30-35 mins or until golden and crisp, turning them halfway through the cooking time.
  3. About 10 mins before the parsnips are ready, tip the sugar and 2 tbsp water into a small frying pan. Heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Measure 3½ tbsp cold water into a jug. Keep swirling the pan around until the sugar reaches a rich, dark-reddish caramel colour, then remove from the heat. Stand well back and add the water (it will splutter!). Return to the heat, add the butter and the salt, and stir to remove any lumps. The caramel should be runny, so add a splash more water if needed. Pile the parsnips into a serving dish, then drizzle over the salted caramel.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

 

 

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Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Celeriac, Sprouts and Sweet chilli sauce!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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This week we are featuring Purple Sprouting Broccoli in our 'Recipe of the Week' section.  It is a great vegetable, a really lovely flavour and it can be boiled, steamed,stir fried - and used in all manner of recipes.  I hope you enjoy the recipe below.

I've had a helper in the shop today, AnnaLena is on holiday here from Germany. As well as practising her English, she's been making all sorts of things in the shop with me today - lovely to have some company. 

This will be the last week of Brussel Sprouts on stalks - but don't worry, we will have loose ones for a few more weeks. I have to say they taste better now than at the beginning of the season.

Paul's Spinach grown in poly tunnels is doing well, and we should be OK with that now until the field grown crop is ready. The Rocket is going really well, a lovely peppery salad to zing your taste buds mid winter.
 

 

 

Talking of delicious things - have you tried Trish's Biscotti biscuits? They are lovely and crisp, and are prefect dunkers if you like to do that too! 

I must thank Val for sharing her recipe for Sweet Chilli Sauce with me. For the last 3.5 years she has carried on making it for us from her home in Norfolk. I've made a couple of batches this week (today's with AnnaLena's help), and I'm pretty pleased with it. Why not try a bottle - perfect for dipping and using in stirfrys.

Linda is going to be in the shop this Sunday (18th) as Danny and I are having a couple of days away up in Norfolk - fingers crossed for good weather.

Fruits of hard work - 18 bottles of Sweet Chilli Sauce, and 6kg of vegetables chopped up ready for us to make into Piccalilli tomorrow morning.

 

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
As promised, this recipe uses Purple Sprouting Broccoli plentiful in the shop at the moment.  You can use lots of different green vegetables in this recipe - depending on what you like, and what you have available. Curly Kale and Cavalo Nero would work perfectly - even finely sliced brussel sprouts!
It would be a perfect accompaniment to Chinese Food (it is Chinese New Year Friday 16th February).
 
Stir -fried greens with fish sauce.   Serves 4

1/2 head Savoy Cabbage
125g Purple Sprouting Broccoli
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
4-6 garlic cloves finely sliced
75g spinach (washed)
2 tablespoons fish sauce plus extra for seasoning
1 teaspoon caster sugar

1. Remove any discoloured/damaged leaves, halve it and remove tough central ribs. Shred the leaves fairly finely.  Split the stems of the purple sprouting broccoli lengthways.

2. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Stir fry the broccoli for about 1 minute, then add the garlic and the cabbage. Continue cooking until the cabbage is a pale gold colour. 

3. Quickly add the spinach and fish sauce and turn over a few times. The water in the spinach should boil off very quickly. Add the sugar, and turn the vegetables over a few times and serve immediately.

No need to add extra salt as the fish sauce is very salty. 

If you like, you can also add a small handful of unsalted peanuts or cashew nuts.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

Sprouts, Crafts, Pancake Day and a great recipe using Cavalo Nero

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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So, it’s February already – we have a few snowdrops out in the garden, and even a couple of daffodils about to flower in very sheltered spots. The longer days are very welcome, being able to go to and come home from the shop in the daylight is fantastic.
It’s Pancake Day next Tuesday – so as an exception we do have some lemons in the shop for you.
Brussel Sprouts are excellent at the moment, they should easily last well into March. Potato varieties at the moment are Picasso (excellent for roasting) and Maris Piper (perfect for mashing).
 

 

 

As tomorrow is the 2nd Friday of the month, we will have Sour Dough Bread in the shop. On Jo’s list this week are White and Brown small loaves, 5 Seed Loaf, Malted Grain Sub, Baguettes and something new – Sciacchata (they’re a bit like pizza’s!).
Linda has been busy making things, I love her new range of ‘chicken’ cushions. At £6.50 each they are great value.

 

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
I’ve been challenged to take more photographs of the weekly recipe – so here are a couple. Two weeks ago, we featured Butternut Squash as a Dauphinoise, and this is tonight’s Chickpea and Cavalo Nero Curry.
 
This delicious curry only takes about 20 minutes to prepare and cook - about the same length of time as the rice. You can also serve it with chapattis or naan bread.

Ingredients
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
a little oil
1-2 tablespoons curry paste (Madras, Rogon Josh or whatever your favourite is)
2 tablespoons tomato puree
160g mushrooms cut into small pieces
400g can chickpeas, including the liquid from the can
160g Cavalo Nero (stripped off the stems and chopped) (you can use Spinach instead)
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
a few coriander leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon natural yogurt (optional)

Method

  1. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. Add the curry paste, and continue to cook for about a minute, stirring continuously.
     
  2. Add the tomato puree and mushrooms, cook for another couple of minutes. Add the chickpeas and their liquid. Add a little more water if it seems a bit dry.
     
  3. Turn down the heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the Cavalo Nero, stir well and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
     
  4. Sprinkle over the coriander and garam masala, and stir in the yogurt if you like a creamy curry.  
     
  5. Serve immediately.



Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

Beetroot back in the shop, we've missed you!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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This week we are featuring Beetroot in our 'Recipe of the Week' section.  It's a very versatile vegetable that you can have cold with salads, pickled/chutney, roasted with your Sunday Roast, made into a puree to flavour hummus, and even mixed with chocolate! See the Brownie recipe below, its gorgeous!

I have to admit it is one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. My Dad always grew at least a row every year on his allotment despite the fact he hated it - we really appreciated his labours though.

We are getting little signs that winter may be on its way out soon - well for a start it is February now, and that always makes me feel better. The catkins are out on the hazel bushes behind the shop, and the garden centre are re-organising their layout and moving the Seed selections right to the front. Better start planning what we're going to grow this year!

 

 

Also available this week after a break for a month or so is locally grown Spinach. Grown by Paul and Len in Bromham, it's a great vegetable to have and goes with so many things. I must look out my recipe for Bombay Potatoes for next weeks newsletter, it's great!  Paul and Len grow the spinach in their Poly Tunnels, they also have fresh Rocket at the moment which makes a great change from lettuce in sandwiches or salads.

Trish has made two kinds of cake this week - Seed Topped Banana bread, and Clementine Cake.

 

 

Recipe of the week

Beetroot brownies
 
With around half the fat of regular brownies, these are a slightly less guilty pleasure, but still have that intense chocolate hit.
 
Ingredients
500g whole raw beetroot  (3-4 medium beets)
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for the tin
200g bar plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
100g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
 
Method

  1. Wear a pair of rubber gloves to stop your hands from staining, then top, tail and peel the beetroot – you’ll need about 400g flesh. Roughly chop and put into a large bowl. Add a splash of water, cover with cling film, then microwave on High for 12 mins or until tender. 
  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. While the beetroot cooks, butter then line a 20 x 30cm traybake or small roasting tin. Roughly chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes. Tip the cooked beetroot into a sieve, drain off any excess liquid, then put into a food processor or blender with the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Whizz until the mix is as smooth as you can get it. The chocolate and butter will melt as you do this. 
  1. Put the sugar and eggs into a large bowl, then beat using an electric hand whisk until thick, pale and foamy, about 2 mins. Spoon the beetroot mix into the bowl (it won’t look too pretty at this stage, but bear with me), then use a large metal spoon to fold it into the whisked eggs. Try to conserve as much air in the mixture as you can. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, then gently fold these in to make a smooth batter.

 

  1. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25 mins or until risen all over, with just the merest quiver under the centre of the crust when you shake the pan. Cool completely in the tin, then cut into 15-20 squares.

 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

What's available in the shop this week? Read more....

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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This week we are featuring Butternut Squash in our 'Recipe of the Week' section.  They are a great vegetable, a really lovely flavour and they can be baked, boiled and steamed - and used in all manner of sweet and savoury recipes.  I hope you enjoy the recipe below.

Thanks to Anne who came over last Sunday to learn how to make Marmalade. She couldn't believe how easy it was, and considering that you have (almost) no waste (just a few pips), very cost effective.  If you would like to learn how to make Marmalade, Jam, Chutney, Jellies etc please let me know, and we can set up a session. I do make preserves all through the winter, so give me a call or pop into the shop.
 

 

 

We have finally managed to get a consistent supply of the Bedford area 'Times & Citizen'. This is mainly for residents in local villages who no longer get it delivered - however if you want a copy please pick one up.

Also a reminder that we have a collection box for all Laser and Inkjet printer cartridges (home and office) plus old mobile phones. They will be collected periodically and all proceeds are donated to a Breast Cancer charity.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
In my world, anything that has cream, garlic and cheese is a good thing, this is absolutely delicious.
 
Butternut Dauphinoise
 
This indulgent gratin of squash with bay, thyme and nutmeg, plus a robust cheese sauce makes a great main or side dish.  Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a side dish.
 
Ingredients
300ml pot double cream
100ml whole milk
2 bay leaves
a few thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove, crushed
whole nutmeg, for grating
1 tbsp salted butter, for greasing
1 large butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1.4kg unpeeled to give about 1.1kg prepared flesh)
50g mature Double Gloucester or other hard cheese
 
Method

  1. Put the cream, milk, bay, a sprig of thyme, the garlic and ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 mins. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Grease a large baking dish with the butter, then layer up the butternut squash, adding seasoning and a few thyme leaves as you go. Pour over the infused cream, leaving the bay and thyme on the top.
  3. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 mins. Uncover, press the squash as far under the level of the liquid as you can, then scatter with the cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 30 mins more until the butternut is tender and the whole dish is bubbling and golden. Let stand for 10 mins or so before serving.

 

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

Informal Marmalade making Sessions this weekend

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Are you busy this weekend? Fancy learning how to make Marmalade? I am holding informal sessions at the shop on Saturday 20th at 9.30am, and Sunday 21st at 10am. £10 a head, free tea or coffee and cake if I get myself into gear! You’ll see the whole process, get involved in the chopping, and be able to take home a couple of jars for yourself. Let me know by phone or email if you want to come along.
 
We have some fresh soups in the shop this weekend – There is Spicy Parsnip, and also Celeriac. They are in the fridge currently, but will be moved into the freezer over the weekend. £1.75 a pot, ideal for a warming lunch and an easy way to get two of your 5 a Day.

 

 

The locally stored apples have just about finished now, but don’t worry – we can still get lovely apples from slightly further afield.  The Bramley’s are from Wisbech, and the Braeburns are from Kent. Both crisp and delicious.
 
It is Valentine’s Day soon, if you are looking for a slightly different gift, have a look in our craft section. The glass vases are £4.25 each and will hold a small bunch of daffodils, or maybe a couple of red roses? The Doggie and Owl doorstops are £6.50 each and come in a variety of colours and materials.
 
The Sale from the freezer is still on. 10% off everything, 50% off bread. There are lots of White rolls, Small Granary and Small Tomato Bread loaves available.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
PORK CHOPS WITH ROSEMARY, JUNIPER AND CABBAGE
This serves 6.
INGREDIENTS
Traditionally the cabbage is braised with the chops, but this recipe cooks them separately which I prefer.
 
1 large Savoy cabbage (about 750g)
85g unsalted butter
4tbsp extra-virginolive oil
6 pork chops, about 275g each
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10 juniper berries, crushed
250ml dry vermouth or dry white wine
 
To serve:
Mashed potato
 
METHOD

  1. Quarter the cabbage, cut the hard central core out of each piece and discard. Slice the cabbage into strips about 2-3cm thick.
     
  2. Divide 30g of the butter and all the olive oil between 2 frying pans set over a medium-high heat. Add the pork chops to the pans with the rosemary sprigs. Brown the chops for 3 minutes on each side to get a good colour, then season all over, turn down the heat and cook for another 3 minutes until cooked through, but still moist. Cover the pans to keep the chops warm.
     
  3. Melt another 30g butter in a large saucepan and add the garlic and juniper. Cook gently for 2 minutes, then add the cabbage with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss and then add 2tbsp water and cover. Cook on a low heat until tender, about 4 minutes, turning a few times.
     
  4. Meanwhile, quickly pour away the excess fat from each frying pan and add the vermouth or wine. Boil quickly until about 2tbsp liquid is left in each pan - around 2 minutes, depending on pan size - then whisk equal amounts of the remaining butter into each.
     
  5. Take the lid off the cabbage and, if there is excess water in the bottom, boil it off, tossing the cabbage in the buttery juices. Serve the chops and cabbage on a large, warmed platter.



Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking, gardening or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

Time to make Marmalade - Seville Oranges in stock now!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Hello All
During these dark, damp days in January a burst of colour is just what we need – and these Seville Oranges fit the bill perfectly. If you would like me to reserve you some, please let me know.
 
A few customers have been asking for white turnips recently – it seems that not many people grow them now, most of the supermarkets don’t have them (apart from in stew packs). Paul in Bromham has managed to track some down – enjoy!
 
This week is Sour Dough bread week. Jo is sending Small (400g) White, Small 5 Seed, Malted Subs and Cheddar N Chilli loaves.
 
For some reasons I brought lots of lemons for home pre-Christmas – as I hadn’t used them, they have now been converted into Lemon Curd! Made the traditional way with butter, eggs and sugar – the jars should be kept in the fridge and used within a month. Generally, I find they only last for 2 slices of toast.

 

 

There had been quite a bit of press today about all businesses will soon need to start charging for plastic bags. Whilst I also provide paper bags for vegetables, I haven’t been able to find reasonably priced large paper bags for heavy shopping to go in. I am going to move over soon to either bags made from recycled plastic, or the new style ‘degradeable’ bags which disintegrate after time. If you are able to bring your own shopping bags, that is much the simplest way around this issue.
 
On the subject of recycling, I was pondering during the Christmas holidays what to do with the large bag of old printer cartridges I had in my office. A bit of research led me to a company near Reading that recycles them, and donates any profits to Breast Cancer charities (a topic close to my heart). I now have one of their boxes in the shop, so please feel free to bring your cartridges in – from domestic and commercial printers.  They also recycle old mobile phones too.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
I am in need of easy to prepare, easy to eat comfort food at this time of year. You can prepare this in advance, and just pop in the oven when you want to eat.
 
Cheesy Mac ‘N Veg.  Serves 2.
 
Ingredients
For the sauce:
 
25g butter
25g plain flour
300ml milk
75g mature cheddar cheese grated plus more for the top.
Salt & Pepper
 
Or
 
350g tub ready made cheese sauce.
 
For the rest
 
100g macaroni or penne pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 small leek, trimmed washed and finely sliced
Handful (about 80g) of cauliflower florets broken into small pieces
Handful (about 80g) of broccoli florets broken into small pieces
3 headed tablespoons frozen peas
80g spinach shredded.
 
Method.
 
Pre heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/400F/gas 6
 
For the sauce: combine the butter, milk and flour in a small saucepan and gradually bring to the boil whisking continuously. Turn down and simmer, still stirring for 1 minute. Add the grated cheese and season to taste. Take off the heat.
 
Boil some water and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.
 
In a large saucepan, melt the tablespoon of butter, and sauté the leek for a couple of minutes, then add the cauliflower and broccoli. Continue cooking over a lowish heat until the cauliflower and broccoli have softened. Add the peas and spinach, and cook for a further two minutes.
 
Mix the veg with 1 tablespoon of the sauce, and spoon into an ovenproof dish. Mix the pasta with the remaining cheese sauce and spoon over the vegetables, sprinkle with some more grated cheese.
 
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.
 
 
Whatever your plans are for the weekend – gardening, shopping, cooking or just relaxing, have a great one!
 

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

Happy New Year, we're back open and fully stocked with delicious Veg, Meat, Bread etc

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Happy New Year to you all! 

I hope that you had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to pre-order their Christmas vegetables, turkeys, pies, milk, cream, cheese, homemade preserves etc. It makes a huge difference to how the shop works during our busiest week of the year – we do more trade in the last week before Christmas than the whole of January and February together!
 
As is the tradition of lots of retailers, we have a little sale going on for the next couple of weeks. I need to clean the freezer and it is very full at the moment. We are offering 50% of all bread, and 10% off everything else. Come and have a browse.
 
It’s a quiet time of year for beekeepers, reading books, mending equipment, and for those who teach – planning courses. Bedfordshire Beekeepers, North Bucks Beekeepers, North Herts Beekeepers are all planning courses, follow these links to their websites to find out more.
https://www.bedsbka.org.uk/training-event/beekeeping-courses-for-2018-announced/
http://nbbka.org/education/courses.aspx
https://nhbka.wordpress.com/training/2018-beginners-course-in-beekeeping/

 

 

Just to let you know we have plenty of sprouts in stock - they aren't just for Christmas you know! We've also lots of Purple Spouting Broccoli, Curly Kale and Cavalo Nero - all from Bromham.

This cold damp weather is making think of warming stews and easy one-pot suppers. How about this homely Chicken, Kale and Mushroom pie? It’s a very flexible recipe – leftovers are great warmed up and served with baked potatoes, or even on toast!  We have quite a few frozen chicken breasts in the freezer, and of course Kale is available freshly cut.

 

Recipe of the week
 
Chicken, kale & mushroom pot pie
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chicken-kale-mushroom-pot-pie
 
A satisfying chicken and mushroom one-pot that makes a great family supper or freeze leftovers for another day.  Serves 4
 
Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
 
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
300ml chicken stock
100g crème fraîche
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
100g Curly Kale or Cavalo Nero, stalks removed, shredded fairly finely
2 tsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
375g pack puff pastry, rolled into a circle slightly bigger than your dish
1 egg yolk, to glaze
 
Method
Heat 1/2 tbsp oil over a gentle heat in a flameproof casserole dish. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins until softening. Scatter over the thyme and garlic, and stir for 1 min. Turn up the heat and add the chicken, frying until golden but not fully cooked. Add the mushrooms and the remaining oil. Heat oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6.
 
Add the stock, crème fraîche, mustard and kale, and season well. Add the cornflour mixture and stir until thickened a little.
 
Remove from the heat and cover with the puff pastry lid, pressing into the sides of the casserole dish. Slice a cross in the centre and glaze with the egg. Bake for 30 mins until the pastry is puffed up and golden.



Whatever your plans this weekend (Christmas shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

There's still time to order your Christmas Veg, plus Celeriac now available

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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There is still time to order your vegetables for Christmas, have a look at the order form, and either email it to blackcatfarmshop@btinternet.com or ring Sue on 07522 559010 or pop into the shop with it. Please have everything in by the end of Sunday 17th.

Opening hours for the week up to Christmas are the same as normal, except for closing at 1pm on Sunday 24th. 
The shop will then be closed over the holidays, opening again on Wednesday 3rd January.

Back in stock this week are Celeriac, perfect for soups, stews and making coleslaw.

 

 

What else have we got in the shop this week? Some lovely Mistletoe from Wyboston, £1 a sprig. We've also got Savoy cabbages. If you need sacks of potatoes we have both Maris Piper and Picasso. Please let me know asap if you need sacks before Christmas. 

Our neighbour in Marston Moretaine planted lots of fruit and nut trees some years ago. This year she's had a huge harvest of Almonds and Hazelnuts, they really are delicious at £5 kg. 

The Times & Citizen has made its way to the shop again, please help yourself to a free copy. 

Last minute Mince Pies to make? We have plenty of homemade mincemeat as well as Cranberry Relish. 

 

 

Recipe of the week

Thus is lovely with all cold meats, especially Turkey. 
 

Celeriac and apple coleslaw 

Serves 6

  • 100g carrot, peeled, topped and tailed
  • 200g red cabbage
  • 200g celeriac
  • 50g red onion
  • 50g white onion
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste
  • 2 eating apples (unpeeled)
  • 1 lemon
  • 200ml Mayonnaise (try Mrs Middleton's Lemon Mayonnaise)
  • 1 small bunch of curly parsley, chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Grate the carrots and thinly slice the red cabbage, celeriac and onions, adding to a large bowl as you go. Add the garlic.
  2. Grate the apple and add to the bowl, squeezing lemon juice over it to stop it browning, and mix all the above together.
  3. Add Mayonnaise and stir through to bind the vegetables.
  4. Garnish with chopped parsley and (if you like) lemon juice for some acidity.

Whatever you have planned for this weekend - cooking, Christmas shopping or relaxing, have a great one. 

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre 
Bedford Road
Roxton. Beds. 
MK44 3DY 
07522 559010
Blackcatfarmshop@btinternet.com

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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Getting ready for Christmas, how can we help?

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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We've some huge Leeks in the shop this week, plenty of Calabrese, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Curly Kale, Cavalo Nero and of course Sprouts! The Spinach is coming to an end for a while, its been great to have an almost continuous supply since the spring from Paul and Len in Bromham. They have some outdoors, and some in polytunnels.
We've Celery from Fenland (Cambs) this week, and another 'last of' - Sweet Peppers from Chawston.

Christmas Order forms for your Turkey & Trimmings, Vegetables, Milk & Cream, Bread, Cakes etc are in the shop now, and you can download one from the website. You can email it to me, drop it into the shop, or give me a call to talk things through. Christmas can be such a stressful time, and if we can help remove a part of it, then we will have done a good job.

Linda is at Willington on Saturday 10-12, Sue will be at Potton 9-1 and so Danny is manning the fort at the shop.

Would you like the chance to win your Christmas Vegetables? Follow the link at the bottom of the email to the Facebook page. We have a competition running - exclusively for Facebook Users, the post is Pinned to the top of the page. Good Luck!

 

 

This week is also Sour Dough Bread Week - I have it on good authority that Jo is sending us some ;Cheddar & Chilli loaves this time!

Linda has been busy - she's made even more cushions and aprons for the shop. I love these 'Stag' ones, and they're only £6.50.

Don't forget to get your favourite pooch something for Christmas, we have a range of Chews and treats that they will love.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
I had a bit of spare time today, and so made this very quick and simple recipe. Sorry, I was on my way home when I realised that I'd forgotten to take a photo. They are for sale in the shop though, 60p each or 2 for £1.

Mincemeat Twists

Two sheets Puff Pastry (Jus-Rol is on special offer at the moment in Sainsbury's!!)
One 340g jar mincemeat.
3 tablespoons Caster Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon ground Cinnamon

Lay out the first sheet of pastry, and spread the mincemeat over in a thin layer.
Lay the second sheet over the top and press lightly.
Cut into 1" wide strips across the short side, and twist each 3-4 times.
Bake in a hot oven (200C, 400F, Gas 6) for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Dust with a little icing sugar.

Can be eaten on their own, or dunked into cream or creme fraiche.

If you like, you can grate a little orange zest over the mincemeat.

If you use Facebook, this link will take you to a short video of them being made.



Whatever your plans this weekend (Christmas shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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3 1/2 weeks to Christmas, and the Sprouts have arrived - just in time!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Just in time - the first of the local Brussel Sprouts have arrived! Freshly picked from a farm in Potton, they've had a couple of frosts now so will be really sweet. We have them loose (£1.50 kg) or on the stalk for £3 each. The prices are the same as last year.

Have you ordered your Turkey yet? Download our Christmas Order form and either pop it into the shop or email it over. You can pre-order all your trimmings, vegetables, milk, cream, bread, cakes, mince pies, cheese, gift packs etc. We will have it ready for you to collect.
Opening hours:
Weds 20th 10-4
Thurs 21st 10-4
Fri 22nd 9-4
Sat 23rd 9-4
Sun 24th 10-1
The shop will then be closed, reopening on Weds 3rd January.

 

 

For Potato fans, we now have Picasso in 25kg sacks (£8), Maris Piper in 7.5kg sacks (£5), and Maris Piper loose (£1.20 kg).

The shop is 'going Mobile' for a couple of days around next weekend.
Saturday 9th December sees the last market of the year at Willington Peace Memorial Hall 10-12. Linda will be there.
It's also the last market of the year at Potton, 9-1, Sue will be there.
Danny will be in the shop that morning.

Sue will also be at the Duncombe Arms pub in Waresley (near Gamlingay, SG19 3BS) from 5-9 for their Christmas Shopping evening. 

Gift packs of Preserves are available to buy at 'Evie & Lola Pop Up Crafty Christmas Shop', based in the old Hanworth Interiors shop in the Arcade, off the High Street, Bedford. Anwyn and the team are there every day (not Mondays) until Christmas Eve.  Well worth popping in, all the crafted items are locally made. There are also drop in workshops, and events that you can book into. This is the link to their Facebook Page.

We've had a delivery from Robin at Wooden Hill Coffee. We have a couple of great Christmas Packs of all the teas they supply. We also have plenty of Coffee Grounds and Beans.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
To get us in the mood, a couple of Sprout recipes!

Creamed sprouts with chestnuts
This serves 6-8.
 
Ingredients
 
900g Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tsp vegetable oil
50g butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ vegetable stock cube, crumbled
250ml double cream
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus extra to serve
200g vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
 
Method
 
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the sprouts and cook for 3-4 mins until slightly tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Meanwhile, very gently fry the onions in the oil and half the butter for about 10 mins until soft. Add the garlic and stock cube and cook for 2 mins, stirring, until everything is combined. Remove from the heat.
Roughly chop the sprouts by hand or in a food processor, then stir them in with the onions and the rest of the butter, along with the double cream and nutmeg. Put back on the heat and cook until the cream is bubbling. Season to taste. Toss in the chestnuts and sprinkle over a little extra nutmeg to serve.


Burnt sprouts with pomegranate & sesame
Serves 4

Ingredients
 
3 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
400g Brussels sprouts, halved
25g cold butter, diced
1 tbsp sesame seeds
100g pomegranate seeds
drizzle of pomegranate molasses
 
Method
 
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Put the sprouts in the pan, cut-side down, and leave them to sizzle away happily for 10 mins without disturbing them.
Halfway through cooking, dot over the butter and leave it to sizzle and brown – the sprouts need to be really crispy and dark brown. If they are just lightly brown, carry on cooking for another 5-10 mins.
Scatter over the sesame seeds and stir-fry everything until the seeds are toasted. Off the heat, toss through the pomegranate seeds, then season the sprouts with salt and tip into a serving dish. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses before serving.



Whatever your plans this weekend (Christmas shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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Christmas Order Forms and Purple Sprouting Broccoli

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Now we know Christmas is getting close - we have the first of the new season Purple Sprouting Broccoli in the shop. Grown in Bromham it is crisp and fresh. There are a couple of great recipes using it further down.

Christmas Order forms for your Turkey & Trimmings, Vegetables, Milk & Cream, Bread, Cakes etc are in the shop now, and you can download one from the website. You can email it to me, drop it into the shop, or give me a call to talk things through. Christmas can be such a stressful time, and if we can help remove a part of it, then we will have done a good job.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who donated to this years Poppy Appeal. We raised £42.73 in the shop - a huge thank you, every penny raised is going to such a great cause.

Are you stuck for Christmas Present ideas? How about a trio of homemade preserves in a gift wrapped basket. Choose from the range in the shop, or have a look at the last page on the Christmas Order Form for some ideas. Most baskets are in the £10 range.

Have you tried our new pies? They are supplied by Southalls in Great Barford and are really delicious. They come in 3 flavours - Chicken & Mushroom, Steak and Minted Lamb. We have the Family (£4.50) and Individual (£2.75) sizes in all flavours.  Great pieces of meat and really nice gravy.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
To celebrate the arrival of the Purple Sprouting Broccoli, here are two great recipes by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (River Cottage). I hope you enjoy them.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Gratin
Rich, delicately anchovy-infused cream is a lovely foil to the fresh greenness of the broccoli. This is a luscious starter, but you could make a supper of it if you serve with some good bread and butter. Serves two.
 
200g purple sprouting broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 anchovy fillets
200ml double cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
20g breadcrumbs
 
Steam the broccoli over boiling water for around five minutes, until tender to the point of a sharp knife. Alternatively, cook it in boiling water until tender – three to four minutes – and drain well.
 
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovy, and cook gently for a few minutes, crushing the anchovies down into the oil. Add the cream, let it bubble for two to three minutes until thickened and reduced by about a third, then add black pepper to taste, and salt if needed.
 
Put the broccoli into a shallow gratin dish or ovenproof pan, pour over the cream mix, add a trickle of oil and scatter breadcrumbs on top. Grill for a few minutes until golden and bubbling, and serve at once.
 
My Purple Sprouting Broccoli Pasta
Any broccoli combined with pasta and some punchy aromatics makes for a fantastic, simple supper. But if you use fresh PSB and some top-notch anchovies, you're looking at something sublime. If anchovies aren't your thing, leave them out and add some capers instead, or just finish the pasta with lots of freshly grated parmesan to get that savoury "umami" hit. Serves four.
 
350g pasta of your choice (Oriechette is good)
600g purple sprouting broccoli
4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
6-8 anchovy fillets
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
Bring a large pan of well-salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Trim any woody parts from the broccoli, then cut the rest into forkable pieces and add to the pasta pot about five minutes before the end of its cooking time.
 
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan. Add the chilli, garlic and anchovies, and cook gently, crushing the anchovies so they break down, for about five minutes. Drain the pasta and broccoli, then toss immediately with the hot, garlicky, anchovy-y oil. Taste and add black pepper, and salt, if necessary. Serve straight away.


Whatever your plans this weekend (Christmas shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

Christmas Orders and Sprout Tops

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop
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You know its almost time for Christmas when Sprout Tops are available! We should have sprouts within the next 2 weeks. Plenty of green veg around, this is our current list of what's available.

Beetroot, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cabbages (Green, Red, White), Calabrese, Cauliflowers, Cavalo Nero, Curly Kale, Chillies, Garlic, Jerusalem Artichokes, Leeks, Marrow, Mushrooms, Onions (Red, White), Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Sprout Tops, Swede, Sweet Potatoes.
Little Gem Lettuces, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Celery, Salad Onions.
Eating (Spartan, Jonogold, Laxton Superb) and Cooking Apples (Bramleys).

Have you thought about ordering your Turkey for Christmas yet?
Will you be needing Bread, Milk, Cream, Cheese, Vegetables etc? You can order them all from the shop at very competitive prices. You will also be supporting a large number of small local businesses.

At the shop we offer a full pre-order service. All the meat comes from Southalls Butchers in Great Barford. The price is same from the shop or direct from them. Your main advantage about ordering from the Farm Shop is you'll only have to visit one place.  Pay when you collect, cash or card. Call Sue on 07522 559010 or pop into the shop to discuss your requirements.
Follow this link to the Farm Shop website and you can download an order form.
http://blackcatfarmshop.co.uk/page5.htm

Let us take the strain out of your Christmas Food Shop!
The next time you come into the shop you may notice that it is a deal more roomier. I have been on the lookout for another display cabinet (like the one the preserves are on) for some time. I managed to get one very reasonably this week (thanks eBay). It has made a real difference to the Crafted items display, and also the centre table.  The old centre tables have been loaned to my friend Anwyn who is having a Pop Up shop in the old Hanworth interiors shop in Bedford town centre Arcade. It's open until Christmas Eve, and will have a cafe, craft workshops and locally crafted items for sale. Well worth popping in to see.
https://www.facebook.com/EvieAndLola/ for more information.

We have a couple of new lines in the shop. New Ewe are a range of soaps and hand lotions made from Sheep's Milk - the same sheep milk we have for sale in the shop from February to August. Made from natural ingredients, they are very moisturising. Available in Green, Floral and Honey Scents. They make perfect gifts.  We also have some guest sized soaps in the Floral scent too.
http://www.newewespa.com/collections/all 

Trish is away next week, so a gentle reminder to stock up this week with quiches, scones, cakes and biscuits. We do have some stock in the freezer too.

As the colder weather is here, don't forget we have dry/seasoned Logs (£5), Kindling (£4) and Fire Lighters (75p for pack of 3).
 
Recipe of the week
 
This is a great dish to give you a little flavor of Christmas, and uses Sprout Tops which have just become available.

Tom Kerridge's sprout tops, chestnuts and bacon
 
Ingredients
 
500g picked and washed sprout tops
200g smoked streaky bacon cut into lardons
200g vacpac of chestnuts
100g butter
Salt and pepper
 
Method
 
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and cook the bacon until it is well browned and crispy. Add the chestnuts and cook until they start to break up a little. This will take about 2-3 minutes. Add the sprout tops and season. Stir until just wilted and serve straight away. This will only take a few minutes, be careful not to overcook them.

Don't forget to have a chat about your Christmas Food requirements, we can help!

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 
Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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Jerusalem Artichokes and Leeks now available!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Some very sad news this week, Philip Russell from Roxton passed away suddenly last week. He was a truly lovely gent, and grew wonderful vegetables two fields away from the shop in Roxton. Phil had actually retired (finally!) at the end of last Brussel Sprout season, but still called in for a chat. He will be truly missed - I counted over 250 people at his funeral in Tempsford this week.

Kate has dug the first of her Jerusalem Artichokes today, they are great roasted and in soups and stews.  We have plenty of freshly picked Calabrese, Spinach, Curly Kale and Cavalo Nero from Paul and Len in Bromham.

 

 

Did you have fun carving your pumpkins?  I had a couple of damaged ones from the shop - so I put them to good use! We had lot of Trick & Treaters round who appreciated them.

Potatoes this week are Wilja (25kg sacks), Maris Bard (Loose) and Maris Piper (7.5kg bags). We should be moving onto Picasso fairly soon.

Thanks again to Linda for being in the shop last week - I had a great time at the National Honey Show. Great learning for aspiring judges and beekeepers alike.

Trish has made Plain, Fruit and Cheese Scones this week, and the cakes are Chocolate and Carrot Cake.

Linda has been busy too, we have a new range of cushions in stock, some with Ducks, some with Stags. They are £6.50 each.

I have been busy making Spiced Pumpkin soup (Available from the chiller cabinet tomorrow), and I am hoping to make some Pumpkin Cake using the recipe from last weeks newsletter.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Researching recipes using cabbage this week I came across this on the Guardian Newspaper website. Perfect for cold evenings, lunchtimes and great for vegetarians and meat lovers too. A very versatile recipe.  

Caldo verde (Portuguese-style cabbage soup

This is a rustic Portuguese peasant soup made primarily with cabbage and potatoes. It's delicious, hearty and perfect for those cold winter months. If you like you can add some spicy sausages, pork or black pudding to satisfy your carnivorous side. Either way it tastes great.
Serves 4 as a hearty starter
 
Olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
Salt and black pepper
Spicy sausages, pork or black pudding (optional)
1 large cabbage, shredded
2 bay leaves
About 1.5-2 litres chicken, pork or vegetable stock
Extra virgin olive oil and smoked paprika to finish
 
1 Heat some olive oil in a medium pan and lightly cook the onion, garlic, celery and bay leaves until soft. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper and then pour in the stock and bring to the boil (this is the stage to add any meat if using). Turn to a simmer and then slowly cook the potatoes until tender.
 
2 Add the cabbage and cook for a further 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the heat and stand for 5 minutes. Season well to taste and divide between bowls.
 
2 Finish with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list
 






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Pumpkins, Pumpkins and more......... Vegetables as well as Pumpkins!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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It's almost Halloween, and time for carving pumpkins - and hopefully putting that lovely flesh to good use in a recipe or two! We have lots of pumpkins still available; small, medium and large - the prices range from £1.50 to £2 which are a lot less than a lot less than a lot of the supermarkets are charging.

Leeks are going to make an appearance this weekend for the first time this autumn, perfect timing to make soups and add to stews now that the evenings have turned much colder.

We have lots of Cauliflowers available this week, and a few of the green Romanesco Cauliflowers too.

We're getting through lots of local apples, this week we have Laxton Superb, which quite frankly, are superb!

 

 

I've been to the National Honey Show (at Sandown Park in Esher) on Wednesday and Thursday this week. It;s a great event - they had nearly 2000 entries this year! It really helps me gain experience in judging the various categories. This year I stewarded for one of the senior judges on the beeswax candle classes - really interesting and has got me all fired up to make more of my own. I'm back down there again tomorrow (Saturday) so thank you again to Linda for being in the shop.

I was able to pick up some lovely 'bee' related gift items, perfect as stocking fillers.  Linda has also been busy making aprons, the adult sized ones are £8.50 each and are fully lined and washable. Great to use yourself or as a present.

 

 

Recipe of the week

Once you've carved your pumpkin, it seems such a waste to throw the insides away. How about making this delicious cake?

Halloween pumpkin cake
 
Like carrot cake? Then try using up your leftover pumpkin in this clever traybake for Halloween
 
Ingredients
 
For the cake
300g self-raising flour
300g light muscovado sugar
3 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g sultanas
½ tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
200g butter, melted
zest 1 orange
1 tbsp orange juice
500g (peeled weight) pumpkin or butternut squash flesh, grated
 
For drenching and frosting
200g pack soft cheese
85g butter, softened
100g icing sugar, sifted
zest 1 orange and juice of half an orange
 
Method
 
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a 30 x 20cm baking or small roasting tin with baking parchment. Put the flour, sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, sultanas and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice, then mix with the dry ingredients till combined. Stir in the pumpkin. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 mins, or until golden and springy to the touch.
 
To make the frosting, beat together the cheese, butter, icing sugar, orange zest and 1 tsp of the juice till smooth and creamy, then set aside in the fridge. When the cake is done, cool for 5 mins then turn it onto a cooling rack. Prick it all over with a skewer and drizzle with the rest of the orange juice while still warm. Leave to cool completely.
 
If you like, trim the edges of the cake. Give the frosting a quick beat to loosen, then, using a palette knife, spread over the top of the cake in peaks and swirls. If you’re making the cake ahead, keep it in the fridge then take out as many pieces as you want 30 mins or so before serving. Will keep, covered, for up to 3 days in the fridge.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one, and have a fabulous Halloween!

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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Have you got your Pumpkins yet?

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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After the 'weird' weather at the beginning of the week, today was definitely feel autumnal. Time to break out rhe recipes for the thick, warming soups and stews. I am amazed that Paul in Bromham is still picking Courgettes, I thought that they were going to be finished well before our holiday. However, we have some again this week. We also have the first of the Parsnips and also Swede.  Despite a number of people asking, no we haven't got any Sprouts yet - should be around the beginning of December.

We had a lovely holiday in France, and as ever I am grateful to Linda (plus husband and grand-daughters) for keeping the shop open for you. For a change (!) I am in the shop all this week. Next week is the National Honey Show, and I am going to be there on the Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

 

 

 

Paul and Len in Bromham started cutting their Calabrese this week, I have to say it looks really fresh and crisp. I'm looking forward to making some Broccoli and Blue Cheese soup at some point soon.

Halloween is just around the corner, and we have plenty in stock, from the min ones shown in the picture, through to very large. Prices range from £1.25 to £2.  I know you can get pumpkins anywhere at the moment, and possibly cheaper too.  However these are grown in Bedfordshire, and are great to eat as well as carve.Please support your local growers!

 

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Pumpkin hummus
 
Throwing a Halloween party? Use a carved out pumpkin to make this creamy hummus. At other times of the year use butternut squash or a blue-skinned pumpkin.
 
Ingredients
 
1 small pumpkin  (about 500g)
olive oil , for roasting
2 garlic cloves, peeled
½ lemon , juiced
2 tbsp Tahini paste (available at most supermarkets)
400g can chickpeas, drained
 
Serve with
1 red pepper, deseeded, and sliced
1 yellow pepper, deseeded, and sliced
mini breadsticks and pitta chips
 
Method
 
Cut the top off the pumpkin, about two-thirds of the way up. Remove the pumpkin seeds, then scoop the flesh out of the bottom and the lid.
 
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the pumpkin flesh into pieces and put in a roasting tin with the garlic and a good glug of oil. Season, then bake for 45 mins until very tender. Leave to cool.
 
Tip the pumpkin into a food processor with any juices from the roasting tin and the garlic. Add the lemon juice, tahini paste and chickpeas. Season with salt and blend to a paste – add a little more oil if it's too thick. Scoop the hummus back into the pumpkin and serve with the peppers, breadsticks and pitta chips.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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Maris Pipers now available, Field Mushrooms and Honey recipes!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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A nice autumnal treat this week - Field Mushrooms! They will last the weekend, but do need eating up. Slice and fry with some butter, garlic and parsley - a perfect starter or lunch on a slice of toasted sour dough bread. Or an omelette, or soup - this list of possibilities is endless.

We now have Maris Piper potatoes in the 7.5kg bags, but still have Maris Bard in the 25kg sacks for those who love them - they make great roasties.

We've had some really lovely weather this week, so I still have salads in mind - Iceberg lettuces, tomatoes from our greenhouse, cucumbers from Edible Ornamentals. All fresh and crisp.

We had some great news this week, Southalls Butchers in Great Barford have found a new Butcher for the shop. From next week, they will be open from Tuesday to Saturday each week. I'm really pleased, as it means we will be able to have their lovely sausages and other things each week now.

 

 

On Friday evening (29th) Roxton Garden Centre are having their Christmas Shopping event, to launch their Christmas Displays. Entry is free, it is open from 5pm to 9pm. Up to 20% discounts apply on certain lines, worthwhile if you need new tree or outdoor lights for instance.

This Saturday we have two great events on locally, well worth a day out.
The Gransden & District Agricultural Show is a traditional local show, with rare breeds, show jumping, produce tents, food hall, and many other attractions. I will be there with a shop stand (in the Food Hall area), so Linda will be in the shop.
https://gransdenshow.org.uk/Gransden_Show/Home.html 

Also on at Woburn Abbey is their Honey Festival, featuring Bedfordshire Beekeepers Association Annual Honey Show. Danny is taking my entries over to this. Entry to the Abbey and Gardens also gets you into the Honey Festival. If you're at all interested in keeping bees, this is the place to bee.
http://www.woburnabbey.co.uk/events/shows-and-fairs/wwwwoburnabbeycoukhoneyfestival/

All returns to normal on Sunday - just before we head off on holiday. Linda will be in the shop next week, plus Weds 11th/Thursday 12th. 

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
The only problem with judging honey shows, is that you forget the stress the entrants go through getting their entries ready. Well I've had a dose of that last week and this - fingers crossed the judges like my entries this weekend!

Here are some of the things I have been making this week.

Honey Biscuits
 
175g Plain Flour
75g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g butter
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon milk
 
Pre-heat oven to 180C/Gas 5
Warm honey and milk together and allow to cool.
Add bicarbonate of soda and beat with a fork until frothy.
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add frothy mixture to cream/butter and then sieved flour. Mix well.
Roll into small balls.
Place onto greased baking tray (or parchment) and press slightly with a fork.
Bake on middle shelf of oven for 10 minutes until golden.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Honey Fudge
Ingredients:
1lb granulated sugar,
¼ pint fresh milk,
2oz butter,
up to 3oz honey.

Method:
Put all the ingredients into a heavy-based pan. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Cover and boil for 2 minutes. Uncover and boil gently for about 15 minutes until ‘soft ball’ stage is reached, at 115°C (240°F), still stirring all the time (A little dropped into cold water will form a ‘soft ball’).
Stand the pan on a cold surface for 5 minutes. Beat the mixture until it starts to thicken, then pour it quickly into a ready buttered tin. Mark out into squares as it cools and cut when cold.

Honey cake
 
Ingredients:
 
225g/8oz unsalted butter
250g/9oz clear honey plus about 2tbsp extra for glazing cake.
114g/4oz dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
280g/10oz self-raising flour
 
Method:
 
Preheat the oven to 160oC/Gas 3 (Fan 140oC/325oF).
 
Butter and line a 20cm/8” round cake tin. Paper Cake liners may be used.
Cut the butter and drop into a medium pan with the honey and sugar.
Melt slowly over a low heat.
When liquid, increase the heat under the pan and boil for about one minute. Leave to cool.
Beat the eggs into the cooled honey mixture using a wooden spoon.
Sift the flour into a large bowl and pour in the egg and honey mixture.
Beat until you have a smooth batter.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 mins-1 hour until the cake is well risen, golden brown and springs back when pressed. You can also check it is cooked by inserting a wooden or metal skewer and it should come out clean.
Turn the cake out onto a wire rack.
Warm the 2 tablespoons of honey and brush over the top of the cake to glaze; then leave to cool.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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Sacks of Potatoes now available in the shop

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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The weather is definitely moving towards Autumn, It makes me start to think about soups, stews and rib sticking/filling meals. Less salads and more potatoes! Luckily we are now able to get reasonably priced bags of potatoes now. The variety currently being filled is Maris Bard, soon to moving to Maris Piper. All grown locally in Bedfordshire.  The small bags weigh 7.5kg and are £5. The larger sacks are 25kg and are £8.

I thought that Courgettes would be finished by now, but there are still some around. Runner Beans have all but finished, there are a few French Beans still.

Thanks to Angela and Linda for being in the shop last weekend - Potton market was very busy during the morning, but we did have an unfortunate downpour just before we packed up - one of several that day! 
Sunday was really good - I was judging a Honey Show for Sutton Coldfield Beekeepers, over 100 entries which was a really good turnout.

This weekend Linda will be in the shop again. On Saturday I am attending the Bucks County Beekeepers Honey Show in High Wycombe, and on Sunday I am organising North Bucks Beekeepers Honey Show - it never stops this time of year!  In case you're wonderingwhat a Honey Show looks like, this was Medway Beekeepers Show from the other week.

 

 

Just a reminder that we do stock fresh milk in the shop.

From Debbie and Richard at Ouse Valley Dairies in Carlton near Bedford, we have pastuerised milk: Semi Skimmed and Full Fat plus cream. We usually have 1L bottles, but you can pre-order 1 pint, 1L and 2L bottles for all types.

From Angela Gary at Raw Milk Dairy we have unpasteurised milk. This is for customers pre-orders only - it must be ordered in advance. It comes in 1, 2 and 4 pint containers and is only available as Full Fat. Angela also makes drinking yogurt and cream also to order.

If you wish to pre-order milk, either email me at blackcatfarmshop@btinternet.com phone 07522 559010 or leave a message on the shop's Facebook page.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Sometimes you must need a cake, and this is really delicious.  Interesting how over the years this went from being called 'Flourless' to 'Gluten Free'. It does make use of Pears which are really good at the moment. 

Flourless chocolate & pear cake
 
A light, but luscious cake made with hazelnuts - serve a slice for dessert with a dollop of crème fraiche.
 
Ingredients
85g butter, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin
85g golden caster sugar, plus extra for tin
85g gluten-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tbsp brandy
3 eggs, separated
85g hazelnut, toasted and ground in a food processor
4 very ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
icing sugar, for dusting
 
Method
Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, remove from the heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick; fold into the chocolate with the hazelnuts.

In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you’ll have trouble folding them in). Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down.
Bake for 40 mins until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked all the way through. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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Super Sweetcorn - how do you like yours?

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Autumn fruits and veg are certainly coming along nicely. Last weekend we had the offer of three lots of grapes. Some from Woody in Wyboston, and the others from Adrienne in Marston Moretaine. They are all sweet and delicious.  I was impressed to see on Saturday late afternoon that Woody had also dropped off a Watermelon that he'd grown. Very impressive and so sweet. 

Thanks to Linda for looking after the shop last weekend. I had a great time on Saturday (judging Medway Beekeepers Honey Show) and Sunday (Warden Abbey Vineyard Open Day). It's another busy weekend coming up - on Saturday I will be at Potton Four Seasons Market (9-1) and Angela will be in the shop. On Sunday I'm popping up to Sutton Coldfield Beekeepers Honey Show, and Linda will be in the shop - certainly getting about the country this autumn!

 

 

Some things are heading to the end of their seasons. Beetroot in bunches are just about finished, so we will be selling them loose from this week. Paul has almost finished his courgette crop, and we won't have too many more runner beans - make the most of them while you can!

Dare I mention the 'C' word? The Garden Centre are holding their 'Christmas Shopping Evening' on Friday 29th September, from 5pm to 9pm. You need an invite, so if you can't get to the store to get one yourself please let me know, as I will have some in the shop.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
I love fresh sweetcorn, boiled for about 5 mins, then rolled in butter and freshly ground black pepper. However sometimes we have too much, and so I make this lovely soup. There are lots of versions about, I quite liked this one from Slimming World website, as it is not only delicious but Syn free too!

Sweetcorn Chowder
 
A deliciously creamy soup with sweetcorn and a hint of chilli and chives – this recipe serves 4.
 
Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped
1 small leek, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 fresh sweetcorn, sliced off the cob.
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1.2 litres boiling vegetable stock
1/2-1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
50g fat free natural Greek yogurt
10g fresh chives, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lime juice, to taste
 
Method
Put the onion into a large saucepan with the leek, potato, garlic, 2/3rds of the sweetcorn and the stock.
Bring to the boil over a high heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potato is very soft.
Cool slightly then pour into a food processor or liquidiser and whizz until smooth (it's best to do this in batches) or use a stick blender.
Return the soup to the pan, stir through the chilli and remaining sweetcorn and simmer for three minutes.
Remove from the heat, leave to cool a little then stir through the yogurt and chives.
Season to taste, add lime juice to taste and serve hot.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

It's feeling a bit like Autumn, but lots of good things still to come

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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It's certainly feeling a bit more autumnal now, schools have now gone back and the local strawberries have finished. However we still have things to look forward to - local apples and pears are ripening fast with a wide choice of varieties available. Paul in Bromham reports that Pumpkins should soon be available, he's only grown 5000 this year (!), they are great for soups and adding thickness to stews as well as roasting and baking in pies - can't wait to start looking up recipes.

As you know I am a Beekeeper - all the honey has been removed from the bees, and we are now treating them for the Varroa Mite - this tiny pest vectors viruses around the hive and from hive to hive. Treating them now, and again in Spring knocks the numbers down to a manageable level. Next job will be assessing their stores, and feeding them with sugar syrup for them to store. Each hive needs about 40lb in stores ready for winter - if we are lucky they can collect a lot of this themselves - Ivy is a great late source of both nectar and pollen - if you are planning to get rid of Ivy please do so later in the winter and give the bees a chance for a feed first!

you like Honey, and are maybe contemplating taking up Beekeeping, there are a couple of events on during September and October that are worth seeing. They may not be close to to, but are worth planning a day out around.

Saturday 30th September - Woburn Abbey & Gardens Honey Festival. Bedfordshire Beekeepers are holding their annual Honey Show there, and there will be lots of stalls and information stands. More info here http://www.woburnabbey.co.uk/events/shows-and-fairs/wwwwoburnabbeycoukhoneyfestival/ 

National Honey Show - Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th October, Sandown Park Racecourse. Here you can see the 'best of the best' of honey, beeswax and all things about bees. There are bookable talks and lectures and trade stands too. A fabulous day out! http://honeyshow.co.uk/ 
 

 

 

We have home grown garlic in the shop at the moment, and its very tasty! We also have a late autumn treat - Woody brought up a tray of Globe Artichokes this week, delicious (and half the price of Abel & Cole and Waitrose too!)

What else do we have available:

Salads: Beef, Medium and little Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Celery, Little Gem Lettuces, Salad Onions, Radishes.

Veg: Onions(Red, White), Cabbages (Red, White, Sweetheart), Cauliflowers, Spinach, Curly Kale, Cavalo Nero, Sweetcorn, Marrows, Beetroot, Beans (Flat, French, Runner), Carrots (Bunches, Loose), Chillies, Mushrooms, Butternut Squash, Potatoes, Globe Artichokes.

Fruit, Eating Apples, Cooking Apples.

The shop's freezer is getting a bit full, so we are offering all Frozen Bread at half the marked price (instead of the usual 10% off).

Just a reminder, Linda will be in the shop on Saturday (I'm judging Medway Beekeepers Honey Show in Gillingham), and Sunday. I'll be at Warden Abbey Vineyard Open Day - another great day out, bring plenty of cash for the wines sales as they don't take cards. 
http://www.wardenvineyard.org.uk/events

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
What to do with Globe Artichokes? They are a bit of work, but are so tasty that it's worth it.

Prepare it
To serve whole, cut the tough tips of the leaves off with scissors, holding the stalk to keep the artichoke steady. Using a knife, slice the base off, so that it will sit upright, before trimming off the pointed top (the younger the artichoke, the less you'll need to cut off). Pull the pale centre leaves out, then scoop the choke out with a spoon, without disturbing the heart underneath.
To prevent browning, drop each one in a bowl of water to which a little lemon juice has been added. Cook them in a pan of boiling salted water for 35-45 minutes (when they're ready you should easily be able to pull out a leaf). Drain upside down.
Iron, copper and aluminium cookware may cause artichokes to discolour; stainless steel, glass or enamel is better.

Store it
Globe artichokes are best eaten on the day they're bought, but will keep in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge for a couple of days.

Cook it
Artichoke hearts are easily available bottled in oil, and are great as part of an Italian anti pasti course. Otherwise, boil or steam the whole artichoke head, then pull the leaves off and dip them in hollandaise sauce, melted butter or garlic butter, drawing the leaf through your teeth to remove the tender flesh before discarding the rest. Or boil the head, pull out the central leaves, scoop out the choke and stuff with chopped garlic and parsley, grated parmesan and bread crumbs before drizzling with olive oil and baking in the oven.
They can also be barbecued or grilled: cut in half lengthways, remove the choke, brush with olive oil and grill for 30 minutes, until tender.

If you have a few artichokes, how about this idea?

Artichoke and bacon tart
 
For the crust
200g plain flour
90g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 generous pinch of salt
Ice-cold water, about 4-5 tbsp - just enough to make a soft dough
 
For the filling
6-8 artichokes, cooked as outlined on the preceding page
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4-6 rashers bacon (about 80g), cut into 2cm pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 egg yolks
200ml double cream
50g hard goat's cheese, grated
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
First make the pastry. Process together the flour, butter, oil and salt until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add just enough cold water for the mixture to come together into a soft dough. Press it straight into a lightly greased 24cm tart tin, using your hands and fingertips. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ gas mark 4. Prick the base of the pastry case all over with a fork, then line with baking parchment or foil, and fill with baking beans (or similar). Bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and beans, bake for another seven to eight minutes, then remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150C/300F/gas mark 2.
 
To make the filling, remove the meat from the artichokes' leaves and chop the hearts. Set aside. Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan, sauté the bacon until crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Tip the onion into the frying pan and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
 
Beat together the egg yolks and cream in a bowl, then add the artichoke, bacon, onion, two thirds of the cheese, parsley and thyme, and season. Pour into the tart shell and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the filling is set and the pastry is golden.


Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
www.blackcatfarmshop.co.uk
www.facebook.com/blackcatfarmshop
Open Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4
 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Black Cat Farm Shop, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list
 

'Tis the season for Sweetcorn! 

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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A long awaited, end of summer treat, has finally arrived! We have freshly picked sweetcorn in the shop - and I just had to have one for my dinner last night. So sweet and juicy! They'll be around for a good month - what's your favourite way of eating them?  I love the plain boiled with butter and black pepper. However Sweetcorn Chowder is also a favourite soup too.

The Victoria Plums have now finished, and the last of the greengages will also go this weekend too. Lots of apples and pears now available, with more varieties ripening each week.

Woody (who grows the asparagus) has lots of grapes on his vines this year. They are a bit too small for eating, however they are perfect for making grape jelly and wine with. If you are interested in having some please let me know , and we can arrange it.

 

 

 

We are about to enter the 'silly season' of honey shows and other events that will take me out of the shop. I'll let you know week by week what's happening, and who will be in the shop if I am not there. Our opening times will not change, they are:
Wednesday 10-4
Thursday 10-4
Friday 9-4
Saturday 9-4
Sunday 10-4

I am at the shop all this coming weekend, but next week on Saturday 9th I'll be at Medway Beekeepers Honey Show (Nr Gillingham), and at Warden Abbey Vineyard (Nr BIggleswade) on Sunday 10th. Linda will be in the shop both days.

Still plenty of Runner Beans (some our own, some from Eileen in Wyboston), and Tomatoes (some from Maria in Blunham, some from Much Hadham in Herts). 

I had a great session with Maria this morning, she taught me how to make Passata the tradtional Italian way. I'm really happy with the results, but will keep most of this batch at home. Hopefully in mid-September I'll be able to get some more tomatoes from her and will make more for the shop.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
I really couldn't get inspired - recipe wise, this week. So I am going back to an old favourite, and timely as there should be plenty of local honey around to use.  This easily lasts a week in an airtight tin, so perfect for weekends, and also back to work/school packed lunches.

Honey Flapjack

4oz Butter
2oz Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons Honey

8oz Porridge Oats.

Pre-heat the oven to 160C (Gas 4). 
Line an 8" square tin.

Melt the butter, sugar and honey together gently.
Take off the heat and stir in the porridge oats, until well mixed.
Press into the tin into a flat even layer.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, mark into pieces, and allow to cool in the tin before cutting.

You can replace 1oz of the oats with nuts or dried fruits (chopped up small). I sometimes do 4oz oats and 4oz m