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Pumpkins and Squashes available now

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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It's the season for Pumpkins and Squashes. We've got a great selection, all locally grown of Pumpkins, Butternut Squashes, Crown Prince Squash and Flat Butternuts. All are delicious to eat - yes you can carve them for Halloween, but don't waste the gorgeous flesh. There's a great party recipe further on.

Tonight was the Campaign for Protection of Rural England (Bedfordshire branch) Awards Ceremony.  This group recognises the work done across the county by businesses, groups, volunteers, charities and schools. I am very happy to report that within the 'Local Food & drink' Category, the Black Cat Farm Shop was awarded a 'Highly Commended' certificate - in recognition of the number and range of local suppliers used to stock the shop. I am so pleased, especially for all my suppliers who make this possible. In particular I am really chuffed for Mrs Middletons, Wooden Hill Coffee and Bevistan Dairy (all suppliers) who received the CPRE Marque, and Companions Real Bread who received a Highly Commended too.  This evenings reinforces my view that Bedfordshire is a great county to live, work in and visit.
 

 

 

We have a new recycling scheme in the shop. A Wyboston resident wanted to support her daughters 'Eco' school project. We are now one of about 6 drop off points around the St Neots area.  We can take any batteries, and we promise they will be recycled responsibly.  This is also a timely reminder that we also are a collecting point for old printer cartridges and old mobile phones.

We had a great day at the Gransden Agricultural Show last Saturday. What a shock to the system the early frost was though! I was lucky enough to win the Honey Trophy again, I was chuffed to bits.   Gransden is a great place to catch up with customers and friends - for a small show it has a great atmosphere and this year was packed.

We are off on holiday tomorrow (Thursday), so Linda will be in the shop looking after you.  Lots of lovely veg, and even a few last raspberries!

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Baked pumpkin fondue
 
Feeding a crowd on Bonfire night or Halloween? Roast a whole pumpkin or squash and fill with a bubbling three cheese fondue.
 
Ingredients
1 whole squash or pumpkin - choose a size to match the number of people you want to feed
small roasted or boiled potatoes, to serve
crusty bread, to serve
breadsticks, to serve
chicory leaves, to serve
 
For 300ml of fondue
100g emmental, grated
100g gruyère, grated
100g mature cheddar, grated
1 tbsp cornflour
100g crème fraîche
2 tbsp white wine
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
 
Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Start to prepare your pumpkin as you would for carving: cut off a ‘lid’ and scoop out all the seeds and membranes. Put the lid back on and sit the whole pumpkin on a sturdy baking tray. Bake following our size guide (see 'Tip', below left).
     

Mix the grated cheeses with the cornflour until completely coated and no excess flour remains. Remove the pumpkin from the oven, discard the lid (or scrape off the roasted flesh and save for the Squidgy pumpkin & ginger loaf, see 'Goes well with') and increase the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Layer up the cheese, crème fraîche, white wine, shallot and garlic inside the pumpkin. Lift back into the oven and bake for 30 mins or until the fondue is melted and bubbling. Eat with spoons, scooping out chunks of soft, roasted pumpkin with the melted cheese.
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.

Autumn is upon us, out go aubergines and peppers, in come Pumpkins and Squashes

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Thank you to everyone who brought apples, pears and grapes into the shop over the last couple of weeks.  We’ve got quite a few baskets of them, so if you need some please pop in soon.
 
The ‘silly season’ of honey shows continues – last week I co-judged at the Bucks County show in Aylesbury, stewarded (and put entries in) on Saturday 22nd at Bedfordshire’s show at Woburn Abbey, and then organised (and put entries in) the North Bucks show in Buckingham. Yesterday I judged the North London Beekeepers show, and Sunday I will be judging Enfield Beekeepers show. We then have a week’s holiday in Normandy, then onto High Wycombe honey show and the National Honey show – phew!

A Quick reminder - this Friday being the last in the month, means that we will a selection of bread from Companions Real Bread in Bedford. Mostly Sour Dough they are very delicious and very popular - if you'd like one put aside please let me know.

 

 

This Saturday coming (29th) is also Gransden Show -a great day out for all the family. More info at www.gransdenshow.co.uk I will be having my usual stall in the Food Hall area.  I’ve also got entries in the Produce tent – fingers crossed!  Linda will be in the shop and will also be there on Sunday whilst I am in Enfield.
 
In the shop this week we have the first of the pumpkins from Paul and Len in Bromham. Large ones are going to be quite scarce this autumn thanks to the dry summer but should be plentiful.  Paul’s ones are great to carve, but even better to cook with. I’ll be sorting some great recipes out for the next few weeks, the first being Pumpkin Soup which is further down this newsletter.
 
Salad things are coming to the end, not many more weeks of peppers, aubergines and rocket. However, we have plenty of great autumn veg (Cavalo Nero and Curly Kale, Spinach, Cabbages, Cauliflowers, Carrots).  If you like making your own pickles, we have small onions and red cabbage – perfect for pickling.

 

 

Recipes of the week
 
Creamy pumpkin & lentil soup
 
Whether you're carving a Halloween pumpkin or have picked up another type of squash, use the plentiful flesh and seeds in this soup.
 
Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
approx 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus the seeds
100g split red lentil
½ small pack thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
1l hot vegetable stock
pinch of salt and sugar
50g crème fraîche, plus extra to serve
 
Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme, then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. Remove any flesh still clinging to them, then dry them with kitchen paper. Heat the 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently, but cover the pan in between to keep them in it. When the seeds look nutty and toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar, and stir well.
  3. Whizz the cooked pumpkin mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and whizz again. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a few thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.

 
Melanzane parmigiana
I couldn’t resist including this recipe to make the best use of the last aubergines and tomatoes. 
This classic bake with tomato, aubergine and vegetarian mozzarella and Parmesan-style cheese is ideal for entertaining.  It can easily sit for up to 24 hours in the fridge, so is perfect when you need to make things ahead for busy evenings.
 
 
Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 thyme sprigs
8 large sage leaves, finely chopped
4 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp golden caster or granulated sugar
6 large aubergines, sliced lengthways as thinly as you can
100g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, finely grated
85g white breadcrumb
50g pine nuts
2 x 125g balls vegetarian mozzarella cheese, torn into small chunks
handful basil leaves
 
Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (or wide saucepan), add the garlic, thyme and sage, and cook gently for a few mins. Tip in the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar, and gently simmer for 20-25 mins until thickened a little.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a griddle (or frying) pan. Brush the aubergine slices on both sides with olive oil, then griddle in batches. You want each slice softened and slightly charred, so don’t have the heat too high or the aubergine will char before softening. Remove to a plate as you go.
  3. In a large baking dish, spread a little of the tomato sauce over the base. Mix 25g of the Parmesan with the breadcrumbs and pine nuts, and set aside. Top the sauce with a layer or two of aubergine slices, then season well. Spoon over a bit more sauce, then scatter over some mozzarella, Parmesan and basil leaves. Repeat, layering up – and finish with the last of the tomato sauce. Scatter over the cheesy breadcrumbs and chill for up to 24 hrs, or bake straight away.
  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Bake for 30-40 mins until the top is crisp and golden, and the tomato sauce bubbling. Rest for 10 mins, then scatter with basil leaves and serve with salad and focaccia


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.

Do you have a surplus of Apples and Pears? We need some!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Apologies for the lack of newsletter last week, time got the better of me. Hopefully this was worth the wait!
 
We’re well into Autumn now, and continuing to deal with the gluts of courgettes, beans and tomatoes.  We are very short of apples (eating and cooking) and pears – do you have a surplus of good quality ones (i.e. not windfalls)? Would you like to swap some for something else, or sell them to us? Please get in touch if you can help.
 
We now have main crop potatoes (Maris Piper) and carrots.  We’ve also got some small onions that are perfect for pickling, and a selection of chillies from Edible Ornamentals.
 

 

 

Last Sunday was Warden Abbey Vineyard Open Day – very breezy but a nice and warm and dry meant that lots of people attended. It was nice to see so many shop customers there too.
 
This Saturday I am being let out of the shop (again!) for Potton Four Seasons market. Being held in their market square from 9-1 this is another well attended event. Hope to see you there.  Danny will be in the shop this time.  Being September, it is also time for Honey Shows. My first one judging was last Monday up in Solihull, I will also be in Aylesbury, Buckingham, High Wycombe and of course the National Honey Show at the end of October at Sandown Park.  I can thoroughly recommend the Bedfordshire Beekeepers Honey Show and Festival at Woburn Abbey on Saturday 22nd September.
 
We had a new delivery of sweets from the new owners of Sweetie Love last week – old favourites of Raspberry Marshmallow and Salted Caramel Fudge. We also have Belgian Milk chocolate covered peanuts (my favourite!) and a Dark Salted Caramel Fudge which uses brown sugar – proving popular already.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Italian stuffed Courgettes
 
This makes use of another autumn glut – courgettes. Pack courgettes with pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, breadcrumbs and herbs then oven bake for a healthy veggie dish. You can add some diced cooked bacon, and even a little chopped up Chilli if you like.  I made this last weekend, and it was delicious!
 
This serves 4 as a side dish, or 2 as a main course/lunch.
 
Ingredients
4 courgettes halved lengthways. Scoop out some of the insides to make a boat shape.
3 tsp rapeseed oil
mixed salad, to serve
 
For the stuffing
50g dried white breadcrumbs
50g pine nuts
6 spring onions trimmed and finely sliced
1 garlic clove crushed
6 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
1 tbsp thyme leaves
25g parmesan or vegetarian/vegan alternative, finely grated
 
Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Place the courgettes in a single layer in a shallow ovenproof dish, fairly tightly together, cut-side up. Brush lightly with 1 tsp oil and bake for 20 mins.
  2. To make the stuffing, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season with lots of black pepper.
  3. Pack the stuffing in the courgettes and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake for a further 10-15 mins or until the courgettes are softened and the topping is golden and crisp. Serve hot with a mixed salad.


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.

Eating the Rainbow

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Hello all. Very sorry that there hasn’t been an e-newsletter for the last couple of weeks. Things have been a bit busy with lots of fruit and veg needing attention, plus honey to extract and the bees to sort out.
We’ve lots of new things in the shop - a veritable rainbow of fruit and veg. This week we have Victoria Plums, Greengages and Damsons. We’ve also got some lovely autumn raspberries and strawberries - hopefully we’ll have some locally grown grapes next week, along with some apples too.
Potato prices are going to be a lot higher this year. Because of the prolonged drought, crops are very small - even where they were able to be irrigated.

 

 

So what have I been making in the shop over the last few weeks? Well the mint sauce and mint jelly were finished for the Manor House, plus the pickled walnuts. A box of horseradish roots arrived last week, I have my goggles and mask ready for when I deal with those! 
I’ve also been bottling lots of jars of honey for a customers wedding favours. 
Linda's husband has just published his first book, copies are available from the shop at £10 each. Profits are being split between Sue Ryder Home in Moggerhanger, and the charity CALM.  It's a very interesting read, set in Bedford.

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Lighter aubergine Parmigiana
 
Serves 4 -  bake the aubergines and use creamy ricotta in this healthy version of Parmigiana di Melanzane - far lower in fat and calories than the original, but it tastes just as good.
 
Ingredients
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus 1 tsp
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 aubergines (750g/1lb 10oz total weight), stalk ends trimmed, cut into 1cm/½ in lengthways slices
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400g can plum tomatoes
225g can plum tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
100g ricotta
50g mozzarella, torn into small pieces
handful basil leaves, roughly torn
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
25g parmesan, grated
 
Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Measure the 2 tbsp of oil into a small bowl. Brush just a little of it onto 2 large, non- stick baking sheets (if you only have 1 tray, bake the aubergines in batches). Mix the lemon juice into the measured oil. Lay the aubergine slices snugly in a single layer on the baking sheets, brush the tops with half the oil and lemon, season with pepper and bake for 20 mins. Turn the slices over, give the remaining oil and lemon mixture a good stir as it will have separated, and brush it over again. Season with pepper and bake for 10-15 mins more or until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tsp oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 3-4 mins, stirring often, until the onion is softened and starting to brown. Tip in the cans of tomatoes, stir to break them up, then mix in the purée, pepper and a pinch of salt. Simmer uncovered for about 10-12 mins until thickened and saucy, then stir in the oregano.
  3. Spread a little of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish (about 25 x 20 x 5cm). Start by laying a third of the aubergine slices widthways across the dish, spread over a third of the remaining sauce and put half the ricotta on top in small spoonfuls, then half the mozzarella. Scatter over half the torn basil and season well with pepper. Repeat the layering of aubergine slices, tomato sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and basil, and finish with the final aubergine slices, the sliced tomatoes and the last of the sauce. Season with pepper and scatter over the Parmesan. Bake for about 20 mins, or until the cheese is golden and the juices are 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


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.

Last few days of Cherries, Sour Dough Bread and French Beans!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Hello All. Apologies there was no newsletter last week – the heat was getting a bit much. Life is so much more comfortable now, and what a glorious (remind me of that in the winter!) afternoon of rain we had yesterday!
Today is Sour Dough bread day from Jo’s Loaves – hence me being up early to write this. It seems to be working well getting bread on the last Friday from Companions Real Bread in Bedford, and from Jo on the second Friday, both types are delicious.
Companions Real Bread are a CIC (Community Interest Group), whose main aim is to help ex-offenders gain valuable work experience by volunteering, giving something back to the community and gaining support from the whole team. It is an excellent way to help them re-settle into the community. I have had stalls alongside them at several events and they are a great bunch of people.
Yesterday I had a visit from the CPRE (Campaign for Protection of Rural England – Beds branch) judges for their 2018 Awards. It was a real pleasure to show the round the shop and the kitchen extension, talk about the fantastic products we get from local suppliers, and about the shops plans. We now have a bit of a wait – the awards ceremony is on 3rd October.

 

 

 

So, what is in the shop this week? Well we have a few cherries left – the Aspley Guise cherries harvest finished last Sunday, they’ve been a real treat. If you’ve been in the shop you may have noticed that we’ve had a sign up about our prices. A couple of people have commented that the cherries were ‘expensive’ at £8kg. Linda and I did a bit of research and found that actually we are at least £1-2 cheaper per kg than Tesco, Sainsburys, M&S and Waitrose. Yes, Lidl do have them at £5kg but they are imported ones from Spain.   This clearly demonstrates that buying fruit and vegetables that are locally produced and in season are the most cost-effective way to buy, plus they have very few food miles.
Thanks to everyone who returned the plastic pots that had strawberries in. We have washed them thoroughly and have re-used them for the cherries. We haven’t had to buy any new pots this year at all. And on the subject of recycling, when the current batch of plastic carrier bags runs out, we will be replacing them with strong paper ones. As they are a lot more expensive a 5p charge will be introduced. However, as over 90% of customers now bring their own bags, I am confident that this will not be a problem to most people.
Preserve making for the Manor House in Ayot St Lawrence is going well – lots of Mint Sauce and Mint Jelly have been made. Walnuts are still brining – they will be going into pickling vinegar next week.
We have loads of French Beans at the moment. A quick look through a well-known supermarket comparison site shows that most of them are more expensive than us, ours are £3.50kg – you get a lot for your money.
A bit of a plea here – the late cold/wet spring has meant that lots of fruit crops are almost non-existent this year.  If you have any Plums, Greengages or Damsons – please consider us if you have a surplus. I can help pick if necessary and can collect within a reasonable distance.

 

 

Recipe of the week

This Mediterranean inspired summer/autumn tart is packed full of flavour. It also makes great use of the annual glut of tomatoes and courgettes that we are forever trying to find new ways of using up.
You can use any goats cheese or vegetarian soft cheese. I used Wobbly Bottom’s ‘Soft Goats Cheese with Garlic’.  If you’re not a fan of aubergines, then just replace it with more courgettes or tomatoes, or even slices of peppers (slice and roast alongside the courgettes).
This serves 6, and can be served warm or cold, making it a perfect lunch or picnic item. Enjoy!
 
Ingredients
1 long, thin aubergine
2 courgettes
3 large salad tomatoes
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus more to serve
1 x 125g log soft goats’ cheese
2 tbsp crème fraîche (or milk)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp chopped basil, plus leaves to serve
1 x 320g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
125g sunsoaked tomatoes in oil, drained
1 egg, beaten to glaze
Sea salt flakes
 
Method

  1. Heat the oven to 240°C, fan 220°C, gas 9. Cut the aubergine, courgettes and tomatoes into 5mm slices. Lay the courgette and aubergine slices out on a couple of large baking sheets and brush them on both sides with 1½ tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Season, roast for 10 minutes until starting to soften, then leave to cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pat the tomato slices dry and leave to drain on kitchen paper.
  2. Put a large baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven to heat up. Mash the goats’ cheese, crème fraiche (or milk), garlic and chopped basil in a small bowl with a fork. Season well.
  3. Unroll the puff pastry sheet on a floured work surface and roll out further in one direction to make a square about 3mm thick, then trim off the corners to make a round disc, about 30cm in diameter. Transfer the pastry circle to a large piece of baking paper so that it’s easier to move once it’s assembled.
  4. Spread the goats’ cheese mixture over the centre of the pastry, leaving a 5cm border all round. Layer up slices of courgette, aubergine and tomato and arrange on top of the filling in a spiral or concentric circles. Nestle in the sunsoaked tomatoes here and there.
  5. Drizzle with another ½ tablespoon of oil, and fold in the sides to overlap the filling slightly, making a 3-4cm wide crust. Brush the crust with egg, sprinkle with a little salt and slide the tart, on its paper, onto the hot baking tray in the oven (using a board to help move it from worktop to oven can be useful). Cook for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden, and the veg have softened. Pierce the pastry with the tip of a knife if it has domed, then leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. Scatter with basil and drizzle with more oil to 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


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.

 

 

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Too hot to cook? We've loads of salads to make life simpler

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Whilst this hot weather has been really lovely, I must admit that I am hoping it breaks soon. On Tuesday there was a fire in one of the fields in Wyboston – the wheat crop and a large amount of hedging and trees have been lost, but no-one was hurt. Please be careful when discarding cigarette butts – things are tinder dry at the moment.
Cooking isn’t at the top of everyone’s lists at the moment, so I have increased the amount of salads available. We have Little Gem lettuces, Rocket, Spinach, 4 types of tomatoes, 2 types of cucumbers, salad onions, celery, aubergines, peppers and the first of the chilli crops from Edible Ornamentals. We have Padron Chillies available – mostly very mild, lovely stuffed with cream cheese (or soft goats cheese), wrapped in bacon and baked. Beware though, about 1 in 10 can be hot!
Tomorrow (Friday) we are having our second batch of Sour Dough breads from Companions Real Bread in Bedford, hopefully this is going to be a regular order for the last Friday of the month, complementing Jo’s Loaves on the 2nd Friday.
 

 

 

I have taken on a bit of a challenge – I have been approached by the Manor House in Ayot St Lawrence to make preserves for the house, local pub and Christmas hampers – all from produce grown in their gardens. I’m really looking forward to this, my first delivery arrived today – several huge sacks of mint to make sauce and jelly, and walnuts to be pickled. Lots of different things for me to make, it should be fun!
I’ve a couple of new things in the shop – some Elephant Garlic grown by Mr Mistry in Luton. It’s huge! It will last at least until Christmas, so worth investing in a bulb.
I’ve also got some bunches of their home-grown Coriander. This herb is wonderful in all sorts of dishes. Its also great if you wash and dry it, and finely chop it. Put it in small bags in the freezer (remove as much air as possible) and stir into your favourite curry or even carrot soup.
Lots of different tomatoes from Maria in Blunham and Woody in Wyboston – please pop in and have a browse.
We still have plenty of cherries, they have about 10 days left of picking. Strawberries have also recovered, we have 400g punnets for £2.25 and they’re really nice. Don’t forget we also sell cream!

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Sweet potato wedges with coriander pesto
This is great made with Sweet Potatoes, but you can use ordinary potatoes too. Very quick and easy to make.
Serves 1

Ingredients
For the sweet potato wedges
1 sweet potato, cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the coriander pesto
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 handfuls fresh coriander leaves
 
Method
Preheat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4.

  1. Blanch the sweet potato wedges in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet, drizzle over the oil and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to the oven to roast for 6-8 minutes, or until tender.
  2. For the coriander pesto, place all of the coriander pesto ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  3. Serve the sweet potato chips stacked on a plate with the coriander pesto drizzled around the outside.



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.

Cherries, lovely Cherries!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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And so, the hot weather continues, although thunderstorms have been forecast for this afternoon. Let’s hope for some steady rain to give the farmers and growers a bit of respite.

We are really in the thick of it now, with new season crops coming along really well.  This week we have the first of the Cavalo Nero, and Curly Kale’s from Paul and Len in Bromham. Both crops will be producing well right through to the winter.

We have Scottish strawberries this week. The local ones are still affected by the hot dry weather; however Scotland has had it slightly cooler.  They are £2.75 for 400g punnet so are competitively priced against most supermarkets.

The pride of the fruit crop at the moment is of course, the Cherries from Aspley Guise. When the orchard was set up, they included irrigation. Most years it isn’t needed, but has been vital this year.  We should have cherries for at least another 2 weeks, possibly more.

Last years apples are pretty ropy now, so we won’t have any more in the shop until the new season ones start – usually Discovery are the first variety available by the end of August.
 

 

 

Trish is still away, but we have home (or rather shop) made scones (plain and fruit) and brownies (chocolate and flaked almond, and chocolate and raspberry).

Just a little reminder, all Bread and Meat in the freezer is sold at 10% off marked price. We currently have quite a few packs of sausages in there, so have a look next time you are in.

Some very nice news this week: the Campaign for Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Bedfordshire branch are holding their bi-annual Living Countryside Awards this coming October. I entered the shop in the ‘Local Food & Drink’ Category. I have been informed that we are on the short list, and that the judges will be making contact soon to come and see how we operate, and how we support a large number of local businesses. Fingers crossed - the award ceremony is being held in early October.

So in stock this week are:
Vegetables: Red and White Cabbages, Sweetheart Cabbages, Cauliflowers, Red and White (new season) onions, French and Runner Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, new potatoes (Cornish and Wyboston), Marrows, Courgettes, Spinach, Aubergines, Cavalo Nero, Curly Kale, bunched Carrots, bunched and loose Beetroot, mushrooms.

Salads: Little Gem lettuces, cucumbers (Large and Mini), Tomatoes (Cherry, Beef and Salad), Salad Onions, Celery, Rocket, Peppers.

Fruit: Cherries, Strawberries, desert Gooseberries, Raspberries. 

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Cherry swirl cheesecake

Swirls of cherries ensure this sublime cheesecake has a summer flavour, perfect for a sunset dinner party outside

Ingredients
For the base
50g butter, plus extra for greasing
140g shortbread biscuits
1 tbsp golden syrup
 
For the filling
350g cherries, 200g of them stoned
225g caster sugar
500g medium-fat soft cheese
1 tbsp cornflour
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest 1 orange
200ml tub crème fraîche
icing sugar, for dusting
 
 
Method
Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter a loose-based 20cm cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Break up the biscuits, then pulse to fine crumbs in a food processor. Melt the butter with the syrup, then stir into the crumbs until they are evenly damp. Tip into the prepared tin and smooth with the back of a dessertspoon. Bake for 10 mins, then leave to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2.
 
Tip the stoned cherries into the rinsed-out food processor with 85g of the sugar. Blend until smooth, then tip into a small pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-6 mins, stirring, until it forms a thick syrup. Cool.
 
Rinse out the food processor again, then tip in the cheese, cornflour, eggs, remaining sugar, vanilla, orange and half the crème fraîche. Blend until smooth. Spoon half the mix into the tin, then spoon half the cherry purée evenly over the top. Spoon the remaining cheesecake mix over this. Stir the mix gently with a fine skewer to swirl the cherry purée through it. Bake for 45 mins, then turn the oven off and leave for 30 mins.
 
Spread the remaining crème fraîche over the filling, then spoon the remaining cherry purée into the centre. Using a fine skewer draw the cherry purée through the crème fraîche to make a star pattern, wiping the skewer each time. Set the reserved cherries around the edge of the cheesecake, then dust with icing sugar. Chill until ready to 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


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.

Local Cherries are here!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Sorry there wasn’t a newsletter last week – we had a great holiday in the Forest of Dean, but things got pretty hectic after we returned (Picking fruit, Beekeeping etc).  I hope you have all survived the heatwave – it’s very nice to have a few cooler days, but we really do need some rain.  All the farmers (animals and vegetables) are desperate, things are beginning to suffer.  One crop affected is the strawberries. The early crops have now finished, but the later ones have not grown as expected. For the last two weeks I’ve broken my own rule about imported products and had some Dutch strawberries.  They are excellent quality but more expensive. Hopefully we will be able to have some English ones again soon.
 
Broad Beans have now finished as has the Asparagus. The Eating and Cooking apples are just about finished now until the new season ones start in August. Here’s a list of what we have this week:
 
Vegetables: New Potatoes, Marrow, Courgettes, French Beans, Flat Beans, Runner Beans, Bunched Carrots, Bunched and Loose Beetroot, Cauliflowers, Green Red and White Cabbages, White and Red onions, garlic, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Aubergines.
 
Fruit: Strawberries, Raspberries, Dessert (Pink) Gooseberries and as of today (Thursday 12th) Cherries!
 
Salads: Little Gem Lettuces, Rocket, Spinach, Salad Beef and Cherry tomatoes, Large and Mini Cucumbers, Celery, Salad Onions, Radishes, Peppers.
 

 

 

Trish is away this week and next, so no regular quiches, scones or small cakes. However, I will be doing some baking myself to bridge the gap. We do have a small selection in the freezer.
 
During this hot weather I have been a bit concerned about our four-legged friends who visit the shop. We now have a water bowl by the entrance changed daily – and when a dust cloud from the car park engulfs us. Which does remind me – if you are driving to the shop, please drive slowly through the car park – it is very dusty.
 
We are still getting the Sheeps Milk Yogurt and Cheeses from Bevistan Dairy. The Yogurt is thick and creamy, the cheese is firm enough to slice and even grate. Bev has also introduced a Smoked Cheese in the last few weeks which is really delicious. Be warned though, they stop milking the sheep in August, so we only have a few more weeks of these lovely goodies left for this year.
 

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
Pistachio pavlovas with cherry compote and vanilla yoghurt cream
 
There's no better way to complete a barbecue feast than with these individual pistachio pavlovas topped with cherry compote and vanilla yoghurt cream.
 
INGREDIENTS
 
4 large free-range egg whites
225g caster sugar
1½ tsp cornflour
¾ tsp white wine vinegar
50g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
 
For the cherry compote
 
200g caster sugar
225ml orange juice
3 tbsp lemon juice
600g cherries, stalks removed, pitted
 
For the vanilla yogurt cream
 
250ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (the delicious. team use Taylor & Colledge, from Waitrose)
4 heaped tbsp Greek-style natural yogurt
 
METHOD
01.First, make the pistachio pavlovas. Preheat the oven to 140°C/fan120°C/gas 1. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper.


02.Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a large, very clean mixing bowl until they form stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, to make a very stiff and shiny meringue. Gradually whisk in the cornflour and vinegar, then fold in all but a generous heaped tbsp of the chopped pistachios.


03.Drop 6 large tbsp of the mixture, spaced well apart, onto the baking sheet. Then, using the back of a spoon, spread each one out into a 10cm round, making a slight dip in the middle as you do so. Sprinkle each with a few of the reserved pistachios and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and leave them to cool inside.


04.Meanwhile, make the cherry compote. Put the sugar in a pan with the orange and lemon juices, then leave over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cherries, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes until they are just tender. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the cooked cherries into a small bowl, then return the pan to the heat and boil rapidly until the juices have reduced by about half. Leave to cool slightly, then pour back over the cherries and chill until needed.


05.Just before serving, whip the cream and vanilla bean paste into soft peaks, then fold in the yogurt. Spoon some into the centre of each pavlova, top with the cherry compote and serve. Any leftover compote is wonderful spooned over vanilla ice cream or served topped with natural yogurt.


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.

Strawberries in short supply

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Just a quick note from sunny Gloucestershire to let you know a couple of things. 

Linda is in the shop whilst we’re away, usual opening hours. 

Strawberries are in short supply for a few weeks, there is a gap between crops that the dry weather hasn’t helped. 

There aren't any UK cauliflowers this week either. Plenty of salad stuff, Flat Beans, Broad Beans and New potatoes. 

Cherries from Aspley Guise are starting to be picked on 12th July - A real taste of summer!

 

I was going tell you about a new bread supplier for the shop, Companions Real Bread from Bedford. They specialise in Sour Dough Bread. We’re planning on having their bread on the last Friday of the month (we have Jo’s Loaves on the 2nd Friday). Before Linda had a chance to photograph them they’d all sold out! More news about this new line next week. 

 

Recipe of the week

Broad Bean Hummus 

This is a summery take on a classic hummus recipe. If you can’t get fresh broad beans, frozen work well too.

Ingredients

450g/1lb fresh broad beans, podded weight

100g/3½oz tinned chickpeas, drained reserving 6 tbsp of the liquid from the can

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 heaped tbsp tahini

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp salt

pinch ground cumin

pinch ground white pepper

pinch caster sugar (optional)

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

To serve

1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

melba toasts

 

Method

Cook the podded broad beans in a pan of boiling, salted water for a minute or two, or until tender. Drain and cool in iced water.

Once cold, the beans are ready to drain and re-pod (double podding stage): remove the skin from the bright green beans.

Place the broad beans (saving a few for garnish), chickpeas, crushed garlic, tahini paste, lemon juice, salt, cumin, white pepper and caster sugar, if using, in a fou od processor and blend until smooth, loosening with the reserved chickpea liquor.

As the mix continues to purée, slowly pour in the olive oil until completely combined.

Serve the homemade broad bean hummus spooned or piped into a bowl, topped with the saved broad beans, toasted sesame seeds and a little drizzle of olive oil with the melba toast.


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.

Fresh Flat Beans in the shop, plus a new range of Doggie Treats

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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We all had a great time on Saturday, I should have ordered more strawberries – sorry if you came into the shop on Saturday afternoon or Sunday and found none.  Taste Bedford was a great event again. Even more stalls of local produce, more street food stalls, great music and most importantly loads of customers. Even the sun came out, and the rain stayed away. A perfect day.  One thing I really noticed was the complete lack of litter on the site at the end of the day – there were lots of bins on site, but most people seemed to be taking their litter home.

Linda had a really good morning at Potton market – lots of customers there too.

Danny was really busy in the shop too, thanks to everyone who came in.

Thank you to Danny and Linda for making it such a great day.

New into the shop this week, Beetroot in bunches, Radishes and Flat Green Beans, plus a few Pentland Javelin New Potatoes from Mick in Wyboston.
 

 

 

Linda will be in the shop from Saturday for a week whilst we have a break, we’re off to the Forest of Dean, an area we’ve never visited before.  The shop will be open usual hours, but please note most of the fruit and veg are being delivered at lunchtime on Wednesday, so perhaps time your visit for a bit later that day if you want anything fresh.  All other deliveries will be as normal.
 
Wednesday 10-4
Thursday 10-4
Friday 9-4
Saturday 9-4
Sunday 9-4


We have a new range of Doggie Treats in the shop. Hand made by Sharon who lives in Great Denham. They are Gluten Free, and apparently dogs love them! I love her brand name - 'Bone Appetit Natural Dog Treats'.

We also have new season Elderflower Cordial and a reasonable amount of honey in stock.

 

 

Recipe of the week

We have some of Maria’s delicious Flat Beans in the shop this week – hopefully this marks the start of the bean (Flat, Runner, French and Broad) season. This is a great recipe for all types of beans – even a mixture.  It makes a great side dish, or even a light lunch with some crispy bread.
 
Italian style Green Beans
 
Ingredients

25g butter
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (herbs)
50g bread crumbs
50g grated Parmesan cheese
500g green beans
Salt to taste
 
Instructions
 
In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic, Italian seasoning, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Stir to coat and sauté over medium heat until the bread crumbs start to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
While the bread crumbs are sautéing, cook the green beans until they are just cooked – about 3-4 minutes.
Add the green beans to the frying pan and stir to coat.
Season with salt, to taste, and serve hot.



Whatever your plans this weekend (gardening, shopping, cooking or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one. See you in two weeks time!

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.

Come and see us this weekend at Potton Market and Taste Bedford

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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It’s going to be a busy at the shop this weekend, but it’s all good.  It’s great to get out and spread the word about the shop with new customers, talking to them about the great locally grown and produced vegetables, fruits, all sorts of other food and local crafts.
 
Linda will be at Potton Four Seasons Market, in the Market Square from 9-1. She’ll have a full range of fruit and vegetables that are in the shop this week. Most importantly she will have Asparagus and Strawberries from Bury Lane Farm in Royston.
 
Sue will be at the ‘Taste Bedford’ Food and Music Festival from 11-5. This is being held on Mill Meadows in the Town Centre – the Rowing Club side of the Embankment. There are loads of Street Food stalls, local food producers, a pop up Charles Wells pub, food demo’s and classes for children, plus great music. What’s not to like!  Sue will have Strawberries, New Potatoes, Asparagus, Salad Items, Apple Juice and a selection of her home-made (or rather shop-made) preserves and honey.
 
Danny will be in the shop with the usual hours of 9-4. As well as strawberries and asparagus and all the rest of the chilled range (Meat, Cheese, Quiches, Pies, Sheep’s Yogurt, Cream and Milk).
 

 

 

A bit of advanced warning, Danny and Sue are having a week’s holiday from Sat 23rd to Sat 30th June.  The shop will be open usual hours, thanks to Linda for being there.
For Unpasteurised Milk customers, please note there will only be 1 collection from the dairy that week – on Thursday 28th. You will be able to collect your milk from 1pm that day. I will remind you as I see you over the next week and will confirm your orders. All other deliveries (Bread, Milk, Veg, Meat etc) will happen as normal.

 

 

Recipe of the week.
You may remember that I write a monthly recipe and article for the ‘Oracle’ Magazine that is delivered free to properties within the central Bedfordshire area. Spoiler Alert here – the recipe for July/August edition is Easy Tomato Pizza’s. I made some yesterday afternoon – the smell was fantastic. I was going to keep this recipe for later in the summer, but I decided it was too good not to share. Wonderful hot, they are pretty good cold too, making them perfect picnic items.
 
Easy tomato pizzas
Ingredients
For the dough
450g strong white bread flour, plus more to dust
7g sachet fast-action yeast
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra to serve
350ml warm water
For the topping
About 5 tbsp roast tomato sauce (see tip below), or stir together 100ml passata and a crushed garlic clove
8 tomatoes (green, orange, red, yellow - all different shapes and sizes)
Your choice of toppings: goat's cheese (with rind), grated Parmesan or Parmesan shavings, handful rocket, prosciutto, ham, shredded cooked chicken.
 
Method

  1. For the dough, put the flour, yeast and 2 tsp salt into a large bowl and mix. Make a well. Mix the oil and water in a jug, then tip into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to work the liquid into the flour – it will seem pretty wet. Set the bowl aside for 15 mins. Leaving the dough like this will save you from lengthy kneading later.
  2. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface, flour your hands, then knead it very gently for about 2 mins until it is fairly even, soft and bouncy. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with oiled cling film, then let it rise in a warm place (or in the fridge overnight) until doubled in size.
  3. When ready to cook, heat oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9 or as hot as it will go, then put a baking sheet in on a high shelf. Dust another sheet with flour. Split the dough into 8, then roll 3 balls thinly into rough circles. Lift onto the floured sheet. Smear over a thin layer of the sauce, scatter over a few slices of tomato, season, then add sliced goat’s or grated Parmesan cheese if you want to. Slide the sheet on top of the heated sheet. Bake for 12 mins or until golden and crisp and the tomatoes are starting to caramelise around the edges. Top with any fresh toppings, then drizzle with more olive oil to serve. Repeat for the remaining dough.

 
ROAST TOMATO SAUCE
Put 1kg/2lb 4oz halved, ripe tomatoes onto 1 large or 2 smaller baking trays. Slice 3 garlic cloves and scatter around. Add a few thyme sprigs if you like. Season well, drizzle with 5 tbsp good olive oil and scatter with a pinch caster sugar. Roast at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 1 hr until the tomatoes are collapsed and slightly golden on the tops. Take out any big herb sprigs, then tip into a processor and whizz until smooth. Chill for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.



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.

Local Strawberries have started!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Apologies that this newsletter is slightly later than usual, it’s been a busy week.
If you were in the shop last week you may have noticed that the big fridge was switched off, and everything was in the small fridge. It was over 20 years old, and it was amazing it had lasted this long.
I am very happy to say that we managed to get it out of the shop (not easy avoiding the lights and dropping it onto its back to get out of the door!). After quite a lot of cleaning and de-spidering two new single door fridges were delivered on Friday lunchtime. It’s great to have all the salads and strawberries refrigerated again. Let me know what you think.
Very good news that summer must have arrived – we have the first of the local strawberries from Royston this week. They are really luscious and sweet.  At £2.50 for a 400g punnet they are a good price too.  Also from Bury Lane Farm are outdoor grown bundles of Asparagus. They are slightly smaller bundles than Woody’s, so are £3.50 each.
 

 

 

Another summer crop starting this week are Broad Beans. They are quite small so are lovely raw in salads as well as cooked.  They are £3 kg – Waitrose have theirs for £4.50kg at the moment.

This week is Sour Dough Bread week, some new ones from Jo this month – White & Rye, Tomato & Herb and a Malted Toaster Loaf.  All delicious, and they do freeze well if you want to stock up.
Next Saturday is going to be a busy day. Danny is going to be in the shop. Linda will be at Potton Market 9-1.
We don’t have anyone spare to attend the resurrected Willington market (now June, September and December).
I will be at the ‘Taste’ Bedford’ Food Festival. This is on Mill Meadows in Bedford.  Mill Meadows is on the Rowing Club side of the embankment, opposite the Swan Hotel.  It is on 11-5, and will have lots of local food producers, street food, a Charles Wells Pop Up Pub, and good music.  A great free day out.

As well as sorting fridges and having a good clean, I’ve also been busy bottling honey, and picking and making Elderflower Cordial. This is delicious drizzled over ice cream, served with ice and sparkling water, and even with Gin and Tonic! We even had time to catch a lovely gentle swarm of bees on Wednesday, who are now happily in their new home in the garden.

 

 

Recipe of the week

June is the main month for the English strawberry season, although imported ones are now available all year round from supermarkets. They are perfect with scones and cream, in Eton Mess and of course chopped up in Pimms! Rhubarb makes the perfect partner, balancing the super sweetness of the strawberries. This delicious pudding tastes of summer and can be served warm or cold.
 
Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

Ingredients
500g rhubarb
85g caster sugar
250g strawberries , hulled and halved
 
For the crumble
85g plain flour
50g caster sugar
25g ground almonds
50g butter, room temperature, chopped
finely grated zest 1 small orange
2 handfuls chopped mixed nuts
 
Method
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
Rinse the rhubarb and cut into 5cm lengths. Place in the dish you are going to cook the crumble in (roughly 25 x18x5cm). Sprinkle over the caster sugar. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Add the halved strawberries and cook uncovered, for a further 5 mins until the rhubarb is tender and the strawberries slightly softened. If there is a lot of juice, remove some to be served with the crumble later. The fruit should by juicy, but not swimming.
 
While the fruits are roasting, prepare the crumble. Mix the flour, sugar and ground almonds, then add the butter and rub together to make coarse crumbs. Stir in the orange zest.
 
Spoon the crumble loosely over the fruit, then scatter with the chopped nuts. Bake straight away for 25 mins until golden and bubbly. Cool a little before serving with custard, cream or ice cream and any remaining syrup.


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.

English bunched carrots have started

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Thank you for re-registering for this email, it's a smaller group now but I hope that you continue to enjoy the news from the Farm Shop each week.  You can of course, unsubscribe at any time, just click on the link at the bottom of each email.

This bank holiday weekend was quite busy - both in the shop, and also with the bees. I was able to take off the first honey crop of the season before it set solid in the combs (its always a bit of a rush once the flowers have gone). I have been bottling today (Thursday), and it will be on sale tomorrow one I have printed the labels out.

 

 

Cornish new potatoes are now £1.80 kg, the price of new potatoes will come down a lot more once the local ones start.

Outdoor grown Spinach (£1.50 bag) and Rocket (£1.20 bag) have started again from Paul in Bromham.

Mandy from Sweetie Love delivered a good supply last weekend. We are now back in stock of Salted Caramel Fudge, Peanut Brittle, Honeycomb, Raspberry Marshmallow, Chocolate covered Pretzels and Salted Caramel Sauce.

We also have the last of Woody's Asparagus. Hopefully the outdoor grown variety will be available next week.

 

 

Recipe of the week
As I am writing this the rain is pouring down, so I fancy something warming for dinner tonight. How about this?  Serve with any curry or even lamb chops.
 
Easy Saag Aloo (Spinach with Potatoes)

Ingredients  (Serves: 4 )

  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 knob butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 350g fresh or frozen spinach

Method
Prep:10min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:40min 

  1. Boil the cubes of potato for between 8 to 12 minutes until tender. Start poking after 8 minutes to make sure they don't over cook. Drain and put to one side.
  2. Fry the cumin seeds with the knob of butter and oil, until the seeds are just starting to brown.
  3. Add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger and fry until they start to brown.
  4. Add the boiled potatoes, turmeric and garam masala and 1 tablespoon of water to moisten the dish.
  5. Add the spinach and stir for 4 minutes until the spinach has wilted and the potatoes are just staring to crumble. Serve.

Tip

You can also add more garam masala for a more spicy version. This is toned down for children.


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.

Cornish new potatoes, bunches of carrots, BBQ meats - it must be a bank holiday weekend!

This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop

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Thank you for subscribing to the new Farm Shop Newsletter list. 

As I promised, I will only be using your details to send you this newsletter each week - I will never share on sell it on without your consent. 

You can Unsubscribe from these newsletters at any time, use the button at the bottom of the email.

 

 

Good news!  Cornish new potatoes have started to be lifted, and we had the first ones in the shop on Saturday. Nothing like new potatoes to remind you that summer is on its way.

Thanks to Linda for being in the shop on Saturday - you kept her really busy, despite the royal wedding, young farmers show and the FA Cup!

Some other 'new' things in the shop this week - soft goats cheeses from Wobbly Bottom. We have Plain, Garlic, Black Pepper and Chilli varieties.  They are spreadable, delicious with crackers and chutney.
We also have the first of the new season carrots in bunches - crisp and delicious!

Don't forget that it is a Bank Holiday on Monday - the forecast is looking good. We will have our usual range of BBQ meats and a full range of salad items to go with them.

Linda has been busy (as always) - these lovely dresses are available to order in a variety of sizes and colours and are very reasonably priced at £8 each. 

 

 

Recipe of the week
 
The forecast ahead for the bank holiday weekend is looking good, so BBQ's might be the answer. However, if you are feeling the need for easy, comforting hot food - try this recipe.

Potato and Leek Gratin recipe
 
This easy one-pot dish is perfect for tasty suppers – just leave out the ham if you’re serving it to vegetarians.
 
Ingredients:
800g potatoes
200g sliced ham
2 leeks
100g grated cheddar cheese
125ml chicken stock
150ml milk
150ml double cream
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper
Butter
 
Method of Preparation:
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes on a mandolin, or with a sharp knife.
Finely slice the leeks and crush the garlic clove. Slice the ham.
Put the stock, cream and milk into a saucepan along with some salt and pepper and the garlic clove.
Bring the mixture to the boil. Once boiled, remove it from the heat and set it to one side.
Butter the baking dish and heat the oven to 180C. Mix together the ham, leeks and potatoes in the dish and then cover the mixture with the stock and cream mixture.
Place it onto a baking tray and then cover it with foil. Cook for half an hour, then remove the foil and cook for a further 35 minutes.
To make this lower in fat, use 300ml semi-skimmed milk rather than the double cream. This recipe serves four people.


Whatever your plans this bank 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


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.

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.
 
Please click this link if you wish to carry on hearing from me.

http://eepurl.com/dsMXFj

 

 

 

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


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.

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
 
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. It is held only in Mailchimp which is totally secure.
 We will never sell or pass on these details to anyone else without your prior permission.   
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Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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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
 

 

 

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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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

 

 

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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.