We’ve had more spring weather this week and our chickens have started laying well. We only have four chickens now and a young cockerel but we regularly get two to three eggs a day from them. We’re contemplating taking more chickens so if anyone knows of any that need ‘rescuing’ let me know.
We’ve still got loads to do before the camping starts on 3rd April. We can’t remember when the ground was so dry this early in the season. Its still wet of course, but not sodden as its been in past March’s. We have a busy Easter Weekend coming up and need at least two thirds of the site to be campable. We’re also having a huge stocktake of bedding and other paraphernalia for the glamping Bell Tents and Wagons. It’s a little difficult to gear yourself up for a long season after a lazy winter!
The polytunnel has had a huge clean up and I can now see my potting bench. It’ll be time to plant some of my bean seeds this week. My young tomatoes are doing well and the aubergines have just sprouted. Hopefully, I’ll have a little more time to spend with my veg this summer
In your boxes…………………….
Steve Parsley at Walmestone has given us the first radishes of the season this week. With Tanya’s spring onions and more secret Wild Garlic there’s a very spring-like feel to the boxes.
Recipe 1: Wild Garlic and Potato Soup – serves 3-4
couple of handfuls of wild garlic leaves
2 medium-sized potatoes
800 ml of chicken or vegetable stock
salt & pepper
Melt the butter in your soup pot. Roll the leaves, cigar-fashion, and then slice across into strips. Add them to the pot and put the lid on. Let them soften in the butter while you peel and chop the potatoes into cubes. When the leaves are wilted add the potatoes and the stock. Bring up to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are really soft. If you like, add a spoonful of cream and liquidize the soup.
Recipe 2 – Spring Onion Fritatta (Hugh F-W’s) – serves 2 for dinner
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
3 slices streaky bacon, cut into roughly 2cm pieces
250g potatoes, cooked, cooled and cut into small chunks
1 large bunch spring onions (about 250g); keep back a couple for the top of the frittata, and roughly chop the rest
6 eggs, lightly beaten
50g parmesan, or hard goat's cheese, grated
2-3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Warm two tablespoons of the oil over a medium heat in a 25cm nonstick frying pan (with an oven-proof handle, ideally, though you can always transfer everything into a stoneware or cast-iron gratin dish later). Fry the bacon until just crisp, then tip it into a bowl, keeping as much fat in the pan as possible.
Sauté the potatoes in the bacony fat until they take on a bit of colour, stir in the chopped spring onions, fry for a minute or two, then tip into the bowl with the bacon. Stir the eggs into the mixture, then add two-thirds of the cheese and the parsley. Season generously, and leave to sit for a couple of minutes while you prepare the whole spring onions.
Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into the frying pan and over a medium-low heat fry the six whole spring onions until softened and slightly caramelised. When done, transfer these to a plate.
Tip the eggy mixture into the same frying pan (or into a lightly greased gratin dish, if your frying pan isn't suitable for the oven), arrange the whole spring onions over the top and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese. Turn the heat under the pan to low and don't move the ingredients about - just let the eggs solidify slowly from the base up. After about five minutes, give the pan a little shake: you should be able to see that the bottom half of the frittata is set while there's a good layer of wet egg on top. Bake for about 10 minutes until puffed up and golden, and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting
Recipe 3: Roast Lamb with Wild Garlic Butter – serves 2
If you’re cooking lunch for your Mother this Sunday, try making some Wild Garlic butter to go with the Roast Lamb!
2 spring onions
30g garlic leaves
80g butter at room temperature
a little olive oil
2 large lamb fillets
Set the oven at 220C/gas mark 7. To make the butter, chop the onions and most of the garlic leaves quite finely. Mash them into the butter, grinding in a little salt and black pepper as you go. Warm a little oil in a roasting tin and lightly brown the lamb fillets. This shouldn't take more than a minute or two over a high heat. Spread the garlic-leaf butter over the fillets on both sides. Place the reserved garlic leaves around and over the lamb. Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Leave to rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes then carve into thick pieces with any juices from the pan.
Finally, a Happy Mother’s Day to all our hard working mothers!