Saturday, 19 April 2014

The real Easter bunny

I love the story of how the real Easter bunny is actually a hare. Years ago people would find nests with eggs in hidden in meadows and believe they belonged to hares, when in fact they belonged to ground nesting birds such as lapwings (also known as peewits). So the original Easter bunny leaving Easter eggs, was in fact the hare and now the eggs are more likely to be chocolate! To celebrate the humble hare, I've made some biscuit hares and some Easter nests with some moss from the garden and mini eggs for our Easter table tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Pottering about

We discovered The Village Pottery in Clifton Village, Bristol today. The little man wanted to have a go on a potters wheel for his birthday, so instead of a party he chose to take two friends for a pottery session. The pottery shop was lovely, with floor to ceiling shelves packed with gorgeous mugs, plates and bowls handmade by Jen and in the studio next door just enough space for the boys to each take a turn on the wheel and make other clay creations, whilst I enjoyed a latte. The boys loved it and Jen was so patient and good with them, we've left our creations for her to glaze and fire before collecting our works of art in a few weeks time. 

Our Easter tree tradition

Every year we decorate eggs and hang them on our Easter tree, which is a few twisted hazel stems from the garden. We use natural dyes in jam jars to dye our eggs; coffee, onion skins, beetroot, spinach and our favourite red cabbage.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Dens and damper bread

This week for the 52 Loaves Project we made damper bread on a campfire. You have to twist your bread around a green stick and keep turning so as not to burn it, but it tastes delicious on its own, freshly baked.

400g plain flour
30ml natural sugar
15ml  sea salt
20ml baking powder
60ml softened butter
10ml warm water

in the kitchen...
1. mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Add water and stir. Dough should be too dry to come together into one lump.
3. Cut in butter and knead by hand just long enough to make it smooth and consistent.
4. Form into a log, wrap in plastic and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

at the campsite...
5. Prepare 1 or more sticks 1cm in diameter by shaving clean with a pocket knife.
6. Cut dough into 12 pieces. Roll into long pencil thin snakes 30cm (12 inches) and coil these around the end of the stick.
7. Hold sticks high over the fire, constantly turning until the coiled dough turns golden brown.
8. Cool and eat straight off the stick!

recipe adapted from the fab book Baking Bread with Children by Warren Lee Cohen

Playing along with Little Green Shed by baking a loaf a week and sharing a picture of it on Instagram with the #52loavesproject

Sunday, 13 April 2014

My five minutes of fame

It's taken me all week to pluck up the courage to watch last weeks BBC Countryfile that featured my hubby and I on an exciting project that we're working on together at the moment. I was terribly nervous as have never been on TV before and meeting John Craven too was quite exciting. My nose looks huge and I really need a haircut but it's not too bad, bossing my husband around on national TV has amused many of our friends anyway! You can still catch for a few hours if you want to watch it on I player!

The new girl

I am really excited to have been invited to be part of the This is Your Kingdom team, you can find me here. This is Your Kingdom is a beautiful website that shares lovely places to visit and things to do, by a team of contributors up and down the country. I have always enjoyed visiting the website so am delighted to now be part of such an inspirational team. If you haven't visited the site, go and make yourself a cup of tea and lose yourself for a few hours as you explore the UK, from hidden tea shops, to the best places to go crabbing, there really is something for everyone, and sign up for the free email too, which will deliver lots of inspiration straight into your mailbox.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

A 'whole' lot of love

We were doing so well, we'd followed Tom's great white bread recipe instead using a lovely stoneground wholemeal flour by Stoates. We split the dough into four and made three loaves for the week ahead and five rolls for lunch, they baked beautifully, although not achieving as huge a rise as we're used to with a white flour. Then tasting them we realised we'd forgotten a vital ingredient, the salt...!

I'm not quite how this happened, although I seem to remember a lot of us in the kitchen at once this morning! Just as you think you've turned a corner a schoolgirl error creeps in, oh well, it just about tastes OK with salted butter.

Playing along with Little Green Shed by baking a loaf a week and sharing a picture of it on Instagram with the #52loavesproject
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