Easter Egg Decorating 4th April

Just a quick post to let you all know we are running another chocolate Easter egg decorating session here at Lobbs Farm Shop on Wednesday 4th April. It will run from 11.00am until about 3.00pm. You’ll be able to decorate your Easter eggs, make truffles and design your own gift box for your truffles. Booking is essential as spaces are limited. It costs £7.00 per person. Give us a ring on 01726 844411 or an email lobbsfarmshop@btconnect.com or maybe just stop by in person and write your name down with good old fashioned ink on paper!

Featured Recipe: Chestnut Stuffing Balls

So, here’s today’s featured recipe, essential to your Christmas Dinner I’d say!

This stuffing can be made 2 days ahead , keep in the fridge.  It can also be frozen; defrost thoroughly before using

  • medium onion – finely chopped
  • 3 juniper berries – bruised
  • 750g Lobbs sausage meat
  • 1 x 200g Highgrove vacpac chestnuts – roughly chopped
  • 1 free range large egg
  • 3 tbspn sage – chopped
  • 2 tbspn parsley – chopped
  • 100g Martin’s bread – crumbed
  • ½ tsp ground allspice

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/Gas 5.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over a gentle heat, then add the onion & juniper berries. Cook for 5 minutes, without letting the onion colour.  Leave to cool.  Remove & discard the juniper berries.

In a large bowl, mix the cooled onion with the rest of the ingredients & season.  To perfect the seasoning, fry a small piece before shaping, then taste & adjust.

Shape into about 24 balls – this is easier with wet hands – and bake in a roasting tin for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway.

(Running out of time to make your own? – have you tried our frozen stuffing balls – in our freezer next to the Yorkshire puddings!)

The Times Best Farm Shops

Hurrah! Lobbs Farm Shop made it to number 7 in the Times list of best farm shops in the UK! Well done to everyone at Lobbs and thank you to all the loyal customers!

Damson Gin & Jelly

Beautiful dusky damsons have a very short season, so if you spy them out and about snatch up a couple of pounds if you can. Either use them straight away for making Damson Gin, Jelly or just stewed with a bit of sugar to make a deliciously simple dessert.  Or you can freeze them for use later in the year. Anyway, here’s inspiration for you in the form of a lovely Damson Jam or Damson Jelly. Also in abundance this time of year are blackberries, sloes and elderberries. The hedgerows seem to be dripping in fruit, its hard to know what to make next! You can find a delicious Bramble Jelly recipe here or you can make good use of those sharp little sloes and make some Sloe gin in time for Christmas, so get picking folks!

Damson Gin

  • 1lb Damsons
  • 1/2lb Sugar
  • 1 litre Gin (doesn’t have to be top quality)

Prick the Damsons all over with a pin or fork. Place in the bottom of a sterilised kilner jar (or two) with the sugar and gin. Turn the jar everyday until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then store away in a cupboard for at least three months, you can leave it up to a year for best results but you may not want to be waiting that long!

Damson Jelly

  • 6lb Damsons
  • 3 Pints of Water
  • Sugar

Simmer the damsons in water for 1 hour until soft. Strain through a jelly bag (or a fine sieve) and measure the juice. Allow 1lb (454g) sugar to each pint of juice. Heat the juice gently, stirring in the sugar until dissolved. Boil hard to setting point and pour into hot jars.

How to make a Cornish Pasty

A delayed update from the Cornish Pasty making demo with Anne which took place here at Lobbs Farm Shop on the 25th August. It was typical British summer holiday weather, the wind howling around the shop & squally showers bringing with them thunder and lightning. So it turned out to be a perfect afternoon to stay inside and make pasties! It was well attended with many people staying locally on holiday. What a great way to learn about Cornwall’s iconic Pasty, recently in the news after being awarded Protected Geographical Indication status. You see, you can’t just bung any old ingredient in a pasty, it has to be proper! Anne was here to show us how…

  • A proper Cornish pasty must not contain anything other than swede, potato, onion and beef skirt (or chuck steak if skirt isn’t available) and seasoning to your taste.
  • The secret to making the best pastry for your pasty is to keep it cool by using chilled fat (grated into the flour to avoid lumps) and chilled water for mixing into the flour and to handle it as little as possible.
  • Pat dry all your veg before adding it to your pasty. Any excess water from the veg will cause your pasty to fall apart, which will not do!
  • Make sure that you slice the veg into thin strips, not cubes. Also make sure not to have any sharp edges otherwise these will break the pastry.
  • Layer the veg onto your pastry first and put the thin bits of beef skirt on top of the veg. This way the delicious juices from the beef will soak down through the vegetables.

Armed with these tidbits of information, you can find Anne’s recipe here. You can find photos from the afternoon’s demo below, thank you to all who came and left with some ‘ansome looking pasties! So what are you waiting for, get crimping!

above: Here’s Anne, demonstrating crimping.

above & below: an attentive crowd!

above: these two had crimping down to a fine art!

above: who said it wouldn’t end up messy? Nice whiskers!

above: out of the oven and cooling off, ready to take home for tea.

Dower House Chutney Recipe

Here’s a recipe for the deliciously rich Dower House Chutney. Once made, store it for at least three months before eating it, even better save it for Christmas and enjoy it with some strong cheeses and of course left over ham & turkey!

1.5lb Plums
2lb Red tomatoes
1.5 Pints malt vinegar
1/2lb Prepared Apples (eaters not cookers)
1/2lb Prepared Onions
1/2lb Dried Fruit
1 Clove of Garlic
1lb Demerara Sugar
2oz Salt
1.5 level tablespoons Pickling spice (tied in muslin)

Wash the plums, halve and remove stones. Skin & slice the tomatoes. To make this easier, cut a small cross over the top of each tomato and blanch in boiling water. The skins should peel away very easily from the cut you made. Put both in a preserving pan with the vinegar and cook gently until soft and mushy. Remove any stones if any bob to the surface.
Slice the apples, onions & garlic finely and add them to the pan with the dried fruit, sugar, salt and pickling spice. Simmer slowly until it thickens. A good test is being able to drag a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan and the chutney separates and leaves a ‘trench’ so you can see bottom of the pan. Have patience, its not a quick process, but you are rewarded with a lovely chutney! Store in sterilised jars, cover with wax toppers to stop it drying out and stow it away in the cupboard for 3 months or more.

above: I used what was available to me for free! In this case an old Cornish variety of apple & Victoria plums. This time of year though, there are many types of English Apples available, so use what’s local to you if you can.

above: gorgeous Victoria plums, halved and stoned.

above: stirring up the tomatoes and plums in the vinegar.

above: the plums and tomatoes quickly turn to mush!

above:  perfectly crisp apple, ready for slicing into the pot.

above: the finished article, ready for storing for the winter. ‘Ansome!

Steak Kebabs

A lovely idea for the barbecue, if you’re getting tired of sausages and burgers! Take a chunk of Rump Steak from our butchery counter, slice it into cubes, mix it with a sachet of Secret Chef Beef Rub ( a mix of Paprika, Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Muscovado Sugar, Horseradish, Thyme, Coriander & Marjoram) thread with slices of red pepper, brush with a little oil and plonk them on the barbecue. Very easy, very quick and absolutely delicious. Now all we need is a little bit of Bank Holiday sunshine!
p.s you can find the beef rub on the shelves to the right of the butchery counter in the Farm Shop.

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