One of life’s simple pleasures must surely be collecting fresh eggs from the farm first thing in the morning, and rustling up a tasty breakfast for all the family to fortify them for a winter’s day ramble.
Emergency Biscuits ingredients
- 1oz sugar
- 3oz flour
- 2oz butter
- Cream the butter and sugar
- Stir in the flour, knead, roll out and cut out
- Cook for 10 minutes at 180C/Gas Mark 4
Even during the winter foraging around the hedgerows and meadows can be great fun and children will enjoy collecting pine cones, leaves and twigs to create a variety of crafts on a chilly damp afternoon around the kitchen table. All you need is glue, newspaper and string, and a little patience, to create pretty bunting to liven up a bedroom at home. Pine cones can be turned into a magical collection of creatures with a few feathers and a bit of imagination! Sloes can be gathered to turn into sloe gin or syrup, the deep plum flavour enhanced by orange zest, cinnamon or almond essence, and freshly picked sorrel can be added as a garnish for soup:
Farm Cottage Tomato Soup recipe
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 0.5 cup chopped onions
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 0.5 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 0.5 cup canned cannellini beans
- Dry white wine (optional)
- 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 6 bread bowls
- 0.5 cup vegetable stock
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Parsley, for garnish
- Heat the oil in a small stockpot. Add the onions and sauté for about 2 minutes, add the garlic and sauté for another minute
- Add the cumin, red pepper flakes, and beans and sauté for another 3 minutes
- Add the tomatoes and let simmer until they’re cooked through, about 10 minutes
- While the soup simmers, make the bread bowls by slicing the tops off the bread bowls or rolls and scooping out the dough, removing as much as possible
- Add the stock and lime juice and blend in the pot with a stick blender or transfer the contents of the pot to a standard blender. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes and blend until smooth. Add the salt and pepper
- If you used an immersion blender, continue to simmer the soup for a few minutes. If you used a standard blender, pour the soup back into the pot over low heat and simmer for a few minutes. Ladle the soup into each bread bowl. Garnish with parsley or sorrel and serve.
Tempt them with Eggs Benedict’ served with crispy English bacon. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it looks!
Ingredients for a family of four
- Eggs Benedict recipe
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 half tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 pinch ground white pepper
- 1.25 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1.25 teaspoon salt
- 8 eggs
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 8 rashers English bacon
- 4 English muffins, split
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
To make Hollandaise
- Fill the bottom of a double boiler pan part-way with water. Make sure that water does not touch the top pan. Bring water to a gentle simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and one tablespoon water.
- Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture one or two tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If the Hollandaise begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all the butter is incorporated. Whisk in the salt, then remove from heat. Place a lid on the pan to keep sauce warm.
To poach eggs
Fill a large saucepan with three inches of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, then add vinegar. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow to cook for 2.5 to 3 minutes. Yolks should still be soft in centre. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a warm plate
While the eggs are poaching, grill the bacon and toast the muffins. Spread toasted muffins with butter, and top each one with a slice of bacon, followed by one poached egg. Place two muffins on each plate and drizzle with Hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Holidays on a farm have so much to offer whatever the season, whether you enjoy tramping over frosty meadows or just relaxing by the fire with a cup of tea, the peace only interrupted by the occasional noises from the farmyard. Exploring the local footpaths is all part of the pleasure and you can find out more about the area you are staying in by asking the farmer or by visiting footpathmaps.com. Breathing in the fresh country air can work up an appetite so when you return try these tasty biscuits that can be made in advance and popped in the oven for a few minutes. Well named as emergency biscuits they are perfect with a hot mug of coffee!
Exploring the local village shops is all part of the fun, pottering around the antique shops or picking up supplies like local honey, vegetables, fresh bread and locally produced meat.
Winter offers a variety of game that can be sourced from the local butcher or farm shop. Pheasant, partridge, pigeon, and venison to name but a few, are available to inspire you to try new recipes for something special for supper.
You should also be able to pick up a pack of mixed game for this game casserole:
Mixed game casserole
- 50g butter
- 2 x 340g packs mixed game
- 200g pack smoked bacon lardons
- 225g whole chestnuts
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 25g plain flour
- 150ml port or red wine
- 300ml hot chicken stock
- 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly, plus extra to serve
- 1 small orange, washed
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3. In a flameproof casserole dish, add half the butter and brown the game in batches on a high heat until sealed all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the bacon, cook briefly, then place with the game. Keep warm.
- Add the remaining butter to the casserole, fry the chestnuts for 1-2 minutes until softened and browned, remove and reserve. Add the onion and fry over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Return the game and bacon to the pan, sprinkle in the flour and gradually blend in the port, stock and redcurrant jelly. Bring to the boil, stirring, then add the whole orange.
- Cover and cook in the preheated oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender. About 15 minutes before the end of cooking, add the chestnuts. Remove and reserve the orange and allow to cool slightly.
- Halve the orange, then push it through a sieve, collecting the juice and pulp in a bowl. Gradually stir this juice into the stew to taste, then season. If the stew is a little thick, thin it down with extra stock or water. Serve with red cabbage, mustard mash and a bowl of redcurrant jelly.
We have some lovely cottages with excellent kitchens in our collection.