Archive for February, 2012

Socialising with visitors and friends, and Honey cake recipe

What a fun week we have had. Firstly we have had 2 lots of guests to the B&B and then we have had friends over for Sunday lunch today

It’s great meeting new people, especially nice ones, and having the time to sit and talk, and learn about other people’s lives. How interesting it is to talk about houses, old and new, to talk about areas of the country and the benefits of country living, to compare lives and find the differences and the similarities.  One couple who came to stay were house hunting and the other couple were on a weekend break.  The weather wasn’t always clement, so we sat our guests to warm  and dry out infront of the woodburning stove whilst sipping tea and eating homemade honey cake.

Here is the recipe for honey cake, it’s really simple.

HONEY CAKE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 170g/6oz clear honey
  • 140g/5oz butter
  • 85g/3oz light muscovado sugar (or I have used golden castor sugar)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 200g/7oz self raising flour, sieved
  • water

Preparation method

1.      Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 3 and butter and line the bottom of a 7in/18cm cake tin.

2.      Measure the honey, butter and sugar into a large pan. Add a tablespoon of water and heat gently until melted.

3.      Remove from the heat and mix in the flour.

4.      When fully mixed, add the beaten eggs and mix well

5.      Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is springy to the touch and shrinking slightly from the sides of the tin.

6.      Cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.

7.      If required you can make icing as follows:

For the icing

8.      While the cake is still warm, make the icing by mixing the sugar and honey together with 2-3 teaspoons of hot water. Trickle over the cake in whatever design takes your fancy.

Then today, after our guests had gone, I started to prepare roast lamb dinner for our friends.  We were five for Sunday lunch.  I like doing roast.  It’s not much more work cooking for 4 or 5 as it is cooking for 2.  I’m not a fancy cook but Sunday roast is a favourite.  Followed of course by homegrown  blackberry and apple crumble – delicious!!

What a social week we have had, and what a pleasure to have a break from all the work that needs to be done.

If you would like to sample our honey cake, visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Cats in a basket

The cats are feeling the cold too.  It was minus 5 degrees C last night and although what little snow we had has been and gone, we have had some severly frosty mornings when we have had to break the ice on the hens’ water.

Anyway last night Tarquin our big old black cat was curled up in front of the woodburner.  I had been using a Ghanian woven basket to carry logs into the lounge and it was now empty.  So what does he do but climb in it?

Tarquin in the basket

He didn’t stay long, before deciding to go back in front of the fire.  About 10 minutes later along comes Tia and does exactly the same, jumps into the empty basket.

Tia in the basket

She promptly curled up and fell asleep.  So cute!!  I have never seen either of them in that particular basket before and both climbed in within 10 minutes of each other, how funny!!

If you want to meet Tarquin and Tia in person visit us at

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Of Snow and snowdrops!

Last Monday we had snow.  Not the thick sort, but the watery sort that settled on the grass, hedges and rooftops but not on the paths.  Then it was bitterly cold all week, going down to minus 7 degress C.  Thursday and Friday the sunshine was lovely, inspite of the bitter cold, then Saturday we had light snow which turned to rain and in the course of that one day the temperature went from minus 6 degrees in the morning to plus 4 degrees by the evening.  Elsewhere on the East side of the UK they had 4 to 6 inches of snow on Saturday evening. My Dad sent over some pictures of where he lives and it was thick with snow, so here in the southwest we were lucky to escape that. And today it is a mild plus 7 degrees C, so back to suitable weather for working outside again.

The spring bulbs have been pushing through, confused by the relatively mild weather we have been having until last week.  There are carpets of snowdrops all over the place.  This is just by us.

snowdrops in bloom

We have 2 half moon baskets by the front door and they have crocus coming up.  It’s really too early for crocus, but this is a sheltered spot that faces south and gets the sun when it is out.

crocus and pansies

We have got wallflowers in bloom and the daffoldils are in bud so will be out soon.

Wallflowers and daffodil bud

Also our Hellebores have been flowering for a couple of weeks now.

Hellebores in flower

We have been putting food out for the wild birds all winter, but last week we were diligent in keeping it topped up as it was so cold.  Mr Pheasant discovered that there was always lots of dropped seeds on the ground under the bird feeders, so he regularly pays us a visit.  This picture was taken through the kitchen window so not the clearest.

Mr Pheasant comes to visit

The chickens havn’t seemed to mind the cold weather too much.  We have had to break the ice on their drinking water every morning, and take down warm water.  The mud in the hen run has frozen over but they seemed happy to continue to spuddle about.  We have been getting between 10 and 12 eggs a day out of 15 hens, even in the cold weather, so can’t complain at that.  We stew up potatoe, apple, carrot and other vegetable peelings for them and feed them that for breakfast, which they love, but the other day my neighbour gave us some cooked peas and chips that were left over and they loved that.  You should have seen them picking up a pea and running off to eat it then coming back for another one.  They are funny!!  They have layers pellets on free demand all the time aswell, but we just use the veggies to supplement their diet, and we do get lovely yellow yolks from them.  There is nothing like a freshly laid egg from a free range hen!!

 
If you want to try our eggs for breakfast then visit us at
 

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