Archive for bed and breakfast

Today’s walk around the country lanes

This morning was raining again, but this afternoon the sun came out so we thought to go for a little walk around the nearby country lanes to get some fresh air.

As we walked along we were looking out for the different trees and plants and we spied this unusual fungus growth.20200127_152952

All along the hedgerows little snowdrops had pushed through and were bobbing in the wind.20200127_153405

As we looked up we saw all the mistletoe in the trees, a bit to high up to get down at Christmas.20200127_153524

Even on a dull day there is always something to see in the country lanes.

Come and have a look, http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

Leave a Comment

Making a Christmas cake with brandy soaked fruit.

We have a new Lidl store opened up in Chard and when I visited I noticed they sold mixed dried fruit already soaked in brandy.  I thought just the thing for a Christmas cake and set about finding a recipe.  This is what I came up with:-

Ingredients:

1020g of mixed dried fruit.  (If its not already soaked in brandy you will need to do this the night before with about 3 tablespoons full, so they soak up the brandy)

220g of plain flour

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg powder and 3/4 teaspoon of mixed spice powder

320g of dark muscovado sugar

320g of soft butter

4 free range eggs

1 tablespoon of black treacle

1 unwaxed lemon and 1 orange finely grated zest only

Marzipan to top the cake

Icing sugar and egg white to prepare royal icing for the top

Method:

Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas1

lightly grease an 8 inch round cake tine and fit a greaseproof cake case or line with greaseproof paper the bottom and the sides.

Weigh and prepare all the ingredients.DSC03626

In a large bowl beat the sugar and butter together until soft

add the eggs one at a time, with a little of the flour and spices mix

add the black treacle and beat in to mix

add the grated zestDSC03627

fold in the soaked dried fruit

tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin and loosely cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper.DSC03628

Bake for 3 3/4 hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool in the tin.

When cool, if liked, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and “feed” with a little splash of brandy.

To store  leave the lining paper on the cake and wrap in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil.  The cake will keep for up to 3 months like this, especially if fed at intervals with more brandy.

Alternatively, spread a layer of apricot jam over the top DSC03673

and roll out your marzipan to a circle to fit and place on the cake.  Smooth with a pallet knife, or the flat of your hand, using a circular motion.DSC03675

When dry add icing  ( I made up royal icing) and spread roughly as if snow.

DSC03676and then decorate as required.

DSC03679

vacancies in the New Year at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

Leave a Comment

We have some honey for honey cake

Neil recently took some honey from a well established bee hive, so for the first time for a long time we have some honey.  Here he is with our friend Emma in their bee suits after moving some bees.

20190604_192749

So I decided to make a honey cake as I’d not made one for a long time, here is the recipe.

HONEY CAKE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 170g/6oz clear honey
  • 140g/5oz butter
  • 85g/3oz light muscovado sugar (or I have used dark brown coconut sugar)
  • eggs, beaten
  • 200g/7oz self raising flour, sieved (I used wholemeal self raising flour)
  • 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.  This dries as a honey crust on the cake.

DSC03158

My cake was very dark brown because of the dark brown coconut sugar I used.  It made a really delicious cake.

DSC03159

Guests at our B&B get offered tea and cake if they arrive in the afternoon, so if you want to try our honey cake come and stay with us. http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

Leave a Comment

Simnel Cake

At Easter I always make a Simnel cake.

Simnel cakes are often associated with Mothering Sunday also known as Simnel-Sunday. According to historian Ronald Hutton in 17th Century Gloucestershire and Worcestershire the custom of live-in apprentices and domestic servants going home to visit their mothers on Mothering Sunday started, checking that their families were well and taking food or money if needed. This was a time of year when food stocks were low, and the high-calorie simnel cake was useful nutrition. The cake later became simply an Easter cake.

The ingredients are as follows:

  • 175g      light muscavado sugar or soft brown sugar (I also use coconut sugar)
  • 175g      butter softened
  • 175g      self raising flour (I used wholemeal)
  • 3      large free range eggs
  • 2      tablespoons of milk
  • 500g      sultanas,  dried apricots pieces, chopped dates, currants, raisins and dried cranberries
  • 1      teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 2      teaspoon of ground ginger

Preparation:

    1. Heat the oven to 160C/320F/gas3
    2. grease  and line the base and sides of an 8 inch round cake tin with baking parchment
    3. beat the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy
    4. add the eggs one at a time and beat
    5. add the milk
    6. add  the flour and all the dry fruit ingredients and fold in
    7. tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin
    8. place the cake in the oven and bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until golden brown and a skewer or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
    9. place the cake on a cooling rack to cool before removing from the tin
    10. decorate  as required (I put marzipan and chocolate eggs on mine)DSC03075

Some people brown the top of the marzipan under the grill but as I have added small chocolate eggs I won’t do that.  There are 11 marzipan balls which traditionally represent the 12 Apostles less Judas.

Not to be eaten until Easter Sunday of course.

Come and share some Simnel cake with us http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

Leave a Comment

Goats and piglets

Yesterday we went to Emma’s farm in Ham to buy 4 more chooks.  We have brought from her before, the chooks are reasonable and good layers. We got 4 Rhode Rock black tails and brought them home to join the flock, as we have lost a couple of hens through natural causes recently.

Whilst there we went to see Emma’s other animals.  She has a turkey called Paxo who is just a pet, not for eating, several dogs and pigs and a few orphan lambs she was bottle feeding.

But her big goat was the one that got my attention.  He leaned up out of his stall and I got the impression he wanted to plant a kiss on me!!  I tried not to get too near, but he was a handsome fella.

20190403_104610

She also had 2 large white pigs who had just had litters.

20190403_104939

One pig had 10 piglets and the other had 12 really tiny ones, just a day old that were snuggled up to Mum under the heat lamp.

20190403_105030

I do love seeing all the animals and wish we had space for some pigs and lambs but for now 22 chickens will have to do.

Come and visit the chickens at our B&B http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

Leave a Comment

Banana Cake, using up ripe bananas

Occasionally we get left with ripe bananas.  Rather than getting rid of them in the compost I make banana cake, and I made one yesterday for our guests. Here is the recipe:-

Ingredients:

125g butter

150g caster sugar (I used light brown caster sugar)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg beaten

2 very ripe bananas, mashed

190 self raising flour (I used wholemeal)

60 ml milk

Method:

  1.  Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Melt butter, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat.DSC02826DSC02827
  2.  Remove from heat and add the mashed bananas, mix well.DSC02829DSC02830
  3.  Add the egg, mix well.DSC02831
  4.  Stir in the flour and the milk.DSC02832
  5.  Pour into the prepared tin, sprinkle with a tablespoon of demerara sugar to give a crunch topping if liked.DSC02833DSC02834
  6.  Bake at 170 C / Fan 150 C / Gas 3 for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool and enjoy!DSC02841DSC02842Come to Lodge House B&B to taste a slice, all guests welcome. http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

Leave a Comment

The Green Scythe Fair 2018

Yesterday we went to the Green Scythe Fair at Mulcheney, in Somerset.  It is an annual event which is as”green” as possible with power from solar panels or stationary bikes, compost loos, lots of recycling and no mains electricity on site.

There are various stalls all round the arena which is where the scything competitions take place.  But no Ross Poldark here, they all kept their shirts on inspite of the warm weather.

This is what greeted us at the entrance, wicker figures.

DSC02224

There were lots of stalls selling food, some vegan, some veggie and some not.  Neil and I shared a pizza.

DSC02220

Dancers formed a circle and danced along to music from a group of musicians.  People were dressed up and lots of children had their faces painted.

DSC02221

Another group of musicians, this time dressed as pirates, were performing on a stage and whilst we were there, played a raucous version of “Riding on a Donkey”.

DSC02227

At a green crafts area our friend Emma was teaching basket weaving.

DSC02218

The fair was finishing with a ceilidh in the evening , although we didn’t stay for that.

We were lucky with the weather and it made a very enjoyable day out.

see us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »