My New Favorite Cafe

On Sunday we returned to Mells with Tony it was an amazingly hot day for March. There were flowers popping up everywhere, a complete change from a  week ago.

Arthur had asked to go back to Nunney Castle with Dad, so of course I jumped at the chance of making a little detour back to  The Walled Garden Cafe and testing out there tea and cake.

What a beautiful place to be. They have one of the old greenhouses filled with chairs and tables and lots of lovely vintage bric a brac and old books to buy, as well as lots of plants.

We didn’t venture behind the wall last week, what a surprise..

Lovely old buckets, saucepans,watering cans and milk churns lined the first part of the wall. Chairs and tables were dotted along the rest of it.

What a wonderful sight seeing our tea and cake being brought to our table.  A little bit of luxury.

It all looked gorgeous, the cakes were really tasty. The lemon drizzle cake was made even more special with a dollop of homemade lemon curd delicous!

I am sure we will back many times over the summer, and maybe next time will buy some cottage flower plants to put in the garden.

We had a great walk around Nunney Castle in the sunshine, and managed to find the carpark this time.

I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful warm sunny weather at the weekend.

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A Slowcooker Recipe For Pheasant and Braised Red Cabbage.

I can often be found tweeting about what I am cooking for dinner and have lots of requests to share my recipes. I thought rather than just e mailing people it would be a good idea to put a few on my blog for anyone to use.

I am not a ‘cook’ and would not like to be on one of those cooking programmes (I am far to messy a cooker). I do like good food though and 95 % of my food is made from scratch using fresh ingredients.

My recipes will be how I am cooking it, and it may be a bit of trial and error. Good food is all about experimenting and not being afraid to make mistakes. If I was teaching drawing I would say to start sketching and if you don’t like it learn to throw it away and start again..I think you can cook with the same attitude.  (obviously with not to expensive ingredients)  Follow recipes and then adjust them slightly to suit your taste, the more recipes you follow the more you learn.

The funny thing is in my 20’s I got a job as a Housekeeper to the Head of Sculpture at the Royal College Of Art. When I applied for the job I said I knew how to cook (really I’d only done meat and 2 veg kinda dinners).  On the first day I was asked to cook a roast dinner which I thought would be no problem, I managed to burn the meat and not cook the veg properly and I don’t remember what I did for the gravy but it was a disaster.  He told all his students the next day he had a housekeeper who couldn’t cook.  I was then bought Delia Smiths cookery books and have never looked back and the dinners were perfect after that.

Anyway I digress on with the recipe!

We are lucky that in Wincanton we have a fantastic butchers, where I get all my weekly meat. They do pheasant when it is in season at about 2.99 a bird. A brilliant price for a dinner I think especially with the amazing flavour that you get.

You will need

a tablespoon of butter

A pinch of Thyme

tablespoon of olive oil

1 Onion chopped

1/2 red cabbage

1 or 2 cloves of garlic chopped

tbsp grated fresh ginger

3 tbs balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar which is also good and a matter of taste)

4 tablespoons Red Wine

4 tablespoons soft muscavado sugar

1 pheasant

1/2 cup of water

First finely chop the red cabbage, I cut it into chunks as above and put it through my food processor. You can also chop it by hand.

Place in the base of the Slow cooker.

Next make up the sauce/gravy using a frying pan add the butter, melt. Then fry the chopped onion and garlic , add in the sugar, wine and balsamic vinegar stir till the sugar has dissolved add a bit of water to make up the liquid. It just needs to cover the cabbage slightly, to much and it will just be a soggy mess.. Pour over the cabbage in the slowcooker, turn the cooker on to High.

Next using the same  frying pan put in your oil and brown the pheasant on all sides add a little (or big depending on taste) pinch of Thyme.

Once it is browned place it on top of the cabbage.

Put the lid on, and set according to how much time you have. I like to put it in in the morning and come home to a lovely smell of cooked dinner. If you are going to leave it all day I would put it on LOW, if you only 4 hours or so then HIGH. Keep an eye on the liquid so it doesn’t dry out.  I like it when the meat is starting to fall off the bone.

If the gravy is not thick enough I pour it in to a saucepan at the end, and thicken it with a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with a little water to form a paste and add to the gravy stirring until it thickens.

Enjoy, and do let me know how you get on if you test out this recipe..but be gentle with me it is my first one!

This is the finished pic ( I will do better pics of the dinners ) It was served with mash potato and tasted delicious.

Happy Mothers Day

Pictures can say more than a 1000 words 🙂

Arthur bought me a gorgeous plate from Julia Davey yesterday

while we were at Spring at The Barn. Its so sweet and very special

that he managed to be all grown up and go off and choose it himself.

He also made me the beautiful card and picked a bunch of flowers from

the garden. Harry came back for lunch before heading back to Yorkshire,

and George sent me a very funny e card video. Tony has had to work all day

very rare on a Sunday, but there are deadlines to meet. He did manage to

pop back for lunch.

I hope all you Mums out there had a very special Day.

Spring At The Barn

I had a lovely day out with Arthur today. First we went to Frome so that I could stock up on cords to finish my necklaces next week.  It was lovely to have a walk up Catherines Hill.  So many gorgeous shops all small independents,  such a great community feel it is a pleasure to shop there.

Then we went on adventure to find Mells and the Spring At The Barn Fair organised by Rebbeca of Edamay.  There was a promise of yummy cakes and tea as well as meeting up with lots of Twitter friends.

There was a lovely atmosphere when we got there, and for a place that is in the middle of no where it was surprisingly busy.

I met Jules from Sew Vintage Wells. I visited her shop in Wells a couple of weeks ago and it is packed full of lovely yarn,fabrics,felt,embroidery threads and buttons…. My favorite sort of shop!

You may find me teaching needlefelting there in the very near future. There are  lots of workshops going on, including Crochet with  Jan from Chi Chi Moi who has recently had her first book published ’20 to Make Crocheted Flowers by Jan Ollis’ . Click on the Sew Vintage Wells link above to find out more about there workshops.

I also had a quick chat with Rebbeca from Edamay, and Charlotte Macey both selling gorgeous handmade goodies.

Arthur went off on his own and bought me a Mothers day present which is wrapped up so I can’t peak . He also made me a badge at a special table where children could do colouring and making, giving the adults time to have a little browse or natter.

Then We bumped into the wonderful Becky from Dots And Spots. We have been chatting on Twitter for the last 2 years and it really felt like we knew each other. It was great to finally meet face to face.

Me and Arthur then sampled the cakes and tea yum!

Mells is a really old village with some amazing looking buildings.

We walked through the Walled Gardennext to The Barn. There was a nice looking cafe which we will return to in the very near future, I can imagine it looking fab when all the flowers are out.

We would like to go back to Mells and explore further.  The pub looked good to.

We went home via Nunney Castle, and had a walk around it.  If ever your near Shepton Mallet or Frome these are places worth a visit.

A very nice day! I am looking forward to Mothers Day and finding out what Arthur got.

New Blog

I think I’ve now got the background sorted. This is going to be where you will find some of my favorite pics of the week, the odd Crafty Tutorial, the occasional recipe and a little bit about what I get up to and places I visit.

Can’t wait to get started 🙂