Tag: bread

Cogges Farm

Dream Kitchen

DamsonsA while ago I started following The Real Food Cafe on Twitter. They were opening up at Cogges Farm & celebrating with a food festival. I didn’t manage to get to that so on Bank Holiday my OH & I decided to take a trip to see the manor house at Cogges.

Cogges is trying to obtain charity status so we couldn’t pay by card, which meant a detour into the lovely town of Witney. I think the admission price is reasonable for adults (£5) but cannot understand why they feel they have to charge £1 for dogs! It’s not like a pooch is going to be bringing its pocket money! Weird! (Not that I have a dog…yet!)

I was expecting to see loads of animals but they only had guinea pigs, ducklings (super cute), chickens & turkeys. The guinea pigs were a bit shy so stayed in their cage. It was amazing to see that the chickens had previously been at a battery farm. They looked a bit worse for wear but it was good to see them out & about.

Dream Kitchen The best bit by far was the manor house. It had an amazing garden – full of veg & bee-loving flowers. Exactly what I want my garden to be like. Parts of the manor house are really old, like 1200’s kind of old, although the kitchens are currently dressed in the Victorian era. Just my cup of tea. In the kitchens were volunteers baking bread & welsh cakes and they had free samples for people to try. Bingo! They even had homemade butter & jam for people to try. They were all so delicious. The welsh cakes were cheese & chive flavour which I’ve never had before.

River at Cogges FarmThe upstairs wasn’t open to visitors so we headed out through the orchard & onto the river walk. There were bugs & flowers aplenty on the walk & we definitely saw evidence of otter activity! Something was making paths from the river, under fencing & across grass.

Pretty Flower at Cogges FarmHairy Plant at Cogges FarmThere were also loads of different flowers & plants that I’d not seen before but the bees were really enjoying.  My favourite plant was this hairy looking  one. I’ve never seen anything like it & would love to know what it is.

After all that it was time for lunch. We finally got a table & I had a lovely roasted veg & pesto sandwich on toasted bread. It came with a lovely side salad & coleslaw. The disappointing bit was the water. It tasted awful & was so bad you couldn’t taste the tea. There was also very little to see in the cafe or the shop. I’d hoped for some local produce/crafty bits. Maybe this will come later.

It’s well worth the trip, especially if you’ve got little ones as there’s loads for them to do. If you don’t have little ones (like us) then it won’t take long to get round Cogges & back in the comfort of the cafe! x

Nana Bread

Nana Bread

I seem to have had a very busy weekend which hasn’t left much time for getting on with projects. However, one thing that I’ve been meaning to do for some time now is to bake some bread. BY HAND. I don’t have a breadmaking machine as I don’t need one! I’ve been making this bread for years & I use my Nana’s recipe. This is why I don’t use a machine – She didn’t. And in the 30 years I knew her, she always made it by hand. In fact, I never knew her to buy bread from a shop. She always made her own.

The smell of it baking takes me right back to her house. It would be on the table at breakfast & tea time. We always had Marmite on it & to this day I find it odd to put anything else on it! Nana was a fab bread maker. While she also made cakes, they weren’t as good as my Mum’s (plus Mum would always let me lick the mixture of the beaters – something Nana would never allow!)This is one of the reasons why baking relaxes me. It takes me back to my childhood when I could enjoy eating cakes without the calorie guilt!

It’s a very simple recipe, but it’s not particularly quick. It includes a total of 20 minutes of kneading & almost 2 hours of rising. But it is totally worth it. I use a whole bag of flour & for the first time I am using local flour from Wessex Mill. It feels great to be supporting local producers – something Nana would definitely have approved of. Making three loaves at a time this will keep us going. Plus my home is filled with the smell of Nana bread. Gorgeous.

Nana Bread