It definitely feels like autumn now with cooler and darker nights. However the mini heatwave at the beginning of the week was a welcome surprise. It was perfect on Monday for a day trip to Norfolk. Many of you will remember that I brought the shop from Mark and Val nearly 6 years ago. We've kept in touch and I was very pleased to see them for a while. They are semi-retired now, but are still making and selling lots of lovely crafted items through their little shop in Bacton 'Norfolk Crafts and Collectables' - definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.
The day trip was timed for Monday because Danny had been invited to play in the Eastern Region PGA Pro/Captain competition with Andrew (Millbrook professional) in Norwich. Well they only went and won it! The first two from each region are invited to play at The Belfry in mid-October - slap bang in the middle of our holiday! Thanks to COVID, guests and spectators are not allowed, so I will be at the shop now and veg boxes will be available as normal. I will email everyone affected to confirm this. We are now planning to be away from 13/11/20 - again I will email veg box customers to confirm what is happening.
This Saturday is Potton Four Seasons market - 9-1 in the square. Lots of great socially distanced stalls, and the weather forecast is good too.
In the picture above you can see five suppliers products which feature in the Deli Fridge.
- Greek style sheep's milk yogurt from Bevistan dairy.
- Pork pies, pasties and sausage rolls from Parkside Farm Shop in Broom.
- Scotch eggs from Adams & Harlow (we also have their pies) in Spalding.
- Ham from Southalls BUtchers in Great Barford.
- Olives, Pickled Garlic and Sun dried Tomatoes from Real Olive Company in Bristol.
Great products, and whilst we try and source everything locally, if we find a better product from a little further afield we'll stock it.
Linda has been hard at work peeling onions ready for pickling. They will be available in the shop from early October. If you'd like to make some of your own, we do have some small onions in the shop, let me know if you need more than 1kg.
You might also remember that as well as keeping bees, I am training to be a Honey Show judge. This year most honey shows have been cancelled, but I was very happy to get the call that the North London Beekeepers show was still on this week. Entries were dropped off in advance and cleaned, and the judging was filmed. The results will be given out via a zoom meeting to their members next week - technology has been such a help during these strange times.
What’s in stock in the shop this week:
Advance notice for Veg Box customers: We are going away Friday 13th to Friday 20th November (this replaced our cancelled holiday from April). Linda will be in the shop again. However, please note there will be NO Veg Boxes w/c 16th November. I will contact everyone affected to check if you’d like to change delivery week (if Fortnightly), or increase your box size for w/c 9th November. I will put a reminder note in your boxes at the end of October as a final reminder.
As always, if you are planning on being away please let me know so that we can cancel your box whilst you are away.
Available in the shop as ‘extras’ or ‘substitutes’ for your box are:
Veg: Marfona potatoes available loose, and 7.5kg bags of Casa Blanca (both white varieties), loose and bunched carrots, loose and bunched beetroot, cabbages, red and white onions, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, marrow, aubergine (including white ones), chillies (Serenade, Fresno and Jalapeno), cauliflower, green and yellow courgettes, Curly Kale, sweetcorn, Cavalo Nero Kale, Red Cabbage.
Salads: little gem lettuce, cucumber (large and small), tomatoes (beef, salad and 2 types of cherry), celery, salad onions, rocket, peppers, radishes.
Fruit: Local new season Apples and Pears (Cooking and Eating varieties, changing all the time now), Rhubarb, English Raspberries, locally grown Grapes.
What’s in the veg boxes this week:
This is the list of veg that will be in the box’s w/c 21st September 2020.
Please confirm any changes (size of box, frequency, if you wish to cancel, any additional items from the lists above) by the end of Saturday 19th September.
Sweetcorn (Small=2, Med=3, Large=4)
Romanesco (Green) or Purple or white Cauliflower (depending on availability)
A gentle reminder to the veg box customers to leave your empty box out for us to collect and re-use – thank you!
We do have capacity to take on new veg box customers. If you are interested in this, please give me a call or drop me an email.
Recipe of the week
Sweetcorn is going to be in next week's box again. If you need some inspiration this is a great soup. It first appeared in this newsletter back in 2016, it's still great now. It's a Jamie Oliver recipe.
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 medium onion
- olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 840 ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 medium potato , peeled and cut into little cubes
- 3 spring onions
- 175 g frozen corn
- ¼ cup fresh chives , chopped, or parsley
Jamie’s top tips
- Corn chowder is one of the ultimate comfort foods – I love it and it’s much easier than you think to make. You can adapt chowders and add all sorts of things from crab meat to smoked fish – the idea is really to be as hearty as possible.
- Pull the leaves from the celery stalks and set them aside. Chop your celery and onion. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the celery (not the leaves), onion, and thyme. Stir until the vegetables start to brown.
- Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir for a few more minutes. Pour in the milk, add the potato and bring to a boil, stirring the whole time so the soup doesn’t stick to the pot. Cook until the potatoes are tender, but not mushy – this will take around 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the celery leaves, trim the ends off the spring onions and slice them thinly. When the potatoes are tender, stir in the corn, spring onion and celery leaves. Bring the soup back to the boil, then serve.
- This is delicious with a crusty brown roll or a Parmesan crisp.
Frozen corn is fantastic and it’s always a useful ingredient to have in the freezer – it can be used in soups, vegetable dishes, salsas and salads.
If you wanted to make this more of a main meal you could always add some fresh or smoked fish or maybe even a handful of shellfish. Add them at the same time as you add the corn and make sure they are cooked through before you serve.
Chives and parsley are great in this soup but you can also finish it with spring onion tops or even crumbled crackers.
Whenever you’re simmering a thick soup or stew, be sure to reach into the corners when you stir so no nasty bits get stuck and burn.
If it’s summer, buy some fresh corn and cut the kernels off the stalk—see if you can taste the difference.
Whatever happens with the weather this weekend, I hope you have an enjoyable one
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
Open Wednesday 10:30-4, Thursday 10:30-4, Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-4, Sunday Closed
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