This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop
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From Friday 24th July 2020 you will be required to wear face coverings in all shops, including the Farm Shop. These can be fabric or paper masks - visors and scarves are also acceptable. This is me in the visor, and my friends Mick and Anne in their face coverings. In the past week around 80% of customers have been wearing masks – thank you for helping to keep us all safe and well.
If you have a medical reason not to wear one, please make it known when you enter the shop.
If you need to buy a mask, we have some in stock at £4. they are made by a Bedford based charity supporting victims of domestic abuse. 100% of the charge is going back to the charity.
The host company for the shop’s website was planned to be switched off at the end of June. This created an opportunity to refresh the site on a new platform, and also make it mobile-friendly. The last pages were completed on Monday, and it has now been published. The website address is the same please have a look and let me know what you think. I do have one link to fix (Privacy Policy goes to the Veg box scheme currently). Any suggestions for extra information on there are gratefully received.

What’s in the shop this week? Lots of beans, tomatoes, courgettes - it is summer! We have the first of this season’s runner beans, no doubt there’ll be plenty more over the next few weeks.
The cherry harvest is going well in Aspley Guise, they have another 2 weeks of picking left. This week’s variety is Regina.
We have two new flour lines in the shop - both from Shipton Mill. We now have White Spelt flour (perfect for all types of baking) and Light Malthouse bread flour (follow Wholemeal bread recipes and you won’t go far wrong).
What’s in stock in the shop this week:
Available as ‘extras’ or ‘substitutes’ for your box are:
Veg: new potatoes, loose and bunched carrots, bunched beetroot, cabbages, broad beans, French beans, flat beans, red and white onions, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, marrows, aubergines (including white ones), chillies (Serenade, Fresno and Jalapeno), cauliflower and lots of courgettes.
Salads: little gem lettuce, cucumber (large and small), tomatoes (beef, salad and cherry), celery, salad onions, rocket, peppers.
Fruit: Rhubarb, English Strawberries - and of course Cherries!  
What’s in the veg boxes this week:
This is the list of veg that will be in the box’s w/c 27th July
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 25th July.
New potatoes (from Bedfordshire)
Loose carrots
White Onions
Salad Onions
Thank you for all the eggs boxes and empty plastic punnets, they can (and are!) be re-used.
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.
The freezer at the shop is quite full at the moment – don’t forget you can get 10% of marked price for any meat, pies, bread, cakes or scones.
Recipes of the week
Tomatoes will be around for quite a while, so it’s good to fine some new ways to have them.
This is a great mid-week meal for the whole family. 
Creamy pesto chicken with roasted tomatoes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp Homemade pesto (see the recipe below)
85g mascarpone
4 tbsp olive oil
100g breadcrumb, preferably from day-old bread
175g baby tomatoes, on the vine or loose
handful pine nuts
handful basil leaves
  1.  Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Use a small sharp knife to make a slit along the side of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Mix together the pesto and mascarpone, then carefully spoon a quarter of the mixture into each chicken breast and smooth over the opening to seal.
  2. Brush a little oil, about 1 tsp, all over each chicken breast and season well. Tip the breadcrumbs onto a large plate and season. Place each breast on the plate and press all over with the breadcrumbs. Place in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish along with the tomatoes (kept together on the vine in a couple of bunches). Drizzle over the remaining oil.
  3. Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until the chicken starts to turn golden and is cooked through. Scatter over the pine nuts and cook for 2 mins more. Sprinkle with basil leaves and serve with new potatoes or crusty bread.
HOMEMADE PESTO. In a small food processor, whizz together a large handful basil leaves (about 40g), 25g toasted pine nuts, 25g finely grated Parmesan, 1 crushed garlic clove and 3 tbsp olive oil. Keep in the fridge for 1-2 days or cover with a layer of oil and keep for 3-4 days.

Baked Aubergine slices
One of the shops customers from Bedford gave me this recipe for using up Aubergines. This works for the white and purple ones. You can also treat courgettes the same way. It isn’t necessary to salt the vegetables first.
  1. Slice the aubergines about 1cm thick (courgettes are best slightly thinner).
  2. Beat a couple of eggs and put on a plate.
  3. On a second plate have equal quantities of very dry (and ground quite fine) breadcrumbs, and grated parmesan cheese. Add seasoning to this plate and mix well. You can also add finely chopped parsley or basil to this mixture.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  5. Coat the slices of vegetables with egg and then the breadcrumb mix. Place on the baking sheet.
  6. Drizzle a little oil (Olive or Rapeseed) and then bake in a fairly hot oven (190C) for about 25 minutes.
They can be served as they are, with a nice tomato sauce over, or allowed to cool and then frozen (don’t stack, freeze flat, then pack into bags 24 hours later). You can use these to make moussaka, or Parmigiana Mellanzane in the winter when aubergines are expensive.

Whatever your plans this weekend (shopping, cooking, gardening or just relaxing), I hope you have an enjoyable one.

Kind regards

Sue Lang
Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre, Bedford Road, Roxton.
Beds. MK44 3DY
07522 559010
Open Wednesday 10:30-3, Thursday 10:30-3, Friday 10:30-3, Saturday 10:30-3, Sunday Closed

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Black Cat Farm Shop
c/o Roxton Garden Centre
Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
MK44 3DY

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Black Cat Farm Shop · 154a Lower Shelton Road · Upper Shelton · Marston Moretaine, Beds MK43 0LS · United Kingdom

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