This weeks news from the Black Cat Farm Shop
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I had a lovely day off today, thanks to Linda for being at the shop. We (Danny, myself and my mum) managed to book a car parking slot at Wimpole Hall, a little bit of (well planned) normal with a walk around the gardens and a picnic in the park. Also got a little sunburnt (oops).
I’d like to thank all the Customers who have been into the shop since face coverings became essential. We have had 99% compliance and the very few who didn’t have them were very apologetic that they’d forgotten them. We will get used to this ‘new normal’.
We do have masks available to buy for £4. They are triple layered cotton with elastic to go round your ears. 100% of the proceeds are going to Unique Treasures CIC. This is a not for profit group based in Bedford who supports individuals who have experienced domestic abuse. As well as gaining self confidence, they learn new crafting skills, and the items made are sold to fund the project. We’re extremely happy to support them.
In the shop this week we have the last of the Aspley Guise cherries (sob). They’ve had a bumper harvest despite the damage the late frosts did, but all good things must come to an end. We do have the first of the new season plums in the shop - in fact there are so many available this week that they’re making an appearance in the veg boxes. They’ll be prices at £3 kg which is less than Tesco.
I mentioned the flower bunches form Amber a few weeks ago. She’s going to have enough flowers available to be able to supply until early September. Bunches can cost between £5-£15, you decide.
We had a top up delivery of ice cream from Riverside Dairy this week. This includes their new flavour - Coffee. All the small pots sell for £2 each. We can also get the 500ml pots if you pre-order. Ellie told me that they’re already looking ahead at ideas for Christmas ice creams, can’t wait to try them!
We have several gluts going on - beans (flat, French and runner beans), courgettes and aubergines - have you tried the white ones? Skins are slightly thinner and a more delicate flavour than the purple ones, I love them.
The first of the locally grown shallots are also available now, and we have plenty of marrows which are likely to be in the veg boxes the week after next.
What’s in stock in the shop this week:
Veg: new potatoes, loose and bunched carrots, loose beetroot, cabbages, French beans, flat beans, runner 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, the last few cherries, plums. 
What’s in the veg boxes this week:
This is the list of veg that will be in the box’s w/c 3rd August.
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 1st August.
New potatoes (from Bedfordshire)
Loose carrots
White Onions
Spinach or Rocket (let me know if you have a preference)
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.

Recipe of the week
We have two recipes this week – both are great for preparing ahead of time.

Charred courgette, lemon & goat’s cheese galette
This is great to prepare ahead of time, and kid will love helping to make it.
110g unsalted butter
100g plain flour
100g wholemeal rye flour
1 tbsp lemon thyme or normal thyme, finely chopped
½ tsp fine sea salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
For the topping
2 bunches of spring onions, kept whole, roots trimmed
2 courgettes, cut into strips about 5mm thick
5 tbsp mascarpone
150g soft goat’s cheese
1 small lemon, zested
50g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, finely grated
pine nuts, toasted, and a drizzle of olive oil, to serve
  1. The night before you make the galette, wrap the butter and put it in the freezer. When you’re ready to make the pastry, put the plain flour, rye flour, thyme and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Take the butter out of the freezer and wrap one end in foil, then use this to hold it as you coarsely grate the butter into the flour mixture. Unwrap the last piece of butter and carefully grate that in as well. Roughly mix everything, then add 5-6 tbsp cold water and mix swiftly with a cutlery knife to combine, then use your hands to bring it together into a dough and knead briefly. Wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hr. Will keep in the fridge for up to two days.
  2. For the topping, heat a griddle pan or non-stick frying pan over a high heat until searing hot, then griddle the spring onions in two batches and on each side for 1-2 mins, or until you have achieved dark char marks. Set aside on a plate, then repeat with the courgette strips. You can do this the day before and keep the cooked vegetables in an airtight container overnight.
  3. Mix the mascarpone and goat’s cheese with the lemon zest and parmesan in a bowl until smooth. Season to taste and set aside.
  4. Roll the pastry out between two pieces of baking parchment to a rectangle roughly 35 x 25cm. Peel off the top layer of parchment and spread the cheese mixture over the pastry, leaving a 3cm border. Top with the spring onions and brush the border with some of the beaten egg. Use the parchment underneath to slide the galette onto a baking sheet. Chill for 30 mins.
  5. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and put another baking sheet inside to get hot. Brush the edges with more beaten egg, then slide the galette, still on its paper, onto the hot baking sheet. Bake for 30 mins, then top with the courgette and bake for a further 5 mins, or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp at the edges. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and scatter over some pine nuts, if you like. Goes well with mint sauce.
Braised pork with plums
This is delicious served with new potatoes or rice.
about 1.6kg/3lb 8oz pork shoulder
5 tbsp rice wine
5 tbsp light soy sauce for flavour, 1 tbsp dark for colour
generous thumb-size piece fresh root ginger
5 garlic cloves
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
bunch spring onions, finely sliced
2 star anise
1 ½ tsp five-spice powder
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp sugar, any type
1 tbsp tomato purée
500ml chicken stock
6 ripe plums, halved and stoned
  1. Cut the pork into big pieces about the length of your thumb and twice as wide. Put into a bowl or food bag, and add the wine, soy sauces, half the ginger, half the garlic and half the chilli. Marinate for at least 1 hr or up to 24 hrs.
  2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3, then heat the oil in a large casserole. Tip in half the spring onions, remaining ginger and garlic, the star anise, five-spice powder and cinnamon. Fry gently until fragrant and soft. Stir in the sugar, turn up the heat, then lift the pork from the marinade and turn in the oniony mix for about 3 mins until the meat is just sealed but not browned. Tip in the marinade, tomato purée and stock, give it a stir, cover, then braise in the oven for 2 hrs.
  3. After the first hour is up, add the plums to the pan. Take the lid off and carry on the cooking, uncovered. The meat should be completely tender, turning golden brown where it breaks the surface of the sauce. Spoon off any excess fat from the surface, then scoop the meat and plums carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon. Turn up the heat and boil the sauce for 5-10 mins until reduced and slightly syrupy. Return everything to the pan, gently warm through, then scatter the rest of the spring onions over the top to serve.
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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Bedford Road
Roxton, Beds.
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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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