Watercress and Goats Cheese Soup.

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Posted by Teresa | Posted in Farmhouse Recipes | Posted on 31-01-2014

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Ingredients:

Cooking oil
2 large Potatoes
1 Onion
2-3 pints of Chicken Stock
1 Bag of Watercress
Salt and Pepper
1 small tub of double cream
Goat’s cheese

Method

Peel and cut the potatoes as if you were making mash, peel and chop the onion into large chunks. Heat the oil in a roomy saucepan and gently fry the potato and onion until the onion becomes translucent.

Add the Chicken stock and some salt and pepper to taste to the saucepan, making sure that the potato and onion is generously covered. Bring to the boil and simmer until the potato is soft, about twenty minutes.

Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the watercress leaving it to wilt into the hot liquid.

Blend the soup until smooth, (I use a hand blender and don’t worry too much if I find the occasional lump of potato in my soup!)

(If making the soup in advance allow to cool and it will keep for a couple of days in the fridge or will freeze, I find empty plastic four pint milk cartons just about the correct size for storing the soup.) When you are ready to serve the soup, reheat it to just about to boil, stir in the pot of cream and check the seasoning.

Serve into warmed soup bowls and scatter some goat’s cheese over the soup.

Serve with warm crusty rolls and butter.

 

Happy Shropshire Freedom for our Chickens

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Posted by Teresa | Posted in Chickens, Latest News | Posted on 26-01-2014

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Happy free range chickens!

Keeping chickens is rewarding in so many more ways than just the delicious fresh eggs. They can be quite interesting characters too, and today they have been particularly cheeky, getting the better of me from the minute they were let out of the coop this morning.

Free range chickens in ShropshireTheir usual routine is to head straight for the newly filled food troughs to eat their corn and layers pellets, but not this morning! Magic and I had left the gate open at the other end of the yard when we had gone in to say good morning, and as our girls came out of the coop they ran straight for the open gate, much faster than I could get there to close it. Thankfully we haven’t planted anything in the garden yet, and they enjoy eating the grass and scrabbling around for any unsuspecting worms, a real treat. With all six of the girls out in the garden, the chances of getting them penned back in were zero, Magic’s skills at rounding up chickens are as bad as mine; the chickens are completely used to Magic and in the most the girls ignore him; so we duly left them to enjoy the freedom.

But today our garden wasn’t quite enough, the grass obviously looked greener in next doors garden, and this afternoon they were enjoying a taste of that too! Thankfully chickens take themselves to bed as the sun sets, and all six ladies are now present and correct having found their own way back to their coop, and have been shut in for the night.

imageFour eggs today, which seems to be our average at the moment, as the weather improves we will probably be getting the full six again, or maybe more…

The plan is to get some more chickens. Hannah’s delayed Christmas present is a pair of black chickens, which we will buy in a few weeks time, and Mick is looking at buying a Rhode Island Red cockerel and Light Sussex hen so that we can breed Warrens. We have four Warrens already, our original four chickens, a hybrid chicken that is particularly bred for egg productivity. I wonder if the baby chicks will be as cheeky as the grown-ups!

New Year New Start – Wrickton Hall Dog Boarding Kennels

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Posted by Teresa | Posted in Latest News | Posted on 04-01-2014

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A few days into the new move now. Life seems to be all mud and boxes. The weather has been challenging, even our dog has refused to go outside at times; our thoughts however go out to people in coastal areas who have faired far worse than just our soggy garden and muddy driveway!
The essentials are now up and running; dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer; and Mick is doing an amazing job at warming the house with the log burner.
Magic, our dog, has a very sore eye, which I am bathing frequently thanks to my friend’s advise, we are hoping he regains his bounce very soon; I am blaming the long wet grass and his shortness of leg!!!
The chickens have settled perfectly in the pigsties, a good area for them to have freedom, a bit of grazing and shelter from the almost persistent rain.
Our new additions, Coco and Rory, our two cats, are beginning to show some character. Rory is still very shy, spending his daytimes under the settee, but moving around in the peace of the nighttime; he is always under a different chair by the morning and eating well. Coco however is becoming much braver and curling up on the cushions on the settee in the evenings, he is especially lively when he is hungry!
Tomorrow we are hoping for a few moments of sunshine to take some photos for the website! Watch this space!
Tee x