30 September 2013

Southwell Ploughing Match and Country Show

Today we visited Southwell Ploughing Match and Show, an annual event which we had not had the pleasure of going to before. But with about four generations in tow we decided to make it a family day out.

The show had everything from farm equipment to craft tents and rather large vegetables as well as best in shows and horse events.

We arrived at 10.45am and didn't leave until 4.50pm so t was a full day and for only £7.50 each adult it was money well spent.

First of all we found lots of tractors to see and climb in to.

 Who knew combine harvesters were so big?

 This tyre was huuuge!

We had always wondered how they harvested corn, now we know.

We loved this beauty, totally gorgeous.

Amazed at the size of these parsnips, the carrots were pretty amazing too. We all would have loved to try some of the fruit and veg on those tables ;)

We are definitely going to make some of these paper plates with leaves and other autumnal bits on.

These gorgeous vegetable animals were made by 11 and 12 years old, my son wants to make some now so we will be out in the garden looking for leaves and feathers later this week.

This gorgeous old steam engine was a wood plane and wonderful (and scary) to watch them cutting wood with it.

This old hay baler was wonderful to watch and we got to see the finished product and look at the corn too.

Looking at the ear of corn with grandpa.

Looking at the corn
This was a really lovely day and I can't wait until next year, we will definitely be going back.

We are linking up to Country Kids over on Coombe Mill Blog

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

27 September 2013

Less than One Week

It is less than one week until I cut my hair off for The Little Princess Trust and Cancer Research.

One of the reasons I wanted to raise money for Cancer Research is because of the work they do, without them, years may not have been had and hope may never have existed for some of our family and friends.

My mum and dads best friend died last year of cancer, but it wasn't his first battle with this disease, he first had cancer in the form of a brain tumour about 15 years ago. But with the knowledge, care and dedication of the doctors he survived that tumour.

He eventually took on cancer a second time this time with stomach cancer, again it was removed and with chemo he was able to fight it a second time.

Third time unlucky and he found out he had oesophageal cancer, this is an incresingly common cancer and so it is important to recognise the symptoms.

Finally and so very sadly he found out he had bone cancer, it was this that took his life. But without the research those precious years would not have been had, he wouldn't have got to meet his grandchildren and spend so much time with his wife, family and friends.

So it is with this that I strongly believe in Cancer Research and the good work they do and why I want to raise money.

You can hear more of his journey from his wife in a heart wrenching story on Simon Bates on Smooth

There is still time to sponsor me, I am so close to hitting my £500 target.



25 September 2013

Beautiful Beetroot Brownies

One sure fire way of getting everyone to eat fruit or veg in this house is to hide it and make it taste like something else.

So when I saw some gorgeous local beetroot the other day I knew I had to get some and make some yummy beetroot brownies.


250g Dark Chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
250g Unsalted Butter
250g Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
150g Self Raising Flour
250g Beetroot, boiled until tender, peeled and grated ( I use a food processor with the grater attachment)

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tin of approximately 20 x 30 x 3cm and line the bottom with baking paper.
2. Break up the chocolate into pieces, cut the butter into cubes then place them in a heatproof bowl. Melt over a pan of hot water (bain marie) stirring occasionally until completely melted.
Love melted chocolate and butter so pretty
3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until mixed, you can use a handheld whisk but I tend to use a balloon whisk, then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. 

4. Gently fold in the flour and beetroot -don't overmix or it will make the brownies tough.
Beetroot is just a gorgeous colour

5. Pour the mixture into tin and smooth over the top with a spatula. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. A knife or skewer pushed into the middle should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don't be tempted to overcook them! Remove the tin from the oven and leave on wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.

Best served warm with cream
This recipe is a winner and the children and my husband always ask for more plus it turns the cream a pretty purple colour so whats not to like, dare you try it on your family?
Linking up to recipe of the week over on A Mummy Too blog

Link up your recipe of the week

21 September 2013

Shopping Local to Make Great Food

I have been on a mission of late to shop local, so last weekend I met my grandparents for a coffee and visited a local greengrocers in the process.

The Fruit Bowl on Mapperley Top in Nottingham offers a huge range of fruit and veg, most of which is local or UK grown with the add addition from abroad that we simply don't have the climate to grown them.

My gorgeous selection of food consisted of, beetroot (for beetroot brownies), tomatoes, plums, cress apples, pears, onions, all from UK and then sweet potatoes (for soup) and peaches from abroad.

How fabulous to be able to buy so much English produce and the taste is so much better.

Since this week has been rather rubbish weather wise I made some simple sweet potato soup, just onion, sweet potato, stock, salt and pepper and some milk. Perfect for an autumnal day.

Do you use your local greengrocers? If not then why not give them a try next time you need some fruit and veg.


3 September 2013

French Farm Visiting

On our recent holiday in France we mostly had good weather, on the one day it was a little overcast we decided to visit an Ostrich farm.

Whilst there we were not only presented with lots of animals but a sensory trail which was absolutely fabulous.

As you walked through the trees you got to try out your five senses, this first area was for sight.

There were several viewing stations where you could look through the trees, second was this tube filled with hama beads and then lots of smaller objects that you could see as you rolled it back and fourth.
Next was sound, several wooden objects made up the area,the children really loved it and had fun being part of a woodland band.

Next was smell, each tree trunk was hollowed out and then herbs and spices were placed in them and you had to guess what they were.

 Taste were different herbs but we just guessed them from looking at them and smelling.

Next was touch, you had to put your hand in each box and feel what was in there, a very weird sesation not knowing what was in them. The worst was probably the coal as we all ended up with rather dirty hands.

Finally and although this sounded great, with two small children we decided against it, A path where you took your shoes off and walked over different things, coal, bark being just a few of them.

This was a great addition to the farm which we had a lovely time walking round with the children, they were particularly drawn to the Ostriches which were really endearing .

I am linking up to Country Kids over on Coombe Mill

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall