Ginger & Date Cookies

February 3, 2014 at 12:28 PMCoombeMill

Treat Time

With six growing children to feed I really can't afford bought treats. Seriously there is no cookie jar or treat cupboard in our house. My children would go wild for a digestive biscuit or a custard cream but there are none. If there were with two teens and four tweens the tin would be empty! My answer is home cooking and this includes the treats.  I have my basic recipes which I know by heart and rarely use a recipe book as quantity and time are my priority. However now and then when I am avoiding going out on a wet morning I like to experiment in the kitchen and surprise them with something new. My recipes are always tasty, quick and easy and involve sneaking in a few healthy ingredients so that when they tuck into their packed lunch or come in starving after school I have something nutritious and tasty on offer. These Ginger biscuits really didn't hang around!

Ginger & Date Cookies


Ingredients for Ginger & Date Cookies

Ingredients for Ginger & Date Cookies

100g dried stoned dates

75g stem Ginger from a jar ( or 3 balls)

2 teaspoons of syrup from the ginger jar.

275g Self Raising Flour

125g demerara sugar

200g butter

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla flavour

1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger


Finely chop the dates and Stem ginger & place in a bowl ( I whiz the two up in a food mixer with the ginger syrup)


Finely chopped Ginger & Date

Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well, for me this means tip everything into the food mixer & blend until a dough forms)

Cookie Dough


Roll the dough into balls and place on a greased baking sheet, then place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees


Dough balls cooking


Bake for about 10 minutes until golden. Cool for a few minutes before removing from the baking tray. 



Ginger & Date Cookies


Enjoy with a cup of coffee before the children find them!


Farmer Nick enjoys a morning cookie


Chef's Tip

They will keep in an airtight container for at least a week (children permitting) and are a perfect no mess solution for packed lunches. You can taste the ginger but not the dates which just add goodness, fibre and texture with no complaints from the kids.

Silent Sunday / Project 52

February 1, 2014 at 9:40 PMCoombeMill

Coombe Bridge


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Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

January 31, 2014 at 9:30 PMCoombeMill

National Bird Watch

Last weekend was Big Garden Birdwatch Day from the RSPB and we decided it would be fun to join in and see what was happening in our garden. We gave our bird table a good clean and set to work on making a range of delicious tempting treats to see what we could entice into our garden. I have enjoyed several bird food making posts on Country Kids this season and remember the fun we had making and filling our table last year

We set to work out on our garden bench with some cereals and raisins, a pan of melted lard and a ball of wool. I was delighted at how enthusiastic the children were happily threading cheerios onto lengths of wool. Even a teen came to join in, always a bonus!

Birdwatch making cheerio chains

Next the children crushed up bran flakes and added them to the melted lard together with oats and raisins and gave them a good stir to combine.


 Birdwatch making cereal balls

It took a few minutes for the lard to begin to solidify leaving just enough time for a quick game on our Christmas trampoline which is still in daily use. They have developed a game of their own involving a football and much bouncing and shouting. I am so glad we have a good safety net which is needed rather too often as they reach for the ball.


Trampolining kids


As the mix began to set I called the children back over to get their hands stuck into the mix and make it into balls. They then placed their bird balls on the table and hung the Cheerio chains around the edge.

 Bird Watch - Hanging up the homemade food


Satisfied with their efforts they retreated to watch and they weren't the only ones!

Bird Watch - Ready & Waiting


It wasn't long before their efforts were rewarded. Well once they stopped jumping on the trampoline and playing football in the garden I mean. We saw blackbirds, a magpie, a cheeky robin that collected the fallen pieces from the garden bench as well as from the bird table, a pair of blue tits and a chaffinch However whenever I had the video running there was nothing to see just a beautiful bird song against the backdrop of the river.


Bird Watch at Coombe Mill


We will be keeping our table topped up until spring when nature brings its own food once again for our two legged friends.


Bird Watch Rewarded

Joining in with Country Kids.

Country Kids is all about enjoying the outdoors. It is so easy to stay inside on these winter days, relax in the central heating and watch something on television. However children have energy to burn and they settle so much better to the comfort of indoors after a blast of fresh air. So grab your wellies, wrap up warm and have a little outdoor fun. Take a camera with you and come back and share your adventure. Whether it is the garden like us this week, a day out, an interesting walk to school or a play in the park I love to see what you have been doing. Please grab the badge code below and be inspired by the others who have linked up here too. There are always some great ideas.

A few of my favourite posts from last week: 

Wild Women Wear enjoys the local nature reserve in the evening light.

Podcast discovers the wildlife trail at Clandon Park

Diary of the Evens-Crittens supports the Team Honk Relay with some adventure park challenges

I love the "just do it" attitude to the weather with these muddy walks from Mummy of Two and Redpeffer

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

My Dad is Farmer Nick

January 27, 2014 at 6:34 AMCoombeMill

Top 10 ANNOYING things my Dad does!Clio & Dad

By Clio Cambouropoulos

To you my Dad is known as Farmer Nick. You will think he is the smiley, chatty and jolly farmer on his tractor. I’m going to share another side of Farmer Nick (My Dad.) These are the top 10 annoying things my Dad does to me and my brothers. I am going to start at number 10 and work my way backwards to number one; number one being the most annoying in my view.



Whenever he goes shopping about 99.9% of what he buys is Asda smart price, Tesco value or a special offer. I find this embarrassing as all my friends seem to come to school with cool brands.

 Smart Price and Value goods


Whenever we play a song he will always say “Is this Justin do dah?” and we reply “no Dad it is not Justin do dah the singer is ...!”I think he knows really but he loves to wind us up.


 Clio listening to music


My Dad is always calling people nicknames he calls me "Elle Lazo" but I say “Dad I am not lazy, I help Mum with her blog actually!”


 El Lazo


Dad listens to his horrific and annoying 1980’s music like punk at max volume. We all HATE it!


 Dad's 1980's music



My Dad will start a sentence and then 30 seconds later he will finish it. Often we try to finish it for him but then he gets annoyed when our guess is wrong!


 Dad talking to me



Dad only ever wears his famer clothes; he wears them if he is in town or if he is in Asda or even on holiday.

 Dad the farmer at the Olympics


Whenever Dad see’s a frog he will say “Clio kiss it, it might become a prince.”


 klissing a frog to call a Prince

And now we have got to the top 3 ANNOYING things my Dad does to me and my and my brothers.


To my Dad every after school club is “dancing club!” Actually I go to Gymnastics, ballet and tap dancing and they are not the same.


He cuddles me so, so, so hard and I have to squeal in return, which I think annoys him quite a lot too!


Daddy cuddles


This is most certainly the most annoying thing my Dad does:

He snores through every program and when he is asleep on the sofa we try and steal the remote to change channels but as soon as we try he will wake up and say “Oi I was watching that!”Then he will fall straight back to sleep! So we send him to bed. Unfortunately he often does not go to bed when we send him to bed so we have to put up with it, or we will go down stairs to watch our program in the kitchen!     


Dad asleep in front of the TV


Does everyone have a Dad who is as annoying as mine? I'm sure my friends Dad's are much more normal and far less embarrassing than mine. Don't get me wrong, he is funny and loving too and I wouldn't swap him for the world, but changing a few of his ways would be cool. Next time he takes you on a farm tour to feed the animals, watch out for the jokes if you see a frog! 

Dad and Clio

To Dad with love from Clio 


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Silent Sunday / Project 52

January 25, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

Coombe Mill Fallow Deer Stag




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"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all. 

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