What’s Cooking?

With half term fast approaching I am working hard to stock the freezer with all the family favourites. Today’s recipe is a real “marmite” one; you either love it or hate it! It is very divisive in my house, but if you are a fan, this is a a real simple recipe which is delicious when using quality ingredients.

Top Tip:

Here on the farm we have the very best of home grown, but appreciating that not everyone has that I can recommend splashing out on the bacon in particular, the supermarket cheap watery packs are just hopeless to cook with!

Liver and Bacon Casserole

Ingredients

Quantities are very forgiving so go with what you think for the number you are feeding

Liver in chunks or slices (most animal liver is fine, lamb and chicken are popular) and any other offal you like: kidney, tongue, heart all work well

Onions finely sliced

Mushrooms finely sliced

Good quality back bacon, dicedFarmer Nick's best Cornish Ale

Garlic cloves finely chopped

Plain white flour

Beef or chicken stock cube(s)

Olive oil

My twist: Good Ale, I like a bottle of Farmer Nick’s best Cornish Bitter!

Lightly boiled and chopped carrots or other veg (optional, can just serve with the meal separately)

Potatoes for mashing.

Method

  1. Saute the onions and Mushrooms in  2 tablespoons of olive oil.
     
  2. Remove with a slotted spoon, add the diced bacon and fry with the chopped garlic until crispy and the juices are running,  then add the sliced liver, heart, tongue, kidney or other offal and quickly fry on a high heat to seal for 5 minutes.
     
  3. Reduce the heat sprinkle in a couple of tablespoons of flour and stir for 1 minute. It will begin to stick to the pan, at this point gradually add the ale, stock cube and season with black pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir to a rich smooth consistency, add the onion, mushroom and any other veg. back in and transfer to a casserole dish. 
     
  4. Peel and boil the potatoes, drain well then mash with a little milk, butter and salt.
     
  5. Spread the mash over the casserole and cook in the oven on a medium heat at about 160degrees – for  approximately an hour.

Tip

You can cook for shorter at a higher temperature or even leave it on the hob and serve the potato separately, but I always think meat is more tender and tasty cooked longer and slower in the oven. I then freeze my 2 and 4 potion dishes ready for our guests to simply refrost and reheat after a busy day on the farm or at the beach. It is an easy one to make in batches, so worth doing one for the freezer and one for dinner.

 

 Diced bacon fryingAll ready to transfer to the casseroleCarrots can be served separately or in the casserole

Here on the farm

Caught on Camera in the morning sun: 

 

Mr Muscovy Duck

 

   TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky  Silent Sunday

 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Family Feed Run

What a glorious Saturday morning, frosty, cold and sunny. To me, this is the very best of winter weather. All 8 of us trooped out onto the farm together to feed the animals. We have one of those rare few days with no guests to share our beautiful farm with now until the back end of the week; it is strange but lovely too. 

I love the togetherness of having us all out on the farm, it’s real family bonding time for us and something we all enjoy. 

  Filling the feed bucketsPetting our tame ducksAny eggs in here?

Brotherly loveInto the GoatsRunning to the braying Donkeys

This was quite amusing to watch, the goats were so keen to get their noses in the bucket that the boys were having quite a struggle to ensure everyone had their fair share!

Struggling with the goats

 

I do hope where ever you are you too will be out making the most of the sunshine and linking up with me here on Country Kids. Any outdoor activities involving the kids is great, weather a walk in the park or fun in the garden, please grab the badge and join in.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Girls Road Trip

This was a really last minute thing that just came together beautifully. Well it did for me anyway, as I have very organised friends! Just 1 night away from home, but wow did we make the most of our Mummy time off. Anyone with children will know only too well that time out as a Mum is a rare treat to be treasured. I make it sound like I don’t adore my family, nothing could be further from the truth, I just find I appreciate them more and have more patience after the occasional day away; absence really does make the heart grow fonder. We all offered to drive, but when Anita pulled the trump card of taking her husband’s Jaguar, well there was nothing to debate really! I have to say I was slightly apprehensive of feeling car sick in the back seat, but I can now safely say the back of a Jag is better than the front of our bus any day!Jaguar Travel

Why Cornwall to Birmingham?

The Strictly Come Dancing Road show at the NIA was the focus of our trip. http://www.thenia.co.uk/whatson/strictly-come-dancing I have to confess to not ever having watched an episode of strictly before, but I was in good company and I knew we would have a laugh so I counted myself in!

In true girl style we took our time travelling, stopping at Cribbs Causeway Bristol for lunch and a spot of shopping. Remember we don’t have huge indoor shopping centres in Cornwall, a chance to catch up on fashion outside of surf brands! 

Arriving late afternoon with luxury picnic and champagne, we were ready to hit the town and definitely in high spirits as our taxi arrived!

Ready for our picnicBirmingham Thistle HotelFrom the Cab

The NIA was only minutes away and the show certainly did not disappoint from start to finish:

By the time we came out we were buzzing, and that’s not just from the wine in the interval! Catching a cab, our next destination was booked in advance…… a late night curry house. We couldn’t come to Birmingham and not go for a curry; it would be like visiting Cornwall and not trying a Cornish pasty or Cream tea! Despite our picnic we all tucked in to our feast! 

Enjoying our CurryCurry House Birmingham

It was gone midnight when we left the restaurant and we should really have been heading home, however spotting an 80’s night club accross the road, yep, we just had to do it! It was a blast, dancing round our coats and bags, cocktails in hand to all the old tunes and I wasn’t even the oldest person in there! 

A laugh a minuteGood cocktails!80s Nightclub Reflex

By breakfast we were a tad more subdued! Not to be put off we set off for the city centre and Bull Markets. I had no idea just how big Birmingham was or how beautiful. The architecture is really stunning with a wonderful fusion of old and new, as for Cornwall Street, well I just had to have that one on camera!

The famous Bull in the Shopping CenterLovely buildings along the streetTown Hall

 Cornwall Street Birmingham Monster Coffee!

 

We had to stop for one last coffee at Starbucks – well the nearest at home is 40 minutes away! Then the “Mummy fab 4” hit the road for the journey home and a warm welcome from our lovely families. Oh, and not too feel too sorry for them, the Dads and kids organised a big party get together at Coombe Mill including all the crisps and Pop Mummy normally bans! I would love to be cross, but actually I am delighted they had a good time too, since we might be planning another trip soon!   

Just do it!

Time out is never easy, money, work, child care and feeling comfortable away from your family is hard, but as the children begin to get older it does get easier to achieve, making a little time for yourself isn’t selfish, it can be enriching and certainly makes me better at being a Mum. If you can find a way, give it a go!