We love keeping our past and future guests updated on our B&B life... Blogging, baking and Mrs Beeton are a big part of that.  

 

Check back regularly to find out what we have been up to, what is happening at the Old Parsonage, in the village and it's beautiful surrounding area and of course, what mischief Fergus is causing. 

17th November 2020 - Getting ready for Christmas

During lockdown 2.0 we have decided to prepare the Parsonage for the festive season. Mr B&B has been ridiculously busy in the garden… the rest of the team decided to stay warm and enjoy some festive baking… earlier today we posted a picture of a cinnamon ‘gingerbread person’ garland that is now hanging in our dining room and we have had a few requests on social media for the dough recipe, so here it is:

We would love to call it ingredients but given that there is glue involved, lets call it materials. This will make approximately 20-25 little figures (apx. 8-10cm tall) if you roll out the dough to 5mm:

·         2 cups ground cinnamon

·         2/3  cup of apple sauce – make sure if bough with chunks you blend it to a smooth paste

·         1/2 cup of PVA craft glue

 

Mix until a smooth dough is formed. Some recipes on the web advise to leave the dough for one hour to rest but this may dry out your dough too much. Best to use straight away. If you have time and space you can leave the shapes you make to dry for a few days turning occasionally but the quicker way is to put them in the oven for 2-3 hours at 150C, turning every 20 minutes to ensure even baking.

3rd October 2020 - the start of the spooky month... this year we decided to start a new tradition. Pumpkin picking. We booked tickets at Farrington Farm to venture into their pumpkin field, in the rain, and pick 3 pumpkins. The set up and lay out of the month long event was very well done, but the constant rain made it very hard work. Some would say it would have been easier to just walk into the farm shop and pick one of the beautiful pumpkins that was selected as good enough to make it into the shop. That would have been too easy though, so we braved the wind and rain, dressed up in waterproofs and wellies. We eventually found 3 pumpkins... certainly not InstaLife worthy pumpkins but as we will perform corrective surgery on them later in the month they may yet blossom into something beautiful. 

Farrington Farm's Pumpkin Picking is open all month and booking is essential. Tickets can be booked on www.farringtons.co.uk/whats-on 

 

 

26th September 2020 - A few weeks ago we promised our social media followers that we would share the secret of our Lemon & Lime Drizzle Cake, so here we go, our recipe:

This recipe is adapted from Karen's recipe at Hopton House B&B in Shropshire. Karen took her inspiration from Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle recipe. Some will argue that Mary's recipes should not be changed in any way, but we all have our own preferences and tastes and we love ours to have a real zing, hence the lime, but more on that later.

To start, preheat your oven to 180 degrees for fan oven.

Ingredients for 3 1/2 lb loaf tins or one 2 lb loaf... we serve 1/2 lb cakes - they are ideal for 2 to share one cake without any leftovers. Especially now we cannot leave cakes out in the lounge for guests to help themselves, these little cakes are COVID safe as they cannot or is that won't be shared ;)

All the ingredients need to be placed into a mixing bowl in the order they are shown here. We use a Kitchenaid mixer...

  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 110g of softened butter
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Fine grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of natural yogurt

Let the mixer beat the ingredients together for apx. 2-3 minutes. Either divide into 3 lined tins or one lined tin. We buy our tin liners as the liners then do not leak the drizzle, but standard grease proof baking paper will do...

For 3 smaller cakes, bake for 20 minutes, check with a wooden skewer, if the skewer comes out clean, take out leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin. if not quite ready return to the oven for a further 2-3 mins, repeat as many times as necessary until golden brown. For one larger cake bake for 30-35 minutes and then check as you would the smaller cakes with a skewer.

After 5 mins, pierce the cake all over with the skewer. Then using a teaspoon cover the cake in drizzle... our drizzle has the juice of one lime in it for that extra zing!

  • 100g granulated sugar
  • juice of one large lemon
  • juice of one small lime

This cake/cakes will last up to fine 5 days in air-tight containers, but the beauty of the little cakes is you can eat one and freeze the rest. To defrost simply take out the freezer a few hours before serving. 

Although most of the time we serve our drizzles in loaf form we have also experimented with other shapes, one of our favourites being roses. They look beautiful and don’t need cutting!