“I haven’t seen a plover for 15 years” he lamented “nor a hedgehog, they’ve been decimated by badgers who are spreading TB to the cattle”.
“People have stopped eating them, they eat differently, they shop differently” he said, referring to the modern low-carb diet and supermarket shopping where prices are driven down.
“Their potatoes taste like cardboard, my potatoes, the Manatee and the Wilja, are fantastic”.
After the war, grenades were found in the potato fields, the pickers would gather them and throw them into a pile in the middle. Then the bomb squad would be called to blow it up.
“Buy proper mozzarella balls, none of that cheap Danish shit” I snapped, momentarily revealing my food fascism to a stranger.
Suffocated Potatoes and three cheeses recipe
1.5 kilos of potatoes, peeled and cubed (4 x 4 cm)
Olive oil for frying
5 shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
100g hard sheep’s cheese, grated
100g cheddar, grated
100g feta, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill the wood stove with as many logs (properly dried, you can tell because they are light to handle) and burn the wood until the stove is at it’s highest heat. Prep the potatoes then par-boil them in a large saucepan, on top of the stove, covered with salted boiling water for about ten minutes or until you can easily prick them with a fork but they mustn’t be too soft either. Drain them in a colander.
Take a wide cast iron frying pan and heat it up on the stove. Cover the bottom generously with olive oil. Add the shallots and fry until golden then add the garlic. Add the potatoes in one layer and cover the pan. Fry for around 15 minutes, turn the potatoes, replace the lid and fry for another ten minutes.
Add the cheese, leaving the feta cubes until last. Season and serve.
Tropical fruit and maple syrup pancakes over a wood stove
adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe
225 grams plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 large eggs (beaten)
30 grams butter (melted and cooled)
300 ml milk
butter for frying
a punnet of blueberries
1 mango cubed
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, sugar) then mix the wet ingredients (eggs, butter, milk) then combine together. Leave to rest for ten minutes.
For first timers who want extra comfort I would recommend you take:
A small gas stove or at least a flask of hot tea/coffee for when you arrive.
Extra toilet paper*
A wrap or small blanket for chilly nights on the sofa
A wind up radio
Extra pillow cases and pillows if you want more than one pillow.
Your own towel for washing.
Extra tea towels (you get just one)
Think in terms of one pot meals like stews/currys/pasta with sauce/
Coffee beans* although they give you enough for a couple of pots of coffee.
A couple of tins of soup*
A can of chopped tomatoes*
Some fresh parsley/coriander
If you want to make your own pizzas take yeast, flour, mozzarella, tomato pasta
If you want to make pancakes take baking powder
* items you can get from the farm shop but if you want better products, i.e. Maldon as opposed to table salt, bring your own. The dairy products should be bought at the farm shop.
To stay at Feather Down Farms go to their site here. You can book for the weekend, a whole week or just midweek. The latter is cheaper. I would suggest you book quickly as the schedule is filling up already.