IMG_9511

INT. Irish country bedroom. SATURDAY morning, before SUNRISE.

“Mom, time to get up! When can we go meet the kids?”

I slowwwwly, squintedly, open one eye, blink twice, then try to focus on the ebullient face of a little farmer who seems far too jovial upon waking for my fragile morning head to manage. (note to self: making homemade mead might not be a good routine to start after all)

The clock reads 6:41am.

Confused, I mumble, “kids? what kids?”

He, in his best clever clogs lilt, points out, “Not kid kids, mother… baby goat kids! Remember?”

I pull the covers over my head.

He pulls them down.

I pull them back up.

I lose.

“Your hair looks really weird mom”

Baby goats are a treat.

We don’t have them on our farm.

We want them here, but we don’t have them here. (YET)

Farm envy. It is possible.

I throw back the duvet and drag myself out of bed. As I draw open the shades I tell myself that I should always be the one who is awake first no matter what day of the week it is. Mother guilt, can’t go without a daily dose, right?

We rustle up some brekky.

And, text our goat mama friend.

FB goat mama friend.

Wait.

Weed. (highly recommend weeding while waiting, soothes anxiety)

Wait.

Wonder if..…. “Mom, let’s just turn up at their house.”

Nah, still not quite Irish enough for that yet. Need confirmation for visitations.

Wait.

Walk to our farm to feed our own babies.

Work out a plan to visit the following day with a bonus: another new kid happened!

IMG_9498

INT. Irish country bedroom. SUNDAY morning, before SUNRISE.

“Mom, time to get up! When can we go meet the kids?”

I slowwwwly, squintedly, open one eye, blink twice, then try to focus on the ebullient face of a little farmer who seems far too jovial upon waking for my fragile morning head to manage. (note to self: making homemade mead might not be a good routine to start)

The clock reads 6:41am.

Confused, I mumble, “kids? what kids?”

He, in his best clever clogs lilt, points out, “Not kid kids, mother… baby goat kids! Remember?”

I pull the covers over my head.

He pulls them down.

I pull them back up.

I lose.

“Your hair looks really weird mom”

Baby goats are a treat.

We don’t have them on our farm.

We want them here, but we don’t have them here. (YET)

Farm envy. It is possible.

And, off we went…..

IMG_9453 IMG_9471 IMG_9496

Afterwards, I couldn’t resist making some fresh cheese. (see my fresh farmer cheese method here, just swap raw goats milk for cow’s milk and use a tbsp of lemon juice instead of vinegar for creamier texture)

IMG_9572 IMG_9580 IMG_9618 IMG_9622 IMG_9629

 

Followed by fresh cheesecake.

IMG_9676 IMG_9684 IMG_9686

Goats Milk Cheesecake with Woodland Honey
This is a super easy, non fussy fresh cheesecake that is always a hit with family and friends. Prepare in the morning and have it for dessert in the evening. The goats cheese provides a richer, fuller flavour than cow’s milk cream cheese, and making the cheese fresh makes it even more wholesome. The honey gives it a bit of a sweetness boost for the finish. I love my father-in-law’s honey from down in the wood, it’s delicious!
Ingredients
125 grams/ 1 ¼ cup crumbled digestive biscuits or graham crackers (Bourbon
biscuits would be nice too)
75 grams/ 6 tbsps soft butter ends ingredient
300 grams/ 10oz soft goats cheese (homemade or from the market)
60 grams/ ½ cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 ml/ 1 cup heavy cream
Honey for drizzling
Method
1. Process biscuits in a food processor until they turn to large crumbs, then add the butter and pulse again to make bring the mixture together.
2. Press mixture into a 20cm / 8 inch springform tin; press a little up the sidesto form a ridge.
3. Beat together the goats cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth
4. Lightly whip the double cream, and then fold it into the cream cheese mixture.
5. Spoon the cheesecake filling on top of the biscuit base and smooth with a spatula.
6. Put it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
7. Drizzle liberally with honey and serve.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

· · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · ·

A Toad In The Hole

30 Dec 2011

This morning I wondered out loud on Twitter if a Toad-In-The-Hole is essentially the same as a Pig-In-A-Blanket? I then meandered into the kitchen and using a recipe I learned from The Butcher, baked up a mini tray of the very same Toads-In-The-Holes that were in question for my little farmer. When I logged back into the Twitterverse, I was dumbfounded by the flood of spirited responses to my porky little enquiry!

No one was having it. Even fellow Americans told me that Pigs-In-A-Blanket were hot dogs wrapped in Pillsbury crescent rolls, certainly not a sausage inside of a Yorkshire pudding. {I must admit, I do recall my dear Aunt R making the most delicious dogs in crescents and finger jellos for us kids after a long day of slip-n-sliding in the sun}

Still, I always thought that a Pig-In-A-Blanket was a sausage wrapped inside of pancake. I had the best intentions….thought I was on the right track, you know, pork popping out of some sort of doughy batter….similar right?

Nope. I stood firmly corrected. Here’s a snippet:

@ModernFarmette blasphemer! Err.. Ok that’s a bit strong, I’m very fond of toad in the hole. It’s not the same thing.

@ModernFarmette pigs in blankets are sausages wrapped in bacon here! Toad in hole is sausages in a lg Yorkshire pudding yummy comfort food

@ModernFarmette Nope – toad in the hole is sausage in a yorkshire pudding batter. Pigs in Blankets are in pastry (aren’t they???)

@ModernFarmette wiki doesn’t agree they are the same en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toad_in_t… vs en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigs_in_a…

@ModernFarmette They’re different – with a toad, you pour over a pancake-type batter in a dish that puffs up all around the sausages.

@ModernFarmette toad in a hole, I believe, is the same as egg in a hole #dontquotemeonthat

@modernfarmette So really it’s more like a pig in a hole.

@ModernFarmette totally different! Toad in the hole is sausage baked in Yorkshire batter

@ModernFarmette are pigs in blankets sausies wrapped in puff pastry? Toad in the hole are sausies in Yorkshire pudd batter. And delish.

@ModernFarmette Pigs in blankets are sausages wrapped in bacon

@ModernFarmette I learned this Christmas that the pigs are sausages wrapped in bacon and baked, toads are sausages in Yorkshire pudding!

@ModernFarmette pig in a blanket is sausage in pastry, toad is sausage in Yorkshire pud basically, near the same but both delish!

@ModernFarmette Pig in a blanket is like a sausage roll? Toad in the hole is sausages baked in a dish w/Yorkshire pudding type mixture.

@ModernFarmette we had them but they were hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. Yummers.

I didn’t really want to end the year with a Sausage Toad-In-The-Hole, but, as you can see, I simply could not resist.

A Toad In The Hole

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups or 188g of all purpose flour

1 scant teaspoon Kosher salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cup or 375ml milk

2 Tbsp melted butter

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 lb or 450g  (4 medium sized)  Irish or English sausage made with pork and breadcrumbs or good quality pork or beef sausage links (in casings)

Method

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour with the salt and a pinch of pepper. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour in the eggs, milk, and melted butter into the well and whisk into the flour until smooth. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.

Coat the bottom and sides of an 8×12 or 9×9 casserole dish or a 4 hole pudding tin (for individual minis) with vegetable oil. Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Put the empty dish on the rack. Preheat the oven with the dish in it to 425°F.

While the oven is coming to temperature, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium high. Add the sausages and brown them on at least a couple sides.

When the sausages have browned, and the dish in the oven hot, pull the oven rack out a bit (or out alltogether), put the sausages in the casserole dish or pudding tin, and pour the batter over the sausages. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the batter is risen and golden.

Serve at once.

*For Yank-style, I add 1/8 cup of sugar to the dry ingredients and then drench in Maple syrup immediately upon removal from the oven.

Thank you for putting up with all of my farmy foibles and experiments in Irish food this year…..it brings me real pleasure to share.

Happy New Year To One And All!

Slan Abhaile,

Imen x

Photo and styling by Imen McDonnell 2011

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

· · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · ·