Monday 30 December 2013

The Owens from Ravenseat come for tea

Most years we invite Clive and Amanda Owen and their children for tea at Christmas time.  I call it having my 'little people fix'!  As their family grows we squeeze an extra chair around the table and the children all tuck into a party tea.  Clive and Amanda have seven children (Annas is just out of shot as she is in her Mum's arms).  The children are a credit to their parents; they are all polite, helpful, have lovely table manners and eat everything that is put in front of them.  Even little Sidney, at just 2 years old, sits at the table and has his tea like everyone else.  Amanda has a book coming out next year called the Yorkshire Shepherdess and we wish her every success with it however I think her next book should be about parenting skills, a lot could be learnt from this super family.
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Tuesday 24 December 2013

Christmas in Keld


            The Church door, always open

                                                                                       A real tree, decorated and dressed, to welcome visitors to The Manse at Christmas time.                                      

The tree outside the Countryside & Heritage Centre, firmly secured to wall, has remained standing despite the gales and lashing rain it has endured over the past week.  In the background, The Manse, which is home to a family from Bournemouth for two weeks over the holidays. 
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Christmas at Pry House


On Christmas Eve Muker Silver Band play carols in the yard at Pry House 

Its a lovely way to start Christmas

The tree

Couldn't get through without a little help from Delia! We will be having parmesan-baked parsnips and braised red cabbage a la Delia with roast turkey which will be cooked using her Christmas Day timings.  Then at tea time Caramelised Orange Trifle - its to die for!
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Sunday 22 December 2013

Christmas at Hillcrest Cottage

A welcome gift of Christmas cake and Cotherstone cheese

Size doesn't matter when it comes to Christmas trees but a real on can't be beaten.  This one is in a pot with its roots and will be planted in the garden after Christmas

Looking into the ground floor double bedroom.

Angel Peggy
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Tuesday 3 December 2013

More photos of Hillcrest Holiday Cottage

Upstairs sitting room with log burning stove & spellbinding views of Swaledale

Lovely little single bedroom with antique furniture & views eastwards towards the village

Ground floor double bedroom with views onto the south facing garden & hills beyond

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Sunday 24 November 2013

Preparing for Christmas

This weekend has been put aside to make Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings.  The last Christmas cake is in the oven, two puddings are steaming away with another two waiting their turn.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas in our house without a homemade pudding.  They taste gorgeous and are nothing like a shop bought one; much more moist, lighter texture but very, very rich.  The recipe I use is a family one, tweeked slightly with help from Delia Smith!

It is not too late to make one so here is the recipe.

Glenda Calvert's Christmas Pudding
Makes one 2 pint pudding-basin size pudding that will easily serve 6-8 people. I double up the recipe to make 1 x 2 pint, 2 x 1 pint and a little one!

Ingredients (sorry all weights are in Imperial measure. Too late to convert now!).
4oz plain flour
4oz fresh white breadcrumbs
4 oz suet
4 oz white sugar
4 oz raisons
4 oz sultanas
4 oz currants
1 oz groud almonds
2 x cooking apples
1 x large carrot (grated)
1 x egg
Juice and zest of half a lemon
Zest of half an orange
Grated nutmeg (about quarter of a teaspoon)
Good pinch of cinnamon and mixed spice
5 fluid oz stout
2 x tablespoons of dark rum

1. Put all dry ingredients together in your largest bowl and mix well together
2. Peel, core and finely chop apple. Peel and grate carrot.
3. Add all dried friut, apple, carrot, orange and lemon zest  to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4.  Measure out the stout in a bowl, add egg and beat well. Pour over other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
5. It is now traditional to gather all the family round, especially children, to stir in the final ingredient, the rum and make a wish!
The mixture should be of a fairly sloppy consistency and drop easily off the spoon.  If not just add a bit more stout.
6. Cover the bowl and leave overnight
7. Next day, pack the mixture into lightly greased basin and cover with a layer of greaseproof paper and a layer of tinfoil.  Tie the cover tightly with string (you may need to borrow someone's finger for this!)
8. Place the pudding / puddings in a steamer for 6 hours.
9. When the pudding is cold remove papers and replace with new ones and store in a cool, dark place.
10.  Your pudding is now ready for Christmas Day.  I like to re-steam it for a couple of hours but if you haven't got room on your hob it can be reheated in the microwave however remember to remove the tinfoil if you are using this method!



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Monday 18 November 2013

Hillcrest Holiday Cottage - Sneak Preview

For those of you who are desperate for a peep at our new holiday cottage - here is a sneak preview!

Hillcrest is almost finished.  Just waiting for some more large pieces of furniture to be delivered  and we'll be there! Ready for holiday lets from 1st December, bookings now being taken. Sorry but Christmas, New Year and Tour de France week have already been booked. 

Master bedroom

Bathroom with gorgeous views up the dale.

Dining room with antique dresser, log burner, tv and rocking chair to relax in.

Downstairs shower room with under floor heating.

Galley kitchen all kitted out with brand new applicances and quality kitchen equipment.

Lovely place to start the day.   
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Friday 1 November 2013

Hillcrest Holiday Cottage

We have recently purchased this gorgeous cottage in the village of Low Row in the very heart of Swaledale

It is in great order and I am very busy getting in ready to let for holidays.  I am just waiting for beds and sofas and so on to be delivered and then it will be a case of a few finishing touches and ready to go.  The kitchen appliances were delivered this week and on Wednesday I went on a serious shopping spree to buy everything from pots & pans to teaspoons & toasters.  As soon as possible I will take lots more photos of the inside of Hillcrest for the website.  To all of you who know me or who stayed at Pry House when it was a holiday house then you know I am aiming high.  Please spread the word to anyone who may be thinking of a holiday in Swaledale.  It will definately be available by the end of November. 

The views from Hillcrest are amazing.  The sitting room, dining / sitting room and two main bedrooms all face the front and enjoy stunning views.  The main sitting room is upstairs and the panorama from the two windows simply make you stand and stare.

More about this exciting new venture to follow soon
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Thursday 3 October 2013

Causing a Traffic Jam

Suddenly being surrounded by sheep can be a bit unnerving for the unsuspecting motorist out for a quiet Sunday afternoon drive!
The sheep are brought in off the fell to be checked over, dosed & injected before the sales.

They are then turned out into meadow fields full of new grass to finish off.

Happy sheep in the shade .... 

.... and in the sunshine.
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Signs of Autumn

Trees, bushes and hedges are heavy with berries

Only a few weeks ago this rose was a mass of flower and now is covered in ripe rosehips.

Many say that a good crop of berries is a sign of a hard winter to come. 
Old wives tale?  We'll have to wait and see.
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