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Friday Photo

We’ve had snow this week… and lots of people on Instagram loved this photo so thought I’d share…. not it has not been taken in black and white ūüôā

footprints in the snow

Friday photo

A busy afternoon in the kitchen….making Christmas hampers.

Christmas Hampers

Friday Photo

When you are sitting in your first floor study, and someone comes knocking on the window!!!

Milk Chocolate Muscovy

Oldfarm Limoncino

My cointreau recipe has been getting much attention recently…. so I thought some of you might also like to try your hand at making Limoncino. ¬†There’s still time to make a batch before Christmas.

Oldfarm Limoncino

I have a plan to try to make a coffee liqueur too… will keep you posted as to how that goes.

Once again this recipe is taken from Paulo Tullio’s book.

I’ve already made one batch this year, and the second batch is ‘brewing’ away.

This does improve with age. ¬†However, it never lasts long enough to ‘age’ in this house.

I make extra bottles to give as gifts, and then keep a supply for ourselves!

Ingredients:

  • 6 x large lemons (rind only)
  • 500 ml Vodka or poitin
  • 200 grams sugar
  • A little water

Method:

Peel rind from well washed lemons avoiding the bitter pith.

Put the lemon peel into a jar with a lid.  (I have used an empty screw top wine bottle.) Cover with the half litre of vodka.  Store for 21 days, giving it a shake every few days.

When the time is up, strain the vodka from the bottle.  Dissolve 200 grams of sugar in as little water as possible over a low heat.  Add the sugar syrup to the strained alcohol and bottle it sterilised jars.

Store in a cool place.

When ready to serve chill and enjoy.

Recipe Testing

I’ve mentioned before how I am a girl who just can’t say no! ¬†Yes, that is the title of a song…. and I am that person.

Despite being hectically busy over the summer with AirBnB guests, and Alfie in and out of hospital, when our friend and neighbour, Margaret Hickey, asked if we’d help with some recipe testing we jumped at the idea.

Margaret has written a book on the history of food in Ireland from the perspective of the ‘peasant’ food. ¬†I must say we love the title : Ireland’s Green Larder

The first lot of recipes we were asked to test were scones, ‘curranty’ cake, ¬†boxty and a boiled fruit cake. ¬†As it happened we had AirBnB guests staying who were delighted to jump in and work with us on the scones and ‘curranty’ cake. ¬†The boiled fruit cake was easy to do too.

I’m afraid we let the side down on the boxty recipe… we just ran out of time.

Boiled Fruit Cake

Then last week, in the final moments before the ‘go to print’ button was pushed, Margaret asked if I’d test a tea brack recipe. ¬†Again ‘no problem’.

However…. I made a bit of a mess.

The recipe called for the fruit to be soaked in scalding hot tea and left overnight. As I headed to bed I wondered why ‘scalding’ hot tea? ¬†Any time I make tea brack, it’s just tea leftover in the pot that I use.

It pays to read the instructions properly!!!

The reason for the ‘scalding’ hot tea was that you put the sugar in with the fruit! Doh!

Day 2, recipe test 2. ¬†This time I did put the sugar in with the fruit, and of course, the reason for the ‘scalding’ hot tea was so blatantly obvious!

So over one weekend – we had two tea backs – just as well we had a couple of food bloggers visiting who were more than willing to ‘taste test’!!!

Margaret’s book, Ireland’s Green Larder, is a history book. ¬†It is not another recipe book. ¬†However, there are some recipes scattered throughout.

Ireland’s Green Larder

If you are interested in the development of the Irish food culture and how our eating habits have changed, you will love this book.  For instance, in the not too distant past offal was way more popular than it is now.

Did you know that the pig was referred to as ‘the gentleman who paid the rent’? There are many other interesting facts and stories.

Margaret is into the final few days for you to ‘pledge’ your support for her book. Check out this video where Margaret tells you more about her book, and while there you can pledge from as little as ‚ā¨15.00. ¬†Pledging closes at midnight tomorrow, 27th. ¬†The book will be published between March and May next year.

Another great idea for a Christmas gift for the history buff or foodie in your life?

Friday Photo

Meet Feral Freddy!

Feral Freddie

Yes, it is a bit of self-promotion!  Sorry!

We were chatting here last night, and I just realised I’ve never done this. ¬†I have never blatantly promoted any of what we do here as ‘Oldfarm’. ¬†So why not? ¬†Why not break the rules and tell you what we have and do.

You don’t have to read, but I think you will find some of our ideas funky and interesting.

  1. Pork & Bacon¬† ¬†– ¬†this is the main stay of our smallholding. ¬†Some of you will be aware that this year we’ve had to review how we do business. ¬†In olden times we used to just sell the pork/bacon in small lots. ¬†However, due to Alfie’s heart issues we’ve changed the business model and now ‘grow to order’. ¬†Those who booked their half or full pig for 2017 have started to come and collect their meat. ¬†Why not indulge someone with a gift voucher that will last a whole year long!

    Half butchered pig. Photo courtesy of @DayDreamFoodie

  2. Lamb ¬†… well hogget really. ¬†Just like above we will grow a half or full lamb and have it butchered to your instruction, ready to pop in the freezer next October/November.
  3. Pig-rearing Courses …¬†gift certificates for pig rearing are always popular. ¬†Santa has brought lots of day courses to people over the past few years…. and they’ve always been appreciated. (‚ā¨90.00)
  4. Hand-knit piggies … these are a new addition to the repertoire. ¬†Great stocking fillers for the big or little person. (‚ā¨12.50)

    A Knitted replica of our first boar, Clarence!

  5. Calendar 2018… this is the fourth year we have produced a calendar. ¬†I have taken all photographs which are of our life here. ¬†We’ve also included a couple of recipes. (‚ā¨10.00)
  6. Bread making¬†Course … this is a new course we introduced in 2017, and is very popular with our B&B guests. ¬†In 2 hours, you will learn how to make at least 3 different breads.
  7. Overnight Stay¬†…. treat yourself and/or someone else to a weekend in the country. ¬†We can do a package to include bed and breakfast and dinner… come and relax in Tipperary.

So, plenty to think of as ‘alternative’ Christmas gifts. ¬†Comment below or send me an email if you’d like more detail.