Thursday, 11 December 2008

Home Produced Food

Posted by Rosie

Ben has been nagging me for ages to help him make Gingerbread Men, but as the last batch I made were as hard as rock, I have been a little reticent to attempt more. That is until I was pointed towards this gingerbread men recipe on the BeRo flour website. I believe anyone of a certain age has a BeRo cookbook (or their mother does) and in many cases it will be falling to pieces and only held together by some ancient sellotape and equally ancient, unidentified bits of cake mixture. My particular copy came from Simon's Mum - my Mum still has her copy - but neither edition had this recipe. And in keeping with all BeRo recipes it was straightforward to follow and resulted in excellent Gingerbread Men. No prizes for guessing what the bedtime story was tonight then?!

Smelling not quite so nice are the various bits of turkey and cockerel cooking up on the woodburner. These are destined for the dogs whilst the birds we slaughtered today hang for a couple of days before we butcher and freeze them. The cockerels were a scrawnier type than the Marrans we butchered earlier in the year so they will be used as boiling fowl, cooked very slowly with plenty of root veg and mashed potatoes. Many thanks to J&I for helping us with this job. Having things explained in English rather than French certainly helped.

Root veg, cabbage and mash was also what accompanied our lunch today - one of the boiling hams I made a week ago. It was lovely although very different from shop-bought boiled hams which are processed very quickly and have the salt injected into the meat rather than soaking in over time. I used a Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall recipe where the ham was soaked in a very salty brine for 2 days. Mrs Beeton in comparison used a less salty brine but soaked them for much longer. Maybe I will try both ways next time for a taste comparison. What I can say though is that apart from the salt, pepper, onions and mustard, all our lunch today was our own. That is a very satisfying feeling.


  1. excellent.

    would you do turkeys again? have they been worth it?

  2. It all looks lovely!

    I have one of those Be Ro books...mine is the held-together-by-cake one........

    might get it out tomorrow!

  3. The proof of the turkey will be in the eating of course. They were easy to look after and put on a lot of weight on grass/greens and crushed barley/maize so we will probably do them again next year. They are also very funny birds and easy to herd from pen to field. You must however, keep them away from chickens, even land where chickens have been as chickens pass on the deadly disease blackhead to them - although apparently you can inject against it and/or get medicated food.

  4. hmm yeh I heard you had to keep them separate. well, will wait with baited breath to see how good eating they are !


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