It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day…

| 11th January 2021
It’s a new life for me

Well, not a completely new life but a new year with a fresh start, and ‘I’m feeling good’.

Nothing more needs to be said about the disappointments of 2020, and yes, we are still living with challenges which look like they’ll get worse before it gets better, but let’s take encouragement from the wise words of a man called Paul who said:

‘So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.’

Whilst breakfast is the perfect start for the day, marmalade is the perfect start for the year!

This is because the Seville Oranges that we use to make our traditional bittersweet preserve are only in season for a very short window of a few weeks each January. Whilst we would usually invite guests to join us here at Hen Corner to prep and preserve in our sunny garden room, this year we have created a brand new online/virtual course allowing you to make your own marmalade in your own kitchen whilst we demonstrate and support you via Zoom.

I’ve written about marmalade many times before both in previous posts and several magazines and look forward with a sense of celebration to the first seasonal tradition of the year.

To join us for Marvellous Marmalade on Wednesday 20th January, 5-7pm, please book in here.

As well as starting the year with a new course, we’ve also got some new breads available in the bakery.

Throughout most of the year, I’m baking bread on our weekly courses as well as in our microbakery each Friday so don’t get much opportunity to try new ingredients or recipes, but last week after ordering some lovely new flour varieties from our friends at Wessex Mill, I created a couple of new product for our local customers.

First up was their Wessex Mixed Grain, to which I simply added salt, yeast and water before working it into a smooth dough.

Then for something a bit more special, I used their Sunflower blend and added local honey as I worked the dough, topping the finish loaf with extra sunflower seeds before baking into our Sunflower and Honey loaf, pictured below.

Like many others, I’m trying to reduce the amount of bread that I eat, particularly if I’m not out and about as much at the moment, but an occasional slice of fabulous homemade bread is a treat that’s worth allowing.

If you’d like to have a go at baking your own bread, we are running online/virtual classes every Monday at 5pm.

If you are doing Veganuary, all our online/virtual bread & preserves courses are vegan or have vegan options available on request.

Courses in person here at Hen Corner
Inviting guests to join us here in person, meeting the chickens, inspecting the bees and getting hands on with learning all the new skills that we’ve developed has always been central to the core mission of Hen Corner. We currently have dates scheduled for most of our courses throughout the year. If you are hoping to join us, on any course here at Hen Corner, and are concerned as to whether they will be able to go ahead, please see below re: Covid guidelines/restrictions (as we currently understand them):
  1. We are able to run small group sessions using our COVID-19 Risk Assessment in Tiers 1-3, however, we would ask you not to travel to us from a higher tier.
  2. If, at the time of the scheduled course, we (London) are in Tier 4 or above (or Lockdown), we will give guests the option of  a) a full refund or b) a rescheduled course plus a complimentary online/virtual course worth up to £35.
  3. If you would like to buy a course as a gift for someone else, our Gift Vouchers are a flexible way of allowing the recipient to choose their favourite course and date.

Other news:

  • After a quick check on our honey bees, all three colonies are alive and well with enough food stores to see them through until the first spring flowers
  • Our free weekly Brentford Together Community Cooking sessions are starting again on Thursday register for the Zoom class here
  • As the days get longer, the hens are slowly coming back into lay. It’s just the hybrids at the moment, though I’m sure I spotted a bantam egg in the nest box a few days ago…

Jobs for the week:

  • Boil up oranges for 50+ jars of marmalade (some already pre-sold!)
  • Start planning what crops I’d like to grow, both in the kitchen garden here and down on the allotment
  • Finish my tax return!

Have a good week,


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1 comment

iamthesunking 12th January 2021 at 8:52 pm

Which Paul was that? Paul S from down the road?


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