Advent has begun and we are making lists, checking them twice and preparing for our Christmas celebrations, this week we are looking at hand-made gifts…
Since we’ve been producing our own food in our Brentford garden we have become so aware of the different seasons and the roles and rewards that each bring. Now that winter is upon us we need to ensure that the bees are tucked up warm with enough food to see them through, keep the chickens clean and dry, and get ready to harvest the leeks and parsnips for Christmas dinner. A number of our chickens, mainly the pure breeds, will stop laying eggs over the coldest months but the hybrids should keep us going with 3 or 4 eggs a day.
A true reward of a cold day is a real fire in the evening and heating just the room that you’re in saves costly fuel bills which we’ll all appreciate. So we’ve been tracking down various suppliers of seasoned logs for the fire, they need to be dry to burn well, and we’ve got them stacked in the wood store ready to use.
After all the preserving of autumn, making jellies, jams and chutneys, we have a nice store of homemade gifts ready to wrap up for friends and family, and we’ll often add some freshly baked cookies, mince pies and brownies which are great gifts for teachers at school. Another idea for homemade gifts is to make biscotti using a variety of store cupboard fruit and nuts left over from the Christmas cakes and puddings. It’s quite easy and a big batch of dough will make loads of slices, pop them into cellophane bags with a ribbon and gift tag and they can also be used as place settings or favours for your house guests.
This year we have planned courses right through the year giving everyone the opportunity for ‘A little bit of country life in London’. Our next course, on Wednesday 29th January, is right in the middle of the Seville orange season and we invite you to join us to make your own Toast and Marmalade. Bring your pinny and roll up your sleeves, this special course has been designed to help develop your artisan culinary skills as we create beautiful bread and marvelous marmalade… If you have started to think of gift ideas we have planned a whole year’s worth of courses which can be seen here and can send you gift cards confirming the details.
By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Ten years on and this is still my favourite book to help me prepare our Christmas goose. We confit the legs and wings and save them for a French treat on Andy’s birthday in February, the liver makes a perfect pate and then the body is roasted with apple stuffing and all the trimmings
This book is available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!
- We sold out of honey in the first couple of hours at St Faith’s Christmas Fair
- Chiswick Buzz came to film some of our Top Tips for Christmas
- Sadly one of our chickens, Dr Seuss who laid the green eggs, has died
Jobs for next week:
- Visit another London school to teach students about chickens
- Marzipan the Christmas cake
- Take a basket of goodies down to the Brentford Christmas Market
Join us on the Journey!