Sunday, 27 May 2012


Oranges And Lemons  say the bells of St Clements.

Did you know this is a line from an old English nursery rhyme and singing game which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the city of London? To see the full version of the rhyme take a look at Wikipedia
To me it refers to what i did with a box of fruit i was given today from the farm shop which was not good enough to be displayed on the shelf any more!
Oranges and Lemons

It was a very, very hot day and i remembered a recipe i had used once before to make old fashioned traditional lemonade and thought it would work just as well combining oranges and lemons to make a very refreshing St Clements drink.

1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange And Lemon Juice
3-4 Cups Cold Water

Put 1 cup of water with the sugar in a pan and boil until all the sugar is dissolved and a syrup is formed. Add the juice and carry on boiling for a few minutes. Take the pan off the stove and add 3-4 cups of cold water, depending on how strong a flavour you prefer. Refridgerate until cold. Add lots of ice when serving for a very tasty refreshing fruit drink. Perfect for the extremely hot weather we are experiencing at the moment!

Skylark Homemade Orange And Lemon "St Clements" Drink
I obviously made this in a much larger quantity for the cafe. All in all we have sold 8 jugs of juice this weekend and lots of people have commented on how tasty it was, so go on give it a go!

This week i'm entering this post in Handmade Monday which can be found at Handmade Harbour and is organised by Wendy of 1st Unique Gifts in the hope that a few of you may be tempted to give the recipe a try.
I'm off there now to see what has been happening in the world of handmade this week.

Friday, 25 May 2012


Today saw the arrival of the new summer menu at the Farmhouse cafe.
Designed by Create-a-Brand  , a local marketing company, the menu has a warm feel to it with a large sunny egg on the front.
The breakfasts remain constant as always.
Skylark Farm Summer Menu
Teacakes and homemade scones are still there.

Lovely photos of the farmers breakfast and sunday roast.
Farmers Breakfast and Sunday Roast
Sandwiches now come with a flowerpot full of chunky chips and side salad.
Brie and Bacon Sandwich served with Flowerpot chips and Side Salad
And introducing the new summer salad.
Scampi Salad

Truely scrumptious in the heart of the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside. Hope to see you there soon.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


So the warm weather has finally arrived and the view from Skylark Fields Farmhouse Cafe is beautiful. What better way to spend your lunch break or day off than on our new picnic benches looking out over the yellow sun drenched Northamptonshire fields.
Our new menu is planned for the weekend too so it's hopefully going to be busy, busy, busy this weekend.
View From Skylark Fields Farm
 As the warmer weather comes many people like to have days out with picnics and what nicer picnic food than homemade Scotch Eggs. So easy to make and tasty either hot or cold.

So first hard boil your eggs. Put them in a pan of water, bring to the boil then time them for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run the cold water tap over them til cooled. Peel when cooled.

Hard Boiled Free Range Eggs

Wrap sausage meat around the eggs until you can see no white. It's a little fiddly but be patient.

Set out 3 bowls. One with seasoned plain flour, one with an egg and milk mixture ( i used 2 eggs and 1/4pint milk), and the 3rd with breadcrumbs.
Take each egg, roll in the flour then in the egg mixture, then cover with breadcrumbs.
Deep fry for 5 minutes at 170C. Then finish off in the oven at 160C for a further 15 minutes to ensure the sausage meat is cooked through.
Leave to cool for your picnic lunch or serve for tea with chips and beans. If you've never tasted hot scotch eggs before i recommend you try them as they taste lush!!
Scotch Eggs
*TOP TIP* Once you have mastered these have a go at curried scotch eggs by adding some curry paste and mango chutney to the sausage meat before wrapping it around your egg. A taste sensation!!

Thanks for popping by.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


MRS DARLINGTONS  Jams, Marmalades and Chutneys sell rather well here at Skylark.
It all started for The Darlingtons in 1981when a surplus of eggs from their farm were used, to save waste, to make some lemon curd with the intention of seeing if they would sell to local villagers.
They did sell, and further requests poured in for possible other jams and chutneys.
Sales increased and by 1985 farm buildings were converted into a new kitchen with local village ladies drafted in to help with production. Another move to bigger premises came in 1992 with the addition of mustards,table sauces, pickles and now a new range of cooking sauces.

For todays Special's Board in the farmhouse cafe i have used Mrs Darlingtons Red Onion Marmalade.
First i browned off some sausages in butter in a large pan. I made half a pint of chicken stock and topped up to a pint with red wine and added to the pan with a whole jar of the red onion marmalade.
I brought it all to the boil, stirring well and left to simmer and reduce for about 20 minutes.
While the sausages were cooking i chopped an onion and sweated it off in a pan then added it to mashed potaoes, carrots and cabbage left over from Sundays roast dinner. A little mixed herbs,salt and pepper were also added for seasoning then i cooked in batches on the griddle til browned.
And here is the finished result and mighty tasty it was too!!

sausages served on bubble and squeak with red onion marmalade sauce
If you want to find out more about Mrs Darlington or the companys products take a look at their website here .

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


12TH-19TH May is British Sandwich Week.

So the story goes that John Montague, the Fourth Earl Of Sandwich, was such an enthusiastic gambler that he didn't like leaving the gambling table whilst playing. So, instead of breaking for dinner, he asked that someone bring him some meat between a couple of slices of bread. Later on, others would do the same saying something like "I'll have what Sandwich is having" and, eventually, people would just ask for a "Sandwich"

Nowadays the humble sandwich has become big business in the catering industry and fillings and bread types have become far more  adventurous than in the days of The Fourth Earl Of Sandwich!!

Today, at Skylark, our sandwich of the day was Steak, Mushroom & Melted Cheese on Toasted Farmhouse Bloomer Bread.
 Served with salad and homemade coleslaw it went down a storm.

Steak,Mushroom and Melted Cheese Toasted Sandwich.
So what's your favourite filling??

Sunday, 6 May 2012


MINCED BEEFa most versatile and economic meat and the housewives favourite i would say. I remember when my children were small, and we were strapped for cash, i used to make as many different meals with mince as i could during a week.
But just because it's economic doesn't mean it cant be extremely delicious!
I first made this recipe for meatballs years ago but it is so tasty i have tended to put it on the specials board of every establishment i have worked at over the years and it is always enjoyed immensly.

250g Minced Beef
6 Slices Bread (processed to make breadcrumbs)
1 Onion (finely chopped)
Clove Garlic (crushed)
2 Tbsp Mixed Herbs
Salt & Pepper
1 Large Free Range Egg (Beaten)
2 14oz Tins Chopped Tomatoes
1 Onion
2 Courgettes
1 Red Pepper
4 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1/2 Vegetable Stock
Clove Garlic (Crushed)
Glass Red Wine (Optional)
Double Cream (Amount to suit taste)

Put all ingredients for the meatballs into a mixing bowl and work together with your hands until all ingredients are evenly mixed in.
Divide the mixture and roll into individual balls. I cant say how many balls you'll make as it will depend on what size you make them!
Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and add your meatballs. Seal the outside of the balls, then put in an ovenproof dish.

Make your sauce.
Chop the onion, courgettes and red pepper and fry off for a few minutes in an oiled pan with the garlic. Add the tomatoes, puree and stock (red wine also if desired), bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over the meatballs, cover with foil and cook in the oven at 180C (160C Fan), 350F, Gas Mark 4 for approx 30-40 mins.
Cook spaghetti and portion on plate. Remove your meatballs from the sauce and place on spaghetti. Stir some double cream into your sauce for that lovely creamy taste and pour over the meatballs.
Meatballs And Spaghetti
Serve immediately!


CHIPOLATASthe small thin sausages usually associated as an accompaniment to the turkey at christmas, wrapped with streaky bacon.
This weeks task at Skylark was to free up the freezer so a recipe was needed for a large supply of chipolatas.
It was my day off on Tuesday so it was up to my 2 staff to come up with something different for the specials board.
GOOGLE, as usual threw up lots of suggestions for recipes and they decided on this one for "Cheese, Chutney & Chipolata Pinwheels"

3 chipolatas were used per portion and twirled round into a pinwheel and secured in place with a cocktail stick then baked in the oven.
Big, thick slices of farmhouse loaf were toasted on our griddle and, just before the chipolatas were taken from the oven some cheese was piled on top to melt over the pinwheel.
Selected, as an accompaniment, was Mrs Darlington's Autumn Fruit Chutney (which can be found to purchase in the Skylark Farm Shop).

 The toasted bread was put on the plate, topped with the chipolata and melted cheese and a good serving of chutney. Finished off with some diced, fried potatoes and salad this special was a big hit with all our customers this week.