The first of our eating out reviews involved a visit to the Robin Hood and Little John on the A15 at Aslackby (pronounced Hazelby but that’s Lincolnshire for you). The imposing building is clearly from the age of coaching inns but was refurbished last year by the current owners and brought bang up to date.
Here is one of a series of cooking programmes that we produced in the Mercury kitchen in Lincoln. Helen takes you preparation of a stylish yet simple dish that is quick to prepare and so tasty. It has become my favourite way to cook the salmon which Pete the fishman delivers most weeks to our door - I still love fish and chips made by Sally in our kitchen with wonderful fresh haddock but that's another story.
Meet Pete Harborow from Swaton. After growing rapeseed oil for many years in 2009 he and Liz decided to produce a high quality cold pressed oil on the farm as a quality and local alternative to olive oil.
Talking Turkey: I don’t know how many of you were lucky enough to see the recent television show “My Life as a Turkey”. A simply brilliant reenactment of one man’s time living amongst wild turkeys in the USA.
Normally this would have been the type of show that I might pause on whilst channel hopping but in this case it seemed all too pertinent to miss. Turkeys are just great to be around. Although chickens are fun to watch in those idle moments between digging this, mowing that or shifting stuff around, unlike turkeys they are not actually amusing.
Turkeys, on the other hand, are definitely characters to be enjoyed, not so much as individuals as they are still young, but as a group they have already provided a multitude of amusing moments. As I mentioned previously our six turkeys have completely rejected their warm stable home (albeit shared with the sheep) with its high roosting spots in favour of hanging out with our chickens.
They roost overnight on top of our old dog /piglet raising pen which, incidentally, gives them a good view of the pig compound and the chicken paddock. Smart birds ! As soon as they know where I am going first with the feed they join in accordingly. (I know it might sound silly but at 6am I do occasionally amuse myself by altering my early morning routine).
When I head towards the chickens first I have the delight of seeing six turkeys bustling their way through the pig’s electric wire and, at a very comical run, making their way to the feeders. They know they are onto a good thing as I fill all three feeders before letting any of the chickens out and so, for a few precious seconds, the grain world is their oyster – except for some competition from our two rather aggressive guinea fowl who also take advantage at this opportunity.
Being a complete softy I have to admit that I linger to watch them feed … they are just starting to really grow and instinctively act more like adults, tail feathers are raised and spread, chins are tucked in and serious strutting emerges before they all disappear in, what seems like, adolescent embarrassment.
They are just starting to be able to meet the chickens on equal terms as far as size is concerned and are growing daily. Very much flock orientated, the turkeys have a wonderful repertoire of calls (which my wife swears she can imitate) and if they get separated in long grass or by being the wrong side of a fence frantic peeping ring out until they are reunited.
Despite helping themselves to the chickens’ grain they are obviously excellent bug hunters (often kept in the USA to help control the mosquito population) and move in an organized fashion across the grass pecking and eating as they go. I am looking forward to seeing them develop into the classic turkey shape over the next few months and will post regular updates.
As mentioned above we have taken delivery of the two Berkshires, so chaotically rounded up and put in the horse box last week. Beautifully butchered the meat from the Berkshires now resides in the freezer.
We knew that the breed was lean as it has the distinction of mottling its meat with fat rather than having an excessive outer layer but even we were surprised at how little fat there was. The meat does tastes excellent and the cured bacon was well received in the Community Shop – we cured using a commercial product rather than our previous home curing and were rewarded with perfect results first time.
To bring the pig herd back to full strength we are looking into taking two Old Spot / Berkshire crosses. My hope is to get the balance of fat/taste just right because although the Berkshire pork is more commercial, not many people seem to enjoy as much fat on their pork as I do.
Next week : Food glorious food … a few words on the wealth of fruit and veg my wife cajoles from the orchard and vegetable garden.
Lessons learned this week
Shared views from the Age UK “Speaking Up for our Age Conference” 7 March 2012.
The conference was held in Nottingham and covered Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and our own Lincolnshire.
Conferences deliver best where the people are brought together and share their ideas and experiences and the workshops and lunch period proved fertile periods for groups and individuals to get together – the current in phrase is networking!
The attendance was a little disappointing with only around 50 people effectively representing a huge chunk of population and a significant number of older peoples groups. As Age UK was covering expenses those who failed to attend were, I feel, letting their communities down.
North Kesteven Seniors is a small but vocal group that recognises the value of the day had three people there (travelling in one car).
On arrival I was attracted by the paper that said they were producing a short piece for Age UK Radio so I put myself forward and worked with Iris Wagstaffe and John from Age UK. I had the camera, just in case and filmed the interviews we conducted – video below.
The brief was to interview people at the conference on a single topic. Given its dominance in the media at the moment we selected dignity in care and asked the question “is there one practical thing that you feel would enhance dignity in care?”
The quality of the responses was first rate as was the summary at the end from Iris. It would have been enjoyable to speak to each of the five people in the video at length, proving that there is no age limit on common sense but perhaps there is a lower limit on life experience?
To see another video that we produced covering the views of individuals and their families who used the intermediate and respite care homes run by Lincolnshire County Council which will soon be a thing of the past, click here to follow the link.
As ever please send us your views, you can add comments (but first need to register – top of page- no costs and no fuss but it stops internet miscreants from posting messages about medications that if needed should be bought from a reputable source!)
The Lincoln 10k is one of the best in the UK attracting a huge field with international and fun runners in the same event ending in Lincoln’s atmospheric castle.
But by far the biggest contingent are those people taking on the Lincoln 10k as a personal challenge or with friends, perhaps with the added intention to raise money for charity.
Whether you’re new to 10k or more experienced, preparation and training are keys to getting round the course safely. To support fun runners Brand New U Community Health and Fitness and Channel Lincolnshire have agreed to set up free training for anyone wishing to take on the Lincoln 10k.