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Enjoying Spring In Cornwall

It’s finally springtime in Cornwall: the clocks have gone forward, it’s getting warmer and everywhere you look there are fresh green shoots, golden yellow daffodils and even signs of some beautiful bluebells starting to show.

Yes, it’s a fantastic time to get out and about in our beautiful county and make the most of the great outdoors, especially during the Easter holidays.

To make the most of it, we’ve put together some of our favourite activities we recommend you try this weekend:

Eden’s Easter Eggstravaganza

Grab the kids and head over to the Eden Project near St Austell for some Easter-themed fun. Take on the egg hunt challenge, compete in the assualt course and test your skills with some egg-themed games – perfect for children of all ages, including adult ones! Visit https://www.edenproject.com/visit/whats-on/easter-eggstravaganza for more details.

Cornwall Spring Flower Show at Boconnoc

For something a little more refined, visit the Cornwall Spring Flower Show at Boconnoc near Lostwithiel. Taking place today and tomorrow, the 104th spring show organised by Cornwall Garden Society hosts the very best of Cornish horticulture, with competitive classes and over 100 trade stands and exhibitors. For more information, including opening times and a list of exhibitors, visit http://www.cornwallgardensociety.org.uk/spring-flower-show-2016—a-celebration-of-cornish-excellence

Freathy Afternoon Tea

We couldn’t not mention our very own Afternoon Teas here at Freathy Farmhouse. Full of delicious homemade treats, all served with generous helpings of Cornish clotted cream, it really is a treat not to be missed!

St Endellion Easter Festival

Drawing to a close this weekend, the St Endellion Easter Festival takes place in the 15th century church of St Endelienta with a series of chamber concerts, late night concerts and lunchtime proms – perfect for music enthusiasts.  For further details and concert timings, visit http://www.endellionfestivals.org.uk/

Easter at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are a truly magical place and this Easter they’ve added some egg-citing activities the whole family can enjoy. Be an Emu Egg Hunter and take part in The Great Emu Egg Hunt to claim your chocolate prize and meet the real Heligan Emus, get crafty with egg-themed activities and games at Heligan HQ and visit the Heligan Hatchery to watch chicks and ducklings hatch before your very eyes. Visit http://heligan.com/events/heligan-events/easter-at-the-lost-gardens/ for opening and activity times.

Springtime Beach Stroll

Take a look at We Are Cornwall’s guide to Beaches in Cornwall and go exploring some of our beautiful Cornish coastline and stunning seascapes. Stop off for an ice cream or a delicious cream tea at one of the nearby cafes and make the most of a day in the spring sunshine.

Eden ProjectSpring FlowersFreathy Afternoon TeaLost Gardens of HeliganCornish Beach

Treat Mum To A Delicious Dessert: Passionfruit And Lemon Tart

Rustle up a wonderfully indulgent treat for Mothers Day with this tangy and delicious Passionfruit and Lemon tart.

The perfect dessert to finish off a special lunch or dinner, we love serving ours with a few raspberries or strawberries and a spoonful (or two!) of fresh Cornish clotted cream.

You can of course make your own pastry, but to save time we use either ready-made sheets or shells and blind-bake them before filling.

When blind baking the pastry, make sure you line the shell with greaseproof paper or silver foil before filling it with baking beans, and bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown.

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 22cm sweet shortcrust pastry tart shell, blind-baked

For the filling:

  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g golden caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 ripe passionfruit, halved

To decorate:

  • 2 tbsp apricot preserve, sieved, for glazing
  • icing sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC, fan 130ºC, gas 2.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar using a stand mixer or electric whisk, until they look pale and fluffy. Stir in the cream, then the juice and zest of the lemons. With a teaspoon, scoop out the pulp from the passionfruit shells and add to the cream. Pour this mixture into a measuring jug.
  3. Place your blind-baked tart shell on a baking tray in the preheated oven, and pull out the oven shelf a bit. Pour the lemon mixture into the tart shell until filled to the top. Slide the shelf carefully back in and close the oven door.
  4. Bake the tart for 25–30 minutes until the mixture is set but still wobbly. Leave to cool in the tin.
  5. With a pastry brush glaze the top with the heated apricot glaze, then decorate with fresh berries, if you like, and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve with fresh Cornish clotted or whipped cream.

A Special Valentine’s Feast

Valentine’s Day deserves something a little bit special for dinner, so what better than our delicious Fillet Steak with Balsamic Glaze?

Taken from our evening menu here at Freathy, it’s simple and quick to prepare, requiring only the minimum of ingredients, and if you follow our tips on cooking the perfect steak, you can’t fail to impress!

The key to cooking a perfect steak is all in how you treat it before, during and after cooking. We also advise using the best quality ingredients you can, as you’ll get much better results in terms of taste, especially with the fillet steak.

We love serving ours with grilled asparagus spears and either warm buttery rolls or creamy mashed potatoes, but your choice of accompaniements is entirely up to you (sometimes you just can’t beat good ol’ chips!). Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

2 (4 to 6 ounce) fillet steaks

1/2 teaspoon each freshly ground salt and black pepper

1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons dry red wine (e.g. Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet)

 

Method:

1. Remove steaks from the fridge 45 minutes before cooking, pat dry on all sides and season both sides with the salt and pepper. Leave to rest at room temperature.

2. Add the oil to a large non-stick frying/skillet pan and heat over a medium to high heat. Pat all sides of the steak dry again and make sure your pan is very hot before adding the steak (which will give a tender steak with a dark crust)> Cook your steaks for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned.

3. Reduce the pan to a medium-low heat, add the balsamic vinegar and red wine, and cover. Cook the steaks for 3 minutes on each side, basting them with the sauce when you turn them over.

4. Remove the steaks to two warmed plates and allow to rest for 5 minutes in a warm place. Spoon the balsamic glaze over each steak and serve with your choice of accompaniements.

 

Why not really make it a feast, and treat yourselves to our Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake for dessert? You can find the recipe here.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

As promised, here is our fabulously delicious Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake recipe, courtesy of the wonderful Nigella Lawson. It’s incredibly easy to make and is perfectly indulgent for this time of year, when it’s far too cold and miserable to be worrying about calories!

We love decorating ours with chocolate pieces, fresh berries and edible gold leaf, but you could try making your own hazelnut brittle and scattering a few golden shards across the top – delicious!

Don’t worry about letting the cheescake come to room temperature either – it definitely tastes better when it’s still slightly chilled.

Serves: 8-12

Ingredients
• 250 grams digestive biscuits
• 75 grams soft unsalted butter
• 1 x 400 grams jar nutella (at room temperature)
• 100 grams chopped toasted hazelnuts
• 500 grams cream cheese (at room temperature)
• 60 grams icing sugar (sifted)
Method
1. Break the digestives into the bowl of a processor, add the butter and a 15ml tablespoon of Nutella, and blitz until it starts to clump. Add 25g/3 tablespoons of hazelnuts and keep pulsing until the mixture becomes damp and sand-like.
2. Spoon into a 23cm/9inch round springform tin and press into the base using your fingertips or the back of a spoon. Chill in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth, add the rest of the Nutella, and keep beating until it’s combined.
4. Remove the springform tin from the fridge and smooth the Nutella and cream cheese mixture over the base. Decorate with berries, chocolate pieces, brittle shards or even some chopped hazelnuts and put the tin back in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight.

Blueberry And Buttermilk Pancakes With Maple Butter

Happy New Year to one and all, we hope your Christmas was as wonderful as you dreamed it would be!

We thought we’d kick off the new year with a warming indulgent recipe, so you can start your working day with a little something special on these cold, wet and windy mornings. So here’s our recipe for Blueberry and Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple Butter – why not make them extra special by drizzling a splash of cream over the top?

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking 20 minutes

Serves 6.

The batter will keep in the fridge for up to two days, however you can cook and freeze the pancakes between sheets of greaseproof paper, then wrap in clingfilm. Reheat in a medium oven for 5-10 minutes until hot.

Ingredients

FOR THE PANCAKES

350g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g caster sugar

2 medium eggs, beaten

2 x 284ml cartons buttermilk

3 tbsp milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

75g butter, melted, plus extra for frying

300g fresh blueberries

FOR THE MAPLE BUTTER

60g butter

2 tbsp maple syrup

 

First make the maple butter: beat the butter with a wooden spoon until soft & fluffy, then mix in the maple syrup. Set aside in a cool place, but not in the fridge.

Sift the flour, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl with a large pinch of salt. Stir in the sugar.

Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk,vanilla extract and butter to combine.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.

Gradually blend in the buttermilk mixture, drawing in the flour from the sides to the centre with a wooden spoon or hand whisk to make a thick smooth batter.

Leave to stand for 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.

Heat a frying pan over a low/medium heat. Brush with a little melted butter then add 2 heaped tbsp of the batter-it should settle into a pancake about 10cms diameter.

Depending on the size of your pan, cook 2-3 pancakes at once. Drop a small handful of blueberries onto the surface of each one. Cook for about 2 minutes (small holes will start to appear on the surface) then flip & cook the other side until golden.

Keep pancakes warm while you cook the rest of the mixture, greasing the pan each time.

Serve each person with 1-2 pancakes, with a scoop of maple butter.

A Festive Favourite: Baileys Chocolate Mousse

We absolutely adore Baileys Irish Cream here at Freathy; not only does it taste delicious as a drink (neat or over ice) but also adds a velvety rich whiskey smoothness to so many dessert recipes including cheesecakes, cupcakes, gateaux, ice cream and all manner of sweets and truffles. But our absolute favourite has to be Baileys Chocolate Mousse…….

 

 

Combining the sweet flavour of Baileys with the rich intensity of chocolate to make a deliciously light, fluffy mousse is our idea of heaven and perfect at any time of year, but we think it adds an extra special touch to Christmas festivities.

Try it for yourself with our favourite recipe from Cathy Trochelman, author of our go-to blog for recipe inspiration Lemon Tree Dwelling

PREP TIME
15 mins
TOTAL TIME
15 mins

Serves:6 (1/2 cup) servings

INGREDIENTS
• 2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• ¼ cup boiling water
• ½ cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
• 1½ cup double cream, very cold
• ½ cup Bailey’s, very cold
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Before starting to mix the mousse, prepare the bowl and beaters by placing them in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.

2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl; stir and let it stand for 1 minute to soften.

3. Add boiling water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let stand to cool.

4. Stir together the sugar and cocoa in a small mixing bowl and add the double cream.

5. Beat at a medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually pour in the Bailey’s, vanilla and the gelatin mixture, beating continuously at high speed until the mixture is well combinedand soft peaks form.

6. Spoon into serving dishes and put in the fridge to chill. (For a faster setting mousse, chill the dishes before filling them).

7. Chill for 1 hour or until ready to serve.

A Winter’s Afternoon Craft Project: Mini Lavender Cushion

Our ‘crafter in residence’ Jill Amanda Kennedy has come up with this great little crafty project, perfect for whiling away the chilly days of winter.

 

Simple and quick to make, this cute little lavender-filled cushion project is ideal for using up scraps of leftover fabric and trims and can easily be adapted to suit a room’s colour and decor scheme.

Instructions:
1. Cut 2 squares of linen fabric 6” x 6” (15cm) square.

2. Find the centre of the fabric and mark out a 5 ½ “ (14cm) square – this will be your stitching line.

3. Using rubber stamps (Jill chose a tea cup) and a black ink pad, print directly onto one piece of the fabric on the left hand side, away from your sewing line.

4. Now stamp the words “Tea Time” above the tea cup, and leave it to dry.

5. Pin a pretty strip of fabric along the right hand side of the printed piece of linen fabric and lay ribbon and lace strips either side of this, covering up any raw edges. Pin them in place and carefully machine stitch them down.

6. Picking out the colours in your pretty fabric strip, add more decorative trim on top to complement, and sew in place.

7. With wrong sides facing each other, place both pieces of square linen together.

8. Place a piece of ribbon, folded in half, into one of the top corners of the square, making sure the fold is pointing towards the centre.

9. Machine stitch a ½” seam around 3 sides only, catching in the ends of the folded ribbon.

10. Turn right sides out and press flat.

11. Stuff the cushion with wadding and add dried lavender into the centre of the wadding.

12. Turn under a small seam along the unstitched side of the cushion and hand sew this closed.

Hang it on a door handle, pop it in a drawer, or place it next to your sewing machine for an instant scented lift, refreshing the fragrance with a few drops of lavender essential oil when necessary.

These would also make perfect little stocking filler gifts too!

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Albert Einstein Said “Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun.”

We are firm believers in this at Freathy Farmhouse…

 

We also believe that a fulfilling life is more than just routine or a series of mundane patterns that we hypnotically follow day in day out, lamentably having this somewhat numbing effect upon our senses and creativity, keeping our souls locked away, peeping longingly through the bars of a hum-drum existence at a shower of radiant jewels of beauty that bedeck this world around us each and every day.

All too often we lose connection with our environment; an environment with which we are inextricably linked. The rhythm of life that is the essence of each one of us, dances like a cherished melody through the very air that we breathe into our hearts, filling us with new life and healing energy. But how often do we listen to the message that nestles within this melody and allow it to comfort and soothe us? We all hear it, that whispering whimsy of words that greet us as we step over the threshold of wakefulness into slumber, telling us that ‘if you can dream it, you can do it!’

We’re all creative beings, and if you let your creativity play, then the being inside us becomes whole and life becomes magical; the key to self discovery unlocks your potential and you begin to realise that deep inside you there is a master baker, a seamstress, a florist, a poet, a chef, an artist, a craftsman, a painter….patiently waiting in the wings for you to indulge and celebrate.

Bearing this in mind, we have been working non-stop here at Freathy to put together a packed programme of workshops and residential courses that will appeal to everyone regardless of whether you are a novice or an expert. The themes include Farmhouse Cookery, Bread Making, Baking, Textiles, Mixed Media, Free Motion Embroidery, Paper Making, Crafting your own Book, Pottery, Wedding décor and crafting, Flower Posies, Healing Therapies, Yoga, Meditation, Sugar Crafting, Wood Craft, Needle Felting, Foraging, Making natural dyes from Nature and Tie Dying.

Very excitingly, we’re going to be welcoming James Woods (From BBC One’s Countryfile) to Freathy in May, to run a wonderful week-long course based around in-depth foraging for food and materials, where you can make paper from wild mushrooms, and preserves and colour pigments from plants or wines. Take a look at this link to one of James’ paper making sessions which he made for his foraged book project James Wood Mushroom Paper Making.

Attention to detail and exemplary quality of service is something that we pride ourselves on here at Freathy, and we’re repeatedly complemented for it by our guests, so we can promise that when you attend one of our workshops you will find it to be like no other. We want you to feel special, spoilt and simply wonderful during your time with us. Therefore, there will be plenty of homemade edible treats and drinks along the way and a reassuring sense that nothing is ever too much trouble for us in our desire to give you a day that you will remember for many years to come.

And who knows, you may just discover a passion, a talent and a new skill that allows you to unleash your creative potential!

   French Linen and Lace Pillow   flower

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A Delicious Recipe For Bonfire Night

In addition to introducing Freathy News this month, we shall also be sharing our favourite recipes, crafty makes and more of what makes Freathy so special.

So, to kick off, we thought that we’d let you in on a very special secret; Sarah’s granny’s recipe for Sticky Black Gingerbread. It’s perfect for any Bonfire Night festivities you might be planning. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

8oz butter

8oz soft brown sugar

8oz black treacle

12oz plain flour

2 level dessertspoons ground ginger

3 level teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 beaten eggs

½ pint milk

2 level teaspoons bi-carbonate of soda

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 2/300°F/150°C

2. Grease a 7.5inch by 11.5inch rectangular baking/roasting tin

3. Melt the butter, brown sugar and treacle in a pan

4. Sift the flour, ground ginger and cinnamon, then stir the melted mixture into it, together with the beaten eggs.

5. Warm the milk to ‘blood heat’, pour it onto the bicarbonate of soda, stir it and add it to the mixture

6. Stir well and pour into the prepared tin

7. Bake in a very low oven for about an hour and a half, covering the top with greaseproof paper after the first hour

8. Serve warm with ice cream or cream, or wait until cooled and top with yogurt and soft cheese buttercream icing.

As you can see, at Freathy, we like ours with a drizzle of dark Baileys toffee sauce and a nugget of Cornish clotted cream (or two!). Delicious!

Wedding Shoot

Yesterday was our Wedding Shoot with Clare Kinchin Photography who just happens to be the most gorgeous instinctive photographer I have seen in ages…her work tells a tale so beautifully, I was really proud to be able to offer up our wedding venue into her safe hands. So many people joined us to work together in a community to ensure that The Cow Shed looked incredibly magical….for me it was a long held dream realised and very emotional when it happened…. My vision finally became reality and it was totally magical. So I can not thank each and everyone of you enough for giving me that gift, you have no idea how much it means to me.

I can’t actually put photos of the finished shoot on our website yet as I am going to offering the shoot to magazines, and they require exclusive rights to the actual shoot, but here are just one or two images of the preparation for it.

Please do tell your friends all about us and look out for information about our Launch Party which will be taking place in the not too distant future with help from the rather wonderful Meadowsweet Vintage Natalie Bryant-Bloom, and hopefully, if she will talk to me again after all the work I asked her to do this time with those just gorgeous floral wedding displays, Judith Coles from Wild at Heart Country Flowers.