Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Our collective

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Country Matters Hexton is supported by 120 producer/suppliers, which makes our range diverse and quirky and hopefully interesting.

We have (list is not exhaustive)

  • Beautiful handmade items, knitted, crocheted, sewn and hand crafted
  • Preloved items that have been sourced and presented in collections
  • Local fresh produce
  • Other local produce such as oils, flour and chutneys
  • Speciality teas
  • Store cupboard essential groceries
  • Craft materials including yarn, books
  • Greetings cards
  • Scarves
  • Jewellery
  • Plants
  • Garden planters and wooden items
  • Gemstones
  • Pictures - some are hand painted originals
Some our stock is one off or limited to small numbers so is perfect for that unique gift, perfect to start your Christmas shopping, here are a few pictures - and just a small portion of what we sell, check out the facebook page for many more photos







Dolls clothes


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So do girls still play with dolls?  Or are we now all electronic?  Years ago we used to have some barbie/sindy outfits and was reminiscing about them this week.

When I was a probably around the age of 10 to 13 I loved having a go at making clothes for my "teenage doll", she was not a Sindy or a Barbie...I think they were quite a price in those days!  I was proud as punch to be bought a set of clothes from the WI shop in our town, that had been beautifully hand knitted by someone.

We have a lot of knitted items in stock, and these include some dolls clothes,  and also have some sewing patterns for larger dolls.

Here are a few that were around years ago, just because they were cute.....




Friday, 26 October 2018

Carrots and a carrot cake recipe


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At Country Matters Hexton, we normally stock carrots, so I thought I would wow you with some interesting carrot facts:

  • Carrots were first grown as medicine.
  • They were originally purple, red, white, black or yellow.
  • They were imported to Europe in the 14th century, and into UK in the 15th century.
  • Orange carrots were bred by the Dutch to match the House of Orange.
  • In WW2 carrots were used to make marmalade and fizzy drinks.
This carrot cake recipe is super light and is lower in fat




Carrot Cake
6oz (175 g) dark brown soft sugar, sifted (or a mix of honey and sugar)
2 large eggs
4fl oz (120 ml) sunflower oil
7oz (200 g) self-raising flour (two suggested wholemeal but I didn't have any)
1½ level teasps bicarbonate of soda;
2 0r 3 rounded teasps mixed spice
grated zest 1 orange
7oz (200 g) carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
6oz (175 g) sultanas

Gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C). oblong roasting tin – 4cm deep (swiss roll tin size but deeper),
Whisk sugar, eggs and oil together. Then sift together the flour, bicarb, mixed spice. Stir all together, fold in the orange zest, carrots and sultanas. Pour the mixture into tin, centre of oven - 35-40 minutes.

I also saw this suggested but didn't bother....
Syrup – stir juice ½ small orange;
1 dstsp lemon juice;
1½ oz (40 g) dark brown soft sugar (melt together).
Prick cake and pour on syrup while hot.

Topping:
I squeezed the juice of half the orange and mixed with icing sugar and drizzled it over the top.

also suggest for the topping:
9oz (250 g) Quark (skimmed-milk soft cheese);
¾oz (20 g) caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract; (mix ingredients in a bowl until light and fluffy, chill)
then dust with 1 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon

Ice with topping of your choice, cut it into 12 squares and dust with a little more cinnamon.


There is an entire website dedicated to the carrot
www.carrotmuseum.co.uk

and it tells you that:
"There are good reasons to include carrots in human diet, since they are enriched with carotenoids, phenolic compounds, polyacetylenes, and vitamins and by this reason they may help reduce the risk of some diseases. Experimental evidence has reported that these carrot compounds exert antioxidative, anticarcinogenic, and immunoenhancer effects. Anti-diabetic, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease lowering, anti-hypertensive, hepatoprotective, renoprotective, and wound healing benefits of carrot have also been reported. The mechanism by which these carrot compounds decrease the risk of some diseases is complex and sometimes largely unknown. The cardio- and hepatoprotective, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects of carrot seed extracts are also noteworthy.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Scott's Porage Oats - overnight porage

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We now stock porage, it can be eaten hot or cold, and I do overnight oats several times a week, and was lovely during the summer months, eating on sunny mornings on the patio.

I find a nutella jar perfect for this, and it has a nice plastic lid for washing over and over.

Clearly you can put it in a bowl, but I like the jar, and no one can tip it over in the fridge, and in fact you can pop it in your bag and take it to the office.

I use the same quantity of oats as hot porage - half a cup of oats, half a cup of milk.  (I use a small glass).  you can add yoghurt instead of some of the milk or all of the milk.

Add strawberries (cut up), raspberries, banana, blueberries - what ever takes your fancy really, see the links below for many ideas.




lots of ideas here

slimming world

and a few more here

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Log burner at Country Matters Hexton

For many years we just had a few electric heaters around the place, after much saving we now have a log burner installed, and it is lit on cold days, so making the shop nice and cosy.  Now the weather has turned a bit chillier it will be lit.

There is also a fire in the tea rooms.



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Sunday, 14 October 2018

Spring Onion & Cheese Scones

We have spring onions in the shop this week, so thought I would make some savoury scones.

Perfect for lunch with pickle, salad and cheese, or with a bowl of soup.

Flour and onions available in the shop Hexton Country Matters

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I had a good search around and combined several recipes and it seemed to work OK.
simple ingredients: self raising flour, butter, milk, egg and then cheese and spring onion.  Added flavourings such as mustard powder or paprika, but try without if you don't have any

This is what I used
225 gms Self Raising flour
75gms butter

- rub these together so that they resemble fine breadcrumbs, then add 6 finely chopped spring onions and half a teaspoonful of mustard powder (or try paprika, or just salt and pepper if you don't have any of that)


Then add 75gms of grated cheese


Mix together then add
1 beaten egg and top up this with milk to make up 125mls in total, save a tiny drop and brush this on the top of the scones before baking.

Lightly knead together.

Make into a 2.5 cms thick, I just gently flattened with hand.




Then use a round cutter to make 6 scones, or just cut this into 6 triangles, brush the tops with the reserved egg/milk mix
and bake for 12 minutes at 200c/400f/gas mark 7

or you could make into a round and mark it into 6 - and bake for slightly longer.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Scott's Porage Oats - porage

Did you know we are stocking Porage oats (or is it Porridge oats).  A perfect start to the day especially on a winters morning.

I have got my porage making down to a fine art, I have found a glass that is just the right size for me (approximately half a cup)

I do mine in the microwave - so choose a bigger bowl than you would normally have.

I do one measure of oats...do this first when the glass is dry, and then one of milk and then one of water.  Now this is clearly depending on taste and you can do all milk if your prefer.  I use semi skimmed.

Then stir, put in the microwave for one minute - do not leave it for more than this as it may boil over.

Stir and do for another minute, or until you see it rising up.

With quality oats like these they will be soon done, I would suggest another minute or so - you will see what you like.

You can add sugar, honey, dried fruit fresh fruit - whatever takes your fancy.

Don't forget we have honey in the shop too.