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Lemon Curd ~ Recipe


 I just love lemon curd and not had it in a long while, I decided to make some and it is surprisingly easy.  Lemons and eggs are normally available at Country Matter Hexton, you only need butter and sugar.

I just followed the simple recipe on the BBC web site, there are recipes with extra egg yolks, but this one worked for me.

Basically the recipe is 1 lemon, 1 egg, 50gms sugar, 25gms butter, and make quantity bigger depending how much you want.  It doesn't keep that long - recommended only 2 weeks - so you don't want to make too much unless you share it.  I gave one of my jars away.

I made 2 small jars, I put my jars in the dishwasher, and then whilst I was making the curd, I put them and the lids in the oven, so that they were sterilised.  For your own purposes/personal a reused jam jar lid is fine.  If you were going into mass production I recommend you buy new lids :)

Here how I made mine:

2 lemons, zested and then squeezed,
put in large bowl (that will fit on the top of a saucepan) add 50gms of butter and 100gms of sugar (it suggested caster but I didn't have any).

Get a saucepan on hob with water in it, and bring it to a simmer.

I started heating mine in the microwave, stopping and stirring every now and again, until butter and sugar has melted....but you can do all of this over the saucepan.

Place your bowl on the saucepan, the water should not touch the bowl it should be steam that is heating it.

Now beat the eggs together, and add to your mix, keep whisking it for about 5 - 10 minutes, you will notice it starting to thicken. Put into your jars, and seal whilst hot, I left the zest in mine - sieving seemed like a bit of a faff......once cool put in the fridge.

Christmas is on its way, and we have some lovely different ideas for presents, along with gift bags and Christmas cards.


Greetings Cards

 


We have a selection of greetings cards, both handmade, printed from original water colours and a selection of commercial cards.


Also we can now offer postage stamps, and we have a post box right outside the door, it is collected daily during the week at 4pm and on a Saturday morning at 10.30


Christmas cards have arrived too.

Lemon Loaf ~ Recipe


Lemons are always available in Country Matters Hexton, add a slice to your gin & tonic, did you know you can freeze lemon slices, and they keep for ages in the fridge?  Or you can make this delicious lemon loaf

Supplier Spotlight ~ Deck your Dollshouse

 


We have a selection of dollshouse furniture, most of this is not suitable for small children, and more of a decorative nature.  But some fun pieces.  


Once the items have gone they will not be replaced, once they are gone they are gone :) 

They are mostly 1/12 scale, this means that 1 inch represents 1 foot.


Supplier Spotlight ~ Gagmansbury Farm ~ Alpaca Wool


We have a stock of local alpaca wool, naturally coloured and soft and lightweight.  Gagmansbury Farm is just down the road in Pulloxhill.

Carrots

 

At Country Matters Hexton, we collect our fresh fruit and veg on a Thursday and this will normally include carrots and wherever possible these will be as local as possible.  You can buy as many as you want and you can bring your own bag, or we will pop them in a brown paper bag.

Did you know that: 

  • 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.
  • Apparently weight-loss-friendly food, linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.
  • Their carotene antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.
  • There is an entire website dedicated to the carrot

And let's be frank they are excellent value, you can boil them, roast them, mash them, make soup bake them - would love to hear what you do with yours

Lovely carrot cake recipe here:

There is an entire museum devoted to the carrot (well virtual anyway)
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.

Visit our Facebook page and 'like us'  Hexton Country Matters.

Flapjacks ~ Recipe


You can be rest assured that we will have a supply of Scott's Porage oats - Helen's favourite.

Apart from hot porage and overnight porage, you can make flapjacks.


On the back of the pack there has been a recipe

This is my favourite recipe:
6oz (150gms) Butter or Margerine
4oz (100gms) brown sugar (or mix of different depending on the filling)
2oz (50gms) syrup - I find it less messy to weigh it
12oz (300gms) oats
cinnamon or mixed spice

then optionally add up to 8oz (100gms) your favourite dried fruit, chopped apricots, dates, walnuts, cherries.

I have even added a mashed banana if there has been an over ripe one in the fruit bowl.

I found it best to line my tin with baking paper/parchment (do not use greaseproof it sticks to it), and cut into pieces when still slightly warm.

You can pretty much put in any shaped tin, and could even dip into chocolate and put in fancy bags for Christmas presents - who doesn't love a handmade gift.

Supplier Spotlight ~ Piper Crisps


We have just started stocking Pipers Crisps, they are produced by 3 farmers based in Lincolnshire and have some interesting flavours including Chilli from Biggleswade.

Pickled Onions ~ Recipe

 


Autumn is upon us and the pickle season has started.  This week in Country Matters Hexton we have onions for pickling form not far away in Soham, Cambridgeshire.

Lemons

At Country Matters not only do we have a good selection of local produce we generally have lemons.  Lemons are versatile and can be used in baking, preserves, cooking, cleaning and of course in your gin and tonic.  You can use the juice and the zest.

Supplier Spotlight ~ Ms Tee ~ Woodturner


Teraina (Ms Tee) is recently new to woodturning and is improving in leaps and bounds, and loves to take on a new challenge.  At Country Matters we have been stocking these fabulous pens for the last couple of years.

Carrot Cake ~ Recipe

We generally have local carrots for sale.  This carrot cake recipe is super light and is lower in fat, I can't pretend it is calorie free....

Supplier Spotlight ~ Debbie ~ Preloved & Handmade


Debbie has been a regular at Country Matters for many years now, and you will often see her busy serving.

She says her main obsessions are vintage china & glass, knitting, crochet and patchwork quilting.  But admits that she is a flitter between crafts as she bores easily and loves a new a challenge!   


Vintage glass collecting has been a passion since she inherited her Nan’s green Vaseline glass dressing table set - most of this glass was made in the north east of England or Germany during the 1930s .  She just loves it and feels that it is under appreciated in these throwaway days  - it’s survived for 90 years and still has a use.  


Pretty China is a must for an afternoon tea and she has a soft spot for antique English children’s China, miniature versions of the grown ups dinner and tea services, which were produced in Staffordshire from the 1840s.  These would have been in the nursery of grand houses for the children to play with and learn dining etiquette - and she has to confess to owning quite a few!


Her Nan taught her to knit as a child and a self taught crocheter and sewer.  She loves to experiment with colours and shapes in patchwork quilting and absolutely hates throwing away even the tiniest amounts of fabric. 

 During this COVID-19 crisis she has been making cotton face covers  - some 600 to date - with a donation of 50p from each sale going to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital Maternity Unit where her midwife daughters are based.


If you walk through the shop and up the stairs to the room on the left, you will find lots of beautiful treasures that Debbie has made recently or collected over the years.

she has a Facebook page

Supplier Spotlight ~ Dawn ~ Handknits


Dawn is a regular at the Country Matters Hexton shop and keeps herself occupied in her free time knitting. She knits various items - tea cosies, baby bootees, children’s and baby jumpers.

Supplier Spotlight ~ Vera ~ Naturalis Candles, Creams & Balms

 


Vera has been bringing her makes along to Hexton Country Matters for a little while now.

The items have been lovingly handmade locally in small batches, using natural ingredients and recyclable containers. She even offers to refill your containers once they are all gone.

Supplier Spotlight ~ Corbett & Sons ~ Honey

Corbett & Sons are selling their local honey in the shop, they are from Barton Le Clay, so very close to Hexton.  

Supplier Spotlight ~ Carolyn ~ Handmade Fabric Bags & Accessories



Carolyn, a crafter and a gardener, has been bringing her handmade items to the shop now for 7 years or so.

Supplier Spotlight ~ Mrs Middleton's ~ Oil & Flour


We have been stocking Mrs Middleton's Rapeseed Oil for a number of years at Country Matters.  

Supplier Spotlight ~ Crafty Christopher ~ Quirky Succulents


Crafty Christopher has only just recently joined us, and has an amazing eye for putting a succulent plant in a fantastic quirky pot.   

Supplier Spotlight ~ Nick Peace ~ Woodturning


Nick has been woodturning for about 6 years.  Following his retirement, he started looking for something different to do, he started with a 2 day course in Axminster, and hasn't looked back since.  He has set himself up in his shed and spends many hours out there with his wood and tools.

Raspberries


Helen often has raspberries (blueberries too), and muffins are super easy to make.  They don't keep well, best to eat on the day (not all of them though!) and freeze any left.

Here is the muffin recipe:

I have a large jug that I always use for making muffins and find it easier to pour the mixture as it is runny, and all muffins are delicious straight from the oven.

200g plain flour
100g caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar
Cinnamon to taste (optional)
2 ½ Baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
90ml skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
80ml vegetable oil
1 large egg, beaten
5 drops vanilla extract
200gms (approx) fruit

  • Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6 and add paper cases to a muffin tray.
  • Measure out flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large jug. 
  • Combine milk, oil, egg and vanilla in another jug.
  • Add the liquid to the large jug and stir until just combined (mixture will be lumpy).
  • Gently fold in fruit, divide amongst 10 cases, or around that number, cases should be 2/3rds full.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top, sprinkle with icing sugar when slightly cool.
This was a picture from a while back and I generally use a silicon muffin tray these days which is much easier than messing about with paper muffin cases. 



Fruit scones & delicious homemade jam



Fancy a lovely light scone and some homemade jam, check out our range of jams in the shop, pick up some eggs and flour and get making these scones, they are so easy you will have them ready to eat in less than an hour.

And now we are open



We are now open, with reduced opening times, check our Facebook page for details.  All the shelves are not fully stocked, over the coming weeks we will be adding more. 

The big revamp



In March we closed due to the Covid19, like all other retail premises in the country, but instead of sitting around Debbie took charge and took on the much needed, tidy and revamp.

Supplier Spotlight - Crochet Animals - Lesley


Lesley has been crocheting these fabulous cuddly animals for a few years, whilst she travels on the train.  they are made from premium quality yarn and are super soft.

VE Day recipe idea - bread pudding



Visit our Facebook page and 'like us' Hexton Country Matters and share with your friends.
This recipe makes enough to fill a traybake tin, perfect for using any leftover bread, including the crusts.

Supplier Spotlight - Greetings Cards - Sue Margesson



Sue paints beautiful watercolours and then has them printed onto greetings cards.  We have had her cards for many years and you can always be assured of a great unique watercolour for any occasion. 

VE Day celebrations - Evacuee

  Please visit our Facebook page share and like us to spread the word.

There is a lovely story on BBC History, written by someone evacuated to Hexton during WW2

Supplier Spotlight - Woodwork & Crafting - Frank & Maggie


Frank & Maggie have been bringing their handmade items for many years, between them, they woodwork, sew & crochet. 

VE Day celebrations - blankets

  Please visit our Facebook page share and like us to spread the word.


If you are planning a garden party for VE Day - or anytime really, it can get a bit chilly in the evenings, we have loads of pretty crochet blankets that are perfect to keep away the chill on the summer evenings.

Supplier Spotlight - Knitting - Dawn

We have many hand knitted items from several different suppliers, one of them is Dawn.


Dawn is a regular at the Country Matters Hexton shop and keeps herself occupied in her free time knitting. She knits various items - tea cosies, baby bootees, children’s and baby jumpers. Perfect for a baby shower present, yours will be unique, and will have the awww factor.

VE day celebrations - Hexton


Do you have any memories of Hexton on VE Day from family or friends?

It was the 8 May 1945, and it will be 75 years since the day.  Would be lovely to hear about them. 

Supplier Spotlight - preserves, sewing, knitting & crochet - Nikki


You will see Nikki on the desk most Saturday mornings, she has many talents, and has recently started making our jams/preserves/pickles, she uses recycled jars in a variety of sizes, so don't forget to do your bit for the environment and return your jars.

Baked Eggs - a quick lunch/light tea

The hens are starting to lay again and Eggs are available in Country Matters Hexton shop, so how abut this simple idea for a lunch/light tea.




This was a case of what was in the fridge/larder. - Recipe:

Supplier Spotlight - Honey - Corbett & sons





Corbett & Sons have recently started selling their local honey in the shop, they are from Barton Le Clay, so very close to Hexton.  It is certainly proving very popular.

See their Facebook Page

Don't forget to visit our Facebook page share and like us to spread the word.

VE Day celebrations - Table cloths and table linen

  Please visit our Facebook page share and like us to spread the word.


Our stock is always changing, and we have preloved vintage linen items that will be perfect for your VE Day garden party celebration.

Supplier Spotlight - Helen - Hens & Eggs

Helen is the 'boss' and you will often see her at the counter serving you.


Helen has a flock of 50 hens and 5 very happy cockerels and brings along their fresh eggs, you just can't beat a fresh egg!  perfect poached, fried, scrambled - what is your fav way to enjoy a fresh egg?

American Pancakes - Recipe - Pancake Day - 25th February

It is pancake day soon, how about giving American pancakes a go?  This was my first attempt and they were easy.


Super fresh eggs in the Hexton Country Matters shop...here is the recipe:



Supplier Spotlight - Naturalis

  Please visit our Facebook page share and like us to spread the word.

Vera has been bringing her makes along to Hexton Country Matters for the last few months.



She sells her handmade candles, soaps and balms, in many fragrances, along with some other specialist items, such as some dog paw balm, perfect for those frosty mornings; goats milk soap; soy wax candles.