Here’s the latest Countryside Kitchen column from Yelvertoft mum Milly Fyfe.
Milly lives with her husband and two children on their livestock and arable farm.
May is my favourite month of the year. We have plenty of new life on the farm with baby lambs, calves and the garden is coming to life too. I’m just nervous to put any plants out just yet in case we have a late frost. I think it was two years ago that we had a late frost in May and it wiped out all my pumpkin and squash plants so I’m always that bit anxious.
I’ve got tomatoes and chillies doing well in the greenhouse and plenty of brassicas out under fleece. I’m thankful that we had a drop of rain recently as it’s been incredibly dry. Andrew my husband had recently planted a large field of Spring Barley and it has emerged without a drop of rain on it. So an odd shower here or there wouldn’t go amiss.
May is also the month that we celebrate our wedding anniversary. Seven years ago we were married in the church at Yelvertoft and held the reception on the farm.
Thankfully, we have finished lambing by then as we used the same shed for lambing as we did our reception, which was quite the transformation. It was a lot of hard work to prepare and a tight turnaround too, but very personal to us and will definitely be a wedding that our guests will remember.
BBC Radio Northampton visited the farm recently as part of their morning breakfast show to promote Great British Beef Week. Presenter Tom Percival was with us all morning and I’d organised for a couple of local beef farmers, Tom Elliott at Noborough Lodge Farm Shop and Dan Page of Page Bros, Elkington to come and talk about producing top quality beef in the county. I then spoke about how sustainable beef production is in the UK and promoted some tasty recipes that could be made using beef mince.
Andrew also spoke about our beef suckler herd.,
The hedgerows are coming alive at this time of year and I always get excited to see the elderflowers appear, mainly because I love making elderflower cordial.
So I thought I would share a quick, easy recipe that I follow to make my own elderflower cordial – the perfect refreshing drink on a warm spring day.
85g Citric acid
20 heads of elderflowers – look for those with yellow pollen on and remove any bugs where possible
1.5 litres of water
Mix 2.5kg of sugar with 1.5 litres of water on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and allow the mixture to come to boil then remove from heat. Add in some sliced lemons and washed elderflower heads along with the citric acid.
Leave in a cool place for 24hrs to allow the mixture to infuse.
After 24 hours sieve the mixture or pour through a muslin cloth to ensure you don’t get any bits in the cordial. Bottle and store in the fridge for 6 weeks. Serve with lemonade or sparkling water chilled.