Cae'r Bryniau

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Our life at Cae'r Bryniau

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The next three challenges!

Posted on January 26, 2020 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (1)

Challenge No. 2 - Confit of Salmon with sweet dill pickled vegetables 

The time had come for the second challenge. I this case I opted this time for a relatively simple confit salmon, using Rick Stein’s with sweet dill pickled veg. It’s not a huge dish (more of a starter) so we’ll have cheese for seconds!

It was pretty straightforward. The pickling liquor was simple and the mustard mayonnaise was easy but delicious. The fish was cooked in the sou...

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First Challenge - Wonton Soup!

Posted on January 8, 2020 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (4)

The reality hit home on New Year’s Day when I was asked ‘What is your first dish this week?’ Oh, hell. I really do now need to get my mind around the challenge. Do I start easy first or head in with a real challenge? It’s partly now coloured by the fact that still post-Christmas I am wanting simple and not too heavy. Perhaps a soup or light pasta dish? So decision was made. Wonton soup for Saturday lunch. The menu this time was from the RAF 100 cookbook, a great sourc...

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60 weeks of challenge

Posted on January 7, 2020 at 4:25 AM Comments comments (665)

Nick’s 60th Challenge

At midnight during our New Year celebrations in the Pavilion, with Jools Holland’s Hootenanay on in the background, Suzi presented me with my 60th year challenge. Admittedly I am not yet in my 60th year – that comes in about 7 weeks – but the slip of paper contained 60 challenges. I had long bemoaned that whilst I can cook to a reasonable level, my skills centred around a few key basics and baking.


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Wildflower Joy

Posted on July 24, 2019 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (2)

Creating a meadow is not quite as easy as I originally thought! My first attempt is only now, four years later, beginning to look good. Last year’s attempt – having learnt from my earlier mistakes – has been much more successful.

Firstly, we had the right soil – the spoil from the new big pond was heaped up on the little hill in bottom field. Although a few perennial weed seeds blew in, the soil was not the rich top humus of the field laden with grass and other ...

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So what is glamping?

Posted on June 2, 2018 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (3)

We are hoping to offer guests a great glamping experience in our Shepherd’s Huts. But to do so I have had to consider what glamping really means! If you read my last blog, you’ll know that for me a flushing loo ensuite is essential. Going outside on a cold wet night to get to the loo would remind me of inconsorpiant chilly childhood camping experiences in France. Even on a hot dry night in Kenya, going from tent to long drop (or to behind bush) was not my idea of fun – espec...

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Work in progress

Posted on May 25, 2018 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (1)

I knew there would be trenches – from the electricity pylon at the back on the house to the Shippon via the water supply and via the new Calor gas tank, from the Shippon to Hut 3, from Hut 3 to Hut 1, then down the hill to Hut 2, then further down the hill to the sewage treatment plant…

What never occurred to me (stupidly), was the spoil that would have to be put alongside the trenches. Getting to our store room or the hen house is now an extreme sport. What fun! I have only...

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The next phase

Posted on April 26, 2018 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

As the April showers pelt down outside, I sit inside quietly waiting for contractors to arrive to prepare Cae’r Bryniau to receive two Shepherd’s Huts. We hope to have the Huts on site and ready to let by the middle of the summer. The planning for this started a looooooong time ago and the dream even before that, so it is VERY exciting that we are about to start the physical work.

When we were still living in the Vale of Glamorgan and travelling all over Wales at the weekend...

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Ode to the Oxford Sandy and Blacks

Posted on September 26, 2017 at 5:15 AM Comments comments (5)

 

When we decided to keep pigs, it was for only one reason – to produce meat for the B&B. We thought it would be easy. Stick them in the field and after a few months send them to the butcher and bacon will arrive.


How wrong we were. Numbers One and Two, the first of the bunch, were a pair of boar weaners, bought from a smallholder we found through the Oxford Sandy and Black Society website. We had done a smallholding ...

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Autumn and poetry

Posted on September 25, 2017 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (937)

This morning was one of those glorious sunny, misty ones which just makes your heart sing and also makes you wish you were Keats so you could write it all down mellifluously. It was so stunningly gorgeous that, after I’d fed the animals, I grabbed my camera to attempt to capture the essence of the sunshine on the dew and especially on the glistening cobwebs.

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Fruitfulness

Posted on August 29, 2017 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (3)

As I stepped outside this morning, the chill air made me zip my fleece all the way up to my chin. Autumn is icumin in and Nature is showing us how to survive the seasonal challenges by displaying Vitamin C everywhere: blackberries, sloes, rosehips, wild plums and haws in the hedgerows; plums and apples ripe and really ready to eat in the orchard, with pears to follow very soon; blueberries in the fruit cage and a glorious canopy of grapes in the polytunnel.

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