Don’t worry dear readers, I haven’t gone completely mad and bought myself a pig. Although, if I am completely honest that really would be one of my top ten ‘must-haves’ on my journey towards becoming a country bumpkin. I have always harboured a soft spot for the perfect little Ginger pig, a Tamworth. One which is wonderfully well behaved, devoid of mud, doesn’t require mucking out and could be decked out in Cath Kidston of course…. Sadly no pigs matching this description were found on my jaunts this week. No, the ‘Ham’ to which I am referring is the rather large and elegant Ham House.
Having been members of the National Trust for years and only used the membership a handful of times, Jerry and I decided to get out and enjoy the autumn sunshine with a trip to one of our nearest NT gems. We stumbled upon a wonderful event hosted by Ham House this weekend. Nestled in the stunning and rather enviable 17th century kitchen garden, ‘Home Grown at Ham’ brought together lovers of fruit, vegetables, plants and artisan products. I was determined to learn something about growing my own fruit and veg but in reality, I was seriously sidetracked by the glorious garden, tasted a lot of cheese (we found a favourite in Sussex Slipcote), sampled some ‘Hammy’ goodies from the Giggly Pig and had a chat with a very nice lady from Ruben’s Bakehouse about the demise of the cottage loaf. Why has the shape of this loaf fallen out of favour? Maybe I should attempt to bring it back if I can ever get the hang of breadmaking?! Last breadmaking attempt resulted in the need for a tooth to be crowned!
Primrose even delighted in the largely forgotten arts of apple bobbing and posy making as well as testing out her food knowledge with a trip on the Slow Food Kids’ Taste adventure.
Apart from all the eating…..I found out some interesting uses for aloe vera jelly. Did you know that you can use it for treating burns? Definitely something for the kitchen clumsiness. The number of times I have burnt my fingers on the oven, I might as well get my own patch of aloe plants! Inspiration did come in the form of some tempting recipes from the cooking demonstrations and I admired the manicured patch of lawn recreated in the image of the floor of the Great Hall and cut each year using scissors! This has to be my absolute favourite of the day though so hats off to Quack’s Pickles – you have compelled me to have a go at making my own specimens!