This is the most fun I have had buying produce from a farm shop in ages. Driving past the Flixton Aviation Museum into Bungay, I came across the Milk Shed at Fen Farm Dairy. Being a sucker for raw milk(you can't beat that creamy layer that appears on the top after a few hours in the fridge) I stopped and was amazed to find inside, the milk dispensing machine and the self serve fridge packed with eggs and the delicious farm made, Brie style Baron Bigod cheese. Put a pound coin in the machine (there is a change machine if you don't have the coins) place the container under the spout and out comes a litre of milk. Better than playing a fruit machine any day, you win everytime.
- Delicious Brie style Baron Bigod. Better than the French make!
- Cheese and eggs to self serve.
- The milk dispenser fridge. Pop in a pound, out comes the milk.
Haven't been to Alder Carr Farm for months and so set off for a sunny Saturday lunch with Mum. It was very busy - because it clearly has some of the best produce in the area and an interesting lunch menu that goes on until 3pm. We shared a paté dotted with pistachios, venison pie (with chips - sometimes I just have to have the gravy with chips...) and then a dessert pear, served with their own first rate coffee ice cream. It was all tasty and great value. The seasonal and locally sourced evidence is right there in the huge display of bright orange pumpkins and squash - to remind us that autumn is here.
You can't beat a plate of Norfolk asparagus and our favourite place to buy is direct from Tim Jolly at Roudham Farm. During the months of April, May and June the farm shop is open and you can see the freshly daily picked asparagus being sorted and bundled, ready to go off to Covent Garden and Spitalfields markets. The crooked spears are always a bargain if you want to make some soup or a risotto. Follow the signs between the whisky distillery and the railway station in East Harling.
The sun is out so that must mean it's barbecue time! Denise and Adrian from The Chilli Company sent suffolkfoodie some jars of their chilli sauces and chutney to sample, so first up is the Extra Hot smoky chipotle sauce - half of the 280g jar easily covered nine fat pork ribs as a marinade. I barbecued them and then the family moved in and wolfed them down before I had a chance to take a snap, so the picture is of the ribs marinading.
Well, the sauce was lip-tingling hot. The cooked ribs had a good kick of chilli, but were by no means overpowering. The sweet and smoky flavours were not lost through the heat of the chilli. However with a little more on the side for dipping the full force was apparent. A delicous sauce, not for the faint hearted, but for those that like it hot - deliciious as a marinade or as a sauce.
La Hogue Farm was on my route on Thursday so I called in to take a look. I didn't have time to try the cafe which looked really inviting and had an interesting menu. Has anybody been? I came away with an excellent pork pie and a lemon and ginger loaf, both of which were very good value. this is much more than just a cafe and deli - take a look for yourself - a great stop off the A11 close to both Newmarket and Mildenhall.
When you walk into the shop and cafe expect a cheerful hello and the aroma of delicious things. Lord Iveagh - of the Guinness family - has a whole section dedicated to Guinness inspired products and a room full of sweets including farm - produced fudge, shelves are filled as you might expect to see in Harrods and there's a cafe|restaurant with rather loud upbeat music and well sourced food. On this occasion only time for the cheese scone and a capppuccino - both very good - but please don't microwave my scone.
Spent the morning (and at least £50) chatting to the producers and telling them that Gino is coming to town in case they want to enter the competition. We tasted beetroot and chilli relish from The Seasonal Garden www.theseasonalgarden.co.uk, a nice pork pie and liver and bacon dog biscuits (the dog loved them!) from Samphire's www.samphireshop.co.uk. and took home a chicken, bacon and mushroom pie made in Buxhall, bread from flour ground at Pakenham Mill, fudge and a slice of cake. In the cafe we ate deep fried goats cheese with beetroot and apple salad and honey dressing. A nice way to spend a day in the pouring rain with no sign of warmer weather yet.
PS If you're looking for squirrel meat, someone here sells that too.
My friend Joe and I are at Alder Carr drooling over the cheese counter when we hear that so is the food critic from the Telegraph. I am not quick enough to give her my suffolkfoodie card but I understand food critics don't like food bloggers much so maybe it's for the best. Great Ploughmans though - big chunk of Suffolk Gold and a home made scotch egg. And a special hello to the nice man buying cheeses beginning with g for his dinner party - we want to come! www.aldercarrfarm.co.uk