How to make the perfect bacon sandwich

“Is the humble bacon sandwich the nation’s favourite dish?”

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It’s essential to use the best bacon possible. Dry cured to give you a beautiful firm texture.

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We are really excited to introduce our first batch of limited edition bacon and ham. This is the result of our collaboration with Jon, at Lancing College Farm – who traditionally rears his rare breed pork – and Dave, from Calcot Farm, who is our expert at smoking and curing. Our bacon has been hand prepared – dry cured for a week and smoked over apple and oak chips for a sweeter depth of flavour.

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Highest welfare bacon means that from start to finish, the whole process brings together humane, ethical farming and expertise at preparation.  The bacon is firm and keeps its shape and texture when cooking….no residue of nasty, fatty white liquid that comes from industrially produced bacon.

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 P-E-R-F-E-C-T B-A-C-O-N S-A-N-D-W-I-C-H

Crispy, pan-fried bacon would pair nicely with a tangy sour bread loaf. The firm crust, and the soft, chewy interior, making the ideal bouncy sandwich bread.

SourDough

METHOD:

  1. Cut fairly thick slices of a sourdough loaf into portions – if eating in a group.
  2. Grill approximately 2 rashers per person and thinly slice 200g of brie.
  3. Fill each of the sandwiches with the bacon and cheese.
  4. Put them on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 5 mins, until the bread is crisped up and the cheese is beginning to melt.
  5. To serve, top each with a dollop of apple cider chutney.

 

3 Top Bacon Recipes:

Photo of The Ultimate Bacon Macaroni Cheese

 

The Ultimate Bacon Macaroni Cheese.

See more>>>

 

 

Photo of BLT Pasta Skillet

 

BLT Pasta Oven Baked.

See more>>>

 

 

Chicken & Bacon Tart

 

 

Chicken and Bacon Tart.

See more>>>

 

 

 

 

Light Salad Recipe:

Avocado and bacon salad

 

Avocado and Bacon Salad. What a great match!

See more>>>

 

 

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How to make the perfect bacon sandwich

The Ultimate Guide – Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar has a distinctive fruity taste and not only packs a big nutritional punch, it’s really useful in a whole variety of ways.

To start with, if you have some festive dinners planned, this recipe for Beurre Blanc could be great to keep up your sleeve. It’s quick, uses minimal ingredients and tastes a million dollars.

Take a look at this stunning recipe tutorial. It uses wine and wine vinegar, but we would recommend subbing cider vinegar and fruity Silly Moo Cider to make it really multi-functional if you’re feeding veggies, vegans and omnivores alike. The cider version has a richer, softer flavour that doesn’t drown out delicate veggies or white meats.

 

You don’t have to be Victoria Beckham and drink it straight to benefit from ACV’s amazing properties. Raw enzymes promote good bacteria in the digestive tract and it’s said to stabilise blood sugar and boost metabolism.

For centuries, cider vinegar has been a household staple for cooking, cleaning and medicinal needs.  It’s an effective beauty product and all round essential…from treating itchy eczema to shiny hair.

Professional chefs always keep a bottle to hand as seasoning in soups, stews or puddings and vinaigrettes.

It’s generally acknowledged that raw cider vinegar has the most potent effect.  Our cider vinegar has travelled just 30 miles from Ringden Farm, on the Kent/Sussex border, where they make Yellowcoate Raw Cider Vinegar with Mother.

‘With Mother’ is the slightly peculiar term for unfiltered cider vinegar which is in its natural state. Cheaper pasteurised vinegars are made quickly and filtered to be crystal clear, removing all the beneficial living enzymes. The cloudiness can look a little bit offputting, but that’s where you gain the most benefit.

 

7 Effective Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar in Cooking:

  1. Salad Dressing
  2. Sauce to add piquancy
  3. Chutneys
  4. Boiled Eggs (to prevent eggs cracking whilst boiling – see more>>>)
  5. Marinades to tenderise tough meat fibres
  6. On your fish and chips!
  7. Good as a raising agent in Vegan cooking

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AROUND THE HOUSE

Another great use for Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural cleaning ingredient!

  • Cider vinegar is a wonderful natural cleaner and leaves your rooms smelling of apples.  Pour cider vinegar into the toilet and leave it overnight.  You can also mix 1 part vinegar to two parts water and use as a multi-surface cleaner or cleaner for mirrors and windows.
  • It is also reputed to help repel dog fleas.  Use the one part vinegar and one part water solution and spray onto the pet’s fur (avoiding their eyes).  Be generous with the mixture and continue every few days to get rid of a flea infestation.  However, it won’t treat carpets or furnishings but is a good natural treatment for your pet.
  • Use a spot of vinegar on a cloth to clean your keyboard.  It cleans them, helps kill bacteria and leaves them shiny.
  • Clean your kettle by boiling 750ml of vinegar for 5 minutes then let sit overnight.  Rinse in the morning before anyone accidentally uses the water.
  • Clean water stained furniture with cider vinegar to remove.
  • Clean scissors with vinegar not water, which can lead to rust.
  • Use instead of bleach on mildew around the bath or shower.
  • Revive rugs by spritzing with a water/vinegar solution and leaving for one hour before vacuuming.
  • Remove carpet stains by adding 2 tablespoons of salt to vinegar and rubbing onto the stain.  Leave to dry then vacuum.
  • Use straight vinegar to clean stainless steel.
  • Make a natural wood cleaner by mixing 60ml of vinegar with 500ml of water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and using as a polish to shine.

 

HEALTH AND BEAUTY USES

  • Make your hair shine. Fill an old shampoo bottle with half a tablespoon of cider vinegar and 250ml of filtered water.  Pour the solution through your hair after shampooing.  Do this every wash for best results.
  • Raw cider vinegar can regulate the pH of your skin. Dilute the vinegar with two parts water and dab over your face to replace toner at night and in the morning before applying moisturiser.
  • Apparently a dab of cider vinegar on the skin at night can help fade age spots and acne scars.
  • For warts, soak a cotton ball in raw cider vinegar then fasten to the wart with a plaster. The skin might swell a little as it reacts but the wart should fall off.  Once it has disappeared, continue the vinegar/plaster treatment to make sure it doesn’t return.
  • Keep the pearly whites clean and remove red wine or coffee staining by rubbing with cider vinegar and rinsing.
  • Apparently adding 250ml of cider vinegar to a cool bath and soaking for ten minutes can help the discomfort of sunburn.
  • Tired feet can be revived with a massage of cider vinegar.
  • Apparently, mixing 2 teaspoons of raw cider vinegar with 500ml water and sipping throughout the day is a powerful detox drink.  Studies have suggested it boosts circulation and help detoxify the liver.  Furthermore, it regulates the body’s pH which helps maintain the ideal alkaline balance for fighting infection.
  • Research also suggests that cider vinegar can help with allergies because of its ability to reduce mucus and congestion.  Again, a powerful mixture of cider vinegar and raw honey is suggested to help hayfever.
  • Natural remedy experts suggest that a teaspoon of cider vinegar followed by a glass of water can relieve heartburn.  Seems strange but cider vinegar boosts alkalinity.  NB. this would not be recommended if have a stomach ulcer.
  • Sipping the water/vinegar mix is also reputed to relieve symptoms of yeast overload such as thrush or candida which can lead to sugar cravings, poor memory or fatigue.
  • There are loads of ways to use raw cider vinegar to treat fungal nail in this post here from home remedies for life.

 


Elderberry Immune Boosting Vinegar

Elderberries have been used for centuries as an immune boosting ingredient in traditional medicine throughout Europe and the Americas.  Probably, as studies have shown, they are have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Jane, one of our famous Hedgewitches, combines raw elderberries with cider vinegar and stevia to create her beautiful immune boosting vinegar.

Raw and preservative free, a spoonful of this a day should keep the lurgies away.

It’s great to toss into salads. They can be used to make a delicious tea or syrup. They can also be added to baked goods such as muffins and pancakes, as well as herbal remedies.

 

Image result for elderberries

 

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The Ultimate Guide – Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Sussex Fresh Raw Honey

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Brighton & Hove’s honey is raw – so not pasteurised and retains all the minerals and health benefits. It’s delicious and a healthier alternative to sugar.

Mickelmus Blackman started beekeeping from one hive in his garden in Hove and quickly developed to a few hives before starting his ethical, sustainable beekeeping enterprise.

From his hives dotted around Brighton and Hove, we have the wonderful raw honey – both set and runny.

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From his work with other farms in the Sussex area, Mickelmus also produces English Heather Honey and English Borage Honey.

Honey is a sweet, thick liquid made by honeybees. The bees collect sugar – mainly the sugar-rich nectar of flowers – from their environment. It is low in minerals and vitamins, but may be high in some plant compounds.

Honey contains many important antioxidants. These include organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids.

Eating honey may lead to modest reductions in blood pressure, an important risk factor for heart disease.

When applied to the skin, honey can be part of an effective treatment plan for burns, wounds and many other skin conditions. It’s recommended as a natural anti-bacterial face wash instead of soap and a shampoo to help ease dandruff – although these remedies sound a bit sticky, we’re fans of ditching sudsy shampoos so will keep you posted as to how this works – here’s the recipe.

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Runny Honey, Raw Honey, English Heather Honey

See More >>>


Muir’s dad, always relied on a Victorian cough syrup remedy passed down from his mother. It sounds awful but tastes amazing and really does work without resorting to chemical cough soothers for these mid-season colds.

Method:

  • Chop an onion and put in a layer in a tub
  • Mix a spoonful of honey into the mix
  • Leave for a few hours 
  • The sugars from the honey will draw out the onion juices – just take a spoonful as and when needed to soothe sore throats and coughs

No chemicals necessary here but have to mention that you shouldn’t give raw honey to a baby under a year old.

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Healthy Honey Recipes

Honey-Mustard Chicken Salad

 

Lauren Grant’s honey mustard chicken salad, packed full of flavour thanks to a quick fix honey mustard. Instead of using mayonnaise, use yoghurt as a low fat alternative. See more >>>

 

 

Sticky soy & honey pork with Asian noodles

 

Sticky soy and honey pork with Asian noodles. Stir-fry mix of egg noodles, sweetcorn, sugar snap peas and peppers. See more >>>

 

 

 

Amanda’s grilled spicy honey lime chicken kebabs. Perfect healthy meal with some sweet potato fries. See more >>>

 

 


Raw Cider Vinegar and Elderberry Vinegar

Elderberry Vinegar 

Elderberries have been used for centuries as an immune boosting ingredient in traditional medicine throughout Europe and the Americas.  Probably, as studies have shown, they are have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Jane, one of our famous Hedgewitches, combines raw elderberries with cider vinegar and stevia to create her beautiful immune boosting vinegar.

Raw and preservative free, a spoonful of this a day should keep the lurgies away.

It’s great to toss into salads. They can be used to make a delicious tea or syrup. They can also be added to baked goods such as muffins and pancakes, as well as herbal remedies.

Image result for elderberries

Raw Cider Vinegar

Raw (unpasteurised cider vinegar) containing the vinegar mother.  Produced and bottled by Ringden Farm at Flimwell, East Sussex.

Cider vinegar is well known for health properties, cleaning and washing.  The health benefits of using raw cider vinegar are improved by using vinegar containing the vinegar ‘mother’ – the cellulose produced by harmless vinegar bacteria.

Most manufacturers pasteurise the vinegar before bottling to remove this as it is ‘unsightly’…although it’s a natural part of the fermentation and contains useful enzymes.

Ringden Farm have been harvesting apples and making fresh juices from their orchard for 50 years now and is managed by Chris and his son, John Dench.  Bentley’s is their new name created to celebrate Bentley Dench who established the farm half a century ago.

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Come and visit us at

www.finandfarm.co.uk

Sussex Fresh Raw Honey

Pumpkins Are Not Just For Halloween

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If you think pumpkins are just for carving jack-o-lanterns, then think again because they are actually one of the most nutritious vegetables available.

These vegetables have a lovely, earthy, rich flavour and are not as tricky to cook as you might think. They come in all different shapes, sizes, colours and varieties.

Round, with smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and deep yellow to orange coloration. They taste like the most heavenly piece of creamy squished juicy nectar of the Gods all lavished in beautiful orangery goop sprinkled with decadent love.

For the best pumpkin go for ones that feel heavy for their size, with a smooth, firm skin. Smaller pumpkins tend to have more flesh.

They are particularly good source of fibre, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals. 80g of pumpkin counts as one portion of your five-a-day.

Pumpkin contains vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene, all of which have been found to play an important role in the health of our skin.


See More>>>


How to prepare a pumpkin?

Preheat oven to 190°C

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half, from top to bottom (not side to side), then remove the seeds and stringy bits (keep the seeds to toast, if desired).
  2. Place both halves cut side down on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and place in a preheated oven for about an hour and 15 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven.
  3. When cool, use a scraper to scoop the flesh from the skin of the pumpkin. Place in a bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use in recipes, such as pies, muffins or desserts. Easy peasy, pumpkin squeezy!

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3 Top Pumpkin Recipes:

 

Chunky pumpkin soup recipe. Satisfyingly desirable soup format, than cubes, coins and ribbons of vegetables intermingling in a broth. By Chocolate and Zucchini More>>>

 

Sausage, chicken and squash traybake

 

Hairy Bikers sausage, chicken and squash traybake. Serve with a big pile of wintery greens, such as Savoy Cabbage. More>>>

 

 

Pumpkin pie

 

Anthony Worrall Thompson’s pumpkin pie. Use dense sweet pumpkins for best results! Serve with cream. More>>>

 

 

 

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Come and visit us at

www.finandfarm.co.uk

Pumpkins Are Not Just For Halloween

Sussex Biodynamic Red & Dutch White Cabbage

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The purple hue of a red cabbage is always the most striking piece on the dinner plate. Commonly, cabbage is braised or pickled, but it’s great finely shredded in Autumnal salads and coleslaw.  Simply steamed, it can just about accompany most dishes.

Our biodynamic cabbages are grown by Toos in Cuckfield just north of Lewes tucked away at the leafy foot of the South Downs.

Red cabbage is packed full of vitamins (A, C, K), minerals and antioxidants, even eating it raw is said to provide a fantastic boost to ward off colds in this wintry season.

When shopping or harvesting a red cabbage from your garden, find the best cabbage – these will be the ones densely packed and heavy in weight with firm outer leaves.

Red cabbages are pretty hardy and are happy to be stored in the cool, dark place for a week to ten days without going rubbery.  Keep on a piece of kitchen roll to absorb condensation or moisture from the fridge.

Red cabbage tends to lose its colour when cooked. To keep it rich and gorgeous, just add a touch of apple cider vinegar in the cooking water to stop the lovely deep purple hue from running.

 

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Now white cabbage is beautiful and shouldn’t be ignored – sweet, lightly crunchy and earthy.  White cabbage benefits from uncomplicated cook techniques such as steaming or stir-frying and can even be its own recipe.43027518_217885108926906_6305715519055986688_n

White cabbage deepens in flavour through the winter season as it loves our cold English soils – so should be a staple for stir fries, Colcannon and warming suppers.

Again, looking at the cabbage it should be heavy rather than light. The outer leaves should show no sign of bruising or variations in colour.

Steaming is a popular method because both texture and nutrients are kept intact.

White cabbage is the main ingredient in a traditional coleslaw, it can be used in healthier Asian coleslaws without dairy and with spicier dressings.  The meltingly soft texture is a natural partner for bacon.

Cabbage with Caraway & Bacon

White cabbage works perfectly with bacon.

Ingredients:

100g Smoked streaky bacon 

1/2 Biodynamic White Cabbage, shredded

1 tbsp caraway seeds

Ringden’s apple cider vinegar 

Handful of fresh parsley 

Method:

  1. Cook smoked streaky bacon cut into narrow strips across the width of the bacon/ known as lardons in a little bit of Mestó olive oil, until lightly brown.
  2. Add the caraway seeds and cook for another minute. Tip in the cabbage and stir for a few minutes to wilt.
  3. Turn the heat down and cover the pan. Leave cooking for 5 minutes on a low heat.
  4. To finish, season well, sprinkle with a little apple cider vinegar and freshly chopped parsley.

Another 3 Top Recipes:

Nigel Slater's Sausage Cabbage Fry Recipe

 

Nigel Slater:

Nigel Slater’s Sausage Cabbage Stir Fry Recipe. A quick and easy fry up that includes a boost with some greens. See More >>>

 

 

 

Cabbage and pot barley soup with whipped feta

Yotam Ottolenghi:

Cabbage and pearl barley soup with whipped feta for a more elaborate, sophisticated soup. See More >>> 

 

 

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Nigella Lawson:

Nigella Lawson’s Red Cabbage Recipe, great for supper with a little red wine spicing up the veggies. See More >>>

 

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Come and visit us at

www.finandfarm.co.uk

Sussex Biodynamic Red & Dutch White Cabbage

Sussex Saltmarsh Beef & Vegetable Casserole

Image courtesy @BBC good food

A recipe to cook on the weekend, for those colder months. If you fancy something earthy or rich, and want to enjoy the warmth of a homemade stew, this is the recipe for you.

You can make a stew from almost anything, fruit, meat, vegetables, fish, grains…

Jamie Oliver has created a list of meats and what they work with in stews:

  • “Pork loves apples, onions and juniper berries.
  • Beef loves bay, rosemary and olives.
  • Lamb works brilliantly with ground cumin and coriander, dried apricots and fresh ginger.
  • Fish loves fennel, tomato and chilli.
  • Beans and green vegetables work beautifully with fresh soft herbs like basil, parsley and mint.”

Ingredients:

2 celery sticks, thickly sliced

1 onion, chopped 

2 big carrots, halved length ways then very chunkily sliced 

5 bay leaves

2 thyme sprigs, 1 whole and 1 leaves picked 

1 tbsp rapeseed oil 

1 tbsp Sussex butter

2 tbsp plain flour 

2 tbsp tomato puree 

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 

2 beef stock cubes, crumbled 

850g stewing beef, cut into nice large chunks

Method:

Heat the oven to 160C and put the kettle on for stock.
Put the sliced celery sticks, chopped onion, sliced carrots, 5 bay leaves and 1 whole thyme sprig into a casserole dish, and add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and 1 tbsp of butter into the dish.
Next, soften for 10 minutes, then stir in 2 tbsp plain flour, until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by 2tbsp tomato puree, 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 2 crumbled beef stock cubes.
Slowly stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in 850g stewing beef and bring to a gentle simmer.
Cover the dish and put in the oven for 2 hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for 30 mins. Check the dish to see whether the meat is tender and the sauce is thickened, if not, cook for a little bit longer.
Add herbs and the picked leaves of what’s left of the thyme sprig to the top of the dish as a garnish.
Wa-lah a tasty, warming dinner!

 


Come and visit us at

www.finandfarm.co.uk

Sussex Saltmarsh Beef & Vegetable Casserole

Blog: A day out at the farms!

We had a wonderful sunny day visiting Nutbourne Nursery and Rock Farm with nutritional blogger Zoe Delicata to talk about the power and beauty of local food…

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The gates of Rock Farm lead to a world of deliciousness!

First stop – the tomato jungles of Nutbourne Nursery!  

Did you know, in order to keep Sussex’s favourite tomatoes pesticide-free and ridiculously flavoursome (last summer, in our #EatSussex interviews, these were consistently declared the most loved Sussex veg. See V and H’s delicious Nutbourne tomatoes recipe here), Nutbourne meticulously cleans their glasshouse windows every year. This isn’t just your usual spring clean – this is serious tomato-perfecting business!

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Perfectly cleaned glasshouse windows for the most delicious tomatoes you can get your hands on!

What’s more? These glasshouses are also home to pollinating bees – the most essential worker in our food system. Without these workers, a huge proportion of food simply wouldn’t grow. These glasshouses are doing a fine job of keeping our bodies healthy, taste-buds satisfied and environment healthy!

From sweet, small cherry tomatoes to hearty marmande beef tomatoes to stunning cocktail tigers, you don’t need to source from far away to cater to diverse and exotic tastes. Out favourite? Cocktail tigers. Green, sweet, tart, this tomato is adds an instant element of culinary beauty to your foods – an easy and delicious win.

Nutbourne Nursery has the art of growing healthy, delicious tomatoes well and truly mastered. And it’s no surprise – after 40 years of growing, tomato perfection is pretty much guaranteed!

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It’s always summer in the green houses! These pesticide-free, bee pollinated tomatoes are positively bites of summer goodness…
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Glasshouses home to pollinating bees – ensuring us (delicious) food security. 

Next stop – our favourite: Rock Farm.

This market garden and therapeutic garden in one both enjoys experimenting with unusual local grows (Sussex sweet potatoes anyone?) and helps vulnerable community members gain confidence and life skills. Rock Farm is paving the way in Sussex for community care, providing us with incredible, nutritious and delicious organic produce and giving back on a social level. ‘How it should be‘ is certainly fast becoming the Sussex motto…

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Rows of berry bushes soaking in the Sussex sun…

Garden manager Rachel enlightened us as to the many wonderful delights growing (from berries, herbs, golden beetroots, unusual potatoes, salads, tomatoes, sea buckthorn – and more!) and what’s planned for this wonderful plot, as well as sharing some brilliant stories about volunteers changing their lives for the better.

Did you see their mustard flower salad mix? Stunning – and delicious!

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Rachel shows us the beautiful and sweet golden beetroot growing in the poly tunnels… 

Is there a particular food from us that you enjoy and want to find out more about where it’s from? Let us know! We’re eager to share the wonderful farms and work of our ethical and enthusiastic growers here in Sussex…

Shop Sussex tomatoes here and keep an eye out for summer salad from Rock Farm, coming very soon… 

Happy eating!

Blog: A day out at the farms!