Saturday, 9 April 2011

Pitney Farm Shop and Goose Eggs for Lunch

 Pitney Farm Shop in the sunshine

Hasn’t the weather been glorious!? I adore the sunshine and have been in my absolute element for the last few days. The Boy and I share a two bedroom first floor flat for the last year and a bit; it’s great but the one thing that I’m missing is a garden. I long to grow my own fruit, vegetables and herbs (not everything can be grown on a window cill like this or on our drive way like this) as well as soaking up the sunshine while something yummy sizzles on the barbeque. But most of all, I miss being able to spend time outside when the weather is so good.

It seemed natural on Saturday to jump into the car on Saturday and set out on a mini-adventure in search of Pitney Farm Shop which I’d seen featured on Fiona Beckett’s Food and Wine Finds. I was delighted to see that there was positively reviewed small business relatively nearby to where we live. I had originally thought that I might cycle there but, at over 12 miles each way, I didn’t have time. I would be tempted on another day though.

Organic Swiss Chard

The shop was remarkably easy to find despite being nestled in the midst of the Somerset countryside and the pretty village of Pitney. We pulled off the narrow country lane and into the yard, dodging hens as we parked. The shop is located on the working farm with a little ‘Veg Shack’ shed full of organic vegetables sourced as locally as possible (though their onions, avocadoes and lemons were from Spain when we visited) and a little shop with all sorts of goodies. They stock various cuts of meats, sausages and meatballs, chocolate, cheeses, pastries, cakes and chutneys as well as local beer. The shop is small itself but is perfectly formed and absolutely stuffed full of delicious morsels – I particularly liked the pasties, which are baked locally and have a sign guiding you to your chosen flavour by the orientation and number of slits in the pastry.

Clever Pasties
We chose some different types of kale, some white onions, a very ripe avocado and some local Maryland cheese. While the lady behind the counter rang through our purchases, our gaze was drawn to a large dish of fresh goose eggs next to the till. Both of us were tempted so we added two to our basket for lunch.

Eggs, eggs, everywhere!

After we had paid up and our eggs had been lovingly swaddled in tissue paper, we crossed the yard to say hello to the newborn lambs in the barn. The Boy was very patient while I crooned and cooed over the tiny delicate lambs (so fluffy!) which had been born only that morning. The barn holds cows and pigs as well as older lambs and a few rogue chickens which had obviously escaped from the large runs of free-range chickens on the other side of the farm. It was evident that the escapees were very happy with their freedom – we spotted several clutches of eggs dotted around in cosy spots.

Later, we enjoyed a delicious lunch of soft boiled goose eggs with early British asparagus for dipping. Size aside, goose eggs aren't really any different to hens eggs. Taste-wise, they taste pretty much the same but you get more of the good stuff. To soft boil, place in a saucepan and cover with cold water (this is to prevent them from cracking as they cook). Put on the hob on a medium heat. When the water starts to boil, time them for 8 minutes and you should come out with a nicely hard white and runny yolk though this does differ depending on the size of the egg. A yummy lunch time treat!

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