Visit the Cotswolds for Lamb in Puff Pastry

Cotswolds Lamb!

Lamb in Puff Pastry

Cotswold Lamb in Puff Pastry Recipe

In Metric and Imperial measures
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 (8-ribs) rack of lamb trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat.
Use Cotswold Lamb if possible
1 package of ready-made puff pastry
¾ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg. (Use Cotswold egg if possible)

Seasoning:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
1 ½ teaspoon salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F/200C/180Cfan/gas 6

Prepare seasoning
Add the garlic, salt and rosemary to 2 tablespoons olive oil,
mix ingredients together, mashing the garlic so that it blends with the oil.
Set aside.

 

Braising Cotswold Lamb

Prepare lamb:
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over high heat until hot
Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and rub meat all over with salt and pepper.
Brown racks, in 2 batches if necessary, on all sides about 10 minutes per batch.
Divide each rack into 4 double chops
Transfer racks to a roasting pan.
Spoon the seasoned oil over the lamb racks
Place racks in preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes

Cotswolds Lamb out of the oven

Puff Pastry
As the lamb cooks roll out puff pastry to approximately ¼ inch (.75 cm) thick.
Cut the pastry into 8 rectangular sections of 3 x 5 inch (7.5×12.5cm) each
Beat the egg in a bowl with a dash of water.

After 40 minutes remove the racks of lamb from the oven
Place one section of pastry on each pair of chops and
brush with the beaten egg mixture
Decorate the top with extra bits of puff pastry
Return the lamb to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes
or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Puff Pastry

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order
a.com_logo_RGB  

 

 amazon
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

Romantic Cotswold Garden with a View – One of National Gardens Scheme’s Best

Romantic Cotswold Garden

Woolstone Mill

WOOLSTONE MILL HOUSE GARDEN

Rambling, romantic Woolstone Mill House Garden, near Faringdon, is a real treat. Close to the hidden village of Woolstone with its pretty pub, The White Horse, it has many delights.
Great for a Cotswolds Get-awayThis garden has just the perfect amount of blowsy charm – trim in the right places and charmingly shaggy in others.
A stream and Rustic bridgeA stream trickles through it meandering under several rustic bridges and leading the visitor on to one interesting garden feature after another.
Romantic Cotswold GardenA spectacular circle created by yew hedges whose focal point, two topiary sheep with carved stone heads, is enhanced by a backdrop of real sheep grazing in the meadows beyond.
Topiary SheepThe wide swath of lawn in this circle is bordered by mixed herbaceous and shrub plantings and provides a splendid photo opportunity.
Topiary Sheep and Rustic BridgeThere are medlars and old-fashioned roses, kitchen and bog gardens and numerous topiary in this two acre property.
Treehouse with view of Vale of the White HorseSnuggled in among the foliage is every child’s dream of a tree house. It is well worth the climb up as there are terrific views of White Horse Hill with the Uffington White Horse clearly visible.
Tea and Cakes in the gardenSinfully rich home-made meringues with whipped cream and fresh raspberries were served, along with steaming cups of tea, in a picture perfect summerhouse at the end of the garden.
Re-purposed tea cartA truly gorgeous garden with many quirky surprises.
Rustic BridgePhotographs by Randall Montgomery ©2014 Available for purchase at PublicityPromo@aol.com


Woolstone Mill House, Woolstone, nr. Faringdon, Oxon, SN7 7QL

Click here for NGS 2015 details

ngs-yellow-arrow-logo

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

Click below to order
a.com_logo_RGB  

 

 amazon

Prior Park Garden in the Cotswolds – A National Trust Must-See

The Palladian Bridge at Prior Park

Prior Park is a must-see landscaped garden built high on a hillside with spectacular views of Bath as just one of its many attractions.
IMG_4641This National Trust Grade 1 listed garden was created by local entrepreneur Ralph Allen and begun in 1734.
IMG_4621Allen, who made his fortune by reorganizing the post office, took advice from the poet Alexander Pope and the garden designer Capability Brown before creating this masterpiece.
IMG_4618There are few flowers and no formal beds in this garden – it is all about breathtaking views, restful green lawns, reflecting water from the lakes and sculptural bridges – creating a mellow mood that is immensely pleasing.
IMG_4657Meandering across the elegant Palladian Bridge, one of only four left in the world, is a joy and there is much more to discover including: a Serpentine Lake, a Cascade, a summerhouse, and a horseshoe walk.
IMG_4655Winding and sometimes steep paths lead to hidden retreats, tranquil lakes, a ruined Gothic Temple, a Grotto and finally, stunning vistas over Bath. Prior Park was the matrix for style that became known as the “English garden”.
IMG_4623-1The Palladian mansion, which tops one of the garden’s sweeping green slopes and overlooks Bath, now houses Prior Park College and was designed by John Wood, the Elder in 1742. He was commissioned by Ralph Allen to build a house “To see all Bath, and for all Bath to see”.

Highclere2

This house, with its classic symmetry, should be on the list of all the overseas visitors who, caught up in Downton Abbey fervor, are now interested in seeing other examples of the great houses of Britain.

Afternoon Tea can be taken at a tiny, clapboard tea house, with outdoor tables, tucked away in the foliage.
IMG_4647A five-minute walk from the garden leads on to a six mile circular walk around Bath, with amazing views, that passes through woodlands, meadows, an Iron Age hill-fort, Roman settlements, and an 18th-century folly.

Prior Park Garden is south of Bath, Somerset, by Ralph Allen Drive, and 3/4 mile (1.2 km) from the Kennet and Avon canal path. BA2 5AH

Click here for National Trust Link

national_trust

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order

a.com_logo_RGB     

amazon
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

Cotswolds Cane Maker and his Rural Skills

IMG_5381

Cotswold Hiking Sticks by Jim Ruck-Cotswolds Cane Maker

on display at Church Westcote Fete

Strolling around the Church Westcote fete last week I was happy to see that Jim Ruck was still selling his wonderful hiking canes.
I had bought a hazelwood one from him a couple of years ago and it has saved me from many a tumble on long hikes around the Cotswolds.
I hope his method of making these walking canes will not be another rural skill that disappears. He described how he twists new young branches, as they grow, around the saplings that are the raw material for his canes. These make marvelously whimsical shapes that are really a piece of art in addition to being a very useful hiking stick. He shapes, smoothes and varnishes them into a variety of beautifully rustic shapes.
Jim makes sticks in Oak, Elm, Dogrose, Hawthorne and Black Thorne Ivy.

Link to Rural Skills: See ruralskills.org

Stick Comp

Photographs by Randall Montgomery ©2014 Available for purchase at PublicityPromo@aol.com

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order
a.com_logo_RGB  

 

 amazon
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

Cotswolds Gorgeous Garden-Stowell Park- Opened For Colbalt Fundraiser

 

A view of Stowell House from the garden

Stowell Park Garden in SeptemberStowell Park in a storm

For a wonderful afternoon visit magnificent Stowell Park, near Northleach, surely the best private garden in the country. Stowell House crowns a hill commanding matchless views across the unspoiled Gloucestershire countryside. Velvet lawns carpet one elegant terrace after another as they unfold down the hill below the house eventually merging seamlessly into the rolling hills of the Coln Valley.

Stowell Parks terraced garden

This open garden event was the Cobalt charity’s grand finale of their open garden programme for 2014 and they wisely appeared to have saved the best for last.

Pleached Limes

Cotswold Garden

This traditional garden covers eight acres with many charming features including: three peach houses two vineries, three pot-plant greenhouses and a half acre of cut flowers in addition to an acre of fruit and vegetable gardens laid out in two walled gardens. A perfect parade of pleached limes frame the approach to 14th Century Stowell House and give way to a long rose pergola and wide, plant filled borders containing a fine collection of old-fashioned roses.

A Cotswold Fountain

A woodland walk – a fountain garden with an almost two metre sturgeon swimming happily in the water feature also grace this beautiful garden.

Teas in the Stowell Park Ballroom

Tea and delicious home-made cakes were served in the ballroom and taken on one of the sunny terraces. The lovely weather showed off the garden at its best.

Stowell Park

This open garden event provided a rare opportunity for a visit in September. Lady Vestey and her head gardener, Neil Hewertson have created a wonderful and surprisingly diverse show of colour for this time of the year.
Overlooking the Coln Valley

The tranquility created by Stowell Park Garden’s position and beautiful design make this a must-see garden.

Cotswold Garden

COBALT CHARITY
Support the Cobalt Charity (Diagnostic Imaging for Life) providing faster, safer and clearer medical scans by giving generously. This charity made the Stowell Park open garden event possible.
www.cobalt50.co.uk
fundraising@cobalthealth.co.uk

A detail at Stowell Park

Photographs by Randall Montgomery ©2014 Available for purchase at PublicityPromo@aol.com

Stowell Park Yanworth, Northleach, Cheltenham GL54 3LE

The Lord & Lady Vestey, www.stowellpark.co.uk 8m NE of Cirencester. Off Fosseyway A429 2m SW of Northleach.
Stowell Park is open under the National Garden Scheme usually for two afternoons in June.

Click here for NGS 2015 details
ngs-yellow-arrow-logo

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

Click below to order
a.com_logo_RGB  

 

 amazon

 

 

Blackberry and Apple Delight with Cotswold Honey


The hedgerows are loaded down with wild blackberries right now and so are the apple trees. There is no better way to enjoy the Cotswold countryside than picking wild fruit. So pick as many blackberries as you can and if you can scrump some apples the only thing needed then is the Cotswold honey.

IMG_0281

My mother used to make this scrumptious recipe (below) all through blackberry season and my brother and I rushed back from school knowing it would be there for us to heartily enjoy, as soon as we got home. So eating this dish for me is like Proust’s Madelaine Cake and I am transported back to my childhood by its sweetly perfumed delicate
taste.

Honey

Honey is a very important ingredient of this dish. Use organic Acacia if possible. Cotswold Honey is the best choice and Andy Briggs of Fat Cat Antiques Fairs sells local Cotswold organic honey. Here is his link: http://bit.ly/1uoQJjz

Blackberry and Apple Delight with Cotswold Honey 

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

2 1lbs Blackberries or more. They cook down quite a bit.
1 8oz jar of Cotswold Honey
8 apples cored and finely sliced- any kind of apple works fine.
¼ cup of water
1 carton ice cream or whipped double cream to taste (optional)

Method

Carefully wash the blackberries making sure no stems or leaves remain
Wash, core and finely slice the apples leaving their skins on.Blackberry and Apples-2

In a large pot cook gently heat the blackberries until they are just soft
Drain off the excess liquid
In a separate saucepan gently cook the apples, after adding the water, until almost soft
Drain off the excess liquid
Combine the apples and blackberries in a large pot
Add the jar of Cotswold honey (or to taste)
Stir in gently
Cook for a few minutes until the apples have absorbed the colour of the blackberries and the honey is well distributed.
Allow to cool
If desired serve with Vanilla Ice cream or whipped double cream

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order
a.com_logo_RGB  

 

 amazon
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

 

Scrumptious Seafood Saute Recipe with Cotswold Butter

IMG_5253

I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside Seafood Sauté 

IMG_5218

This scrumptious Seafood Sauté is really enhanced by using locally churned Cotswold Butter which is available at many Cotswold farmer’s markets. Below is the link to farmer’s markets in the region. This link and other useful foodie information appear in the Travel Guide of my book COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage. (Available on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle and Audio Book)

www.thecotswoldgateway.co.uk

I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside Seafood Sauté Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients 

1 fresh, live Lobster
10 fresh uncooked peeled Shrimp
10 fresh uncooked unpeeled Shrimp
1 cup Fresh peeled Crayfish Tails (where available)
8 fresh Mussels
8 fresh Clams
12 fresh Scallops

2 whole Lemons cut into segments
4 bulbs finely chopped Garlic
4 table spoons finely chopped Parsley
2 table spoons fresh Oregano
2 table spoons fresh Rosemary
2 tea spoons Tarragon
1 cup Butter (Cotswold butter if possible)
2 table spoons Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

Requirements:

2 Iron skillets with handles that will go from
oven to table. One for each serving
(For the best results this dish should be prepared in 2 x 9” cast iron skillets
although a stainless steel skillet of this size will work almost as well.)

Plunge Lobster into boiling water, cover and cook for 20 minutes
After Lobster is done turn off heat and leave
in the pot while preparing the other ingredients:

Dry Scallops with paper towel
Make sure Butter is very hot but not burning
in a separate pan sauté Scallops in 2 table spoons of Butter
for three to four minutes or until not quite cooked through

Prepare the Clams and Mussels by steaming them until they pop open.
Remove immediately from the steamer, removing the top shell from the Mussels and set aside

Remove Lobster from pot and dry with paper towel
With a very sharp knife cut Lobster in half and crack the claws

Heat both skillets to medium heat
Divide 1 cup Butter between two skillets
Divide Garlic into two and add to both skillets.
Sauté Garlic for a minute or so being careful not to burn
Stir all herbs into the pan reserving 2 table spoons Parsley
Add Shrimp and Mussels (shell up) and cook until almost done
Turn up heat as much as possible without burning butter
Add half Lobster to each skillet with shell facing upwards
Ladle butter from skillet over Lobster
Add Crayfish Tails and Scallops
Stir, making sure all the ingredients are coated in butter and herbs
and cook until all the seafood is thoroughly cooked

Sprinkle with Parsley, add lemon wedges

Serve and eat immediately.

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order
a.com_logo_RGB  

 

 amazon
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

COTSWOLDS DRY STONE WALLS Keeping Rural Skills Alive

Dry Stone Walls

Traditional country crafts keep the Cotswolds beautiful.
Fortunately, recently care is being taken to keep the disappearing art of
Dry Stone Walling and other rural skills alive. See ruralskills.org

Excerpt from Cotswolds Memoir:

Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage.
(Available on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle & Audio Book)

During the hike, we came across a farmer repairing a dry stone wall. These walls are characteristic of the Cotswold region and add enormously to the beauty of the landscape. Made from the local honey-coloured stone without any kind of mortar, they are assembled like giant jigsaw puzzles. We watched, fascinated, as the farmer took pieces of jagged, uneven stone and fitted them together perfectly as he talked. I asked how he did it so expertly.

‘Mainly by feel,’ he answered in his broad country accent. He was a great old character and he gave a terrific impromptu talk on dry stone walling.

‘Its limestone, see, and we gather the stones from all around when we rebuild like this. After you do it for a while, you even know where the stones come from by their colour. See this one in my hand? Now that’s from Guiting, and that one – that’s from Oddington. These walls don’t just divide the fields; they provide shelter for small birds, toads, frogs and insects. They have all sorts growing in between the stones too. Wild flowers, herbs, berries – you name it. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t a few Roman coins in there too.’

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order
a.com_logo_RGB  

 

 amazon
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

 

 

 

 

 

Cotswolds Views 5 of the Best!

Gotta love those Cotswolds Views!

Here (below) are my favourite five – all are included in the Travel Guide of my book
COTSWOLDS MEMOIR:
Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage.

Now available on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle and NEW! Audio Book. www.DizWhite.com

Best COTSWOLD VIEW from a MANOR HOUSE

SNOWSHILL MANOR, 
Broadway, Gloucestershire, WR12 7JU nationaltrust.org.uk

Gorgeous views across the Snowshill Lavender fields and surrounding rolling hills.
This National Trust property houses Charles Wade’s eclectic collection of craftsmanship from all over the world. Charming organic garden.

 

Best COTSWOLD VIEW from a COUNTRY INN

EDGEMOOR INN, Near Painswick, Gloucestershire, GL6 6ND edgemoor-inn.com

Breath-taking views from the terrace as inn overlooks entire Painswick valley and is situated on the Cotswold Way. Great food and beer. Close to Haresfield Beacon.

Best COTSWOLD VIEW from a CASTLE

WARWICK CASTLEWarwick, Warwickshire, CV34 4QU warwick-castle.com

Worth the climb up to the roof for unmatched views of  the River Avon, the Castle grounds, the Mill Garden and surrounding countryside.
1,000 years of history. Well constructed tableaux. Great Hall. State Rooms. Jousting. Trebuchet. Great day out with the kids. PeacockGarden. Gives Disney a run for its money.

 

Best COTSWOLD VIEW from a HISTORIC SITE

BROADWAY TOWER, Middle Hill, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7LB broadwaytower.co.uk

View from Broadwat Tower

Completed in 1798 this folly was built for Lady Coventry on a beacon hill. Spectacular views of more than a dozen counties. Over 17 metres high. Open to the public.

 

Best COTSWOLD VIEW from a NATIONAL TRUST SITE

HARESFIELD BEACON, 3 miles north west of Stroud (see website for directions) gloucestershire.gov.uk

Haresfield Beacon 2

National Trust site on the Cotswold escarpment with amazing 360 degree views, some reaching as far as Wales. Site of a Roman-British hill fort.

 

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order
a.com_logo_RGB  

 

 amazon
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.