If I was dishing out MBEs, I’d give them to many of our Apley staff, including Julie our cake maker – for perfectly satisfying so many people’s cake requirements ! Our Cake of the Week at Apley Farm Shop are of course Easter cup cakes which look especially delicious as I’ve just been for a run & have come back feeling rather peckish !
Meanwhile, on Apley’s delicatessen counter, our Cheese of the Week is Appleby’s Double Gloucester. Read on to hear the impressive & special MBE story behind it:
It’s locally made by the Appleby family at Abbey Farm, Hawkstone, Shropshire. Lance Appleby (MBE) & Lucy Appleby (MBE) both grew up on farms. Lucy’s farm was in Shropshire so she studied cheese making skills in the county’s Reaseheath College. They were both awarded MBEs for their services to cheese making in 2001. The family researched the making of Appleby’s Double Gloucester using the original recipe. Eventually, the family found their preferred recipe from the archives of the Ministry of Agriculture fisheries & Food. The traditional recipe used the same ingredients as Appleby’s Cheshire with variations in the timing, temperature & acidity. After a little experimentation, including use of too much annatto in the first batch (since the old recipe was for single strength annatto & the family were now using double strength annatto), the Appleby family developed the recipe that they are still using today. It is a rich & nutty yet mellow flavour, the texture smooth & buttery.
Sounds delicious !
May Day at Apley Farm Shop will be full of May pole dancing fun, family activities & of course, lots of good food. It’s the first time we’ve held this kind of event, which will be very like a community, village fete – something to be treasured. The Apley Estate is very much at the heart of our local community, the essence of which is good neighbours, friends & family – all so important – along with good, local food.
It’s a 3 day event (talking to our horsey daughters that means some more along the lines of Badminton Horse Trials !) – the Apley Mayday Food Fair on On Saturday 2 May, the Apley Mayday Craft Fair on Sunday 3 May & the Apley May Day on May 4 May (the bank holiday).
For the May Day dancing, we have sourced a softwood larch pole from our own Apley Estate Yard which was felled as part of our normal estate woodland thinnings. After May Day, it’ll be recycled again used as a fence pole. We’ve borrowed ribbons from our local Worfield School. They’re red, green, yellow, orange, blue & purple – currently safely in the Estate Office. We’re looking forward to welcoming children from across the local region to dance with a ribbon.
It’s bound to be another weekend of good food, good fun, good shopping !
Calling last entries for the Apley Photography Competition ! Entries close on Monday 30 March. As I write, we’re sorting & framing the amazing entries. We’re overwhelmed with the very high standard & variety of entries which have been delivered to Apley Farm Shop from all over the county. It’s such a privilege to get first look. It’ll be a hard job for professional photographer Anna Henly to judge them for us – they’re all brilliant in their own ways. We only have space for the best 60 – but I can’t bear to leave any out ! I had no idea there was such a bank of local photographic talent. There are 8 categories – people, animals, buildings, Shropshire, landscapes, food, abstract & other.
They’ll be displayed in the Creamery Café at Apley Farm Shop from Wednesday 1 April until 27 June, after local which photographer Jean Macdonald will hold her second exhibition at Apley of her work. That makes me feel quite Summer, just thinking about June, which reminds me to mention Sat 15 August will be the first ever Apley Dog Show at Apley Farm Shop – so all dog lovers, save the date !
Earlier this week, I heard there’s a new beer (actually, stout) in Apley Farm Shop. Recently launched by Hobsons, a local Shropshire brewery, it’s labelled with a big cat symbol, referring to the mystery of the big cat that (so it’s said) roams the local Shropshire countryside.
For March & April, Apley Farm Shop has a display of Hobson’s Shropshire Stout. Spot the yellow boards with the big black cat & enter Hobson’s competition to win a Jaguar E-Type driving experience. Just pick up a competition slip in the shop & complete it to have the chance of winning this amazing prize. Entries close 17 April. Stout lovers & Jaguar drivers, take note !
If you’ve been to Apley Farm Shop recently, you may have spotted Julie in her bakery baking our Easter simnel cakes, photographed here.
They’re £5.95 each in the Shop or £2.50 per slice in the Café. When visiting family or friends over the Easter holidays, they make the perfect pressie to take along.
The shop is brimming with other delicious Easter edibles & the butcher has local Spring lamb in stock. Phil in Apley Walled Garden has Red Boar spinach, kale (we eat lots of that in our home !), carrots & parsnips. There’s lots more coming through in Phil’s polytunnels too.
The Science Club in Pigg’s Playbarn did a milk experiment on 12 March & made homemade crayons on 19 March. Today they have been making volcanoes (photos to follow) & next term (from 16 April to 21 May), they’ll run a sewing or music club – tbc.
Holmbury Cheddar is cheese of the week on Apley Farm Shop’s delicatessen counter – £1.49 per 100g. It is one of our selection of local & international award winning cheeses. Come & taste some – you won’t be disappointed – Taste, Discover, Enjoy is after our motto !
Cheddar is perhaps the most famous of our native British cheeses, now made around the world. It is traditionally made from slabs of curd that are stacked on top of each other, turned frequently. The pressure of their combined weight squeezes out any remaining whey. The slabs can then be cut into small pieces, salted & put into moulds for maturing – a process known as ‘Cheddaring’. Holmbury cheddar is an excellent mature cheddar made from cows’ milk, matured for 14 months for full of flavour.
We have teamed up with our friends at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust to offer all our visitors & customers at Apley Farm Shop a massive 25% discount off the Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s Annual Passport Tickets.
Vouchers for this special discount are available on a first come first served basis from the Apley Farm Shop; so pop along to see us & pick up you discount voucher today. The vouchers are limited so make sure you hurry, when they are gone, they are gone !
The ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums offer a wonderful experience for all members of the family. You can meet the Victorians in their shops, cottages & places of work at Blists Hill Victorian Town, discover fascinating facts about Design & Technology with the help of huge intereactive displays at Enginuity & admire magnificent collections of Coalport & Caughley China at Coalport China Museum or beautiful decorative tiles at Jackfield Tile Museum.
During the school holidays there are plenty of fun & informative workshops for families to take part in, details of which can be found on their website, www.ironbridge.org.uk. The best value option is an Annual Passport Ticket that gives admission to all ten museums for 12 months from the date of purchase. The vouchers available from Apley Farm Shop give you a special 25% discount voucher off that passport ticket price !
I used to be more involved in Shropshire charities than I am right now & one of them was Self Help Africa. They’ve just sent me this press release about their Secret Shrewsbury Supper, which sounds a great & delicious way of fundraising whilst spending time with friends too:
“Tuesday 28th April: Three fantastic restaurants, one unforgettable evening.
Back by popular demand, food-lovers across the county are invited to the Shrewsbury Secret Supper on Tuesday 28th April 2015.
Part of the 2015 Shrewsbury Food Festival, this special dining experience begins with a welcome drink at Tanners wines before taking you to three secret restaurants where you will be treated to a fabulous starter, main course and dessert. The locations of the restaurants will not be revealed until the night!
Tickets for the three-course Shrewsbury Secret Supper are £30. Your welcome drink will be served from 6.15pm shortly before the secret dining commences at 7pm. Further drinks are not included but can be bought from the restaurants on the night.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to Self Help Africa. Based in Shrewsbury, Self Help Africa works in 10 African countries; their vision is of a rural Africa free from hunger and poverty. They support farmers to grow more food, increase their income from farming activities and become self-sufficient.
Book your place now for an extra special evening at the Shrewsbury Secret Supper. Remember shhh…it’s secret.
To buy your tickets online click here. You can also buy tickets by calling Steph on 01743 277170 or visit Self Help Africa’s Hills Lane office in Shrewsbury, SY1 1QU (office hours, Mon-Fri).”