Follow the fortunes of Muddyboots & Family on their East Yorkshire farm which has changed from dairy farm to luxury ice cream manufacture

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Only a few days left

I hadn't realised that it was over a month ago that l last hit the New Post button on Blogger. It's been busy. Usually, this time of year we have time to slow down, relax, put our feet up. This year, well no. The Shop has been steady away, which is normal, but the wholesale has been busy. Our theatre customers & farm shops have been very busy, in fact, we are all but sold out of the Christmas pudding flavour! That's good.

The schools break up this Friday for Christmas, so we will remain open this Monday & Tuesday, closing for the Christmas holidays on 23rd, reopening on the following Tuesday, closing again, just for the day on New Years Day. We have had notices up to let customers know for the past month, but l expect someone will try to get in on Boxing Day! Hey Ho!

The sheep:- well what about them? These lot of fluffy anarchist seem to do nothing but escape, they make Shaun the Sheep look like an amateur! Under electric fences, barging at gates, squeezing through tight spaces that no sheep should attempt to squeeze! The Great Escapees these little lot! It started with just one sheep, Hilda, she with the wall eye; she was out, all alone, walking the farm walk. Two days later, there was Hilda and friend walking along the path. By the end of the week she was calmly munching away with a dozen compatriots. Yes, we kept checking the electric fence; we caught her last week, walking under the galvanized gate, pushing it high on its hinges as she went! We have moved the soggy baggages into new pasture, and yes they have escaped, well only Hilda & Maud so far, who l have caught 3 times trimming the short grass in the caravan park!

So, this is it, Christmas. Time fly's by when your having fun. Have sort of got into the pre-Christmas thing following a 'moving into new house' visit to Sallyschateau in Carcassonne, ice rinks and ferris wheels, penguins and polar bears NOT forgetting the tres chic elderly lady who wore huge sunglasses at night whilst on top of her head, perched at a jaunty angle, a jet black fedora.

Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Christmas food & Harry

It's strange isn't it how once Halloween is over and done with, the shops decided that its 'time for Christmas'. Our farm shop & garden centre customers have been transformed into Santa's Magical Wonderland, all twinkly lights, ho ho ho's & scrumptious looking hampers, overflowing with the epicurean delights that are Christmas.

I am one who feels Christmas is at Christmas not 6 weeks before, but, we have to prepare and make those festive flavours that plump out our order books at this time of the year. Yes, ice cream is an all year round delicacy, so this year we are making Christmas pudding, cranberry & redcurrant, marzipan and cointreau & orange flavoured ice cream. So far, the Christmas pud & the cranberry are the favourites with our customers. I have noticed that many of the food magazines are featuring Christmas pud ice cream in their festive menus. Good choice!

Returning my previous blog, Harry was amazed at all the responses, he doesn't feel as though he is any different to anyone else, such modesty. Someone asked how we had managed to get Harry motivated, how much push and shove had we given him. The truth is, in fact, we did very little, no not being cruel or neglectful, but explaining that a] this was the problem, b] this is how you can learn to cope and adapt to dyslexia & finally c] we can't make you do this but everything is in place ready for you to try. I know that computer games are slammed by so many 'experts' but we have found playing them in Harry's case, really jumped started his reading and comprehension, because he HAD to read & HAD to understand the on-screen instruction, oh and then there are the benefits to the hand eye co-ordination. He tried. He tried so hard, A's for effort, not so good for exams but you can't win all the time now can you? It's hard with exam results, your friends tell you how well their offspring are doing at school, 'little Freddy has got straight A's', it's normal, parents boast. You just have to let go, ignore little Freddy's results, and smile. Everything is a bonus, you know how much effort it takes to get a D grade, for Harry, he has been spared the pressure of getting good grades in readiness for university, he was able to enjoy his teens.

Well, there you are then, a quick little bit of extra concerning Harry, who has been busy making mango sorbet today. Just don't give up or let them give up, but what ever you do, don't take the fun out of learning by pushing, it's a bit like schooling a young horse, you don't want to present it to a fence beyond it's current ability and over face it, putting it off for ever.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

dyslexic child

Today, as usual l am sat in the dining room cum office, catching up on the accounts. As is always the case, l am daydreaming, my excuse for wasting time. I am emailing, chatting on skype, listening to the wireless. I have in front of me, on the floor 6 large piles of A4, bills paid, bills to pay, bank downloads, remittance advices, VAT print outs, it looks very organized. it should be all filed away in the colorful collection of folders shoved onto the shelves. They are not and l am just getting ready to hole punch.................

The internet is wonderful. I can sit here, listening to the wireless and the current item on the Jeremy Vine show on radio 2 is continuing the theme on the best childrens bedtime stories, the choice is down to the final 8 titles.

As a child, in fact even now, l am what you could call a 'book gobbler'. I read, l read obsessively. I have favourite authors and pre-order their new titles. I have books everywhere. On book shelves, next to my bed, in the bathroom, in the spare bedrooms, any flat surface you will find books. Paperbacks, hardbacks staked precariously in large, wobbly piles. Farmer suggests that it might be an idea to open a used book stall in the garage. I don't think so.

I am side tracked, l was going to mention my favourite childhood reads but, well never mind my brain is off on a different tangent. When Harry was born, l would read all about hungry caterpillars and fierce bad mice and wondering hedgehogs. As he got older would buy stories for him to read and enjoy. He preferred story tapes and would be able to recite all the Roald Dahl stories word perfect. By the time he reach 6, his reading was pretty bad, a real struggle, a chore more akin to pulling teeth than something of pleasure. Needless to say, l was concerned. A visit to the village school and discussion with teachers did not exactly allay my worries. To me, and as there is dyslexia in the family, Harry was showing the classic signs.

We moved school, Harry traveling up to Scarborough everyday and within his 1st week at the new school he had been booked for assessment with the Dyslexic Institute. Dyslexic, Harry was dyslexic, high IQ but disorganized, dancing words & letters chasing each other across the pages, the world seen as a multi-layered 3D adventure. For the duration of his school years, he attended the Dyslexic Institute. He learned to touch type, to organise his time, to learn how to manage his pictorial world in the flat real world.

Harry, is now 21. He runs the ice cream production side of the business. His spelling is still truly unique and he still sorts out problems using the 'picture in the head technique'. He has found a balance, he still hates reams of text, but just gets on with it; he plans out his day so he knows where he is and doesn't get lost. Pretty amazing really, well done Harry, your hard work has paid off!

The picture is totally unrelated to this blog, but it is of the beach.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

half term is almost over

Here we are then, closing days of October 2009, half term nearly at an end but, the weather, so very un-Octoberish. Temperatures in the high teens. No frosts or early snow, just blue skies and sunshine. Hells teeth l am not complaining. Mr Moo's has had a good week with visitors, both regulars and newbies paying us a visit, coming for that special treat or for top up on ice cream, any guilt about those calories being erased by a gentle walk down to the beach along the farm walk.

It has been a pretty good summer for our wholesale customers too as holiday makers indulge in this year's trend of 'staycation'. In fact, Hippy Shake in Whitby is looking forward to a major ghoulish weekend, serving up such delicately named flavours as 'blood n guts' and 'bramble stoker'. Whitby, to the uninitiated is not only home to the most exquisite fish & chips but also to Dracula who can been seen most days stalking through the town followed by his acolytes, dressed to impress in layers of black & grey wearing the most incredible gothic footwear that looks more like surgical boots than jimmy choo!

So, there you go. A busy week for everyone, here on the coast. Families enjoying quality time together, a walk along the sea front combined with a bucket & spade day, something simple & fun. Memories are made of this, it may not be the Mediterranean, but the weather has been glorious and the English pound buys so very much more than the Euro!

PS: the first picture is of the new fish restaurant in Leeds, Nash's on Merrion Street.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Blue plastic bags

Today, right at this very minute l am cross, very cross, blurdey MAD to tell the truth. Why oh why do people in cars view the countryside as a free for all rubbish dump? We know from the detritus strewn along the grass verge that it takes from the local MacDonald's to here to eat a Big Mac meal, we have tesco carrier bags stuffed full of picnic waste, carefully tied and then hurled from passing car windows. Why?

So, by this evening, after having attended a nervous persons all time nightmare in the form of an HSE meeting, that l saw a white van. l was enjoying the final leg of the farm walk, dogs walking smartly to heel at this point. This was not any white van but a YEDL one, well, actually a contractor to YEDL. It was pulled in casually just alongside the roadside gate with its back doors pulled wide open, a man rustling about in the back. Nothing suspicious about that, perhaps someone was having a pee or bird spotting? Then l saw it, or rather HIM. He was carrying a blue carrier bag, carefully tied at the top to prevent anything 'spilling 'out in the back of his van. Then, with the skill of a Driffield rugby club player, tossed the bag with amazing accuracy into the hedge bottom in the corner of the footpath.

Well, l am a bit of a rottweiler when roused and l was roused! Marching across with Gordon & Lucy-Piglet in tow, l shouted into the back of the van. He must have had a hearing problem as there was no answer. Bang bang, l rapped on the door. A face appeared looking not exactly pleased. 'What the hell are you doing' l thundered? 'Take your flipping rubbish home with you!' l continued, my voice becoming more 'Cheltenham' by the minute.

He looked even more angry; me a mere woman telling him off? Poor deluded fellow must have thought l was really stupid, he told me this was work things for tomorrow which he would collect in the morning. Farmer drove past in the JCB. ' That's the farmer', l said, not at all sure that this guy was going to back down. l continued, 'rubbish does not biodegrade in hedge bottoms and dustmen do not walk along footpaths collecting trash, l have to do that!'. I stood there, glaring at him. Lucy-Piglet looking fierce. The prat tried again, ' I am coming back tomorrow to fix the electricity pole'. Aha thinks l, that pole there by the bunker belongs to US and is not connected to the mains. My remark was oh so casual, ' & will that be to bring more rubbish to join that bag over there?'.

He gave up. Leapt over the gate [ impressive] collected the rubbish bag, threw it in the back of the van. I stood on guard just in case he chucked it back when my back was turned and waited purposefully until he drove of.

Farmer, when l told him about the YEDL contract man, asked had l got the van number. Ergh men.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Sir Jimmy and a large ship

So we were delivering ice cream to Cobble Landing this lunch time, when Stu casually mentions in passing that The Queen Mary was sailing close in to Filey at about 1'ish. Quick check of multi-coloured Swatch watch which reads 12.45 followed by hard stare out to sea, 'it's going to be more like 3', replied the amusement arcade chap from next door. The slight crowd thronging the sea front at Filey might be in for a wait.

No such wait in the bracing sea air for us, mon brave. Onward with deliveries, mustn't keep the customer waiting. In Scarborough, Farmer parked up on North Marine Drive with the van window facing North Bay & then scuttled purposefully off to meet with a possible new customer. The cars casually drove along Marine Drive, pedestrians ambled passed as the tide came in, their dogs held firm on leads whilst the waves roared up the beach and then crashed down on the sea walls.

From the first picture, you can see the weather was bright and cheerful although out to sea, to the north, there was a squall bustling towards the land. By about half part two, the roadside car parking began to fill. People emerged clutching binoculars and cameras. wearing woolly hats rammed down hard on their heads. The squall got ever closer, the waves even larger. The weather clamped down, visibility at a minimum.

Suddenly there she was, bow emerging from behind the castle headland. Traffic stopped, people braved the sea spray and rain, cameras flashed as automatic flashes went off. The ship's passengers flashed back in unison. Then, slowly the Queen Mary turned, once past the Sea Life Centre, to head back out to sea, disappearing into the gloom that had by now completely enveloped North Sea.

The last time a large cruise liner came THIS close was a few years back, when local resident, Sir Jimmy Saville Fixed It for himself to embark locally via fishing boat. This time our local celebrity was going to join the cruise in Edinburgh this evening and so had asked Cunard to Fix It for the inhabitants of Scarborough to receive a right royal sail past!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Ideas & days out

From now on in, the ice cream parlour and wholesale becomes a lot less manic, it gives us a well earned break but also, more importantly, a chance to forward plan for the next 12 months.

This summer we ran an competition for our customers to design a new flavour to grace our pots, the response was immense and we are still sifting through the entries looking for that winning entry.

Other interesting things that happen during the Autumn and winter months are 'days out,' or to be more correct, an 'afternoon away''. While most people have days out during the summer months, we have to wait until things quieten down before we can hit the road and visit the many wonderful sights that are to be found here in Yorkshire.

Photos: Fountains Abbey, near Ripon.

Friday, 9 October 2009


This week l don't seem able to settle down and concentrate, l fidget and waffle about, drink coffee, walk the dog, sweep up the leaves and open the shop but l just can't sit down in the office, open up the accounts software program and get cracking on invoices, bills, statements and bank reconciliations. The mind is not engaged. The computer is turned on, the pages from ebay open, emails shoot back & forth but, as the business returns to the seasonal norm perhaps l too am slowing down or am l getting ready to either hibernate or fly south for the winter?

The geese stream across the sky & l watch. Where would l go? I think l might like to visit India and travel around in an elderly car taking in the sights and sounds and smells. Staying overnight in glittering palaces, sipping gin & tonic as the sun sets behind the Himalayas. Riding through the tea plantations as dawn breaks.

Oh hell, you daft bat, stop it. Pull yourself together. You must ring up that customer who hasn't paid for 8 weeks and give them what for................!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Big Birthdays

1959 & 1988 heralded the arrival of the 2 reprobates who live here; Haz celebrated his 21st in August without too much fuss whilst Farmer has got to the grand old of 50 without loosing his hair and having an almost full set of teeth. A celebration of some description had been discussed months back but as with most things once the Summer Season arrives, everything else bar business flies very rapidly out of the window. Anyway l did remember to organise birthday presents for the 'lads', a couple of circuits at high speed driving ariel atom cars on the race track at Elvington near York. The date booked was for last Sunday.

As the departure date loomed ever closer for our annual sojourn to Corfu, the 'Party Planner Action Plan' kicked into operation. So that week prior to heading off for 7 days of grilled sardines and king prawn saganaki, the local butcher's hog roast contraption was hired, a friend's marquee was booked [avalon marques] plus twinkly lights as an 'extra' thanks to Lucy-Piglet's over protective attention providing ventilation to the posterior and of course the disco music chappy. Not a lot of fuss we had said, you know friends, family all pretty laid back.............

Ok, so it is great to GO AWAY, but, oh dear me, the return to reality. Mail to sort, bills to chase up not to mention the washing and those mosquito bites. I was more or less organised, l did know what l HAD to do and how go about everything in the party planner modus operandii guise. So Friday saw me speeding, as if you can from Beverley to Kingswood Shopping Centre [Hull], tracking down items from my every growing list; balloons - black & white, garden flares x 5, helium x 2, cellophane x ++ metres, tissue paper x black +++, and finally liquid refreshment - wine: red / white, larger, cider, bitter. Easy l hear your say? Well no actually, l spent most of the day hunting for the items to cross of the list. I tell you, my feet were killing me by the time l got home!

Writing this, l really think that l must have had a brain malfunction. Myself & Lora basically, on the Sunday morning, got the tent decorated and then a pile of 'stuff' ready to transport into the shop at closing time. Yes, we were open until 5.00pm. Balloons, flowers replaced menus and salt & pepper pots whilst Yorkshire curd tart was replaced in the cake cabinet by bottles of wine. Outside, the patio tables were to be illuminated by candles whilst the herb border by tea lights suspended in jam jars. I think l might have overdone the candle thing..

The sun set, the Disco Man & Butcher arrived baring sound systems and roast pig, the candles were lit and our car park began to fill with cars as our guests began to arrive. Gosh, were we lucky with the weather. The evening was balmy and mild with little breeze to stir the leaves of the trees that over look the terrace. People mingled and chatted, friends caught up on news and gossip. The younger ones sat outside under the stars munching roast pork with sage & onion stuffing topped off with home-made Bramley apple sauce. As the evening progressed and the air temperature dropped people drifted into the tent to dance to some sort of music, which although not to my taste, seemed to go down rather well.

I would be lying if l said that l wasn't knackered, it has been hectic, but l think we might have just pulled it off. The idea was to keep it simple, it was. No ties, no presents, no plates, people relaxed and happy. The Hazz's friends all behaved pretty well and exhibiting none of the drunken yobbishness that we read about in the Daily Mail. So that's it then, no more Big Do's for at least another 10 years..................

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Late September

Just when you think that the warmth of the summer months has gone, you are surprised by a last blast of the sun's warmth, although the nights are now drawing in and the evenings cooler, the days feel warm and balmy. The Indian Summer. September, which last year was wet and dank topped by the global down turn, has been replaced this year with a warm & very, very dry September

Already the skies and stubble fields are proving welcome resting stations for the flocks of pink footed geese that noisily swoop low over head, making their final approach into wind to roost over night on the Cliff Top field which as yet has not been cultivated and thanks to the combine misfunction seems to have plenty of wheat left on the ground.

The hedgerows too seem to be enjoying a bumper harvest, along the farm walk the rowans are positively groaning under the weight of their glossy berries, hips & haws make up the contingent of the brilliants reds whilst the blackberries & elderberries tempt in the small flocks of birds with their juicy, sweet fruit. Thistles that we left for the wildlife are now awash with frothy white seed heads providing a welcome snack bar for the gold finches which provide a flash of bright colour as they flit from plant to plant. The hedgerows seem to be at their noisiest what with the twittering and chirping of the frantically feeding bird. The countryside is at its peak, a mad flurry of fruit & seeds, falling leaves and migrating birds, a rush before the slowing down of life in the approaching winter months.

Monday, 21 September 2009

So where has Summer gone then?

Phew, that was jolly fast, not my car doing 100mph, but the summer. it really has been a full on one, what with the stay-cations and fine August. Now, as l sit here in the office, stuffing remittance advices into envelopes whilst trying to locate the stamps, l actually have time to write something!

Certainly we have had a pretty busy time, not just in the ice cream parlour but also with the caravan site AND of course the wholesale side of the business too. Harry & Jenny were kept on their toes making ice cream five days a week whilst deliveries were flying out up & down the coast and inland to the West Riding. In fact we were having to nip up as far north as Whitby twice a week! And now? Well things are slowing down, the parlour is still busy on a weekend but weekdays are pleasantly copeable, affording time to do big chats to customers and generally enjoying life! I wonder how the winter months will do?

So, back to work then, l am refreshed after a week once again in Corfu, coming back on Friday. Villa was lovely, food was aMazing the Eucalyptus in Agg Steff is the favourite at the moment, with Taverna Agni coming a close second though there did seem to be rather a lot of Russians about with their, um, companions lolling around Agni in various stages of undress. Poor FIL didn't know where to look, though it would appear Harry most certainly did!

Anyway, just a brief scribble as you can see, but no doubt more will appear here over the coming weeks as l spend less time playing accounts and more times surfing ebay and planing next year's Corfiot holiday, must check flights................

Monday, 27 July 2009

an apology

Ok sorry, no blog for +vly months, SORRY BEEN BUSY. actually very very VERY busy, the East Yorkshire Coast is obviously THE place to be this summer, miles of empty sandy beach, fab food, glorious scenery and wonderful people.

Quickly doing the catch up thingy, l have 15 minutes before heading off up the coast to Whitby delivering ice cream: -

June = went to Fornalux, Mallorca, made loads of ice cream survived half term.
July - what's left of it;
visited last ever Royal Show which was very much the dead donkey
met up with fellow country bloggers at Great Yorkshire Show
avoided the traffic grid lock that was Driffield Show
changed my car to an audi TT roadster
did a spot on the local, never heard radio
delivering ice cream everywhere
look to be in need of a major service and plenty of botox plus a serious
face lift OR a month in an exotic spa somewhere.

As you can see, my sense of humour is still there somewhere amongst the waffle cones and escaping heifers who now have the company of a little brown bull, a red poll l think is the correct breed?

Must go speak later.................

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

panic stations

Ok, so we are now half way through the week of 'no school' that is Spring Bank Holiday or what was in my day, Whit Week. I feel as though l have aged 5o years and don't look much better either, there l was thinking that l was a Boden Mum. No, l am just a slave to the general public, making lunches, pouring coffees, clearing tables. Oh well it beats helping to calve a cow at 3 in the morning or having to miss a christening because the herdsman is off sick.

It has been amazingly busy this week; last week we made no ice cream, instead moving a large blast freezer, which is now accessible through a new freezer door from the production room. The space it has created is brilliant, we now have room for all the equipment, including the pot filler & metal detector. The team today are making up for lost time and are busy making 4.7ltr tubs of royal bourbon vanilla and our natural mint choc chip, closely watched through the viewing window by small children. We have had so many new customers come to visit this holiday, families, grandparents, teens all ages in fact; the footpath has been well and truly walked and ice cream cones and lattes munched or sipped with gusto. To be fair, up and down the coast, traders are reporting that is is seriously busy with people re-discovering the joys of the English seaside holiday. Virtually all our coastal customers have run out of ice cream and orders are being processed at the moment, ready for delivery. Many of our cafe customers have commented on how busy we actually are, for example we have seating for 80 inside, and all seats were taken for the 2 hours of lunch time service, l think that about 90 lunches were prepared and a huge amount of cappuccinos, lattes, milkshakes and smoothies served, times like this you could do with a larger, 4 headed barista machine!

To relax after a full on day in the ice cream parlour is a stroll down to the beach with the dogs - no one about, the beach empty just a few common terns diving for sand eels as the tide creeps up the beach. And how to set up for the day? Well, the last few mornings have seen perfectly blue skies, the sea flat as a mill pond, no one about, the dogs have the beach to themselves, sand martins swooping low over the cliffs , oyster catchers screaming at the dogs, and the batteries quickly recharge, if only l could bottle it..........

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Well behaved dogs & children

Half term is approaching fast now, caravaners are arriving so it's a case of keeping the grass cut as soon as a van moves off whilst this bank holiday weekend sees the CL site full as well as the Rally Field. Lets hope they all behave, keeping dogs on leads and children under control. It is so very annoying when dogs are left to their own devices running about pooping au natural, strange because when you mention the signs both on the CL site and on the footpath 'dogs on leads' you are told that 'my dog is well behaved'. There have been several dogs gone AWOL over the past weeks, the temptation of a plethora of rabbits and the elusive sent of roe deer. is just too much for a pet more used to the scent of tarmac. So much for well behaved mutes, then, there are the children who are seem to be left to their own devices, much akin to the doggy one, hells teeth, this is a working farm, animals, tractors, bales DANGER! Perhaps l have missed something, l was brought up to always finish a meal before commencing on the pudding.

Being on the coast we have a interesting collection of coastal wartime defenses, one of which has been restored by a group of enthusiasts. The bunker was de-commissioned about 20 years ago and was maned by the Royal Observer Corps, the task being to watch for & identify incoming enemy aircraft and then during the Cold War years to monitor the 'flash'. The site is fully nuclear proof, but very small, in fact mind numbingly small. Strangely, the direct line to Whitehall was above ground supported by wooden telegraph posts.

Good news for our attempt to reduce carbon footprint, we have had our planning application upheld and can now go ahead with the installation of a wind turbine, with the aim of producing 40% of our electrical requirements.

Finally, what is going on in Parliament? Can someone please explain why MPs feel that the law does not apply to them? Perhaps it is time that Brown and his bunch of crooks started to behave like 'statesmen' and went to the country, but there again these money grabbing, weasel featured creatures who wouldn't know the meaning of truth if it hit them on the head, are not statesmen.

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Over the past few weeks, the ground has become dryer and dryer, cracking in a most dramatic fashion, large fissures appearing welcoming the unsuspecting beetle. Crops have been looking a bit stressed, oil seed rape especially suffering after such a bad drilling season last autumn. Beginning of the week, BBC weather showed a final glimmer of sunshine before rain hit the north east at the week end. This last chance of ideal silage weather erupted in a frenzy of cutting, turning and clamping in an effort to cut that all so important crop whose nutrition content is at its highest. The clouds scurried across just as the last load was wrapped and storred. It can now rain, soft rain gentlely soaking into the dry soil, slicking down the dirt.

So how are the cows doing - big changes have taken place, our animals have moved 6 miles away to a neighbour's farm who is now in the final process of setting up his own dairy bottling the farm's supply of milk: the brand name is St Quintin's. So, from now on we are collecting both milk and cream from Lowthorpe on a weekly basis, pasturising on a Monday, then making ice cream tuesday to thursday. Keep it local says l, previously we had been buying in cream from Dairy Farmers of Britain, now our cows are helping to produce both the cream & milk.

This week has also seen a rush in inquiries from new customers, ice cream samples have been taken Whitby, Leeds, Northallerton and York. Whilst first deliveries have been taken to Whitby Pavillion and the wonderful sounding farm shop, Hares Leap.

Finally, for any visitors next week, Haz & Jen are not making ice cream until the folowing week as we are doing a major move of freezers, freeing up space in the production room.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Mid May

Time is racing away from me. Snow and low temperatures have been replaced by May blossom flowering and the count down to first cut silage. So much has been happening over the intervening weeks that my keyboard has a problem in keeping up with the bad spelling and punctuation! Joke.

Perhaps the major update to the farm is the transferring of cows to Lowthorpe; here some more dairy farmers are going full throttle into the added value theme, not cheese or ice cream but bottling the farm's milk for their new brand St Quintin's Creamery, sorry no web site yet, so it makes more sense for us to collect both cream and milk from one spot. Our cows seem to have settled in nicely, after time spent in quarantine, whilst rather a large number of glamorous heifers and matronly dry cows have moved to the seaside for the summer! These girls are really showbiz celebs, every time they spot walkers perambulating along the permissive footpath, they race across the field, leaping, bouncing and doing handstands in a hope that they might win a place on Britain's Got Talent!

Now that summer is more or less on our door steps, we are once again opening 7 days a week, taking advantage of the noticeable increase in visitors to the Yorkshire coast. Over the Easter break, all holiday cottages and caravan sites in this part of the world were full, and this looks to be repeated over the coming bank holidays. A return to the traditonal summer holiday - buckets and spades, macks and brollys? Lets hope that the weather doesn't let us down, l have noticed that the oak is out before the ash so does that mean we will just get a splash? Oh, l do hope so, there is nothing more sole destroying than wearing wellington boots in August!

Sorry no photos, my camera has met with a rather nasty accident.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Planning ahead

The weather forecast for the past few days has been dire, but here the sun has remained shining and the sky blue, OK we have had the odd little shower but nothing like forecast, our own little micro climate perhaps?

With the clocks changing tomorrow and the start of a new month on Wednesday, we revert to our Summer Opening hours; open daily from 10.00am until 5.00pm. Already the season seems to be starting early and in all seriousness looking at the increase in footfall, l am in need of a seasonal, part-time cake baker / cook, Jenny our secret weapon, is now back in the ice cream production room four days a week with Harry making loads of Mr Moo's wonderful ice cream so is now unable to produce such exquisite, delectable delights as florentine slice, flapjacks whilst her bakewell tart is just to die for. Perhaps l could clone her?

PS, who has been on maternity leave returns to the fold at the beginning of May, I just hope that Dan-the-Man, returning from Leeds Uni for the Easter Holidays, has been doing lots of stamina building exercises in preparation for the lunch time onslaught! I think in a previous life he must have been a fighter pilot, always calm no matter how stressful it gets in the kitchen!

This season we have added some new ice cream sundae creations to go along with the Cowpat & Mega Moo, we are intending to hold the sundae prices the same as last year, what with the credit crunch and all that. Interestingly, we have noticed a strong upturn in sales of ice cream cones, especially the more luxurious ones, you know, the chocolate dipped waffle cones as well as the dipped cones dunked in chocolate sprinkles. Wonder if that will be the trend for the coming summer?

Always one to be aware of the new trends, Mr Moo has become a tweet, being part of the strange phenomena that is twitter. It is slightly weird, but then don't we live in a strange world anyway?

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Free advert

Spring, tra-la. It seems to be on its way, after so much snow and frost, blue skies, wall to wall sunshine and a rise in air temperature seems to be tempting out the new leaves of the hawthorn and the flowering of blackthorn bushes. Even the wet holes seem to be less wet. Spring, Spring, Spring.

Ice cream production is now getting back into full swing, with many of our coastal customers reporting a noticeable increase in visitors numbers already this year, all good stuff. Certainly the 5 pitch caravan club site is fully booked now for all this years Bank Holidays, every day we are getting people inquiring as to Easter availability.

Last week, we had a slight stroke of luck resulting in a bit of free publicity, Chris Berry, a Yorkshire based journalist, rang on the off chance of coming and doing a bit of a story on us for the Yorkshire Post's weekend issue, to appear in the Country Week supplement. Luckily, the team was making ice cream, so Chris was all geared up in full protective clothing, white hat and coat plus a most becoming blue hair net with a sliver stripe running down the middle! The following photo session had the team grinning expertly at the camera. I too was unfortunately captured on film, looking all 'calm' and 'relaxed' leaning on a gate whilst my fingers were being sucked off by one of the heifers! Saturday's article.

The weekend was extremely busy with us completely selling out of Jenny's famous caramel shortbread!

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