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

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!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Mad March

What glorious weather we are having at the moment, sunshine, blue skies and dare l say it, mild temperatures, wonderful. After my last bit of blogging concerning the vanishing lumps of concrete and reinforcing of sea defenses, it is with some relief that l can happily note that all activities in this direction have ceased. Nothing has moved in the past week.

The marked change in weather has seen an upturn in visitor numbers to the coast as families seem to be taking advantage of good value family days out. Who needs to spend hours waiting in airports when it is so very easy to drive to wonderful coastal areas where a walk on the beach or an hour or two spent rock pooling costs nothing, mind you an ice cream usually makes a nice little treat that doesn't break the bank! It is fascinating really, that the newspapers and politicians are full of grim news, yet people seem to be rediscovering perhaps, the more simple things in life, you don't need to be constantly spending on this latest gadget or that even better more desirable thingummy bob to enjoy yourself. Fresh air, a seaside promenade and a bag of chips soaked in lashings of vinegar, who could ask for more?

Now with the all too rapid approach of Easter, we are trying to finish off those last minute maintenance tasks, weeding the herb patch that surrounds the terraced area, stuffing the planters to overflowing with brightly coloured spring bedding, washing the interior walls and repainting plus all the other normal everyday tasks that just keep the place running more or less smoothly for most of the time. This Sunday is Mother's Day, usually a busy one for us, and for this year's Mother's Sundae we are looking at a little something based around meringue, fresh fruits, ice cream, cream and chocolate, should go down nicely l think!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Distruction at Withow Gap

This morning should have been a lovely one, the sun was shining, clear blue skies that in this part of the world seem to go on for ever until disappearing into the distant horizon. Dogs frolicking about, chasing rabbits and searching out for anything dead that might just prove to be one more delicious Scooby snack.
This week the tides are out during the morning, right out past the old rusting supports from some pre-war jetty, miles of pristine sand, interrupted only by the concrete tank traps and pill boxes left insitu since WWII. The tank traps, slowly being eroded by the action of the North Sea, are gradually being colonised by barnacles, mussels and seaweed, sometimes totally exposed by the action of the sea, other times covered by sand. These important 20th Century bits of modern archaeology have proved a really useful asset to protect the SSSI, which is Withow Gap, from rapid coastal erosion it has also provided a good anchorage point to prevent the currents removing sand from this stretch of beach, perhaps though for several generations of children, these concrete outposts have been an impromptu table or chair for that high summer picnic.

It was therefore with some sense of outrage, and thank the gods l had my camera with me, that today the large concrete lumps have been wrenched from their resting place of 60 years, torn from the beach and dragged off a mile up the beach to Ulrome where someone, [who l have no idea], although someone mentioned 'environment agency ' & another a' caravan park owner' was taking these 'unwanted' and 'free rocks' to reinforce their cliff base to prevent or slow down erosion further up the bay. I believe that this may well be an illegal operation and most certainly is plain wanton vandalism!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Task: take ice cream to Oslo

For 2 days now l have waited for the hedge planters to re-appear. They have done so at 17.00 this evening. It will be dark soon and there are a final 50 shrubs to plant plus the fencing, [sheep netting with two rows of barbed wire on top attached to wooden stakes], 3 wooden gates, 2 owl boxes AND those small bird boxes. Perhaps l am just dim, tomorrow would have been fine. farmer hastily drew a map of where the final shrubs were to go, leaving me idiot proof instructions of the exact siting of the dratted plants.

Farmer is away. He left Monday at the crack of dawn heading for Oslo via Humberside / Amsterdam to a Trade exhibition that is being held in the British Embassy. So not only did he have to get himself actually there, despite me having checked him in online, but also 14 500ml tubs of ice cream in a variety of mouth watering flavours. So we have had fun for the past week, testing how long ice cream will stay frozen in an electric freezer container that will only be plugged in on the hour's drive to the airport from here! I will not mention the word stress or mad in this post!

The traveler has rung twice, first to say he had arrived in Schipol and again on his arrival in Oslo where, incidentally there was 2 feet of freshly fallen snow. oh, and he rang this morning asking me to email a price list as he couldn't find his copy. He returns tomorrow so that means l have no car and Harry has brought home an 09 Golf TDI courtesy car which has the full works, leather seats climate control, this goes back to the VW Garage in Hull tomorrow, and it smells Wonderful, l had almost forgotten what a brand new car smelt like. So that leaves me in a bit of a pickle. The Regional Food Group are doing a network / meet the buyer at Bishop Burton College tomorrow evening and l am down to attend, but it's too far to walk, there is no bus or train and Harry is chairing the Young Farmers meeting tomorrow evening, so you see my problem. Life is such fun.

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