Winter stoves & Pumpkin Pie

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Cosy Winter Nights

I love all the seasons here for different reasons! The hedgerows here are full of bright berried holly the birds are busy fattening up for the winter months and the days are getting shorter and shorter. The wild atlantic way has become wilder and quieter as all the tourist of summer have gone home.

The surf is still up in Bundoran and some of the worlds bravest souls come here for the big waves that roll into Mullaghmore this time of year.There is nothing like watching these guys getting towed into 20ft November waves with your dry, well wrapped up feet on solid ground!

A wintery walk in the woods a jog on the beach or a ramble up a gentle mountain are really special this time of year. With the dark evenings there is the perfect excuse to light your stove at Teapot Lane early evening, get the comfy clothes on and curl up on a cosy bed with a book!

I closed Teapot Lane at couple weeks ago for a little break in NYC, being just after Halloween we saw the most creative carved pumpkins in the doorways and rustic bales of straw and huge ears of corn all decorating the evening streets of Williamsburg Brooklyn.  I loved the contrast of a bustling city and my life on the West coast of Ireland!

I thoroughly enjoyed the week away but am loving being back in the Leitrim Countryside where my dogs are so delighted that I have returned! They are not letting me out of their sight now in case I go missing again! I particularly Loved my stay in the rustic Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it is a really cool place to stay with top class restaurants and bars packed with colonial charm! Pumpkin pie is so good and not something we make here too often so I will post a really easy recipe for this lovely comforting dessert…turst me it’s yum!

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750g/1lb 10oz pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
350g sweet shortcrust pastry
plain flour, for dusting
140g caster sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
25g butter, melted
175ml milk
1 tbsp icing sugar
Buy Ingredients

Tip
Try
Instead of dusting with icing sugar, why not make your pie extra indulgent by adding a meringue topping?
Method

Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain pumpkin; let cool.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 mins. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 mins until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set.
Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. Serve chilled.

…Ok I am a bit obsessed with Pumpkin I found some spicy pumpkin Tea in a shop yesterday and I Love it!!☕

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Quirky Fair

Alas! It is September and I am catching a breath after our busiest summer season yet.  We had full tents here for the past few months and are pleased with how it all went.  Families and couples enjoying the space, Marshmallows done to every degree over the campfire, sunshine, drizzle, summer rain, BBQ’s, morning teas and coffees in the garden!  Focus now turns to halloween and the Quirky wedding fair that we are attending in Belfast next weekend.  Getting pictures and albums ready for that is fun and a great way of looking back on things over the last few years.  I am looking forward to ideas and inspiration form other businesses at the fair and presenting Teapot Lane as a fab location for a hen do and a mini moon in our so so romantic treehouse!

Autumn Glamping

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I Know I know for some of you it’s still the summer holidays and you don’t need reminding of the eminent end of the summer!  I have to say I LOVE autumn!  It is my favourite season for many reasons… There is a real change in the air here growth has slowed down, some leaves are already beginning to fall and it is slightly cooler than the humid days of summer.

September in Ireland is a fantastic time to take a relaxing break, the frantic holiday time is over,  things and places are a little quieter yet still have a bit of a buzz.  it’s the time when people like me that work hard in the season get a chance to take a well earned break and often bag a bargain!

Walking in the surrounding hills and mountains and through the Hazelwood and Castle Caldwell woods is a real treat when the leaves are changing colour and everything just seems more tranquil!

A couple of nights midweek in our Tree house or cosy yurt is a real treat and we have deals including massages or surfing if you fancy a midweek stay.

 

Teapot Kittens

After a rainy bank holiday, the sunny has returned, it’s nice and warm and the brids are singing happily!

We have a stray cat here at Teapot lane and she her 2 kittens and another cat have decided this is a cool place for them to live.  After weeks of peoples food getting stolen from the fridge in the communal kitchen we finally discovered that she is a clever cat that can open the fridge and help herself!

Not sure they can all stay in the long term but we will give her the summer (Child lock now installed on the fridge!) to raise her babies and then see if we can find homes for them all.

Arthur, Anoushka and the 8 chickens are enough for us here… Plus we love the birds that live here amongst us too!

 

 

Kefir Love Hate!

This week we have lovely guests in as always!  I was given some Kefir which I have to confess I never heard of before!  I am familiar with kambucha and love it’s taste but never had some of my own.  Kefir similarly is a bacteria culture that you keep (Kefir grains) in a plastic container or jug and “feed” it with milk, the kefir eats up the sugars etc in the milk and the resulting magic is a kick ass probiotic drink with the following benefits that I found on the web –

Kefir boosts our immune systems by keeping healthy bacteria in our digestive tract (and remember 80% of our immune system is in our digestive track!). The fermenting bacteria produce lactic acid which heals and soothes the gut lining. Kefir is rich in vitamin A, B2, B12, D, K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and typtophan.  It has anti tumor properties, prevents disease, increases digestibility and it controls toxins. – See more at: http://www.homemademommy.net/2012/09/why-i-love-kefir-and-what-are-kefir-grains.html#sthash.4XSgg46q.dpuf
So this morning I had a look at my kefir and it had grown overnight so I strained some with a
wooden slotted spoon and trues some!  Being a novice my first mistake was to ingest too many
of the lumpy bits instead of just straining the liquid so as a result I feel a little queasy and I have
a headache too!  I since learned that taking a little drink at a time to begin with is the best
practice and up the dose as your body gets used!

Summer Glamping Teapot Lane

Teapot Lane Glamping has been blessed with the weather this year!  Even the odd shower of summer rain can’t dampen our spirits it is warm and balmy and the sunshine has been showing it’s face most days!

This weekend we paused the family breaks for a hen party as some of the girls (including the hen) had been here on a hen do before they were very keen to have it here again and as they had the numbers to book out the whole place we were happy to grant their wish!

Many of the girls travelled from London to knock which is 40 mins from here – though it took them considerably longer with a few beverage and pee stops along the way!  The theme of the hen was 80’s bridesmaid and some of the costumes were hilarious and some were very elegant all looked a little ichy and possibly a recipe for sweating profusely in the Bundoran night clubs later on!

It is safe to say the 27 girls had a ball and many of them have vowed to come back with their families to enjoy the campsite in a different way and explore all that Sligo, Leitrim & Donegal have to offer!