New range of smokehouse wood chips added

Our little Wood Chunks website has been selling our home grown wood for some time now to the point where our regular customers kindly bring samples of their fare which is very much appreciated (hint, hint) .

Food smoking is an art and from my experience, each ‘artist’ likes to understandably select the materials that they have found gives the best results for them.

Smoking meat, sausages and garlic with flavoured woodsmoke
Smoking meat, sausages and garlic with flavoured woodsmoke

Some want small wood chips, others want large lumps or even big logs. Then there is the debate about whether the bark should be on or off and the difference branchwood or heartwood makes to the flavour of the food.

To supplement our home produced wood chunks we have today added a range of wood chips which come in 2ltr re-sealable packs.

Graded to a size between 6mm and 12mm chip size, Apple, Alder, Cherry and Oak chips are now in stock.

Alder, Apple, Cherry and Oak wood chips now in stock
Alder, Apple, Cherry and Oak wood chips now in stock

Along with all our speciality wood chunks they are available to collect (by appointment – we don’t have a shop) from Hesketh Bank (PR4 6) in West Lancashire but these packs are especially suitable for mail order so it will be interesting to see how this develops.

For more info please visit www.WoodChunks/woodchips.html

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Busy day in the sun

A very busy day making the most of the sunshine to get caught up with all the field and footpath mowing but the highlight was cutting our first pumpkins of the season. It usually gets to September before the PR people remember to think about Halloween but quite a few have been making enquiries already.

The first order was just for a few pumpkins and quite on odd mix but ours is not to reason why. I look forward to seeing the finished piece.

Cutting pumpkins in August for a photoshoot
Cutting pumpkins in August for a photoshoot

We always grow a few pumpkins under glass so they are ready for sale that bit sooner. Due to the poor weather, the outdoor pumpkins are only just beginning to set but hopefully they will be ready for the mid October harvest.

For more information on our pumpkins please visit our www.BigPumpkins.co.uk website.

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Roast Tomato and Pepper Soup

As we hit ‘peak tomato’ in the polytunnel we try and prepare as many portions of our favourite soup; freezing portions of our delicious roast tomato and pepper soup for a hearty warming meal later in the autumn.

In fact every time the oven goes on, a tray of roughly chopped tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions will be in the bottom.

Roast tomato and pepper soup ingredients
Roast tomato and pepper soup ingredients

Ingredients (Makes 3 big bowls) :
1kg of ripe tomatoes
1 large onion
4 green or red peppers
6 peeled whole cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
600 millilitres vegetable stock
Worcestershire (three shakes)
Tabasco (two shakes)

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200C
Cut up larger tomatoes to the size of a whole cherry tomato. Deseed the peppers and then cut up the peppers and onion to a similar size as the tomatoes.

Place the tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic into a roasting dish or baking tray and season with salt and pepper.

Pour on the olive oil then vigorously mix all the ingredients by hand to ensure that the oil has coated everything.

Chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic and peppers
Chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic and peppers

Bake for about 30-45 minutes until the tomatoes and peppers are just beginning to char.

Roasted onions, garlic, peppers and tomatoes
Roasted onions, garlic, peppers and tomatoes

Bring the vegetable stock to the boil and add the Worcestershire and tabasco sauce. Add the roasted vegetables and puree using a hand blender to the texture you prefer.

Allow to cool then freeze in portions. Ideal for a warm welcome on a winters evening. The quantities will make three big bowls of hearty, homemade soup.

Three big bowls will serve 1 – 2 Lancashire farmers or at least 6 southern jessies.

Bowl of roasted tomato and pepper soup
Bowl of roasted tomato and pepper soup garnished with Parmesan and parsley
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Rosemary Twigs for flavour on the BBQ or Smoker

In response to a Wood Chunks Customer request I have been today been bundling Rosemary twigs for use in the smoker or on the BBQ.

Rosemary Twigs for Smoker or BBQ
Rosemary Twigs for Smoker or BBQ

As a rule resinous woods are not favoured for use in smokers but as these burn so quickly they are used to provide an instant hit of the herbs distinctive pungent flavour as soon as the meat is added.

If used on a BBQ the twigs are dropped a couple at a time onto the charcoal for a short burst of flavour.

In the past the waste from pruning our Rosemary plants had been collected by our bee keepers as it apparently makes for a very good smoke to distract the bess when going into the hive.

 

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