Category Archives: recipes

Pumpkin carving ideas inspired by The Peak District

Autumn is in full-swing here in the Derbyshire Peak District; our trees are full of glittering golds and beautiful browns and the nights are drawing in… which means it’s pumpkin carving time!

Pumpkins (or Jack-o’-lanterns as they are also known) are traditionally made at Halloween by slicing off the top (to form a lid), scooping out the flesh and then making marks into the orange outer skin, or cutting through the pumpkin skin (caution using sharp tools!) to reveal a flickering candle light inside… very effective and beautiful at night time.

So, we’ve had a look for some designs that may inspire you to carve your own, based on animals that are commonly found here in the Peak District… we have three beautiful owls, a traditional cat design, a sheep from our farm, a cunning fox and a horse carousel.

Three owl pumpkins

Did you know there are about 200 species of owls? These three won’t make those wonderful twit-t woos that you can here at Hoe Grange Holidays, that’s for sure. My mum loves these especially as she used to be a Brown Owl in The Girl Guides – what a hoot! Designs by womansday.com.

Owls carved pumpkinCreative cat pumpkin

Spooky! This very beautiful feline friend is sitting on a branch, up a tree, possible looking out for a wicked witch on a broomstick. It was made by craft-your-home.com

cat carved pumpkinBaaa.. sheep pumpkin

sheep carved pumpkinAs “ewe” know, we have plenty of sheep scattered in fields around the holiday cabins and glamping pods, so we just had to find a sheep design for a pumpkin. Photo added by Sarah Grantham to Pinterest.com

Fantastic Fox pumpkinfox carved pumpkin

If you don’t want to actually carve a pumpkin, why not stick items to it with a glue gun, like felt, card and googly eyes? Also use a marker pen to draw on missing elements. A much simpler way for small children to take part in the pumpkin celebrations and very effective. Image courtesy of simpleasthatblog.com

Horsing around with pumpkins

How could we leave out a horse design when we invite guests to bring horses on holiday? These are pretty tricky to carve into pumpkins, and this design took 5 hours to create! We love the beautifully intricate design and the fact that you can look right through it, by Brandi Korte on Flickr.

horse pumpkinWhen you’ve completed your design and carved your pumpkin, display on your front porch at Halloween to welcome Trick or Treaters! Any leftovers needn’t go to waste, why not make some tasty pumpkin soup, such as Delia’s roasted pumpkin soup with melted cheese?

Farm Stay pumpkinOne of our Farm Stay members has been very creative this year and cleverly carved out the Farm Stay logo, which looks very effective. If you are looking for a countryside holiday don’t forget to check out the many fabulous farmhouse B&B’s and country self-catering cottages available through Farm Stay UK.

We hope you all have some family fun whilst carving your pumpkins for Halloween.

Don’t forget we’d love you to share your pumpkin photos with us, just tag us into your Tweets (@HoeGrange) and we’ll RT them for you!

Felicity

More food glorious food – share your favourite recipe

As you discovered in our previous blog David and I #LoveLocal food and eating out is one of our favourite past times. Food, glorious food, is even better when shared with friends and family at home.  So as part of our fundraising for our special 10th anniversary year for our chosen charity Canine Partners I have decided to put together a favourite recipe cook book.

We need your help – recipes required!

This is where we need your help. Have you got any recipes to write home about? We would love you to send us your favourite recipes, maybe a treasured family dish handed down to you by your mother, a classic with your own creative twist, a regional speciality, or something decidedly delicious, but simple to cook. You may have some fabulous top tips, or time saving shortcuts to share. It can be spicy or plain, anything from starters, mains, deserts, and baked breads to chutneys, cakes, and cocktails.

For a little inspiration and to get you thinking I will share one of my mother’s recipes which is in the latter category of delicious, but extremely easy – in fact it’s “simples” ! It is definitely retro and 1970’s inspired, but none the less worthy of inclusion.

Olive’s Peaches in Brandy

Ingredients

1 large tin of peach halves in juice
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons demerera sugar
2 tablespoons ground almonds
3oz ratafia biscuits

Method

peaches4Drain the peaches (retaining the juice) and arrange in an ovenproof dish.
Add 4 tablespoons of the peach juice to the other ingredients and mix well.
Fill the peach halves with the mixture.
Pour over the remaining peach juice and bake in the oven at 150 for 20 minutes.
Serve cold with whipped cream, creme fraiche or ice cream.

I told you it was “simples” !!

I am sure David’s entry is going to be his favourite pudding, (his mother’s recipe which he regularly requests, but doesn’t always get!), bread and butter pudding with a meringue topping.

So act now and send us your recipes to include in our charity fundraising recipe book – just e-mail info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk or pop in the post. Don’t forget to send us any photos too and tell us why you chose the receipe, or who it was inspired by. Also if you have any inspirational ideas for a title for our recipe book let us know – maybe barking bakes, canine cookery, or delicious doggy dinners, or maybe something more sensible!

The cook book will be available later in the year and all proceeds will go to Canine Partners to help buy and train an assistance puppy.  Not only will you be inspired to get creative in the kitchen and try out some exciting new recipes you will also be helping to make a real difference to someone’s life.

Felicity