Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Friday, 6 July 2007

I am getting quite excited as this weekend work is starting on our new chicken pen. Those of you who know me, will know of the sad demise of my 20H flock last year, taken by the nasty fox. I loved them so much and don't think I have ever been so traumatised by anything!!!! The flock were my leaving present from Clifford Chance when I left the city - a perfect daily reminder of my old life.
Before we had chickens, I would never had imagined them making very good pets. I was so wrong. They all have such individual personalities and were so tame and friendly. They were forever trying to get into the kitchen for extra food - getting in through open windows and doors. Their eggs were delicious - particularly Dora's who was a legbar/dorking cross and laid perfect blue eggs. There was a noticeable difference in quality compared to what I buy in the supermarket and I am so looking forward to taking delivery of my new hens as soon as the pen is built!
In addition to corn and wheat, our chickens were fed with warm porridge every day in the winter. I would like to think that this enhanced the flavour of the eggs (clearly unlikely but I can dream!)
Chicken porridge
1 handful porridge oats
200ml water
1 grated apple
Simmer the porridge oats in a saucepan until all the water has been absorbed. Stir in the apple and raisins. Leave to cool slightly before serving to your hens!
Postscript - I just had a call from Masterchef Ben to say he eats this type of porridge himself so clearly this is not just a dish for chickens! Ben has posted lots of news on what he has been upto and some lovely new recipes at http://www.thecheeseworks.co.uk/masterchefdiaries.php


Magic Cochin said...

That's so egg-citing Hannah!!
Top quality fresh eggs will be just the thing for your cakes and bakes. Lovely sunshine yellow sponge cakes!!!

I wouldn't be without my hens - and you're right they all really do have individual charaters.


Marie said...

I love your chickens! I've been away on Holidays these past three weeks and am trying to play catch up on all I have missed! I can see you've been really busy as usual! I had chickens back in Canada when I lived there. They are such lovely creatures and do indeed have individual characters and personalities!