Beach Cottage does tablescapes & chicken
Fri 15th, Mar, 2013
Sponsored Post Inglewood Farms
G’day lovely Beach Cottage friends….as you know, I love the weekends…sometimes they are really busy but even then I think the pace changes – kiddos are around, this old cottage is noisy (and messy) and life just rumbles on…
With the weekends, too, come rituals, that, though far from amazing, I’ve realized, through watching other people with different traditions (like our neighbours), that we have our own little things we do at the weekend, mostly centred around food and being outside – I like to garden at the weekends, I like to sit on the beach and I like to make easy, simple, healthy food that’s tasty and we can all sit around and eat together…
I’ve always cooked some kind of roast on a Sunday, it’s in my blood…Sundays for me mean a joint of pork slowly roasting in the oven, a couple of chickens anointed with oil and stuffed with tasty things sending wafts down the street or a lovely pot roast thrown in the slow cooker with some red wine and left to be.
About the time I first started to be the person in charge of the Sunday Roast, was about the time the Nigellas, Jamies and Hughs of this world were hitting our book shops and screens…we are talking years that these guys have been sitting on my shelves people…they introduced me to weird and wonderful produce that I could just about pronounce let alone know how to cook, and although my life was a world away from theirs in the well-heeled London boroughs or a farm down in the West Country they opened up a world to me far away from meat and two veg.
I have written about it on here before that those celebrities and our trips to France and Spain began a journey for me to cook real, simple food, with easy, regular ingredients to suit my family and our budget.
And with all of that came my dabbling in organic (those celebs made me think about food) and trying to eat a bit differently to what I had known…it has been a long journey…and along with the arrival of three children who are now, umm, rather large, it has taken many different weaves and turns…
I’ve shopped for organic veggies and bread made by hand, I’ve bought locally, been concerned at food miles and bought nothing from overseas, had stuff delivered and I’ve grown my own.
All of this has had different results for me…and I have to hold my hands up and say often it has brought disappointment…I have found myself, more than once, brimming with enthusiasm for better food but faced with the actual reality that, to feed my brood, I’d need a change in budget to actually attain this food ideal….there I was basket over my arm at the local farmer’s market (adorned in white linen thank you very much, with floppy sunhat) without a plastic bag or supermarket in sight, faced with the decision as quite what to buy for my kiddos to eat if I didn’t want to sell my house to pay for it.
So as I went along it became obvious to me that the ideal of eating only 100% organic, is for now, not going to happen in this family and I am sad to say that….yep I’ve seen all the images that organic is cheap life insurance and I’ve considered what chemicals have done what to me….and yes I think that if I ate everything organic I would probably not need to book in to get that face lift in a few years time after all.
But rather than go the whole hog, I knew I could make small changes and I did think I could take little steps towards changing habits and work organic things into my everyday life…
…firstly came eggs, 3 of us eat a lot of them and to buy organic is totally do-able, secondly meat & poultry, I would buy the best I could afford and make it stretch and fresh produce I would try to buy in-season and either from the farmer’s market or from farms that were near (or semi-near to me).
Which brings me to chicken.
No, I still haven’t persuaded Mr. Beach Cottage regarding chickens in the back yard, but I have learnt from the people of Inglewood Farms some very interesting facts about chicken.
Recently Inglewood Farms contacted me and wanted to know if I would be interested in doing a post about chicken…hmmm, if there is one thing I know how to do in this old cottage it’s chicken – in a curry, two of them roasted on a Sunday, chicken in my crock pot…show me a chicken I will be able to cook it in some shape or form.
Bring it on said I and so I went to meet them and learn about their special chicken.
And special it is, but to me what was more special were the people behind it – there I was blogger from the beaches with white cottage, three kiddos and one cute puppy sitting in a meeting in the city talking to people that care about chicken. Like a lot.
In this meeting these lovely guys (hello Aussie men in RM Williams shirts, hello! sorry didn’t get a picture ladies, slacker) chatted about all things Inglewood…that it’s organic, no rubbishy stuff in there, their holistic approach and how good their chicken tastes…
…in a Beach Cottage nutshell Inglewood Farms sets the benchmark for organic chicken – combining what’s best for chickens and what’s best for customers, there are no chemicals and no anti-biotics, it’s all about quality, integrity, sustainability, health – plus they put their money where their mouth is and are truly organic (I didn’t realise that ‘free-range’ farms do not have to adhere to bans on chemicals and the birds do not have the same welfare standards as organic birds did you? – interesting).
What impressed me the most though is how passionate they were about all this….if I’m honest I was expecting it to be a bit, I dunno, what can you tell me that’s new about organic chicken? , but what actually happened was a bunch of guys who know their stuff like inside out and care a lot about the chicken we are eating…and rather than the notes we were given I took my own, from what was actually being discussed…love it…
“Inglewood Farms designed the whole business around animal welfare”
“How do we get the best quality chicken?”
“Better for you, better for your family’”
“We take a lot of pride in our practices”
“Best medicine in cleaning our sheds is sunlight”
On the way home on the ferry, I thought about what this means though to real women (or indeed men) out there shopping with a budget and a busy life … it made me think about the $10 more it costs to buy the little organic chicken sitting in the corner when we line up at the chill counter in the supermarket surrounded by copious amounts of red stickers, promotional offers and things to entice us to buy chicken or indeed any meat at dirt-cheap prices.
This exercise has made me think that I will consider those birds, whose sheds have had time to be cleaned properly, aired and doused in sunlight, I will think about whether these birds will have foraged, whether they have been fed on feed which excludes chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, how tightly they were packed in and how after they were killed whether it was a full-on high-speed chorine filled exercise.
But mostly though I think for us organic meat & poultry is all about the taste – organic chicken or indeed meat, is more flavoursome – it tastes like it used to taste – do you remember that?
So here’s a really simple, really easy organic thing we eat in this old cottage at the weekends…mostly on a Saturday, sometimes on a Friday night, my kiddos love this, it’s really tasty, you can throw it together in seconds (even if there’s a broomstick riding moment on the horizon) and with Inglewood organic chicken it came in at about $12 – just a bit cheaper and healthier than a take-away.
Beach Cottage Herby Lemon Chicken Wings
16 organic chicken wings
juice from 1 1/2 lemons
3 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
mixed fresh garden herbs
1. place oil in frying pan & heat until hot
2. add wings to pan for 5 mins
3. turn over wings, cover pan & turn down heat to just sizzling for 30 mins or until brown
4. remove wings from pan, squeeze in lemon juice & herbs & scrape bits from bottom of pan. Let it bubble for a minute or so
5. pour lemony sauce over wings, serve hot with green salad & crusty bread
Beach Cottage Recipe Notes * I like more lemon but this is very lemony so if you don’t like it too strong lose one half of lemons *you’ll need napkins *sometimes I throw in some garlic
So that’s it from me and my chicken
See you next time Beach Cottage lovelies.
Happy Friday people!