Day 2 – Flapjack!

When we first opened the Farm shop in 2004 I used to make trays of flapjack at the crack of dawn every Friday morning (the only day the shop was open!).  This would be given away with freshly brewed coffee as a thank you to those who made it with trepidation up the poorly signposted, never-ending hill and along the dusty or muddy potholed drive.  It created a great social environment, customers would nibble and chat whilst they waited for us to negotiate the cutting of a pork chop, helping us to get to know them.  Many of those customers still shop here today and remember fondly those days when we were starting out on our farm shop journey. In the early days Mark and I had help from a retired butcher, Geoff Hodgkiss, one morning a week, he taught us how to chop up carcasses and we learned about cuts and muscles we’d never heard of before. Geoff was very patient and very meticulous, his shop in Chester-le-Street had been famous for it’s window display and he gave us so much help with presentation and pricing, passing on his years of knowledge. I boned out a lot of lamb rumps whilst Mark soon graduated to beef butchery. At first we just had a serving table in front of the green shop doors, and people had to queue outside. This got a bit cold by the Autumn and around the same time that Michael joined us we also obtained a free second hand display cabinet from a restaurant that was opening up in Newcastle (The Comfort Food Company – therein lies another story!).  Together with our old kitchen units we built a basic shop interior, with a counter and a small kitchen area so that we could make coffee for Michael…and our customers, who could now wait inside the shop for the first time…and the arched doors you know so well were opened! The flapjack tradition continued for many years – our original Saturday girl Laura has fond memories of nibbling on the crumbs.

Here is Granny Gledson’s famous flapjack recipe for you to try at home

1. Melt 8oz butter or margarine with 4-5 tbsp golden syrup

2. Meanwhile measure out 12 oz porridge oats, 6oz plain flour, 4 oz desiccated coconut, 8 oz granulated sugar and 1.5 tsp bicarb of soda.

3. Mix dry ingredients together and stir into melted butter/syrup

4. Place into a lined baking tin and firm lightly.

5. Bake at 180°C for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown