Recipe: Lamb fillets with leeks

Sue Blacker's picture
17 May, 2018 - 14:34 | Sue Blacker

This is one of my favourite recipes because it is quick to prepare, fairly quick to cook, tasty and sufficiently impressive to serve to visitors. 

If you start by putting a few scrubbed unpeeled potatoes in the over set at 160 degrees (fan oven), 170 degrees (non fan) or Gas Mark 4, there's almost no washing up and the nice jacket potatoes will be ready when the meat and leeks are cooked, with plenty of fluffy potato to soak up the meat and vegetable juices. 

The Wool Journey Part 4: Wool Attributes Amongst Breeds, Natural Colour and Health

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
23 August, 2017 - 14:00 | Sonja Bargielowska

Here we look at three important aspects of fleece and fibre: consistency/style, colour and animal health.

Consistency varies considerably between different breeds, within the breed and across the animal. We can have Gotland sheep, all of which have lustre longwool, with wide variations of thickness and crimp between different animals and a range of these across the body of an individual.

Images courtesy of The Fibre of my Being and Wovember

Glistening Gotland

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
26 July, 2017 - 15:39 | Sonja Bargielowska

Here at Blacker Yarns we try not to have favourites amongst the sheep breeds, but Gotland sheep do have a rather special place in our hearts. Perhaps because they’re the sheep Sue Blacker herself keeps?

We’re really excited to be launching a brand new colour palette in our 100% Gotland DK yarn on August 9th, and thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about this very special breed in more detail.

Sheep and Art

Sue Blacker's picture
23 July, 2017 - 16:51 | Sue Blacker

Images courtesy of The Saatchi Gallery

At the Mill we have been thinking about art - for reasons which will become very clear in the near future!

So we have been hunting around for some sheep in art… please do follow the links to see these lovely things in greater detail, and remember all artists need patrons!

A current favourite of Sue’s, as shown above and also of the Saatchi Gallery, is David Smith. A shepherd’s son from Shropshire, his images of a shepherd and colourful sheep are very engaging and beautifully structured into the paintings.

The Wool Journey Part 3: wool attributes – length, crimp and lustre

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
12 July, 2017 - 16:43 | Sonja Bargielowska

Length is less relevant to the processor than to the breeder!  After all, the breeder will be expecting to show animals in full fleece in all their glory, while the processor has to sort out the fibres and put them through machines.  So the processor can rely on some fibres breaking as they are processed and also may chop up some fibre to make it more usable, particularly if it is thick and strong.  A hand-spinner might wish to spin individual long locks together and craft workers may use individual locks as part of a design (e.g. wedding dress).

A lovely example of the use of Lincoln Longwool locks in the skirt and felt in the bodice is Louise Fairburn’s wedding dress which caused quite a stir of publicity in 2009, even reaching the Daily Mail!

Introducing our new BFL laceweight colour palette

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
5 July, 2017 - 14:01 | Sonja Bargielowska

The Bluefaced Leicester is a noble breed, originating from selective breeding in the early twentieth century by Robert Bakewell, specifically hand-picked for their “blue faces”, referring to their very dark blue, almost black skin. The sheep themselves are friendly in nature, while their Roman noses provide an air of aristocracy. 

Food for mums and babies: nutrition at lambing

Sue Blacker's picture
9 March, 2017 - 10:52 | Sue Blacker

Lambs double in size in the last month in the ewe, which is a real challenge to the ewe to keep up with this as well as the additional situation of less room inside!   So feeding more frequently, twice or even three times a day, will regulate intake better and make it more effective.   Insufficient food can lead to dead lambs, or ewes, or twin lamb disease, poor quality colostrum and lower milk production.  Too much concentrated food can reduce the pH in the rumen, so quality is as important as quantity, and forage is key, with concentrates as a supplement.   Added yeast has been shown to be useful in improving colostrum quality and reduces the build-up of lactic acid in the rumen, which helps increase milk yield and quality.


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