Say cheese!

A little slice of something nice is the perfect way to spend an evening and we’ve got all the ingredients you need to build your board the local way.

Lincolnshire Poacher, made in Alford – Sitting somewhere between Comte and traditional West Country Cheddar, it has a distinctive fruity, nutty taste with a clean sweet finish.

Cote Hill Blue, made in Osgodby – a soft blue cheese with a delightfully creamy texture and a surprising tang.

Cote Hill Red – a semi-hard cheese in a red coating with a nutty and sweet flavour.

Lymn Bank Farm Just Jane, made in Skegness – a mature cheddar dipped in wax with a beautiful strong flavour and a creamy texture.

Just Like Your Grannies Scotch Bonnet chutney, made in Lincoln – delicately blended with ginger this chutney has much more subtlety than you might expect, it’s more about the flavour than the heat.

You can’t have cheese without crackers!

Try making these homemade oatcakes, they’ve even got a little bit of cheese in the recipe to make them extra tasty.

 

Home-made oatcakes

These delicious homemade oatcakes are perfect for cheese and biscuits and there’s plenty to go around whether you’re sharing or not!

Makes: around 12 Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: around 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

100g oatmeal, plus a little extra for dusting
50g jumbo oats
25g plain Mount Pleasant Wholemeal Flour
25g plain white flour
1 tsp salt
½ teaspoon caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
50g butter, melted
25g veggie Cheddar or Lincolnshire Poacher cheese
50-60ml hot water from the kettle
Cayenne pepper or smoked paprika (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Place the oatmeal, oats and flours in a bowl with baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir in butter and cheese until well combined. Then hot water until you have a firm dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with oatmeal. Knead gently for a minute then roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use a 6cm round (or size to choice) to stamp out 12 oatcakes (re-rolling the dough as necessary).
3. Place cakes on the baking sheet, sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper or paprika and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or cold, with a selection of cheese and chutney.

Give the gift of a London theatre break

mamma mia

Struggling to think of a gift this Christmas for the loved one who has everything? Why not treat them to a theatre break in the capital?

There’s nothing like seeing a show in the West End, and with so many to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice. If your recipient is a bit of a child at heart, why not try the critically acclaimed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical?

It’s got big musical numbers, extravagant set and costume design and a storyline that will whisk you right back to your childhood. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of snacks on hand – all that chocolate could make you very peckish!

Meanwhile for someone who loves the classics, Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys and We Will Rock You are based on the music of ABBA, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Queen, so you can’t go wrong.

The Book of Mormon is sure to crack up dads and boyfriends – it’s written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the minds behind the South Park TV series and the film Team America.

Superbreak offers a great selection of hotels for all budgets, including the beautiful Mercure London Greenwich Hotel. With luxuriously appointed bedrooms, all the mod cons and a breakfast buffet to die for, it’s the perfect way to treat someone you love.

If all that wasn’t enough, why not check out some of the attractions London has to offer while you’re at it? Scale the Shard to see all of London from above, or sink into the depths below at the London Dungeons.

If you think a London getaway could be the perfect gift for someone on your Christmas list, pop into your local Lincolnshire Co-op travel branch today and find out how we can help.

Rosey Nosey baked ham with marmalade glaze

You can’t beat warm gammon ham, especially with this local ale and marmalade glaze which gives it a sweet and sticky flavour. Perfect for feeding all the family and just as good cold for a second helping!

SERVES: 6-8 
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES*

Ingredients

1.5kg Lincolnshire Quality gammon
500ml bottle Bateman’s Rosey Nosey
200ml orange juice
1-2 firm clementines, thickly sliced
12-15 whole cloves
1 bay leaf, plus extra to garnish (optional)
Sprigs of thyme, plus extra to garnish (optional)
150g Jenny’s Jams orange marmalade
1 ½ tsp grainy mustard

Method

1. Calculate the ham’s cooking time, allowing 30 minutes per kg*, plus an extra 20 minutes. Put aside 2 tbsp of the Rosey Nosey Ale and pour the rest around the ham in a large pan. Add the orange juice,
2. clementine slices, 3 of the cloves, and the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, if using. Top up with enough water to cover the ham.
3. Bring to a simmer and cover with foil or lid. Cook for the calculated time less 30 minutes, top up with water if needs be and leave until cool enough to handle.
4. Place the ham in a shallow roasting tin and pat dry. Use a small but sharp knife to cut the rind away from the ham, leaving a good layer of fat attached to the meat.
5. Heat oven to 200ºC/fan 180ºC/Gas 6. Score a crisscrossing pattern in the ham’s fat. Place over remaining clementine slices and secure them with cloves.
6. Warm the marmalade, mustard and reserved ale in a pan. Brush half mix over the ham. Roast for 15 minutes, brush over remaining mix and bake for a further 15–20 minutes, until glaze is golden. Decorate with thyme and bay leaves, if desired. Enjoy hot or cold.

Let’s go to…

There’s less than a month to go before the big day, but December 25th is far from the only date for your diary. We’ve rounded up three of the best local events and activities this month to fill you with Christmas cheer!

Gunby Hall Xmas 3 Credit National Trust, Emma Williams

Gunby Hall goes festive

Indulge in some historical festive cheer with Christmas at Gunby Hall. This beautiful 18th-century manor house will be filled with Christmas spirit during the weekend events, which include storytelling in the library, carol singing in the music room and tasty treats in the tea room.

Spread over three floors, the house has enormous well-tended gardens, perfect for a bracing winter walk.

There’s lots to discover as you explore, so why not take a step back in time? You can find out more about the events here.

Bauble Barn 01 (Credit to Rachel Connerton)

Deck your halls at Doddington

Never mind boughs of holly, head for Doddington Hall Bauble Barn and transform your home with a beautiful decoration or two. This famous annual shopping experience is running until Christmas Eve and features Christmas trees grown in the grounds, as well as a barn filled with baubles of all shapes and sizes.

There’s a café serving hot drinks and tasty homemade cakes, alongside hearty main meals, and at the weekend you can tie in your visit with a wander around the house and gardens.

You can find more information about Doddington Hall on the website, here.

Lincoln Carol Concert 7 (Credit Stuart Wilde)

Come sing with us

Warm up your vocal cords with some festive tunes at our annual carol concerts. We’ll have seasonal readings and songs, as well as performances from local children’s choirs.

The events are discounted for Lincolnshire Co-op members, and to top it off, guests will be treated to seasonal light refreshments afterwards.

Concerts will be taking place at Boston Stump on Wednesday, 10 December; at Lincoln Cathedral on Monday, 15 December and at St Mary Magdalene in Newark on Thursday, 18 December. All concerts start at 7.30pm.

For more information or to book a ticket, visit our website.

Whatever you do, remember to wrap up warm!

Stir-up Sunday: mix it up

Are you planning to take part in a traditional Stir-up Sunday this weekend? For those who don’t know what it is, we’ve got a comprehensive guide to Christmas Puddings:

Christmas pudding 2013 (2)

Causing a stir

For families across the country, Stir-up Sunday is a tradition which marks the start of the Christmas season. Falling on the last Sunday before Advent, the occasion is connected to a bible passage which would be read to churchgoers: “Stir up; we beseech thee, O Lord”.

Suitably enthused, the congregation would go home, don aprons and stir up their Christmas pudding. By making it so far in advance, the flavours are allowed to intensify, ready to wow guests on Christmas Day.

Make a wish

It’s traditional for every member of the family to make a wish and take a turn at stirring the pudding mixture once all the ingredients are incorporated. As long as the wish isn’t shared with anyone, tradition dictates that it should come true, so it’s a good time to get those extravagant Christmas present requests in!

Stir-Up-Sunday-Victorians

Penny for ‘em

Watch your teeth, because it used to be common practice to include small coins in the mixture, to be kept by the person who found them. This practice was supposed to bring wealth to the finder in the coming year, (if they avoided a trip to A&E).

Christmas porridge

An early version of the dish was said to be of a porridge-like consistency and include fruit, vegetables, beef and mutton.

If you fancy a sweeter modern recipe, you can find one on page 7 of our members’ magazine, available to pick up in your local Lincolnshire Co-op food store now!

Cathy’s creamy carrot and potato bake

Lincolnshire Co-op is supporting Working on Waste – a scheme to help cut food waste. As part of the project we challenged customers to come up with a recipe using four common leftover ingredients, plus two of their own. The lucky winner was Cathy from Newark who sent in this creamy carrot and potato bake.

“I love experimenting with using leftovers creatively.This dish is an excellent way of using up bendy carrots and potatoes which are starting to sprout.” Cathy

Ingredients (serves 4):

450g carrots (peeled & sliced weight)
1 small onion, sliced
800g cooked potatoes, cut into slices
75g stale bread, whizzed up into breadcrumbs
100g cheddar or other hard tasty cheese, grated
160ml single cream
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried herbs (I used sage)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to gas mark 6 and lightly grease an oven-proof dish.
2. Put the carrots, onion and bay leaf in a small pan with a pinch of salt. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 mins until carrots are tender.
3. Drain, remove bay leaf, cool a little and puree using a stick blender. Add half tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
4. Spread a thin layer of puree in the base of the greased dish, followed by a layer of sliced potatoes.
5. Continue to alternate layers of puree & potato slices, ending with a layer of potatoes.
6. Pour the cream evenly over the top.
7. Mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese and dried herbs and spoon evenly over the top of the dish.
8. Bake for 30-40 mins until hot all the way through and brown on top. (Cover with a sheet of foil or baking parchment if necessary, if the topping is browning too quickly).

Fight the ‘flu!

It’s more or less impossible to avoid getting a cold during the winter, but there are some steps that you can take to minimise your risk of catching its more serious cousin, the flu.

sneeze

Eat well

The better your general health is, the more capable your body will be off fighting off infection. As well as making sure you’re generally well-nourished and eating lots of vitamin-rich fruit and veg, there are some more specific ways to boost your immunity.

A study from the University of Colorado School of Medicine suggests that vitamin D supplements may help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses that make us poorly.

Good hygiene

It might seem obvious, but practising good hygiene is essential if you want to avoid winter bugs. To keep your environment clean you should be covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze as well as washing your hands regularly with soap and water.

By wiping down surfaces you use regularly like phones, keyboards and door-handles, you can also reduce the risk of germs spreading.

Flu jab

For people who fall into certain groups, the flu jab is available free on the NHS from your GP. It’s an important way to protect yourself from the most common strains of the virus, although it isn’t suitable for everyone.

If you aren’t entitled to a free immunisation, Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacies offer it for just £9.95.

For more advice on staying fit and healthy, why not pop into one of our pharmacies for a chat with one of our friendly and knowledgeable colleagues?

Halloween Oreo owl truffles

With Halloween on Friday why not get into the kitchen this half term and cook up this simple recipe with the kids? The truffles are to ‘die for’ and lots of fun to make, so get the little ghouls assembled and spook your Halloween party goers with a tasty treat…

Halloween-2014,-owl-oreo-truffles

If you don’t have time to make the treats for your Halloween celebrations, check out what we’ve got on offer in store here.

Top 5 reasons to become a Lincolnshire Co-op member

It all starts by shopping with us…

You may or may not know that co-operatives are different, unlike other businesses we’re not run by a few wealthy shareholders. We’re owned and run by our members, local dividend card holders and every penny of our profits goes back to them and their local communities. It’s free to join us and there’s lots of benefits to being a member, here’s our top five.

CV108_LongSutton_140415Reason one – earn as you shop
Every member holds a dividend card and each time they shop with us, they earn a percentage of what they spend back, which they can spend in our stores.

 

 

treats-diviReason two – a bonus just in time for Christmas
Towards the end of each year we pay out a bonus to all members from our profits. It’s a percentage of the total amount of dividend members have earned over the year, so the more you’ve spent the bigger your bonus will be. You can save it up and spend it whenever you like. We have food stores, travel branches, a florist and more, plenty to treat yourself.

 

Reason three – doing good in your communitySWP-12-0167_24
We run a scheme called Community Champions where every members dividend card is linked to good causes close to where they live. The more our members shop and use their dividend card, the more money we give to their champion. It’s an easy way for you to make a difference in your community.

 

What's New Blood Pressure ChecksReason four – keeping healthy
We offer free health checks at our pharmacies. They only take around 15 minutes and can ease the pressure on GPs and give you an early indication of serious conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

 

Reason five – be part of something specialDividend-card-people
We’re really proud of the uniqueness of our co-op. We’re independent and successful; everything we do is for our members and the communities we work in. By shopping with us you can be safe in the knowledge that we’re committed to ethical principles important to you such as Fairtrade, sourcing produce locally and supporting local people, this is what we call the co-operative difference.

With so many reasons to be a member, we can’t think of a good reason not to join us. Pop into your local Lincolnshire Co-op outlet today and ask for an application form or download one from our join us page here.