Tuesday, 17 August 2010
My husband and I have been members of the National Trust for about 10 years now. We both just love visiting historical homes and gardens so it has always been worth it to us. A yearly membership works out a lot cheaper than having to pay entrance fees each time we visit one of the National Trust places.
We recently visited Erddig, which is near Wrexham in Wales. "Widely acclaimed as one of Britain's finest historic houses, Erddig is a fascinating yet unpretentious early 18th-century country house reflecting the upstairs downstairs life of a gentry family over 250 years.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this great historical home. We found it quite astonishing that the orignal owner of the Estate was simply a "Mr" and not a person of noble birth. Judging by everything that was on this property, he was one very wealthy individual, and one could tell by all of the photographs and paintings that, although they had lots of money and servants, their servants were very much cared for and well treated.
We spent a wonderful day there exploring all the nooks and crannies and the beautiful gardens. So much so, that we plan on going back again soon. There was so much still left to explore, and one visit just didn't do it enough justice.
One of the things we both look forward to when we are visiting these places is having a light lunch in the cafes that are, in most cases, right on the grounds. Lovely little places where you can get everything from soup to nuts . . . always very tasty stuff!
We shared a delicious cheese and onion sandwich and some hot cocoa the day we were there, but right next to the cash register in the cafe was a little leaflet for sale,, containing some of the recipes from Erddig House, dating back to the 1700's.
It was only a pound, so how could I resist!! Of course I had to pick it up!
That night I made us the carrot soup for our tea from the leaflet, and let me tell you . . . it was the MOST delicious carrot soup I have ever, ever eaten! It should have served at least 4 people but Todd and I polished it off between the two of us. NOT A PROBLEM! It was rich and creamy and had the most wonderful flavour. Carrots, potatoes, celery, turnips, onions and lettuce . . . a delicious combination of simple garden fresh ingredients!
This is now our 'alltime' favourite soup.
*Erddig Carrot Soup*
Serves 4 to 6
Taken from a 'Receipt Book 1765', the second oldest Erddig cookery book.
2 ounces butter
2 large onions
2 large potatoes
2 pounds carrots
1/2 pound turnips
1/2 head celery
3 1/2 pints (about 7 cups) vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and chop all of the vegetables. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onion and saute until golden. Add the potatoes and stir well. Add the remainder of the vegetables and the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Liquidise. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
I also baked up some very delicious Cheese Scones to have with the soup. They went down a real treat!! You can find the recipe HERE.