One of the (many) things I love about Cathy Bramley's books is that she adds so much food to her novels. In Appleby Farm it could be a cottage pie, a 'sweet dreams special' (real butter on toasted homemade bread and hot milk with a sprinkling of nutmeg and sugar) or just a simple plate of buttery scrambled eggs. Each dish immediately adds depth to the story. You can picture yourself getting a hug from Freya's aunt (smelling of Nivea face cream and homemade bread) in the warm farmhouse kitchen, eating the food and gaining the same pleasure from it that Freya is experiencing.
And because Freya is on a farm it is perfect that she is eating eggs. After all, the farm has chickens. It's lovely that Cathy adds in little details about life on the farm regarding the animals, such as the dog waiting every morning for a certain chicken to lay an egg in the kennel, and, as soon as she has, gobbling it up. Cathy revealed in this interview that it was based on a true story. (Another thing I love about Cathy's books.)
I read Appleby Farm when it came out in a four-part ebook serial. I'm actually becoming a fan of that format, but I've also treated myself to it in paperback. Why? Because I love the story.
Freya is working at the cafe near Ivy Lane's allotments when she receives a phone call that changes everything. Her aunt and uncle in the Lake District need her. They were the ones who raised Freya as a child whilst her parents were working abroad, so now it is Freya's turn to help them.
Freya makes her way to the farm and finds out that, not only has her uncle had an accident, but they are in financial difficulties. Can Freya help them out? And, is there time for a little romance too?
But first things first. Buttery scrambled eggs fresh from the hen (ones the dog hasn't eaten). After a breakfast like that, Freya can tackle anything thrown at her.
Bowl, non-stick saucepan, fork, wooden spoon.
2 eggs, as fresh as possible
butter, lashings of it
salt and pepper
- Break the eggs into the bowl and give them a good whisk with the fork.
- Add a little butter into the saucepan, allow it to melt slightly, then add the whisked eggs.
- Cook on a low heat, stirring with the wooden spoon. Add a little more butter if desired plus salt and pepper if you prefer it.
- Serve when just done, on buttery toast.