It’s Christmas time!
Schools have broken up, puddings have been made, and Christmas parties are in full swing – quite literally for the Omlet team this year. Going Ape made a bit of a difference to the usual cold-turkey-soggy-spuds dinner outing. Despite the high winds and heavy rain the group were not defeated, climbing the tallest of trees, crossing the most challenging of rope bridges and flying across frightening zip slides. Eek!
And that’s not all the festive fun we’ve been having. Christmas is never complete without a day of dressing up at the office. The ususal array of jeans and jumpers magically transformed into a dazzling delight of glitz and glamour. Oh yes, we love our sparkle. There was everything from angels to elves to Mr and Mrs Claus themselves… What a weird and wonderful bunch!
Omlet’s head of customer services – Hayley swings into action to deliver last minute christmas presents.
As we all close off from the world of work for a few magical days of food and festivities, you will hopefully have the peace and quiet you need to have a read of the last Omlet newsletter of the year. Don’t panic, it will be back with a bang in January. Our competitions (yes, plural) will not disappoint, and there are photos galore to have a giggle at. Read how Tom and Barbara are getting along this yule tide and take a sneak peek at some new products that will make 2009 a great year.
We would love to know how you are spending your Christmas and if you take any festive photos please send them in. Every month we feature a number of star photos but starting from this month we will be awarding a prize to the best photo. We think you’ll agree this month’s is a cracker. So if you would like to feature your picture in the Omlet hall of fame just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or upload it to the club gallery.
So happy reading, happy snapping, and all that’s left to say is
Happy Christmas To All!
A Comp for the Kids
This month we have a special competition just for the kids, to keep them amused for at least a few minutes. So all you young’uns listen up…you can win the item of your choice from the Omlet shop just by telling us why you like it. Pictures, poems and prose are all welcome, and the best few will feature in next month’s newsletter! Send your entries to either of the addresses above, along with your name, age and address, by January 12th 2009. Get choosing!
We’re glad to know that lots of you are in the Christmas spirit this year. Thank you to all of those that entered the Christmas Crossword Competition, you did superbly well and it’s a shame we only had three prizes to give away. The answers were as follows:
7) Super Glug
14) Miss Pepperpot
1) Three French Hens
2) Gingernut Ranger
The lucky three winners were Paula Murray, Alice McCormack and Geoff Spencer. We have given Father Christmas three Extraordinary Chickens 2009 Calendars to deliver to you in time for Christmas, so that you can get a cracking start to the new year.
Paula, Alice and Geoff cracked the Christmas crossword.
Egg Cup Museum
A few months back we told you about our launch of the uk’s first and only egg cup museum. Many of you have kindly sent in egg cups old and new, from near and far. The most unusual so far is a very old wooden egg cup, painted like a girl’s face. We were also sent a lovely South African egg cup with elephants painted around it. Someone even took the care to send us an egg cup straight from New Zealand, where they were currently on holiday. So thank you to everyone that has taken part so far. But there is still room for many more weird and wonderful egg cups. Send to ‘Egg Cup Museum’, at the address featured earlier in the newsletter. Together we can create the biggest collection EVER!
Our collection is eggspanding but there’s still room for more!
The Omlet Team
This month’s winning photo – this one wouldn’t look out of place in the extraordinary chickens calendar.
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, three french hens…
With an eglu in every colour what will Lesley ask for this Christmas?
Barbara’s Weekly Diary!
I can’t believe that it’s nearly Christmas already! It doesn’t seem five minutes since I sat down to write last year’s Christmas newsletter piece. Where does the time go? Don’t tell Tom but I’ve already bought the girls a nice big tub of mealworms for their Christmas present and I am going to hide a couple of lovely Savoy cabbages from the allotment in the shed to give them for their Christmas dinner. They love them! Tom’s always making fun of me because I treat the chickens like little children and yet I’ve seen him casually digging in the borders for worms to feed them when I’m not looking. I think he’s as soft about them as I am! I’ve been quite worried about the poor girls over the last few weeks as it’s been so bitterly cold, with frosts most mornings, but I keep forgetting that they have their own feather eiderdowns on all of the time, so they must be snug and cosy while I’m shivering in my dressing gown and slippers first thing in the morning, as I let them out for their breakfast.
Judging from the emails I’ve been receiving lately, there are a lot of rather silly hens who have decided to moult heavily now that the really cold weather is here. One of my older girls shed nearly all of her feathers overnight a couple of weeks ago and emerged looking like an oven ready chicken, leaving the nest absolutely full of black feathers. Fortunately she now resembles some kind of porcupine/chicken hybrid, as the quills of her new feathers are beginning to emerge. Hopefully she’ll be feeling a bit warmer now but I felt so sorry for her last week as she looked really cold and miserable. There wasn’t really a lot that I could do to help the poor girl, apart from giving her some warm layers meal in the afternoons and making sure that she had a sprinkling of Poultry Spice added to it to give her a little boost. She’ll soon be sporting a snazzy new wardrobe, thank goodness, and will look beautiful again. The others all look very fluffy and healthy despite the chill in the air.
Well, I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas with good food and lots of presents and may 2009 be full of happy chickens and overflowing egg boxes!
Tom’s Recipe of the Week
There is a definite festive buzz at the moment. Excited children seem to be bursting at the seams. We have had several carol singers at the door and not your ‘one verse of Jingle bells and an outstretched hand’ either. We were treated to a full rendition of Good King Wenceslas by some local children this week. They really earned their gingerbread men, clementines and a warming fruit punch. Call me old fashioned, but they don’t get coins from me!
I am still holding out hope for a goat. I have been very good all year, I just hope that Barbara hasn’t had a quiet word with Father Christmas. Speaking of Barbara, she is still talking of presents for the chickens. A couple of my cabbages have gone missing from the allotment and I have a sneaky suspicion that Barbara is the culprit and the chickens will be the recipients.
Once the Advent festivities are over and Aunty Marjorie has snored her way through the afternoon films, like she does every year, what do you do with the left over turkey? Without you all overdosing on curry, I have come up with a slightly different idea for turkey left overs.
Turkey and Mushroom Risotto
175g Arborio risotto rice
80g fresh mushrooms (sliced)
100g cooked turkey
1 small onion (finely diced)
650ml vegetable stock (or 600ml + 50ml white wine)
Pinch mixed herbs
1 tablespoon olive oil plus a little butter
Grated parmesan cheese
1) Preheat the oven to 170C
2) In an oven proof dish, fry the onions in the oil and butter until soft, add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
3) Stir in the rice and make sure that it is coated in butter/oil, adding more if necessary.
4) Add the wine, if using, and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock, herbs and stir. Put a lid on the dish and cook in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
5) Remove from the oven and add the chopped, cooked turkey. Return to the oven to allow the turkey to warm through.
5) Season with a good twist of black pepper and salt and a generous handful of parmesan.
Serve with crusty bread.
Eglu Owner of the Week
Harry & George Montgomery
Your names and ages:
Harry (11) and George (8) Montgomery
Where and with who do you live? We live in a village called Rampton in Nottinghamshire with our Mum and Dad, our beagle “Ruby”, 8 chickens and 2 goldfish.
What time do you get up in the morning? We get up at 7.30 on school days later at weekends. It is our job to feed our chickens in the morning, collect the eggs and put the chickens to bed at night. It’s Mum’s job to clean the eglu!
What is your favourite food? Harry loves Chinese food and George loves roast dinners.
Which is your favourite season? Harry’s favourite season is Winter and George’s favourite season is Summer because you don’t have to wear a coat!
What would you like to be when you grow up? Harry would like to be a professional cricketer or an astronaut and George would love to be a stunt man or a chef.
Do you have a hobby or a hidden talent? Harry loves all sports but mostly cricket and George enjoys cooking, motorbiking and swimming.
What song do you most like dancing to? Harry likes anything cool and George is too cool to dance!
If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you would do? Harry would like to visit Australia and George would go to Disneyland Florida for a whole year!
About Your Chickens<
What are your chickens called? Cluckaburra, Helmey (short for helmet hair), Elvis (slicked back feathers), Chuck Chuck, Fluff, Ginger, Posh and Scary.
How many eggs do you get a week and what’s your favourite way of preparing them?
We get about four eggs a day – the French Marans and the Legbars aren’t laying yet! We love boiled eggs with soldiers, fried egg butties, scrambled egg on
toast and omelettes, but our favourite is pancakes – Dad makes pancakes for breakfast every Saturday morning.
Do you get lots of double yolkers? Not very often but it’s good fun when we do get one. We sell some of our eggs to our Grandma and Aunty Carol. We buy the chicken food out of our egg money and we get to keep the rest for pocket money.
What do your chickens like eating more than anything else? They love pasta but their favourite treat is oats, sweetcorn and pellets, served warm, especially on cold mornings – they wait outside the back door for it! We got the recipe from the Omlet newsletter.
What’s been the most surprising thing about keeping chickens? When we first got the chickens we didn’t like to see them pecking each other but now they all get on together. Pecking order sorted – thank goodness!
Can you imagine life without chickens ever again? NO it would be really sad because keeping chickens is great fun and we love collecting fresh eggs every day, especially when they are warm! We are hoping to get eight more chickens next year.
It’s good to have a chicken on hand when it’s chilly.
Harry and George are budding Hentrepreneurs.
Elvis looks on as Posh poses for the camera
Lots of fantastic new chicken products in the Omlet shop!
Here is just a small selection, go online to see the full range.
Heart Shaped Pan
A hearty breakfast is all you need to warm you up during the cold Winter mornings. And this heart shaped pan is perfect for fried eggs, pancakes and omelettes. Candlelight dinners are in the past, as now you can treat the one you love with a truly romantic breakfast instead! Or just cook yourself up a treat to feel the love. Buy now for £5.85
How much do you love your eggs?
Tea Cosy Brown Chicken
A cup of tea seems to be the solution to all problems (when it comes to Eastenders at least). It makes a very welcoming bevvy when you’ve been out in the cold, and it’s quick to fill you with warmth and cosiness. This charming chicken will make tea time eggstra special. She does a great job of keeping teapots nice and toasty and she makes an eggcellent centre piece. Matching egg cosies available if you want the whole family!
Chick chick chick chick chicken, lay a cup of tea for me…
Garden Tool Set
Why not take up gardening in the new year? This clever little set is just the thing for anyone that wants to get green fingered. The bright green bag is spacious enough for all your bits and pieces and it has pockets around the sides for smaller items that you don’t want to lose. It contains all the essential tools for gardening: a fork, two trowels and a deep weed cutter; a pair of gardening gloves to protect hands in winter and a nail brush to clean grubby nails after a hard day’s work. This is perfect for all beginners to gardening.
2009 is the perfect year to take up a new hobby…bat watching, anyone? If you have become bored of birds and you’d like to encourage something a bit different in to your garden, why not buy this? Your name doesn’t need to be Dracula and you do not need to live in Transylvania for you to be intrigued by these creatures of the dark…they really aren’t as frightening as they’re cracked up to be. Bats are fascinating animals with lots of weird and wonderful facts. You may be interested to know the largest bat has a wing span of 5 feet. Blimey! But don’t worry, a bat that big won’t fit into this house.
Remember, bats are for life, not just for Christmas.