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At home with the hen

Somebody recently said to me that my life is a little like the“chick lit” books she reads and that got me thinking. Anniversaries are often a time for reflection and on the eve of my little business becoming two, I thought that now would be an appropriate time to reflect and muse on the last two years and to look forward the next part of the adventure.

However there is one thing I should say at the beginning, I write as I speak and so the words you’re reading are as I would say them, so I make no apology for the poor grammar!

I still can’t believe that my little business, yes the one I run from our own home, has made it to it’s second anniversary. I wouldn’t say we’ve set the world on fire but actually that’s ok, more about that later.

I’m often asked how come we’re called little black hen and here’s that particular tale. It all started about five years ago when I persuaded my husband (aka Mr LBH) to let me keep some chickens in the garden. I fell in love with these bantams, or pint sized chickens with feathery feet, called  Pekins. These friendly, funny birds just love scratching around the garden and provide hours of amusement and of course the added bonus being that we got lots of lovely fresh eggs. It soon became apparent that as our collection of feathery friends grew (you try keeping just three chickens, you’ll find it becomes additive and you’ll want more) so did the number of eggs that they produced and this supply out-stripped our  demand . I needed an outlet for our eggs. At this time I rediscovered my love of baking and soon I was taking tasty treats into my workplace, which incidentally started a bit of a revolution in the standard of cakes supplied for meetings. Before long I was being asked to make cakes for friends and family which is where the nugget of the business started. At the same time as this several things happened in my life which made me re-evaluate what was important and it turns out having a grown up job with all the stress and pressure that brings wasn’t for me.  I was offered a severance package and the rest, as they say, is history. So why are we called LBH, well of course our first chicken was the Little Black Hen.

Little Black Hen

I’m extremely lucky that I’ve had the help and support of my family and Mr LBH has the patience of a saint. Who knew there was such a thing as cake stress?  

There is also another anniversary coming up. My granddad would have been 101 tomorrow. Now why is she mentioning that, I hear you cry, but actually I think it’s quite relevant. My granddad was quite a character and certainly unconventional.  He lived all over the world and loved to cook and would often been seen, with his blue Citroen 2CV laden down with goodies, heading in our direction. He loved nothing more than baking and inventing new recipes and we were of course his guinea pigs, something that we looked forward with a degree of trepidation. We very quickly learnt that it was often better not to ask what things were made from, as ignorance is very often bliss, but 9 times out of ten grandad’s chutneys, jams and cakes where things of beauty and a joy to the taste buds. Now there was one slight flaw with granddad and that was he never wrote anything down so you’d ask him to make some of that delicious piccalilli again and the next batch was lovely but never quite the same……………….. now if you were to ask Mr LBH it would seem that this is a family flaw and certainly something I have inherited. He now ensures I have a paper and pen in my hand when I am making chutneys and often there are little text messages to remind me to write everything down!


So you see there are often things that just happen because the path in the road turns you in another direction and there things that influence you when you didn’t even realise that you were being influenced. Life is a funny thing and having been in business two years would I change anything? Well yes probably but that’s all part of the learning experience and the joys of being your own boss.