The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Apple Chutney recipe

Posted in Chutney and Pickles | 249 comments

Apple Chutney recipe

I’m not surprised that the fruit that tempted Eve was an apple. It is such a useful fruit. From sweet apple puree to flagons of frothy cider, the apple plays a major role in our lives. It always troubles me when I see apples left unpicked on trees. We’ve had a great cooking apple harvest this year. Danny and I have spent the morning picking apples from the old trees in our tiny orchard. We are going to make cider this year and have a go at apple wine. So we left a great pile of them on the garden table to soften in the frosts. If...

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Design and print your own labels for jam and jelly

Posted in Basics, Chutney and Pickles | 56 comments

Design and print your own labels for jam and jelly

I’ve wanted to print our own jar labels for ages. Ever since I saw a cupboard full of beautifully labelled preserves in a client’s house. It’s the old problem of finding the time to buy, design and print the labels. A month or so ago I whizzed down to Newmarket to buy some labels for our chutney. I’ve been buying them from one of those shops that sells absolutely everything and consequently good fun to visit. They run out of these labels pretty fast so I was delighted when I spotted them on a rack. But I was horrified...

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No-Cook Apple, Date and Onion Chutney Recipe

Posted in Chutney and Pickles | 44 comments

No-Cook Apple, Date and Onion Chutney Recipe

Our old friend, Kate Auty, makes this excellent chutney every year. It does not have to be cooked at all. In fact all you do is mince, mix and leave to mature. If you can leave the chutney longer than three months it will continue to improve. We let a jar mature for a year, it is treasured and strictly for family consumption. It’s great for children to make, under supervision. By the time it has matured for three months the daily bleat of, “Is it ready yet?” has died down completely and they have forgotten that it is lurking...

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Guest Spot: Steve Catchpole’s Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Chutney Recipe

Posted in Chutney and Pickles | 13 comments

Guest Spot: Steve Catchpole’s Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Chutney Recipe

This is the launch of the brand new ** Guest Spot ** on the Cottage Smallholder Blog. Lots of visitors email us. We love this and always respond. These emails have loads of great stories about others’ attempts at self-sufficieny. Some are hilarious. Others are full of new ideas. A few include recipes that sound really promising. We thought it would be good to include some of these contributions in our blog and invite a guest article from time to time. Seve Catchpole, from Helmingham, Suffolk, has the singular honour of being the first...

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Cottage Smallholder Plum Chutney or Damson Chutney

Posted in Chutney and Pickles, Jam Jelly and Preserves | 214 comments

Cottage Smallholder Plum Chutney or Damson Chutney

This chutney recipe works well with plums, wild plums or damsons. It does not need months to mature and keeps well I had some spare time today so finally retrieved the stock pot from Danny, swooshed it out with bicarbonate of soda to get rid of the taint of clove chutney (see Tricks and Tips below) and found the plum chutney recipe from Anne Mary’s old cook book. This was going to be the base of our own Cottage Smallholder Chutney. I had collected three pounds of windfall wild plums yesterday and simmered them last night for 20 minutes...

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Runner Bean Chutney Recipe. How to freeze runner beans.

Posted in Chutney and Pickles | 34 comments

Runner Bean Chutney Recipe. How to freeze runner beans.

This morning John Coe and I went down to the kitchen garden to check what was available and edible. For the last few days, I’ve been back late and have gone down with a torch to quickly snatch the vegetables for supper. I discovered that we have finally got our longed for glut of runner beans. The Runner Bean Couple down the road have had their stand laden with huge bunches for the last few weeks. I wonder what they are financing with their takings which must be huge. Our production is not quite at their level so rather than set up a...

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Best cucumber pickle recipes. Special Awards.

Posted in Chutney and Pickles | 58 comments

Best cucumber pickle recipes. Special Awards.

  Jo’s Award Winning Cucumber Pickle Recipe is at the bottom of this article. My friend Jo is great. She shares her recipes. Even her special ones.Three years ago she told me she had a great recipe for cucumber chutney, if we ever have a glut. I’d just given her a cucumber, one of our bumper “count on one hand” cucumber harvest, so I didn’t trouble her for the recipe at the time. This year, everything changed. I noticed that we had masses of flowers on our greenhouse cucumbers. Tiny dolls house sized...

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