The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Eat your greens

Posted in Vegetables, Vegetables and Sides | 13 comments

Eat your greens

  “If you eat your greens your hair will curl,” my mother would say. “But I’ve already got curly hair.” As a child I longed for straight long blonde hair, like my friend Twink. I also didn’t like greens. If I’d had my way it would have been toast or Wall’s Chocolate Carnival ice cream for every meal. Until I started growing my own veg I didn’t really enjoy eating them. Salad, broccoli, frozen peas and the occasional carrot were vegetables at the more appealing end of the ‘horrid veg” spectrum. One of the few...

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Slow baked belly of pork with green tomatoes, coriander and lime recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Vegetables and Sides | 6 comments

Slow baked belly of pork with green tomatoes, coriander and lime recipe

  We have never had so many green tomatoes knocking about the house. Some will turn red eventually but I decided to try cooking with some green ones. Their flavour improves with long slow cooking so combining them with a small joint of belly of pork would make a sumptuous meal for two. The result was unbelievably good, stunning fruity tangy flavours offsetting the melt in the mouth pork. Tears over not having many toms to bottle were wiped away with the first mouthful. I’m going to freeze and dry some batches of green tomatoes as this...

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How to cook puffballs recipe

Posted in Chickens, Hedgerow food, Save Money, Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 16 comments

How to cook puffballs recipe

  “I want Mrs Boss to have a memorial. She deserves it.” Danny was warming his hands over the wood burning stove. He had just finished burying her in the garden. It was March 2009. “They have some nice Willowstone chickens at the garden centre. I’ll get one. I know that they are well under £20.” But when I visited the garden centre there were no chickens on display. In fact it has taken me all this time to discover that the stone garden ornaments had been moved to a different area. Last week I chose the chicken that looked most...

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Delicious fried leftover potatoes recipe

Posted in Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 11 comments

Delicious fried leftover potatoes recipe

  The potato King always cooks too many spuds. He loves to see a decent sized pan of home grown potatoes – he can have some for supper and then graze – overnight and if he has cooked lots, a pre breakfast snack. I don’t eat loads of spuds so his ears switch into Spud Protective Mode if I want some more – he knows how to cook seriously good spuds so this does happen quite a lot these days. There’s always a little jump of surprise, followed by, “Help yourself to as much as you want.” I always leave second helpings for D. Years...

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Beetroot crisps recipe: a way to cope with and enjoy a beetroot glut

Posted in Vegetables, Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 9 comments

Beetroot crisps recipe: a way to cope with and enjoy a beetroot glut

  Vegetable crisps are surprisingly delicious. I was first introduced to them at a party in the 90’s, when a bowl of these were passed round and scoffed. They must have been Tyrrell’s  as this was the first company to manufacture them in the UK. Last year I dehydrated  beetroot slices for the winter and discovered that I had made tasty, healthy crisps. They didn’t last very long once we’d tasted them – we guzzled the winter stores within a week.  This year I’m going to increase our vegetable crisp repertoire and try...

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A new coleslaw dressing recipe

Posted in Sauces Gravy Dressings, Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 5 comments

A new coleslaw dressing recipe

I’m a big mustard fan. I always make fresh English mustard (Colman’s) from powder when we are having steak. I also have a passion for French’s mustard – with sausages ideally. I like the little sombrero hat that acts as a lid and the funny windy, squishy sound when you squeeze the pack. In fact one day when we were preparing lunch one day – soup and sandwiches – I thought Danny’s table matters had really gone downhill. When I heard that sound I thought that he was sampling the soup rather than adding some zing to the...

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Baby turnip, Romano pepper and continental onion salad recipe. With a homemade walnut vinegar dressing.

Posted in Preserving, Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 1 comment

Baby turnip, Romano pepper and continental onion salad recipe. With a homemade walnut vinegar dressing.

  Danny and I spent all day yesterday developing a tasty slow cooked spare rib recipe. I reckon that we eventually pulled it off as the dish was guzzled very fast and everything was almost licked clean. You can find our spare rib recipe here. I wanted to serve the ribs with rice and a crisp salad. Finely sliced Oasis baby turnips were top of my list to try. I teamed two turnips with a couple of continental spring onions and a slim Romano pepper. The turnips were sweet and spicy – rather like a more succulent radish. The dressing was a...

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Turnip Oasis: a review

Posted in Reviews, Vegetables, Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 18 comments

Turnip Oasis: a review

Last year Danny was surprised how much he enjoyed raw home grown cauliflower and raw courgette (zucchini) in salads. This year I thought I’d tickled his taste buds further by introducing him to raw home grown turnip. I’m not a big fan of turnips – they are fine in a winter stew but I’d been seduced by the description of turnip Oasis on the Thompson and Morgan site. Turnip Oasis is a new variety of turnip and when eaten raw has the taste of a melon. Danny was dubious about it. “Why would I want my turnips to taste of melon? I want...

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