The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Farmer’s marrow rum recipe update

Posted in Fun, Liqueurs | 22 comments

Farmer’s marrow rum recipe update

Marrows were half price in the supermarket last weekend. I hovered by the stand, wickedly tempted. It wasn’t the prospect of stuffed marrow that had this magic effect. We have completed stage one of our marrow rum experiment. It has finally been transferred to a demi john and is now skulking in the airing cupboard. It smells delicious, just like rum. Suddenly I joined those triumphant Neanderthals who discovered they had inadvertently made something delicious. When I appeared in The Rat Room with a very long plastic bucket and a marrow...

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Burglars in the village

Posted in Cottage tales | 8 comments

Burglars in the village

There are quite a few burglaries in the village. Mainly the bigger houses. There is a spate and then nothing for months. Jewellery thieves hit our village a couple of months ago. They broke into our neighbour’s house (4 bedrooms) and stole a few precious pieces that were inherited from K’s mother. She had died just a few months before. As K’s husband said, the market value was small but the sentimental value was huge. Danny was so incensed that the next time that our neighbours went away, he went in and switched on lights in...

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Farmer’s marrow rum recipe

Posted in Liqueurs | 73 comments

Farmer’s marrow rum recipe

I have discovered that stored in a cool location, marrows keep for weeks. Our marrowhas waited to be turned into something delicious since mid September. It had gradually changed in colour from dark green to a paler green with small dashes of orange. It was time to give it the Cinderella treatment. When Lindsey emailed me with a recipe for marrow rum that she had found in a 1954 cookbook. I could see a great future for our companion vegetable. Lindsey had tried to leave the recipe as a comment on the site and I discovered a few days later that...

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Gem squash

Posted in Vegetables | 82 comments

Gem squash

“We’re going to have a gem squash for supper tonight.” I produced the dinky vegetable for Danny to see. “How do you cook it?” “Prick the skin in a few places and simmer for 20 minutes. Cut it in half and serve with lashings of butter and ground black pepper.” “So it’s tasteless then?” I knew that I would have a bit of a fight on my hands to get him to taste the squash. So I thought up a delicious supper menu that would allow the squash to be slipped surreptitiously under the blanket,...

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Companion vegetable

Posted in Fun | 7 comments

Companion vegetable

Danny and I both enjoy the weekly visit to our butcher. D considers them to be great “craic”. He shopped happily at Fred Fitzpatrick’s each week when I was down in Saffron Walden for months. When I was able to drop by again on Friday, Fred was able to do a passable Cork accent. I was impressed. Admittedly I had been away for some time. I spotted a large marrow lounging amongst the vegetables when I breezed in last Friday. It had a label stuck on its side which I examined as John sliced the sirloin steaks. It read “Free...

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