The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Gooseberry vodka recipe

Posted in Liqueurs | 5 comments

Gooseberry vodka recipe

Have you ever tasted homemade gooseberry vodka? It’s superb and immensely gluggable. Served in shot glasses that have been sitting expectantly for an hour or so in the freezer, it is the queen of the taste of summer. Sweet yet sharp. Like raspberry vodka it incapsulates sunshine and the freshest waft of a perfect bright morning in a small glass. The kick from this drink is not quite so innocent. I have had a hardened Soho (London) producer helped to back seat of his car to be driven home, unable to face breakfast the next morning. My fault...

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Easy and delicious spicy pickled onions recipe

Posted in Christmas, Jam Jelly and Preserves, Preserving, Vegetarian | 23 comments

Easy and delicious spicy pickled onions recipe

  Unless you already make pickled onions, let me share a secret. Pickled onions are ridiculously easy to make! They are great Christmas or anytime presents, especially if you use a decent quality vinegar. Poor old Danny’s acid tum can’t take malt vinegar so I always make a couple of jars for him every year using white wine vinegar or cider vinegar. I didn’t realise that I hadn’t posted my recipe until someone emailed me asking for one. This chutney is based on Oded Schwartz’s method from his superb book Preserving. I’ve added...

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How to make homemade pomanders

Posted in Christmas, crafts | 8 comments

How to make homemade pomanders

  There are many beautiful moths that come into the cottage on summer evenings. They are welcomed and their beauty dazzles me and I hope that they will not drown in the washing up bowl. Then there are the clothes moths, the enemy that likes to guzzle our carpets and clothes. Any that I spot lolloping on the ceiling are killed by gently wiping my finger over them – yes our ceilings are that low. Despite the clothes moth murders hundreds of these greedy creatures manage to creep into our drawers and wardrobes each year with devastating...

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Homemade Christmas marmalade with whisky

Posted in Christmas, Jam Jelly and Preserves | 8 comments

Homemade Christmas marmalade with whisky

  Last year I happened to meet someone who supplies citrus fruits to one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK. “How come their fruit and vegetables don’t last as long as those from Waitrose and M&S?” “Ah,” he said, “it’s all a matter of storage temperature. They keep the produce in vast stores with the temperature set very, very low. This means that they can store perishables for a considerable time. Once they come to room temperature they will fade far more quickly.” Fascinating stuff. The temperature in our barn...

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