The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


The slow cooker chef: Easy passata recipe

Posted in Kitchen equipment, Sauces Gravy Dressings, Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 19 comments

The slow cooker chef: Easy passata recipe

  “Now you are going to see a piece of kitchen equipment that hasn’t been used for twelve years.” Danny was goggle eyed as I moved the Wellington boots to access the kitchen cupboard. I’d remembered that years ago Seraphina had given me a food mill for pureeing apples. It was right at the back – a bit dusty but complete with a range of three grinding disks. After a few minutes I worked out how to assemble the beast and clipped it onto a saucepan. I glanced at the handle – this was an Italian model reassuringly named...

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Our best bolognaise sauce recipe

Posted in Rice and Pasta, Sauces Gravy Dressings | 14 comments

Our best bolognaise sauce recipe

I love pasta. Danny was so so for years. When we visit Italy I am keen to sample as many of their sauces and starters as possible – looking for secrets and hints for the ultimate pasta sauce recipe. Danny sticks to steaks and puds. “They’re the same price and I love steak.” Danny is Chief Taster back home so he leaves the R and D to me when we are on holiday. We haven’t eaten spaghetti bolognaise for ages.  So yesterday I thought I’d try and make a sauce with less meat. Cheaper? Yes. But I was aiming to create something that was...

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Best vegetarian recipes: Double tomato tartines recipe

Posted in Savoury Tarts and Quiches, Vegetarian | 12 comments

Best vegetarian recipes: Double tomato tartines recipe

Bored up a ladder is quite a good state to be in if I’m working across the road from the cottage. It’s salved by a proper lunch hour. I can guzzle a sandwich and concentrate on a bit of midday weeding. Yesterday I decided to cook us lunch, from scratch. I had found an intriguing recipe and also have four dolls sized virgin bread tins that I have been aching to use for some time. Facing a glut of tomatoes in the fridge I’d grazed several cookery books and the recipe that caught my eye was deep within in The Silver Spoon. This...

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Best vegetarian recipes: Delia’s Vegetarian Shepherd’s pie with a tweak

Posted in Savoury Pies, Vegetarian | 8 comments

Best vegetarian recipes: Delia’s Vegetarian Shepherd’s pie with a tweak

We are chomping our way through veggie dishes on alternate nights. Actually, it’s been a joy so far. Great flavours and combinations. A revelation. Danny wakes me in the mornings. As he’s putting down my large mug of sweetened tea, he gently enquires who is cooking tonight. “It’s me and it’s vegetarian tonight.” “Great!” This response has as much to do with not having to cook as relishing the dishes that appear on the table. Delia’s vegetarian shepherd’s pie is truly wonderful. So...

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Rozanne Hall’s green tomato mince filling and crumb topping recipes

Posted in Vegetarian | 20 comments

Rozanne Hall’s green tomato mince filling and crumb topping recipes

For the past few weeks I have been having interesting email conversations with Rozanne Hall from America. Rozanne was a war baby born in the UK. Her father was a Canadian Army engineer serving in England and the continent who met her mother in Surrey, who was from Cork, Ireland. Rozanne grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has lived in Oregon, near the California border, for over 25 years. Rozanne and her husband had a large garden in their Oregon home for years and now have a new (hobby) hay ranch where they have cattle, horses and chickens....

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Tomatoes for breakfast

Posted in Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 5 comments

Tomatoes for breakfast

I harvest our tomatoes in the evening, when I water them. They are collected in the fold of my jumper and transferred to a bowl on the kitchen worktop to be admired and eaten. The harvest is just three or four a day at the moment and most mornings the bowl is bare. “Where are the tomatoes?” “I ate them for breakfast. You told me I could eat some.” Danny quite often gets up at four to start work. But tomatoes for breakfast Yuk! If I want to eat our tomatoes I have to hide them in a dark spot in the fridge or my secret...

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One of the best sandwiches that I have ever tasted

Posted in Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 2 comments

One of the best sandwiches that I have ever tasted

One hot summer’s day I was working at my friend Carol’s house. She had invited some old friends for tea and spent an hour making a plate of exquisite sandwiches for them. There were all my old favourites; egg mayonnaise, ham, cucumber and one I had never sampled before (Danny says that this is unbelievable but it’s true). “These are tomato sandwiches,” Carol smiled, pushing the plate towards me. “Would you like to try one?” I was a bit dubious but I didn’t like to refuse. She watched me carefully...

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