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stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

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The Best Ever Veggie Burger

Posted by on Aug 30, 2019 in Recipes, Vegetarian | 7 comments

The Best Ever Veggie Burger

Image: Best Ever Veggie Burger I have yet to meet a true carnivore that doesn’t love these burgers. Initially their faces fall politely but within a munch they are grinning with relief. And that’s the point -meat eaters often think that veggie stuff will be bland and just too ‘vegetable -y’.  They also worry that veggie food will not give them enough protein to sustain them. Actually these burgers pack a protein punch. They also combine a significant amount of the veg for the day. Apart from this, they are absolutely...

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Day for Night

Posted by on Jan 19, 2020 in Cottage tales | 3 comments

Day for Night

This is the few minutes of dusk before visibility fades, In the UK we call it dusk. I’ve always thought that the French term ‘Day for Night’ perfectly describes this wonderful transition. The word dusk just doesn’t encapsulate the magical quality of this fleeting experience of light and shadow. In January it probably only lasts for twenty minutes at the end of the day. I often find myself stepping into this beautiful and delicate time of day as I take my dogs out for their last decent walk. After a bright clear day...

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Boots

Posted by on Oct 3, 2019 in Cottage tales | 4 comments

Boots

Image: My work boots! When I was dismantling the kitchen in a rush before the builders arrived, I dropped a cupboard on my big toe. It hurt like hell and I realised that if I was going to fit my own kitchen and tackle all the carpentry in the cottage, I needed some decent work boots. I eventually found some in my tiny size in southern Ireland at a bargain price. They are brilliant, heavy soled stomping boots that have saved my delicate toes over the last few months. While I was thinking about my work boots I remembered another much more...

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Repairs at the Cottage Smallholder HQ – Part Two

Posted by on Sep 17, 2019 in Cottage tales | 3 comments

Repairs at the Cottage Smallholder HQ – Part Two

Image: Pushkin in the kitchen “Well have you got the first cabinets in place?” It was Pete the plumber on the phone.“They’re in the kitchen but so heavy. They don’t fit the wall which is wonky.”“Expected!” When I was ripping out the kitchen Pete had dropped by“I want to help you fit the kitchen. I fitted my own one.”I was delighted but realised that if I accepted Pete’s offer I would be under The Rule of Pete It had taken me a couple of days to strip out the old kitchen and fix the plumbing so it was still...

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Red Pepper and Chilli Jam Recipe

Posted by on Sep 7, 2019 in Jam Jelly and Preserves, Sauces Gravy Dressings, Vegetarian | 9 comments

Red Pepper and Chilli Jam Recipe

Image – Red Pepper Garlic and Chilli Jam When I visit Seraphina on the Isle of Wight I always fit in a trip to The Garlic Farm. They have a good restaurant and a wonderful little shop packed full of foodie delights, and of course garlic in all its forms. This is where I had my first taste of their Red Pepper, Garlic and Chilli Jam. I put two jars straight in my basket. My Red Pepper, Garlic and Chilli Jam is inspired by their delicious savoury jam. It is such a versatile preserve – spread on oatcakes with a little cheese on...

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Repairs at the Cottage Smallholder HQ – Part One

Posted by on Aug 25, 2019 in Cottage tales | 7 comments

Repairs at the Cottage Smallholder HQ – Part One

Image of the kitchen “The cottage is not fit for human habitation. It’s freezing cold and very damp. There is only cold running water, and that’s just from the tap in the kitchen. You just can’t come home!” This was my plumber, Pete “So what’s new. It’s been cold and damp for years. I’m coming back.”After a very long pause he replied“Well bring a torch. You won’t have electricity in every room.” Pete is a glass half empty kind of guy. He’s in his seventies. Everything is a problem, he is an expert...

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Peppers stuffed with a versatile Veal, Mushroom and Tarragon Sauce

Posted by on Aug 21, 2019 in Cottage tales | 2 comments

Peppers stuffed with a versatile Veal, Mushroom and Tarragon Sauce

Simple lunch in the sunny garden I make a lot of Italian style sauces. To accompany pasta, stuff vegetables and even to top with mashed spuds for a comforting supper.  I also make a more traditional filling for shepherd’s and cottage pies. All these sauces and fillings are made in large batches frozen in flat one portion sizes that can be defrosted in minutes in a saucepan. Until yesterday all the Italian style sauces that I made were tomato based. Everything changed when I scored 500g of high welfare veal mince for a song on...

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13th Cottage Smallholder Blog Anniversary

Posted by on Aug 12, 2019 in Cottage tales | 13 comments

13th Cottage Smallholder Blog Anniversary

The Little Red Hen + Mrs Grey Lacey I can’t believe that it has been 13 years since I made the first post on this blog. So much has happened in the world since then! I can remember that day so clearly. It was one of those chilly, rainy August days. The backdoor was firmly closed and Danny made a spicy smoked fish chowder. Of course the star of the post was not the soup but The Contessa – the little Min Pin Prima Donna who is still sadly missed. Quite often at the Vets we would be called to the consulting room with the one...

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