The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Developing our own recipes


Photo: Golden boots

Photo: Golden boots

I enjoy playing with recipes and developing our own. Today I was poised to introduce our apple mint jelly to the world. I made it, changed it, tweaked it and eventually when it didn’t taste quite right took a small teaspoon up to Danny who was in the Rat Room, bemoaning Sunderland’s loss. I’m a football widow and am expected to mourn too. That done he was keen to taste the jelly.

“It tastes like tea. Perhaps the flavours will develop?”

I slunk down to the kitchen and eyed the jars. The set was perfect. The mint was held in translucent loveliness. Apple mint jelly is perfect for using up windfall apples and fresh mint before the frost creeps up and turns it black overnight.

We only post recipes on our site that we think really work. So today I will be getting even closer to mint and apples and a few other ingredients that hopefully will lift this jelly from tasting like “tea” to something a bit more sublime.

Meanwhile here is a photo of those golden boots, which I mentioned yesterday in this post. Sadly not platforms but quilted and made in Italy!

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Paula

    What a great idea! You are better read than me – I haven’t started the Greek myths although Robert Graves books have been on my shelves for years.

    Hi SOL

    I was surprised by the collection of shoes that I unearthed in the wardrobe. Photos of my shoes would embarrass me – child of the must have generation until I moved to the country when all that suddenly seemed a bit ridiculous. There are not that many pairs but several are unworn!

    Hi Joy

    That’s a really great idea. Thank you.

    Finally this year I have grown mint!!! In big pots in the border – perhaps this could be the answer for you?

    Hi Ruth

    I nearly stepped out in the golden boots on Saturday night and then lost my nerve 🙂

    Hi Iris

    Looked your group up on YouTube – I do remember them! Great that you are enjoying the blog.

    Hello Cluedocat (love the name)

    Bought in the early nineties these have to be worn – but when?

    Hello LouiseH

    Yes they are definitely yellow brick road boots!

    Hi Michelle

    These are my smart out and about boots. They will not experience the garden as I wear crocs in the garden or now it’s getting wintery, gum boots.

    Mud is a nightmare here.

    The golden boots will be worn this winter, I promise. They are fun and from a pre recession era.

    Lots of love to you and Zebbycat. I’m envious of your Spring!

    Hello Maria

    Great to hear that you are visiting from Bulgaria.

    We have two apple trees here and they are much appreciated.

    Good idea about using the condensed mint (in my youth I preferred this mouth cleansing stuff to the real homemade version but in latter years have diluted it a bit!).

    BTW I’m delighted with my new mint jelly recipe which could be twitched up with a little of the condensed type that lingers in the bottom of our fridge.

  2. Well done! gold foot! about the apple mint jelly, I have just enjoyed a little roast lamb, leeks,carrots,boiled potaoes, gravy and home made aplle/mint jelly. Yes apples from our tree here in bulgaria, but i cheated slightly and added 1 heaped teaspoon of condensed mint i cant remeber make, the result delicious O dont forget add a little green colouring! now that cant be cheating surely!

  3. Michelle in NZ

    Please do wear your hand made boots out in the garden and out everywhere – they look to be made from a soft yet hard-wearing leather and to have them made to fit each foot seems to be a happt state for your feet.

    Plus please do wear the golden boots – padded sides and I hope they have comfy inner soles – fun to wear and you’ll have warm tootsies when you need to go out over winter.

    XXX your friend Michelle, down-under in Wellington

  4. Louise H

    Well Dorothy, these certainly match the colour of the road……..what wonderful boots.

  5. Cluedocat

    Definately loving those boots!!!!

    Hope you sort out your little problem with the jelly.


  6. Iris Germany

    About those golden shoes – do you remember the Eurovision Song Contest from 1984? There was a group called The Herreys which sang the song “Diggi-Loo Diggy-Ley” while wearing golden shoes. You can see the English version of this song on YouTube. The lyrics go “…. life is going my way when I’m walking in my golden shoes ….”
    Hope that life is going your way when you wear them! (It’s a pretty snazzy tune, by the way). Love you blog!

  7. Ruthdigs

    Loving the boots. Deffo with the wings – exactly what I thought but Paula beat me to it!
    Good luck with the sauce tweaking. 🙂

  8. I use commercial mint for my apple mint jelly – somehow it needs the tang of vinegar to make it taste authentic and it’s easiest to use ready made as I am useless with mint and kill it off quickly every year!
    I drain the mint sauce through a fine sieve and rinse it just a little.

    J x

  9. loving the boots! When I come back to bloggig full time I will have to take a picture of all my shoes!

  10. Hey- all you need are little gold wings at the ankles and you can go as Hermes to your next costume affair. Those sure are gold boots!!

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