Sweetcorn for sweet teeth

Most edible things that are to be cooked taste better when they’re somewhat caramelised. Meat, onions, garlic, they’re all improved once the sugars inside have been slightly toasted, and sweetcorn is no exception. Ah, sweetcorn, where have you been all my life? Silly question really because the answer is obviously “in the freezer” but that […]

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Showing at the village show

I might have been forgiven for thinking, before we moved out of London, that the real village show (not to be confused with the village fete of course) was a thing of the past. Trestle tables laden with prize vegetables set out in the village hall, handwritten certificates for the best flowers, sideways glances exchanged […]

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Gardener’s guide to gluts: Blackberries

I have fond recollections of foraging for blackberries with my maternal grandparents. They lived close to the coast and I remember wandering about in wellies, my fingers purple with the juice of the blackberries my sister and I ate as fast as the others could collect. We’d happily brave the thorns for the delicious berries […]

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Companion planting: carrots and spring onions

As our whole garden has all but been removed, I’ve started the really rather enjoyable job of planning next year’s growing, albeit a bit earlier than I usually would. And one thing that I’ll definitely be doing again is companion planting spring onions in amongst my carrots. The RHS recently released trial information on carrot […]

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Saving tonnes of tomatoes

Back when the raised beds were first finished in our kitchen garden, I was at once utterly thrilled that they were ready and also a bit panicked that it was too late to really sow any summer vegetables. So it was in a rather lazy frame of mind that I decided on the spur of […]

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The failure of the peppers

¬†There¬†are certain foods that I have on hand at all times because I like to add them into whatever I’m cooking whenever I can. Garlic is one; I add at least a whole head whenever I’m cooking 99% of my repertoire. Chilli peppers (capsicum annuum) are another. I never used to enjoy spicy food but […]

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Gardener’s guide to gluts: 10 things to do with courgettes (zucchini)

This summer I have become a woman possessed. What started out as casually bringing a few courgettes along on playdates as a novel hostess gift culminated last week in me landing a rather shocked friend with a massive amazon box full of marrows and courgettes. It was so heavy I couldn’t even carry it, I […]

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Late summer foraging: elderberries for cordial and sauce

I’ve been keeping a secret from you. One lovely summery day in early June, my sister and her boyfriend came to stay and we decided to make elderflower champagne. We’ve got multiple elder trees and it seemed like quite a lovely thing to do with our DFL (“down from London”) family now that we were […]

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Sneaky sheep

Our new sheep have been settling in well and it feels a bit like they’ve always been here. It’s rather nice, watching them potter about maa-ing at each and hoovering up the grass. However we have a problem. We built our new chicken enclosure in a nice sheltered bit of one of our lower paddocks […]

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Moody broody hen

Part of our long-term plan has always been the production of our own meat. For welfare as well as health reasons we’ve gradually become more or less vegetarian during the week. Don’t get me wrong, we’re avid carnivores, but we like to know where our meat comes from, and that it was ranging freely whilst […]

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