Welcome to City Cottage

City Cottage aims to be the selfsufficiency home and is about growing and making excellent food at home, with whatever land you have and wherever you are based. We believe you can get the very best unadulterated food for the price of the cheapest packaged and preserved foods on supermarket shelves.

Chicken, mushroom and bacon pasta recipe

Welcome to City Cottage City Cottage aims to be the selfsufficiency home and is about growing and making excellent food at
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Chicken, mushroom and bacon pasta recipe

Pickled onions

If you like pickled onions, you really need to start with shallots, which are smaller, can be stronger, are much sweeter. The process is a simple one, we don't need any fancy cures, no additional flavours, just vinegar, salt and a little sugar.
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Pickled onions

Grow food – you need places to grow

If you want to grow your own food, obviously you need places to grow stuff
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Grow food –  you need places to grow

What to do with hens in hot weather – summer hens

Hens in hot weather can be a strange bunch. For a start they eat less and drink more – a bit like us really. And of course you would expect that. As you can imagine, a ball of muscle and guts surrounded by feathers would get very hot indeed. They have no other way of controlling their temperature than panting, which is actually using their lungs as a cooling mechanism.
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What to do with hens in hot weather – summer hens

What to do with pots of crops in the garden in the hot weather

Hot weather in the garden can be quite distracting for the gardener used to a constant deluge of rain. If, like me, you have a lot of plants in pots and containers, you will find then drying out rather quickly and the plants suffering as a consequence. This is especially true for leafy crops which evaporate lots of water from their leaves.
Read More
What to do with pots of crops in the garden in the hot weather

Growing shallots in pots

Growing shallots in pots is easy and very successful. Really, it took me by surprise. One day they were growing nicely, the next they were all fallen over and ready for the big pull. Sure the rain didn't help much, but they were all nice and big and are now drying off.
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Growing shallots in pots

Healthy soil

People who dig their plots say that it is because the process aerates, provides drainage, allows weeds to be removed easily and produces a crumbly texture for seeds to grow in . More than this, it is said that digging the soil in late autumn allows the frosts to get in deep to the soil, killing harmful pests and infection agents.
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Healthy soil

Halloumi

A cheese from Cyprus that is really easy to make. This is one of the basic cheeses of the Lavant, and is most popular in Cyprus, where both Turkish and Greek communities make the cheese in the same way. It is a cooked cheese that does not melt, and therefore is excellent in cooking - particular burgers, but is also wonderful eaten cold.
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Halloumi

Fruit Bun Loaf

Fruit Bun Loaf is a delicious and easy loaf to make, all you need is a little butter and build yourself up!
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Fruit Bun Loaf

Diana’s Cheese and onion pie

This Cheese and onion pie is gorgeous! I could eat t all day long, and it's just as good cold.
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Diana’s Cheese and onion pie

Queso Blanco

Queso Blanco is a South American cheese similar to the Indian cheese Paneer. It is an excellent cooking cheese.
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Queso Blanco

Cotija – Mexican cheese

Cheese making is not a hard job. If you have got the right ingredients and recipe, you can prepare cheese at home quite easily. Here is how to prepare Cotija cheese at home, a really simple Mexican cheese..
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Cotija – Mexican cheese

Creamy Lancashire

Creamy Lancashire is the basic white cheese found all over the world, but particularly in the UK. Cheshire, Caerphilly and Wensleydale are all much the same basic cheese, and gorgeous they are too.
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Creamy Lancashire

Cottage cheese

This is just like our basic cheese and is easy to make. There is some confusion with this being called Farmer’s Cheese in many places, and Smallholder’s cheese.
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Cottage cheese

How to make Feta

It is easy to make feta if you stick to the rules. I can just imagine Greek people reading this and getting all cross with me, and well they might. You see they would not call this Feta, it is white cheese - that’s what the Greeks call it if it is not actually made in Greece. Only Feta made in Greece can be called Feta.
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How to make Feta

Questions on keeping hens

Here are some of the questions we have had over the years about keeping hens in a garden. Personally I simply do not understand how people have become so detached from the animal world, causing them to think chicken keeping is somehow strange and difficult. But here are the commonest objections you get, and how we have dealt with them in the past.
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Questions on keeping hens

Handling hens

Regular handling of your hens is an important part of their regime of care. This way you can clip wings, administer all kinds of treatments, such as flea and mite powder and generally clean them up.
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Handling hens

Becoming a beekeeper

Becoming a beekeeper is a brave step for anyone because as soon as you start to think about it millions of questions flood the mind straight away.
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Becoming a beekeeper

Peach cordial

Peach cordial is easily made and has a great flavour, diluted with water. This came about because we were busy making wine and Rebecca said, will you make me some cordials - she doesn't drink.
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Peach cordial

Turbo bacon

Turbo bacon - it looks like bacon, smells like bacon, tastes like bacon. It only takes 24 hours to make, and you can control exactly how much salt is in the meat.
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Turbo bacon

Mozzarella

Mozzarella is not a difficult cheese to make, really. You might have a number of trial runs, when you get your technique just right, but to be honest, even your first attempt will be really good.
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Mozzarella

Simple cheese making

Simple cheese making is easy! You don't need a load of equipment and so long as you stick to the basic rule of cleanliness, you cannot go far wrong.
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Simple cheese making

Rhubarb Wine

Rhubarb Wine is one of the early summer wines that we overlook because we are too busy eating rhubarb crumble! You can add a number of extra flavours to this wine, white rape juice, apple juice or just water.
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Rhubarb Wine

City Cottage Show 13

We actually have an answer to a listener's question this week, as well as making wine at home, fruit cheese (completely different from cheese) and we are the first to look forward to Christmas (well it is July!), making mincemeat.
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City Cottage Show 13

Chopping a privet hedge

After a long time ignoring my privet hedges, near the hen run, we're giving them the chop. The reason for my tardiness was solely health, but can’t watch it grow to the heavens any longer.
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Chopping a privet hedge

Cheese moulds

We use cheese moulds to reduce the amount of whey there is in the cheese, and at the same time give the cheese a shape. Sometimes pressure is needed to make the cheese as dry as possible before the next stage, though you rarely actually make a hard cheese by pressing it. That is the job of the cooking process (when I say cooking I don't mean in the conventional sense, but warming the curds a little) and the starter used.
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Cheese moulds

Today in the garden First week in July

As the summer matures we have plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of our labours. But don’t sit back too long – there’s still plenty to do in the food garden!
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Today in the garden First week in July

Bee Blog July

Welcome to City Cottage City Cottage aims to be the selfsufficiency home and is about growing and making excellent food at
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Bee Blog July

Homemade cleaner and tips for greener houses

This is one of those spray bottle jobbies, A 500 ml size is perfect. To this add 400 ml water, a quarter of a teaspoon of salt, a dessert spoon of bicarb and mix well. Finally add 50 ml white vinegar. It will react with the bicarb, which is what we want to happen and it should eventually become clear.Use this as a spray on most surfaces and wipe after use.
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Homemade cleaner and tips for greener houses

Sweet Onion Chutney

Sometimes all you need is some simple onions and a little sugar, cooked in a pan. But what a difference a few spices make too! This chutney is completely gorgeous, thick and full of chutney flavour.
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Sweet Onion Chutney

Quick Marmalade

Making a simple marmalade does not really need special oranges, you can use any you hae already, or buy some on special offer! You can make small batches of this marmalade, too. Just the ticket for breakfast and other uses around the kitchen.
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Quick Marmalade

Colwick Cheese

Colwick cheese was invented in the 18th century, and is an example of a curd cheese. As it forms in the cheesecloth the cheese forms a dish and this is often filled with honey or other ingredients to make a delicious cheese.
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Colwick Cheese

Cous cous, bulgar and chick pea salad

This is another lunchtime salad, easily paired with tangri chicken. It is a substantial salad and will make a good healthy lunch for at least 4 people.
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Cous cous, bulgar and chick pea salad

Tangri Chicken

Tangri is an Indian word translated as chicken drumstick, though it doesn't really translate exactly. One of those dishes which have traveled from the Levant through to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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Tangri Chicken

Dandelion

The dandelion is perhaps one of the most important plants we have, but we forget all about it! It's scientific name, Taraxacum offinale means 'The official healer of diseases'.
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Dandelion

Easy yoghurt

Why bother to buy yoghurt all the time when you can make it for at least a tenth of the price, if not even cheaper? Yoghurt is a really useful addition to the kitchen, and the breakfast table and the curry and , well, everything!
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Easy yoghurt

Cheese and bacon – real glorious peasant food

My mother made this, and my grandmother, and presumably their mothers too. Cheese and bacon is simply the best urban and presumably country peasant food you can get. It is completely wonderful and should be tried to understand it. The total flavour is much more than the sum of its parts!
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Cheese and bacon – real glorious peasant food

Easy Rich Chocolate Tart

Chocolate hit galore here! What a wonderful little tart - you will not be able to resist! Raspberries or cherries can be added to the pastry shells before spooning over the filling if you wish. Serve with a little extra cream or ice cream.
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Easy Rich Chocolate Tart

Container Cottage Garden

No space for a garden? Why not try a Container Cottage Garden, you can grow a lot of crops in containers and it looks pretty good too!
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Container Cottage Garden

Preserved lemons

You really need to make preserved lemons, they are amazing, and completely useful when making various salads and tagines, as well as drinks! It seems t be a lot of salt, but it isn't really, because you only use the chopped lemon as a condiment. This is a fermented food ingredient, used in Moroccan cooking, salads, you name it really!
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Preserved lemons


Over the Fence Over the Fence
Over the Fence is simple. If you have a question about growing, cooking, preserving, garden livestock or any related subject, you can use #OverTheFence on Twitter and Facebook, or leave a message for us below.

Your question

Our Books

We have a number of books being reworked and some new ones out too. A bacon and curing book is out in September and a Fish cookery book is in production. Diana is shortly to be working on a new baking book and if you like your lunchtime salad, we are looking at some really exciting recipes for a salad book.

Cheese and sausages



We look at Polish Hunter’s Sausage from Polish Sausages, Authentic Recipes And Instructions – great book

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Becoming a beekeeper

Becoming a beekeeper is a brave step for anyone because as soon as you start to think about it millions of questions flood the mind straight away.

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brood comb

Bee Blog July

Bee Blog July The bee’s brain, no bigger than a crumb and divided into many separate ganglia or tiny brains, is doing an awful lot of hard work. In a manic search for nectar bees…

0 comments
IMGP1105

Grow food – you need places to grow

If you want to grow your own food, obviously you need places to grow stuff

0 comments
bc12

What to do with pots of crops in the garden in the hot weather

Hot weather in the garden can be quite distracting for the gardener used to a constant deluge of rain. If, like me, you have a lot of plants in pots and containers, you will find then drying out rather quickly and the plants suffering as a consequence. This is especially true for leafy crops which evaporate lots of water from their leaves.

0 comments
13729012_10154403964198707_2334503802191726242_n

Growing shallots in pots

Growing shallots in pots is easy and very successful. Really, it took me by surprise. One day they were growing nicely, the next they were all fallen over and ready for the big pull. Sure the rain didn’t help much, but they were all nice and big and are now drying off.

0 comments
American_homes_and_gardens_(1912)_(18157411005)

Chopping a privet hedge

After a long time ignoring my privet hedges, near the hen run, we’re giving them the chop. The reason for my tardiness was solely health, but can’t watch it grow to the heavens any longer.

0 comments
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today in the garden First week in July

As the summer matures we have plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of our labours. But don’t sit back too long – there’s still plenty to do in the food garden!

0 comments
factory-chicks-702x395

Increased antibiotic use in UK poultry farms

From the bureau of investigative journalism   Antibiotics banned in US chicken farms a decade ago over links to the spread of potentially deadly bacteria in humans have been used in significantly increased quantities by…

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Vegetable and fruit

Basic botany for gardeners – runners

The runner is an overground horizontal stem.
It bears leaves at points called nodes between which the stem is called the internode. Every couple of leaves will produce a plant that is genetically identical to the parent, and you can force it to root to create new stock.

We are crating a series of pages on basic botany for gardeners – please keep an eye out!

 

 

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