Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Friday, 23 June 2017


Someone (reputedly George II in the 1730's) once said that an English summer was 3 sunny days and a thunderstorm. Our storm was at 11am yesterday morning. One flash of lightening, a few rumbles of thunder and a 3 minute shower, our 8 water butts are almost empty so we could have done with a bit more. Colin worked out that it only costs pence to fill a water butt with mains water so that's what we will have to do otherwise I'll lose all my greenhouse crops which would be a loss of pounds rather than pence.

 We've now been eating our own new potatoes for a couple of  weeks. Like everything else in the garden they've suffered from dry weather and ants and also being grown on land that was previously grass - at least it had been for a few years.
But with a bit of scraping and removing nasty bits they are quite edible. We certainly won't be self-sufficient in potatoes like we were in smallholding days as we only had room for 10 of each first and second earlies. These are Foremost, the first earlies. Taste-wise they certainly beat some new potatoes I bought a while back which had no flavour at all.
We've also had our first courgettes and two small bowls of raspberries from the canes that were here before us, plus I have cucumber overload! I sowed four seeds as sometimes they can be difficult to get going, all four grew then I couldn't bring myself to throw out the two plants I didn't need!

Thank you for all the comments on the last two posts. The years flew by so quickly it's good to look back sometimes to remember all we did.

Back in a flash


  1. We're a way off harvesting the potatoes but the yellow courgettes are nearly there. The home-growns taste so much better, don't they?
    J x

  2. Aah potatoes...eaten cold with salad cream....yummmm!! x

  3. Oh! Cucumber overload says one thing to me ~ pickles! It's been years since I made those.

  4. I'm growing my potatoes in containers as usual but I've cut right down this year, just four containers. I couldn't do without completely, there's no better taste than that first harvest, cooked with a little mint and smothered in butter. Yum.

  5. We didn't put any potatoes in this year, no special reason, just didn't!
    However, we've already had five meals with delicious first earlies from the veg patch, proof if it were needed that I didn't dig everything up last year!
    I love unexpected bonus food!

  6. Once we have the garden fully sorted we are going to make an area to grow some potatoes in bags urged on by memories of new potatoes from my Grandad's garden served with freshly cooked peas and my Grandma's homemade mint sauce. There may well have been some lamb involved but it's the potatoes I remember most-x-

  7. You can't beat the taste of fresh, home grown potatoes xx

  8. Yum! Love home grown veggies of any kind! I did grow potatoes a couple of years ago - not too many of them but they were tasty.

    Enjoy the weekend!

  9. If I was only allowed to grow one veg it would be potatoes nothing beats spuds straight out of the ground :-)

  10. Those potatoes look delicious - I remember being to eat our own produce at our old house there is nothing better. I loved your story about your small holding and your life up to today - you must miss your old place but your new one sounds just as delightful even if a bit smaller.

  11. Those potatoes look good, Sue. I am growing potatoes here in bags for the first time because whenever I've tried to grow them in the ground, I haven't been overly successful. I noticed the other day that they have started to come up, their first stems and leaves appearing above the soil in the bags. Must get down there and add another layer of compost to them. Meg:)

  12. Isn't it wonderful when you can reap the benefits of your garden! Much better than anything you can get at the store.

    I'm slow replying, but I so enjoyed your past two posts regarding your journey through the years! One day our children are babies and the next we have grandchildren! It all goes by so quickly!

    I've been following for a year or so and I knew Col was sick but did not realize until this recent post that he has Mantle Cell Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. My brother had that and it was my understanding that is not a very common cancer. I can certainly understand what you are both dealing with as it can be a very frustrating illness to handle. You certainly have my prayers and healing thoughts.


  13. Sixteen years ago, our first year on our smallholding, we planted potatoes in what had been a hayfield. We were very annoyed and disappointed when our potatoes had pasture grass growing THROUGH THEM. Yes, the grass was inside the potatoes. They were pretty much inedible. We had no previous experience with that type of grass but we did know that our new yard was previously a pasture. After that summer we made some raised beds and put landscape fabric down before filling them with soil. The grass has, over the years, found its way up the edges of the wooden boxes that are the raised beds but there is nothing else to do but battle with it and pull it out as best we can. Such a tough plant, grass!!!