Tag Archives: vegetables

Woolton Pie

No, M'Lord, that's where I wash me smalls!

Woolton Pie was created in 1941 at The Savoy Hotel in London and was named after Lord Woolton who was head of The Ministry of Food.

It can be made with just about any vegetables that you have to hand; fresh bought, leftovers, odds and ends, roasted veg, frozen mixed veg. – the decision is yours.  This recipe is about as Wartime Housewife as it gets, using all the elements of  leftovers, using what you have in the fridge or cupboard, and is very, very cheap.

The basic elements are:
Mixed vegetables
A sauce
A topping of pastry, crumble or potatoes – mashed or sliced


A deep-sided pie dish or casserole

*   Mixed vegetables cut into similar shapes if possible eg julienne strips or cubes
*   White sauce flavoured with cheese or herbs or both (see HERE for recipe)
*   A quantity of shortcrust pastry OR mashed potato OR sliced potatoes
OR savoury crumble mix (see HERE for crumble recipe)
*   Beaten egg to glaze pastry or grated cheese and butter for the potatoes

Pre-heat the oven to 375 / 5 / 190
If using fresh vegetables, steam them very lightly until they are just cooked
Put the vegetables into the dish
Pour over the sauce
Top with mash, sliced potatoes, crumble mixture or pastry
Top potatoes with grated cheese or brush the pastry with beaten egg
Bake in the oven until whichever top you’ve used is golden brown



Filed under Food, Leftovers, Nutrition & Sensible Eating, Recipes, Storecupboard

Some tips on growing vegetables in pots and a gardening retrospective

This evening I was waxing lyrical to a couple of friends about the ease and virtue of growing vegetables in pots.  I love home grown vegetables but sometimes there are simply not enough hours in the day to be digging and composting, improving the soil followed by yet more digging and raking. Sometimes there is more to life than a fine tilth.

The easy and effective solution to this is to grow vegetables in pots.  One can grow practically anything in a pot and the great benefit of this type of gardening is that each pot can contain a completely different soil type to get the best out of your veg.

Carrots like poor, sandy soil, so a big pot of earth mixed with sharp sand will produce a fine crop.
Cauliflowers like rich, firm, deep soil whilst
onions and garlic will grow in practically anything as long as the soil is well-drained.
A dustbin full of soil can produce half a dozen corn on the cobs.
Beans and peas (legumes) prefer a rich, light, slightly limey soil and don’t like the cold.
If you like new potatoes with your Christmas lunch, pop a few seed potatoes in now

Even better, crop rotation is easy, as all you have to do is change pots.  I always keep a notebook in which I write details of what I’ve planted in each pot and this allows for a bit of experimentation.  It is important not to grow the same plants in the same soil as the soil will become depleted and prone to disease.

There is also much scope for companion planting as you don’t have to use up valuable veg growing space with flowers.
Simply pop a pot of marigolds next to your carrots to repel aphids and carrot root fly –
onions also repel carrot fly,
oregano fends off Cabbage White butterflies,
sage is a deterrent against flea beetles, slugs and cabbage moth
and a shotgun soon sorts out the squirrels. I jest of course – a catapault is far less ostentatious.

Give it a go and pop in a few onion sets and spuds and see how you get on.  Seed packets and small plants (sets) nearly always have clear instructions on how close plants should be and it may be that you just plant one cabbage to a pot, or a couple of seed potatoes.

Have a look at the sites below to see how I fared.




Filed under Food, Plants, The Garden

Thrilled to the Marrow

Just as Sue at The Quince Tree has been awash with quinces, so I am awash with marrows.  I bought one from a garden gate stall and Ms Rozzer gave me three more.  Now, I like a marrow and the Aged Parent, she likes a marrow ‘n’ all, but I’m not sure about the chaps.  Boy the Elder will try anything but Boy the Younger shows unfamilial suspicion of anything he doesn’t recognise.

I decided to stuff one – a marrow, not a boy (although…) as even if it they didn’t like it, they could still eat the filling.  My ingredients are only a guideline because that is what I had in the larder and fridge.  If you don’t have these things, use something else.  One could easily leave out the mince and add more mushrooms, or use peas instead of sweetcorn – you get the picture.

I have not decided what to do with the other three.

STUFFED MARROW – serves 4 or 6 depending on the size of your marrow.  Missus.

1 x medium saucepan with a lid
1 x chopping board
1 x baking tray

1 medium marrow – sliced in half and the seeds scooped out
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 small or ½ large red pepper – chopped
½ lb / 240g minced beef
2 handfuls of long grain rice
1 small tin sweetcorn
1 tin kidney beans
4oz / 120g mushrooms – chopped
1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
½ pint 300ml beef stock
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp paprika
1 splash Worcester sauce
4oz Cheddar cheese – grated

Pre-heat the oven to 200 / 425 / 7
Lay each marrow half on enough foil to be able to wrap it round the filling and seal it up and place on the baking tray
Heat the oil in the saucepan and add the onions, pepper and garlic.  Cook until soft.
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add everything else and stir well
Put the lid on and leave to cook through on a medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the rice is soft
If there is too much liquid, turn up the heat and cook rapidly for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until it has reduced
Divide the mixture equally between the marrows
Wrap in the foil, sealing off the edges and cook for 40 minutes


Filed under Food, Recipes, Seasonal, Storecupboard

Chicken Pie

Chicken Pie 1 09.09.09This is yet another tasty way of using up leftover chicken, although of course you can buy chicken breasts and pre-cook them for the recipe if you need to. I would suggest simple grilling.  Any leftover vegetables can also be thrown in – carrots and peas are good but chopped up green beans would work, as would diced potato or swede.  As always, experiment.  And once again, most of what you need are Storecupboard Ingredients.

1 x 8″ pie dish – greased and floured
1 x medium saucepan
1 x chopping board
1 x wooden spoon
1 x rolling pin
1 x pastry brush – use your fingers if you haven’t got one

1 tablspn cooking oil
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1 heaped tblspn plain flour
1 tsp mixed herbs
A good pinch of paprika
¾ pint / 450ml chicken stock
A couple of tablespoons of white wine if you have it lurking around
12oz / 360g cooked chicken – cubed according to how chunky you like your pie
1 medium carrot – diced and cooked
Some cooked peas – about 2 tbslpns -ish
1 packet (500g) shortcrust pastry
Milk for glazing – about a tablespoon

Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 350 / 4
Take the pastry out of the fridge to let it rest
Heat the oil in the saucepan, add the onions and cook until translucent
Add the flour and stir well to form a thick paste
Gradually add the stock and white wine (if you have it) stirring with a brisk figure of 8 movement to avoid lumps
Add the herbs, paprika, chicken, vegetables and any seasoning you like.  You shouldn’t really need salt
Leave the chicken mixture warming on the stove.
Mentally cut the pastry into thirds and physically cut off one third.
Roll out the two thirds portion until it is big enough to line your pie dish.
Line your pie dish, trimming off the excess round the rim. Wet all round the edge with water
Spoon in your chicken mixture
Roll out the remaining third of pastry until it is big enough to cover the pie.
Place the pastry on top and trim off the excess round the rim
Press all the way round with your fingers to seal the top and bottom pastry together.  Make 3 cuts in the top to let the steam out.
Brush with milk or smear it on lightly with your fingers if you don’t have a pastry brush
Put in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a nice selection of vegetables – you don’t need potatoes unless you are a manual worker, as there is plenty of carbohydrate in the pastry

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Filed under Food, Recipes