Tag Archives: somerset

New Year-new project


Now that our Bramble cottage kitchen is almost finished my thoughts have turned to welcoming fellow cooks here to share my recipes, tips and secrets accumulated over my many years as a food writer and teacher. Over the four years that we ran our Tasting France cookery school in the Charente my favourite moments were when I was able to show guests that kitchen skills that they thought were beyond them were totally within their reach, and could bring enormous pleasure, not just in the sense of achievement they brought but also in sharing the results with others. it could be anything from making a decent loaf of bread to mastering a perfect souffle. Next Spring we will be opening our kitchen and home for a short series of workshops that aim to inspire and offer extra confidence and pleasure in your cooking.
Our Cook and Dine sessions add something extra to the day and will offer you the opportunity to invite a friend or partner to share what we have cooked with a glass of wine or two in our candlelit salon.
For more details, dates and costings visit our workshops page http://www.marycadogan.co.uk/workshops/
We look forward to welcoming you to Bramble Kitchen

A growing problem

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New Year, new country…

So after 10 wonderful years living and working in France we shut the doors of our cookschool and chambre d’hote, waved goodbye to our riverside home and at the end of February landed in North Somerset for the start of a new adventure. While waiting to move into our new home we are currently living in a boring-as-bat-shit modern townhouse with just a gravel yard out back barely big enough to swing our little dog Lily(she loves it). After six weeks of this my green fingers are itching so much I just had to grow something, no matter how small, and preferably edible.  

Before leaving France I picked up a few packets of salad seeds including Mesclun and wild rocket but I needn’t have bothered as I have found a good selection of mixed leaves in my local garden centre. Mr Fothergill http://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk/?gclid=CJO75pT58MQCFXDLtAodjlwAAA has a good selection and I even found some mizuna seeds in Homebase. So armed with my seeds and a couple of growbags I got planting. Cut out the three windows in each growbag and scatter a different salad variety thinly and evenly in each window. Give it a good water and if it looks like it might turn chilly cover each with an old newspaper to keep them cosy. The brilliant part is that even for the most impatient like me you get almost instant gratification. Within a week healthy shoots started to appear, a thrill every time even for the most experienced gardener. I’m hoping that in another couple of weeks I’ll be harvesting my first crop, and if I keep them well watered should get another couple of crops from the same seeds. While I was in the mood I also dragged a cast iron pot out of the garage and planted it up with herbs to add to my stash. I’ll keep you posted on progress and next time add a recipe to inspire you to get sowing, It;s good to be back.