A Beach Cottage In the Kitchen, Fruits of my labour

Mon 1st, Jul, 2013

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Good afternoon Beach Cottage ladies and gentleman.

I have these dreams of self-sufficiency, all River Cottage and Jamie, complete with chickens wandering, a basket over my arm and a long flowery floral dress – they are just dreams…in reality I am pretty much well aware that those shows are just that, shows, and for that 30 minutes of home-grown there are a team of gardeners, an army of staff and stylists, all working to make us all sit on the other side of the screen to see what we see…


…and while self-sufficiency is well within the reaches for some, for me with three children, a busy life and a business, I will never quite be laden with home-grown goods I don’t think, I will though keep trying…


I am making little dents in this dream…it’s slowly getting there…I have most definitely got a herb garden nowadays, one  that can produce a simple herb garden salad in a jiffy…and look on in surprise when I see the prices for those little packets of herbs in the greengrocers when I can wander out to the garden and pick bundles of the things…


Veggies too are coming along at the moment but salads and onions are thriving – there is nothing quite like the feeling of eating garden salad from a plate full of stuff you’ve grown, and picked mere minutes ago…


This is a simple little garden salad I pull together all the time…it’s an eyeball ‘recipe’ but you get the picture, throwing on something sharp and tangy makes it a keeper for me

Simple Garden Salad

with a bit of a kick


a handful of salad leaves

a couple of spring onions

a drizzle of olive oil

lots of salt and pepper

a smattering of goat’s cheese

a sprinkle of capers


1. wash the leaves & place on a plate and snip over spring onions

2. dress with oil

3. crumble over goats cheese and capers

4. season generously with salt and pepper


So tell me, have you dabbled with growing your own?  Have you failed, what have you succeeded with?  What do you think about those shows telling us how easy it all is and how do they fit in with your reality?



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14 Responses to “A Beach Cottage In the Kitchen, Fruits of my labour”

  1. michelle says:

    YUM! I must get my vegie garden going again.

  2. merilyn says:

    gorgeous sarah!
    I always grow herbs, coriander, mint, basil, pennywort, garlic chives, dandelion, stinging nettles, … “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme!”
    and this year my cherry tomatoes are still producing in winter … amazing!
    we have found a disused paddock where beautiful spinach is growing profusely and unattended, so we go to pick spinach near the beach … how good does it get?
    abundance is an attitude and it’s all good!
    your salad looks like what I make … yummy and good for us! lol m:) x

  3. alison says:

    My homegrown produce output fluctuates a lot, but I try. My dear old dad always had a veggie garden. He loved it. I currently have a weird, self-sown thingy growing-if only I knew what it was, but it looks great. Also, conveniently a tomato plant has just sprung up amongst the native plants. Serendipitous horticulture.

    I find Annabel Langbein’s TV show is “DIY/environmental/ save the planet/earth mother/ over achiever entertaining host/ I just feel so damn good about myself” porn. She is just so nice.


  4. A PERFECT garden meal. My 9 year old daughter made herself a perfect salad of mixed greens yesterday and proceeded to tell me how earthy and organic it was, and ate up every bite. Now if we could just get rid of potato chips we’d be good!

  5. Jojo3b says:

    Oh me too….. Even when I was a little kid I would watch the English show called The Good Life, and dreamed one day I want THAT!! I did have two bantam chickens ( Kath and Kim) but had to give them away when we moved. I haven’t been able to convince my husband to let me get any more…. :(
    Enjoy your herb/ salad garden. Mine is a bit hit and miss.
    Will give your salad a try. Jojo

  6. Caryn says:

    Looks divine!

  7. Claire says:

    In my small London garden I’ve always grown herbs in planters, which as you say Sarah, are a doddle really and a no-brainer cost-wise, especially in the summer. I’ve dabbled in various veg over the years, but my best success was last year when I grew trailing cherry tomatoes in a hanging basket. They worked out well because I could bring the basket inside on chilly nights or when the weather was being less than helpful. We’ve also got a small apple tree in a pot which seems to be giving us a few more apples year by year : )

  8. Jamie Heringer says:

    Happy summer! This salad recipe looks very refreshing! I wish I could start a vegetable garden! I loved keeping up with your blog! Love, Jamie Herzlinger

  9. Sarah says:

    I love love love your polka dotted spoons. Swedish boutique? I’m sure you’ve told us some point or other where they’re from but I can’t remember.

  10. Annie M says:

    My veggie plot and production is sporadic. Life gets in the way of looking after it and having a regular routine of tending it. I love the idea of ‘The Good Life’ and growing lots of goodies and I have had some success with rhubarb, cherry toms and some herbs…mostly self seeded…but the reality is I get distracted and my poor garden neglected. Must try harder….your salad looks yum! Annie M

  11. We are pretty well self sufficent – have to be – 50 kms across the sea to our closest shop. Just love our fresh veggies and free range eggs.

  12. Diana says:

    In my dreams, I have a FABULOUS garden to sashay out to and snip away at or pluck beautiful tomatoes and veggies from.. that are miraculously weed free and well tended with no mud or even getting a bit dirty while doing so!!!.. and I also make all my own clothing and butter and drapes and fix anything that goes wrong… in reality, I have a BLACK thumb, can barely keep an aloe plant alive, and my hubs is the one who plants our couple of tomato plants and I am going to TRY to keep a basil plant alive this season!! As for the other stuff, well, it is a dream, although I am a fair cook and can sew, but with three male children did not have a lot of time for such things… I truly wish I could sashay, but it just isn’t in me!! LOL… I would rather be reading, playing the piano, oh, did I say reading, well, you get the picture.. oh and shopping of course1 lol..Have a great day and congrats on your garden bounty!!!

  13. Kim H says:

    Yep, I dabble and dabble and dabble. Bit by bit I’m becoming more and more self sufficient. We’ve now got the chookies so I feel like we’re there now! LOL I know those shows are staged and there for entertainment but I do think self-sufficiency is something we can all achieve even in our busy child raising lives. It doesn’t take much to throw in some seeds and plant some plants here and there. A bit of watering and some green caterpillar squishing (or feeding to the chookies!) and soon enough there’s stuff to pick and eat. I plan to get some grass eaters for the rest of our acres – sheep or cows? Hopefully it will cut down on the lawn mowing and provide us with lots of yummy poo for the garden:) We’ve also started a worm farm so I’m hoping that will be something we utilise and use for the garden down the track. So, yep, I think it’s all doable and so very rewarding. Those shows do make it look a little more glamourised but I think they are helpful and are getting the message out there that we can have a go … at least:) My failings??? The flipping cabbage moths are winning in my garden right now. I am on a mission to destroy!!!! LOL

    • sarah says:

      yes I agree with you – even if it’s just picking herbs and salads from my garden that’s a bit that’s better than nothing – still hoping for my citrus fruits to actually fruit too – the day I can get lemons from my garden will be joyous!

      I have been thinking about a worm farm for ages, my friends have one and sometimes give me the goodness from it and has made a good difference….

      My problem at the moment we think is rabbits….one day a full bed of plants, overnight the whole lot are totally gone down to the stalks… xx