‘Use It Up’ Vegetable Curry and ‘Coton Manor’

First I have a question for keen gardeners out there….

Chris ( from http://gullygrove.blogspot.co.uk/  ) asked me what the flower was at the top of my page.  He said he thought it was a tree lily.  I looked at it and thought it was maybe a clematis, but according to ‘WordPress’ it is a pink dogwood (cornus).

I thought all the cornus family had only four petals and it looks like it has more in the picture?

So what flower do you think it is?  I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts.

You can leave them at the bottom of the page by pressing ‘comments’.


‘Use it up’ Vegetable Curry

When I posted a picture of my ‘Use it Up vegetable curry, a few people asked me for the recipe, so here’s how I make it:

If I have any cooked vegetables left after dinner, I freeze them in old margarine tubs. When I have enough, I make a lovely vegetable curry and I served it with boiled rice, naan bread and some homemade natural yoghurt.

I usually have a mix of vegetables in my curry e.g. potato, swede, carrots, peas, beans, celeriac, parsnips etc, it doesn’t really matter.

It is a very frugal meal that tastes lovely and fills you up.

Sometimes I make the naan bread, but I find it is usually the one thing that regularly appears on the ‘reduced’ shelves in the evening, at my local supermarket.  If I do find any reduced naans, I buy them and store them in the freezer, ready for the next curry I make.


Here is the recipe for my ‘Use It Up Curry:

Thumb size piece of ginger grated OR 1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 onions chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped finely

1 teaspoon mild chilli powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 heaped teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons of water

½ tin coconut milk (the other half can be frozen until needed)

500g passata

A little olive oil for frying

Any leftover cooked frozen vegetables


Put the ginger, onions, garlic, chilli powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric and water in a high sided bowl or jug and blitz with a hand blender until it resembles a paste.

Heat the olive oil and then fry the paste for a few minutes.

Stir in the passata and coconut milk.  Afterwards stir in the frozen vegetables and bring to the boil.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes and then serve with rice, naan and natural yoghurt.



Over the weekend I went to ‘Coton Manor’ in Northamptonshire with my three sisters.

My eldest sister treated us to a day out as a present for Christmas, but this was the first time during the summer that we could all get together.

I had heard the gardens were beautiful at Coton Manor and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.


Cotton Manor featured in a BBC Gardener’s World program in April 2011.  I can easily see why they chose to visit there.

The herbaceous borders were stunning and full of different flowers.

There were rudbeckias, echinaceas, red hot pokers, alliums, hardy geraniums, dahlias, lysimachia, hydrangeas and lavender to name a few.

I felt like a child in a sweet shop, I didn’t know what to look at first.


Coton Manor also has a range of ornamental birds.  I loved the pink flamingos and we got so close to photograph them.  Apparently they are fed a special diet to retain their colour.

In the orchard we saw ‘kune kune’ pigs with their piglets. According to their website, they are the smallest domesticated breed of pig in the world.   My sister informed me that in years gone by, it was normal practise to house the pigs under fruit trees, so they could eat up all the fruit that fell to the ground.  We also saw a field with ‘English Longhorn Cows’ in, they looked very impressive.


We had lunch in the café and then the heavens opened and we had to shelter during a thunderstorm.  Typical English weather.



Just in case anyone would like to visit the gardens, below is a link to their website:




I had a lovely day out with my sisters.  They are great company and I really enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading today’s post.


2 thoughts on “‘Use It Up’ Vegetable Curry and ‘Coton Manor’

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