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Margaret's Blog






Lamb Liver Champ Potatoes 2





  • 1lb lamb's liver
  • 125g smoked sliced bacon (rashers)
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch spring onion, chopped
  • 1lb potatoes for mash
  • gravy





  1. Cook the potatoes for mash and set aside
  2. Gently cooked the sliced onions without colour for 10 minutes until soft
  3. Slice the lamb's liver and coat in flour, pan fry each side in butter for 2 minutes
  4. Grill the smoked rashers, asdd the cooked onions to the gravy. Add the chopped spring onions to the mash
  5. To plate up, first put a scoop of the champ potato on the plate, then layer the smoked rashers and slices of lamb liver on top. Pour the onion gravy over the liver and bacon and garnish with a sprig of flat leaf parsley.


Honey Ham Hock




  • 2 Ham hocks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns



  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 20g butter
  • 1tsp dijon mustard
  • 1tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 30ml white wine
  • 150ml beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tbsp flour



  • 100g honey
  • 30g grain mustard




  1. Soak the ham hocks overnight in water to remove any excess salt.
  2. Wash the ham hocks in water and put them into a pot with the onions, carrot, bay leaf, cloves and peppercorns.
  3. Cover with cold water, bring to and simmer for 2.5-3 hours until cooked.
  4. Remove the hocks from the cooking liquid, allow to cool slightly, enough to handle using a knife discard most of the outer layer of fat with a knife.
  5. Mix the honey and grain mustard together and glaze the ham hocks.
  6. Place on a roasting tray and cook for a further 40mins in the oven at 180°C
  7. To make the sauce, first cook the shallots with butter in a pot, add the flour and tomato puree and cook out. Add the mustards, white wine and beef stock, stirring well and cook for a further 15 mins until ready.
  8. Serve with mashed potato, roast carrots and parsnips.





This is just a low fat, healthier version of regular coleslaw with all the taste and flavour of it's full fat relation! 




  • 1/2 small coleslaw cabbage

  • 2 carrots, coarsley grated

  • 6 spring onions, chopped

  • 2tsp rapeseed oil

  • 2tsp white wine vinegar

  • 2tsp wholegrain mustard

  • 2 tsp natural yogurt

  • 2 tbsp low fat creme fraiche

  • 2tbsp orange juice

  • salt & pepper





  1. Finely shred or chop the cabbage and mix together with the grated carrot and chopped spring onions
  2. Mix the remainder of the ingredients together and add to the cabbage mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.



The Garden Mum – Chrysanthemum!

This 'garden mum' is as tough as any mum out there and rises to the challenge made by our weather. Chrysanthemums survived the last two arctic winters very well. These Yoder Garden Mums are considered the most hardy and long-flowering of all of the garden mums. They offer superb autumn colour each year and stay a perfect ball shape that will enhance your garden and add that little touch of autumn elegance!

Garden Mums can be grown in containers and pots, as well as in the ground. I really recommend that you try these – I guarantee you will absolutely adore them just as much as I do!



'Hollywood' Comes to Your Garden!


Heuchera 'Hollywood' This hybrid Coral Bells selection has outstanding foliage as well as showy flowers. The scalloped leaves are silvery with a patterning of darker veins, remaining evergreen. Chubby spikes of bright coral-red blooms appear in late spring and continue for the entire summer. Trim off any tired old leaves in early spring. Best blooming will occur with at least morning sun. Flowers are attractive to hummingbirds. Excellent for cutting.


The most important thing with Heuchera is to plant them in stoney soil to allow for good drainage. Heucheras look really nice in pots and containers and will help attract a variety of birds and butterflies to your garden.



With new introductions of miniature and columnar trees, it's easy to grow apples, even in the smallest of gardens. These can even be grown in pots!


Where to plant your apple tree:

A nice cosy position, away from that biting cold easterly or north-easterly wind. A sunny position would be great, but preferably not early morning sun, as this may scorch spring flowers after a frost. The easiest way to choose a position for your fruit trees is on a windy day. Walk around your garden and where you feel coziest will be the best place to plant your potential food supply for the next 20 years or so!


Growing in a Container or Pot:

Of course, choosing the correct pot is a key factor in the success of your apples. From my experience, square pots are best as they are very sturdy on the ground and tend to resist toppling over better than round base pots in high winds.


The Birds and the Bees – Pollination of Your Apple Trees

There is often confusion about planting apple trees. How many do I plant? How do I get them to pollinate? How do I get some apples on those trees? A lot of questions, but in reality, it's not all that complex. Basically you buy apple trees that will flower at the same time, thus attracting bees and, hey presto! Your pollination is done for you! Now, of course, to make the bees come in the first place is another job – they simply won't come unless you have an inviting abundance of flowers for them to choose from.

Underplant your apple trees with things like heathers and primroses, which should flower at the same time as your apple trees blossom. A sunny position will be help as well, so choose a nice, cosy, warm spot away from cold easterly and north-easterly winds. A position that does't get early morning sun will help as well, because your apple blossoms will get scorched after a nights front if exposed to early morning sun.


Family Apple Trees: Where space is limited, a family apple tree is ideal!

The fact that two varieties are on the one tree will solve pollination and will save on space (as well as looking really cool!) Imagine having the choice of red or green apple on the same tree.

There is also a dwarf tree that is self-pollinating, which means you only need one tree in your garden different from the family trees, on which you will have a choice of apples!

kaffir lily_schizostylis_coccinea



October is a month festooned by spiders' webs and in this mellowest time of year the garden can seem suspended between the seasons. A typical day can start as winter, proceed to a summer's afternoon before slipping into a cool autumn evening. These conditions suit Schizostylis coccinea'Major' beautifully. The copper red flowers start the day weighed down by dewdrops before opening to face the midday sun.

By evening the flowers close and nod again like a ballerina taking an encore. This sequence is repeated over several weeks. These South African flowers, members of the Iris family, are commonly known as Kaffir lilies. They grow naturally in wetter parts on the eastern side of the Cape, in stream beds and cliff edges, where summers are warm and wet and winters cold and dry. They also seem to love our Irish climate too, as they need moisture to flower well. They are the best in a mixed border. I find they are wonderful with hydrangeas, ferns and autumn crocus. The pink varieties are great planted with Agapanthus. With this combination you will have colour from mid-summer through the winter.


In South Africa, schizostylis keeps its linear grass-green leaves throughout the year. But in most gardens, schizostylis dies back and then reappears in late spring, so marking its position is a good idea. It is very hardy and has withstood even the worst of winters!


Schizostylis is slow growing and takes many years to produce lots of flower spikes. But it's worth the wait. Once established, each stem will produce between six and 12 flowers or more.

There are many forms of Schizostylis coccinea. The copper-red 'Major' is the most readily available and a very good performer. There is a pure white form, 'Alba', which has narrower petals and seems to flower later for me. The two best varieties are Pink Princess and Finland Daybreak.




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