Can’t beat roast goose (and Yorkshire pud)
on the big bird in my frying pan and then it goes into the oven where every 30 minutes I remove the fat from the pan.
My roast potatoes have to be Maris Piper and they are tossed in hot butter, olive oil and sea salt, but not before they’ve been par boiled and shaken to fluff the edges up.
I steam my broccoli and carrots until they’re tender and still crunchy – these vivid colours brighten up my plate, along with Ramblers kitchen cranberry sauce.
I insist on throwing a Yorkshire pudding on, because I’m obsessed with them. I don’t like sprouts, but National Trust shops in England, Wales and Northern Ireland).
If armchair gardeners can drag themselves into the kitchen, they may enjoy making a tipple of their own with a Kilner eight-piece sloe gin gift set, designed to provide all the essentials needed to make sloe gin or any other fruit liqueurs. Use natural hedgerow produce with traditional recipes (£22.95, www. harrodhorticultural.com).
Bring the fragrance of Christmas into the pampered gardener’s home with a stylish and subtle pine and eucalyptus-scented bauble from Jo Malone, which will happily adorn any tree and make the scent of Christmas last well into the New Year (£32, www.jomalone.co.uk).
The pampered gardener will appreciate a pile of soothing goodies after a hard day in the garden, including hand lotion, hand wash and body soap in a Woodlands Watering Can Gardener’s Gift (£26, www. gardendivas.co.uk). The set includes a handy wooden nail brush and a pair of floral gardening gloves.
Keep hands warm with a pair of Briers Warm Ups, gloves you stick in the microwave to heat up the micro gel within them to keep hands warm. They should stay warm for up to an hour and you can dry them naturally and wipe the in-laws do, so I par boil them and then sauté them in butter with chestnuts and streaky bacon (a separate mix of just chestnuts for my mother-in-law, who’s a vegetarian). Do give the goose a try as it is delicious.
I want to wish all the readers a happy Christmas from myself and the Pinewood family.
There are few things that will shock us here at Pinewood Nurseries, but finding one of our pigs huffing and puffing with mini-pigs at her side early on a Monday morning, was certainly one thing we weren’t prepared for. with a damp cloth (£24.99, www. briersltd.co.uk).
Save space in the shed with Handigger, a Swedish product used to dig, plant, scoop, level or just break up compacted soil. With an ergonomically comfortable handle recommended for people with osteoarthritis and rheumatic pain and two different shaped blades, this multi tool took two years of testing to develop it to suit both amateur and professional gardeners (£9.99, www.chaselink. co.uk).
Create an illusion of space with a garden mirror. This ornate gothic mirror from Harrod Horticultural will be an eye-catching addition to any garden wall and make the area seem bigger. The cream frame is made from wood and painted with an antique wash, waterproof paint to survive the elements. The mirror is 85cm high x 66cm wide (£49.95,
Either it’s Stoke Poges’ own ‘immaculate conception’ which has taken place or our ‘star crossed lovers’, in separate pens, have been giving us the run around.
Needless to say, we can now add ‘pig breeders’ to the ever growing list of achievements of Pinewood Nurseries! While mother and piglets are doing well, they will not be ready for visitors until our mulled wine and mince pie weekend (December 13 and 14), so if you’d like a festive visit then, do pop in.
See our Facebook page www. facebook.com/pinewoodnurseries for further details. www.harrodhorticultural.com).
A new idea comes from the Eden Project in the form of Wildlife Seedbombs (£3.50 each, www. edenprojectshop.com), which you soak and then throw on to a section of your garden and watch it burst into life. These are ideal for adding colour and attracting pollinating insects to sections of neglected garden. Choose from Cornflower Fieldbomb, Pollinator Beebomb, Poppy Peacebomb, Sunflower Powerbomb or Thyme Bomb.
Bird lovers will appreciate a classy feeder you can personalise. Check out the Oak Hanging Bird Feeder from Getting Personal, which comes with a thick, twisted rustic rope so you can hang it from a tree branch or other support. Featuring a shallow bowl for seeds and nuts, the wide edge of the feeder can be engraved with a short message or name (£84.99, www. gettingpersonal.co.uk).
The designs on these Funky Laundry bags make you think of wildlife every time you look at them. Store garden cushions in them, choosing designs ranging from bluebells and wild flower meadow, to chilli, nuts and bolts and roses. The bags are also ideal for collecting and depositing garden leaves (£6.99, www.funkylaundry. co.uk).
Liz’s pig, Ivy, suckles some of her piglets