Cauliflower Cheese


Cauliflower cheese is one of my favourite dishes for a cold winter’s evening. Here’s a recipe for how I make it – there are of course plenty of others out there.

You’ll need:

  • 1 largish cauliflower (will make enough for 3 to 4 people, depending on appetite)
  • 1 and 1/2 pints of milk (semi-skimmed is fine)
  • 100g butter
  • 100g flour
  • 200 – 300g of grated cheddar cheese (or similar)
  • 4 to 6 eggs (hard boiled)
  • 2 teaspoons of English mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg
  1. If your eggs aren’t already hard boiled start off by bringing them to a boil in a pan of water, and boil for about 10 mins. You can do this while cooking the cauliflower, and making the sauce.2017-01-17-17-23-08
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C(160°C fan), Gas 4 or 5.
  3. Strip down the cauliflower to individual florets, wash and place in a pan of water, and bring to a boil.2017-01-17-17-23-04
  4. Place the butter in another pan over a medium heat. Once melted add the flour, and combine to a smooth paste.
  5. 2017-01-17-17-27-25Add a little of the milk and stir into the flour/butter paste, again until smooth. Repeat this once or twice more with a little milk each time. Finally add all of the remaining milk and continue to stir. Keep stirring until the sauce begins to thicken (you may find it helpful to use a small whisk at this point rather than a spoon), stir continuously to prevent any lumps forming.
  6. As the sauce thickens, add the mustard, salt & pepper and stir in.
  7. Next add about three-quarters of the cheese a little at the time, and allow it to combine with the sauce, keep stirring!
  8. Turn off the heat under the sauce. Drain the cauliflower, removing as much water as possible, and tip into the cheese sauce, and mix to coat all of the cauliflower with the sauce. Put the lid onto this pan to retain the heat.
  9. Take the hard boiled eggs, shell them and cut in half. Place them in the bottom of an oven proof dish.2017-01-17-17-43-10
  10. Tip the cheese and cauliflower mixture on top of the eggs. Grate a little nutmeg over the top, and cover with the remaining cheese.
  11. Cook in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese on top is a golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
  12. Serve on it’s own or with some crusty bread.
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First Seedlings of 2017


I make a habit of sowing some seeds on the first day of the New Year, each year. This year it was plum “tiger” tomatoes. They look like they’re doing okay so far – I’ll be potting them on when they’ve got their first true leaves.

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White House Photographer – Pete Souza

I was going to wait until the next Quick Links post to share this video, but I think I’ll post it now before Fridays inauguration. I follow Pete Souza on Instagram and have enjoyed his pictures. I’m not sure what he’ll be doing after Friday but I hope he continues to take amazing photos.

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Quick Links 16th January 2017

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.

Life In General

Much of the last week has been taken up with dealing with my Grandma’s passing and making arrangements for her funeral and other beauracy surrounding her death. This is all rather too soon since we lost my Dad to be frank. Less than two months between the two, and we still haven’t finished dealing with all of the issues surrounding his passing. This is not the way I wished to start 2017.

Currently Reading

Yellowstone by David Quammen [GoodReads]

When the Trees Say Nothing: Writings on Nature by Thomas Merton [GoodReads]

A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk’s True Life (Journals Vol. 3) by Thomas Merton [GoodReads]

The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


The unsung heroes of my allotment are the pollinators. I grow no parthenocarpic crops, so rely on the insects to do the pollination work for me. The debate on the effect of neonictinoid pesticides has been going on for some time. Mostly argued by the companies that produce the chemicals that there is no harm caused to non-target species, but I doubt this very much, as peer reviewed research argues differently. This latest report makes for troubling reading, and I doubt that government (in the U.K.) will act, as so far at least they seem happy to take the view that there is no unintended consequences.

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Allotment After The (Snow) Storm


Although our snowmageddon turned out to be a slightly cold and damp squib, we did have enough to make me go down to the allotment to check things out. Snow will weigh down netting and other structures and if there’s enough cause them to collapse or tear. This then means that your crops underneath get flattened.

I’ve got some brassicas still under netting (and enviromesh), so I wanted to make sure all was well.

The snow (which had melted and turned to ice), had push down both cages a little. Not enough to cause them to collapse but enough to pull out some of the anchoring pins that secure it to the ground. I pushed off the remaining chunks of ice, tightened up the netting and re-secured the pegs. Job done.

The forecast at least in the short term is for fine, cold and dry weather. So now more snow, at least for now.

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Unbroken Chain

I seem to have tripped over the point of a month of continuous blog posts without realising. My original intention was to go until December 31st 2016 and stop, but I kept going. There were a couple of days when I thought I’d stop and didn’t, and the chain might break tomorrow. I have no idea.

If you have been reading, thank you.

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2016 In Pictures

A short slideshow looking back over last year.

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