All year round there is something we buy every week from Village Greens – bread and free-range eggs (we re-use our carton to save money and landfill). Toast is my favourite breakfast, but at week-ends, we usually add poached eggs. Phil has honed his egg-poaching skills over many week-ends and they are now perfect. (Picture-perfect - see evidence below!). He tells me he learnt his method from Heston Blumenthal (his web-site, not in person). The trick is to bring the water (and a drop of vinegar) to the boil and reduce heat to approx. 80 degrees C. Toast the first side of bread, and then put the eggs in water. The eggs should be ready when second side of bread is toasted (about 2-3 mins).


WARNING – this method only works with toast! Of course, a steady hand is needed when sliding the eggs into the water to achieve this beauty-contest result. If we’re really famished, or it’s closer to brunch-time, we have veggie sausages, too. Our favourite is “VegiDeli” Lincolnshire-style, which are also great with baked beans.

Because I love toast so much, left-over bread isn’t usually a problem in our house, but sometimes I can’t resist buying a new loaf if I’m in Village Greens when it’s just arrived. In that case we’ll make breadcrumbs from the “old” loaf and keep them in the freezer. Speaking of bread, we’ve recently started to phone the shop first thing Saturday morning to reserve a loaf. That ensures we don’t miss out and also means we don’t need to rush down as early.

Now that summer’s well and truly over, we are winding down our allotment, which means more produce from Village Greens. Winter squash are cheap, delicious, and easy to cook. Sometimes we simply quarter or slice them and roast them on their own or add potatoes, onions, or any root veg, but our favourite is stuffed whole squash. Just scoop out the seeds and fill with any left-overs, rice, couscous or even just seasoned breadcrumbs (see above) and cheese. Whole squash takes about an hour in a hot oven, but you can also halve the squash and then add your filling. Some winter squash are very hard to cut but you can soften them in the oven first before slicing.

1 Longfield Centre, Prestwich, Manchester M25 1AY, UK

  • In the heart of Prestwich

0161 971 5129