Friday, January 16, 2009

A book for Nan

Nan, who posts such fabulous recipes among her Letters from a Hill Farm, has given us a recipe for dandelions in the vegetable alphabet.

I promised a cookery book to the person who could fill the D space with a real recipe instead of my pathetic Diced vegetables and here are the two books I had in mind:
I know that Nan is a vegetarian and these books are pretty thin on recipes without fish or meat, so I have selected two more books from my shelves. These are not brand new like the others, Nan, but very well used:

and one of my wartime food books, which I wouldn't part with to anyone else!
Please choose whichever one you would like, Nan, and email me with your address. I am just going into the kitchen to try out your Potato Loaf.


  1. Gee, I feel like I was begging when I wrote the second time about cooking dandelions.:<) I wasn't really! It's just I know that's the way folks around here cook them so I figured that was a recipe, right?? :<) Anyhow, I thank you, though a bit sheepishly. And I'd love, love, love the wartime book, We'll Eat Again. You knew it didn't you! How did you know I would love that? Are you very, very sure you want to part with it?? Think about it some more, 'cause I'd be happy with the Indian one. I can make my way around meat and fish, easy. I do it all the time.:<)
    And, I pledge to you that I will for the first time in my life, cook up some dandelions this spring! I'll let you know how many bites I manage.

  2. Oh, and wait till you see (in a couple days - when I finish dear Miss Pettigrew) what I'm reading over on my sidebar. It fits perfectly with the cook(ery) book! I've had it for ages, and as I am reading from my shelves this year, I thought it was time I read it.

  3. Nan, I know you will love the wartime book, that is why I suggested it and I'm delighted to give it to you. Please email your address and I'll get it into the post on Monday.

    I look forward to hearing how you get on with the dandelions. We had a neighbour when I was small who used to make a dandelion and burdock drink but I am sure I haven't heard of anyone eating them until now.

  4. Do dandelions grow in the UK? I don't think I saw any when I was there, but then I wasn't really looking for them. ;)
    The couple that owned the house I grew up in (before us) made all sorts of things from dandelions- salads, wine, jelly. Charlotte was a true country wife, with a headful of knowledge about what you could and could not eat on the farm. She taught my mom how to make grape jelly and elderberry jelly, elderberry wine and all sorts of other food from the land. I never ate the dandelion things, but I do remember that Charlotte said you have to pick the greens before the plant goes to flower. Otherwise the greens will be bitter and who wants bitter greens?
    Hope that helps Nan when she makes her meal of them.

  5. Karin, that sounds like good advice. I will take particular notice of where dandelions grow come the spring. I'm not convinced that I want to eat them so I'll see how Nan gets on first.

  6. Dandelions grow in spring and early summer in open pasture and on a sunny day make the fields seem to be reflections of the sun. Insects like to hide in their flower-heads so it is a good idea to pick them only when the sun is shining for then all the insects are on the wing. You can also use the roots either fresh or dried, to make 'coffee'. Not a delightful drink – rather bitter - but very healthy, good for the kidney (a common name for dandelion is 'wee-the-bed'). It is also recommended by herbalists for treating late-onset diabetes and a number of other common ailments. For drying, the root is best harvested in November when the insulin in them is at its highest.
    A recipe for 'D' that should set your eyes alight M, is 'Dill Cabbage' which makes a very satisfying meal when served with baked potatoes and grated cheese. If you are interested I will pass on the recipe.
    Sorry this is a little late in coming. I have been away.

  7. Welcome back Crinny. I hope all went well in the North.

    Margaretha mentioned both dandelions and dill as possible Ds but I resisted on the grounds that neither is a vegetable. Then Nan produced the recipe using dandelion leaves in a similar way to spinach and I capitulated. I'm not sure that I fancy eating them, though - perhaps its that I think of them as weeds.

    The dill cabbage sounds good and yes, I would like the recipe, please.


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