Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hi all.  Here is my recipe for my mixed herbs that I use in cooking.  You may be surprised. But then, you may not.

My mixed herbs.
I make a lot at a time and store the mix in a very large Kilner/mason jar.
For my needs one handful = a part, but you can use what ever basic measure you like for a part. 
1 part each
dried dandelion leaves, crumbled up.
dried sage
dried parsley
dried savoury
dried rosemary

1/2 handful each
dried nettles - 
these are quite strong so you don't want to over power.
dried thyme

Mix well in a preserving pan or large bowl, store in air tight container.  Use freely.

I'm going to use a good handful tonight when I cook.  We could all do with some nourishing food in this weather.

Here in Warwickshire it is grey, cold, windy and very wet.   We need the rain, for sure but goodness me it's just like winter out there!  Hey ho.  Never mind.  

Today, in my little community we celebrate the first spring /summer festival.  We welcome in the sunshine, which though hidden behind the clouds is still warming the earth and causing all the plants to sing out their glory and burst forth with renewed vigour and energy.  

However as mentioned, it surely doesn't feel like it.  So, for our festival food tonight, we are cooking up warming meals and naughty old fashioned treats.  Michael is cooking some sort of cheesy pasta thingy, I've made a very large bakewell tart, oozing with almondy goodness....Oh yumm.  T' is making bread and a lentil loaf with one of her delicious sauces, Mimz made one of her wonderful cakes with Jack who is her fiancée.  We are going to wash it all down with home made mead, which I think of as sunshine in a bottle. 

It's too wet to go out to dance around the may pole, but we will make up for it. After feasting we will sit down together and share poetry, song, stories etc and even talk.  All things we seem to neglect so often in our daily lives.

If you would like the very simple recipe for one of our warming vegetable soups, here it is.  

Mix dried vegetable soup.
Take one large cup of a pea, beans, barley and lentils mix and soak over night in cold water.  

  • The next day rinse and set aide with fresh water to cover it and allow to come to boil and then simmer.  Watch it, it can stick and burn as Jack found out today.  Bless...
  • Skim off the top 'scum' until it has mostly gone.
  • While that is cooking, take and chop up an onion or two, red peppers for colour, half a bunch of celery a good thumb sized piece of ginger and garlic.  
  • Toss it all into a wok and let it get hot and soft.
  • When the peas mix has cooked to a soft texture, turn the heat down, add a tablespoon of vegetable stock powder and the vegetables you have done in the wok.
  • Add a little more water, bring to the heat then when ready blend.
  • My lot like a little texture so I don't blend too much.  
  • You may want to add a little water to loosen it up.  It can go thick.  
  • Do this to taste and fancy.
  • Add salt, pepper and/or herbs at this stage. I like herbs and mix my own. But standard mixed herbs will do.  

Be generous with the herbs, they are not just for taste you know, they are good for you and medicine in your food. :)

Warm up just before serving and serve hot with a dollop of sour cream or cream fraiche and hot bread straight from the oven.  Filling, nutritious and good for you too. You wont want any thing else after that, unless, like my lot you're crazy for home made bakewell.

If you want to find out more about traditional old English practise for this time of year here is a link to a fairly good site.

Green verdant blessings to you all.  Lynne.

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