Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Eating.

Easter approaches, and for me and mine that means several days at the beach – with frequent meal breaks of course, so food is very much on my mind (what else is new, you ask?)

There have been many previous Easter food stories in this blog, so before I start today, let me re-cap what we have considered over the last few years.

We have learned that at different times and in different places such things as Primrose Pottage, Sedgemoor Easter Cakes, and Oatmeal Pudding have been enjoyed at this season. Another post in another year left us awestruck by the scale of the Lord Mayor of London’s Easter dinner in 1848. One year we found out that in 1879 the United States’ President Rutherford Hayes, and First Lady Lucy Hayes, hosted the very first Easter Egg Roll on the lawn of the White House.

As for recipes, there have been many with an Easter theme. One post in the past gave three different Easter Cake recipes, and in case that was not enough we have also had a White Easter Cake from an Australian wartime cookery book (1943), and a British wartime Chocolate Cake for Easter made with the dreaded and dreadful dried egg. Yet another post had Easter Biscuits and Bunny Rolls. In the posts of Easter 2007, we celebrated the egg in a whole week of posts containing five centuries of recipes (here, here, here, here, and here.)

It might be thought that we have exhausted the topic of Easter food, but I assure you we have not. We have not yet had Easter Soup. Sadly for those of us in the Southern hemisphere who are wending our way through autumn, this recipe is for spring greens, especially those of the wild variety – which should inspire the urban foragers amongst you.

Easter Soup.
Gather the young sprouts and leaves of wild herbs when their first shoots appear, such as dandelion, sheep-sorrel, yarrow, nettle, lady’s mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris), strawberry leaves, etc. Take a handful of each; rinse repeatedly in cold water and drain in a colander. Do not squeeze them, lest you lose some of their juices. Chop fine; put into some good broth, and boil gently for about half an hour. Mix butter the size of a walnut with a teaspoonful of flour and drop it into half a cup of boiling cream or milk. When cooking has dissolved it, add it to the soup. Serve with poached eggs on top, or the custard the recipe of which I give you in my last.
Letters to a Young Housekeeper (New York, 1892) by Marie Hansen Taylor

Quotation for the Day.
Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.
Fran Lebowitz