This is not a food blog!
It is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!
The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge!
Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.
I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.
Sunday, 2 April 2017
Clean Your Windows with Dandelions!
The common old dandelion can be used for so many things - from wine, beer, and liqueurs, to marmalade, salad, cooked greens, pickles, you can even make coffee from the roots.
Today, however, I tried something different, Dandelion Cleanser.
I found the recipe on a single, ragged, page from an old cookery book which probably dates from a hundred years ago.
Modern cookery books are sumptuous productions, full of brilliant photographs of beautifully staged and tempting foods, but I love these simple, very cheaply produced books from around the very early 20th century. Often they are little more than a few pages, sometimes around 90 pages, usually they either lack their covers or have flimsy paper ones. They cost next to nothing, people simply don't value them, and yet they contain so many fascinating avenues to explore.
Like this household cleaner - forget chemicals - brew up some dandelions!
Take four or five roots, leaves, flowers, and tendrils of dandelion and about three pints of water. Boil until it becomes brown (see bottle in photograph) and about half the quantity.
Strain before use.
So far I have cleaned windows, mirrors, glass cupboard doors and the result has been excellent!
The sun has just begun to shine on the windows I cleaned earlier and I am happy to say that there are no smears or greasy marks left on them, it really does work.
All I did was wash them with a cloth soaked in the solution, I wiped the window dry with a cloth and then gave them a quick polish with a piece of old towel.