Sunday, August 01, 2010

Now and Then...

Mock Capers:
Nasturtium seeds make excellent mock capers. Gather the seeds on a dry day when quite young and soft. Wipe clean with a cloth. Put in a dry glass bottle and cover with 1 pint vinegar in which has been mixed 1 oz salt and 6 peppercorns.
If you have not enough ripe seeds, then add them from day to day until the bottle is full, then seal well and resinthe corks of the bottles (melt candle wax over the corks, or use vinegar-proof screwcaps).
As they take for 10 - 12 months to become really pickled, they should be made one season for use the next.

Mock Olives:
These can be made from small, not too ripe plums. Pour over them a boiling brine made from 2 oz salt to three quarters of a pint of vinegar. Leave to stand 12 hours, then drain off the brine, boil it up and pour back over the drained plums. Bottle when quite cold.

The next recipe today is very definitely an economy one, and comes from a Ministry of Food leaflet issued during the last war, but still useful when budgets are low and ideas are needed. Due to ease of making this could be a recipe that children might like to make (with supervision). The breadcrumbs are best when lightly crisped in the oven and then crushed before being used, and the fudge improves with keeping for a day or two.
Ministry Crumb Fudge.
2 tblsp golden syrup
2 oz margarine
2 oz sugar
2 oz cocoa
few drops vanilla, peppermint or orange essence/extract
6 oz dried breadcrumbs
Put the syrup, margarine, sugar and cocoa into a pan and heat gently until all has melted, then stir in the chosen flavouring. Finally add the breadcrumbs. Mix together thoroughly and turn into a well greased 7" tin. Spread evenly and mark lightly into fingers or squares. Leave for 24 hours and then eat as a cake or a sweet.