The Rustic Kitchen part 2

Home grown staples included not only the usual grains and dried beans, onions, garlic and storable vegetables, but also fresh cheese, well rubbed with salt, left to mature on a beam, hams and sausages from the annual pig killing, and a wide variety of potted and preserved meats and fish. In other Districts where the ground was often under snow for long periods, the housewife would pickle and salt the cabbage and other vegetables, and preserve the berries essential to provide vitamin C through out the winter.

Herbs would be used fresh in Spring and Summer, and dried for the winter. The prudent housewife could reckon to feed her family “from the drawer” -a term used particularly by those who stored chestnuts in long wooden trays kept under the dresser -for months if necessary.

These basics were the foundation on which Peasant Recipes were built. Most of these ingredients, particularly the sausages, are widely available today in our supermarkets. None of the recipes complicated – Peasant methods are simple. There is no reason why we should not make our own Frankfurters and Salamis if we wish. There is also every reason to be aware of the ingredients which should and should not be included in the recipes when we are shopping for the ready-prepared article.


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