Daily Archives: January 4, 2017

An Old Gypsy Cure for Nervousness

woman-drinking-wine

Valerian Wine

  • 2 handful valerian roots
  • 1 clove
  • 1 orange rind
  • 1 rosemary twig
  • 1 liter of dry white wine
 Cut Valerian root into small pieces, and place them in a large clear glass container. Add the clove, the grated orange rind, and rosemary twig. Pour the dry white wine over the dry mixture. Seal the container tightly and allow to steep for one moon cycle (28 days). Then strain through gauze cloth, store in a bottle and seal tightly.

Drink 1 liqueur glass three times daily. Also good for fainting.

Source: Unknown

The Gypsy Vardo

There are six design types. They are known by various names but are perhaps best called the Reading, the Ledge and the Bow-top. The Bow-top is the most typically Romani; the now extinct Brush – characteristic of brush, broom, rush and wickerwork makers; the Burton – most typically showman; and, the more modern one, the Open-lot.

vardo-basics-docufx

Being individually built, no two wagons are exactly alike. They vary according to customer requirements, price, skill and location of builder and period. At the same time they have certain exterior features in common, and with few exceptions the interiors conform to a set plan or layout. Thus, the vardo is always one-roomed on four high wheels, with door and movable steps in front (the Brush wagon the only exception), sash windows, a rack called the ‘cratch’ and a pan-box at the rear.

Only minor variations in design occurred after about 1910, with the exception of the more modern Open-lot. Even the home-made vans – ‘peg-knife wagons’, supposedly shaped with the aid of that tool – tended to be along the same lines as the professionally built wagons. It was not uncommon for a traveler to add or remove features of an old wagon, re-mount a body on underworks other than its own, or replace unsound wheels by ones that differed in weight, size or structure from the original, thus altering the proportions.

colchesterstove-fxInside the wagon the atmosphere is snug and homely, and the finer vans have an almost regal splendor. Almost everything one needs is to hand. Even in winter you need never be cold. The fire in the stove, if built up with windows closed for half an hour, will so heat the rails near the roof that they will be too hot to hold. One of the Coopers once claimed that he could bake a cake in his van by stoking up the fire, shutting the windows, and leaving the mixture in the tin on the table!

Inside the wagon the cabinet work may be either dark red polished mahogany or stained pine, and the walls are grained or scumbled in light-golden brown. In the vans that have had a lot of wear and tear the original wood finish has often been painted or grained over.

Internal layout, which varies little from type to type or van to van, has not changed for a century. The basic needs of the resident are the same and, in such confined space, there is only one sensible way to meet them. The entrance is frontal and half-doored. Through it, and on your immediate left, you find a tall, narrow wardrobe and beneath it perhaps a small brush cupboard.

the-hostess-stoveThe fireplace stands next, and is always on the left as you enter, for on that side the chimney pipe is in less danger from roadside trees. From a point about two feet above the top of the stove, the fireplace is boxed in to form an airing cupboard. On the front of this cupboard and above the fireplace is a brass-railed shelf and next comes the offside window, and beneath a locker seat for two.

To the right, as you enter, is a bow-fronted corner cupboard; the top part , usually having glass doors, is probably used for displaying china, and the cupboard below for boots and cleaning gear. Opposite the fire there is another locker seat, and of a cold winter’s day it is good to sit there, lean back and place your stockinged feet on the brass guard rail on the front of the stove. Next to the seat is a bow-fronted chest of drawers.

Filling in the back of the van is a two-berthed bed-place, the top bunk just below the rear window, and beneath it are two sliding doors. These in the daytime shut away a second, shorter bed-place in which the children sleep. Light is supplied from a bracket oil-lamp above the chest of drawers, the surface of which is used as a table. More light may come from candles.

©From The English Gypsy Caravan by C.H. Ward-Jackson and Denis E. Harvey 1973 Edition

Quick Biscuits Gypsy Style

picbire5oA very simple recipe for biscuits. They are not light and fluffy, but they will fill an empty belly and are great for when you have nothing in your cupboard except for flour and some sour milk.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sour milk

Instructions:

Put the flour into a bowl and quickly mix in the sour milk. Knead briefly on a floured surface and pat out into a thick round or square. Cut into rounds or squares. Cook on both sides on a hot floured griddle or heavy frying pan until cooked through.

Found at: Journey Folki

Granny’s Shooshi Dinner

rabbit-stew-mushrooms-horiz-a-1200

Ingredients:

  • 3 Lbs rabbit meat, cut into pieces
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 stems thyme
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3 onions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • A few black peppercorns, crushed
  • Salt
  • Water and red wine
  • 1 and half cups diced carrots
  • 12 small white onions
  • 12 small mushrooms
  • 18 small potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Instructions:

Put rabbit, bay leaves, thyme, cloves, minced onion, oil, peppercorns, and salt into a large pot. Pour in sufficient water and wine to cover the ingredients in the pan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 2 hours. Add carrots, white onions, mushrooms, and potatoes and cook, covered, until vegetables are tender, approx 25-30 minutes. Mix the butter with the flour and stir into the stew until the mixture has thickened. Simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

From: Journey Folki

Poacher’s Stew

siftingthepast_vegetables-for-the-soup_jean-simc3a9on-chardin-1699-1779_1732

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds venison, inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoon shortening or lard (not oil)
  • 6 cups hot water
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and cubed 1 inch pieces
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cubed 1 inch pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, ¼ inch strips (optional)
  • 4 stalks of celery, cubed 1inch pieces
  • ½ cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 pound small fresh white button mushrooms cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 bay leaf

Mix flour, salt, and pepper. Coat the meat with the flour mixture. Melt shortening in heavy cast iron Dutch oven pot; brown meat thoroughly. Add water, heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 2 hours. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

To thicken stew: Shake 1 cup cold water and ¼ cup flour in a covered jar until well blended. Stirring stew constantly add the water/flour mix. Heat to boiling and boil for 2 minutes, continuing to stir constantly. Remove bay leaf before serving

Best if served with fresh rolls or fresh bread.

Jugged Kaunengro

Jugged Kaunengro is a traditional Romany recipe for hare or rabbit stew.

2734269d7eaadfe57d45729910b2f9e2Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 hare, jointed
  • 3 and a quarter cups strong stock, hot
  • 1 lemon, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, stuck with 3 cloves
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4  cup flour
  • 1 cup of red wine

Instructions:

Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the joints with the seasoned flour. Put the hare into the stew jar with the hot stock, lemon onion, and peppercorns. Cover the jar tightly and stand it in a deep pan of cold water. Bring this to the boil and simmer for 3-4 hours (depending on the age of the hare). Remove the hare from the jar and keep hot. Knead the butter and flour together and stir into the stock with wine. Heat the sauce, stirring until smooth and thick.

From: Journey Folki

Campfire Bread

bread

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter or shortening
  • 1 cup of milk

Method:

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and rub in the butter until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add in the milk gradually to form a stiff dough – you may add a little water or more milk. Wind the dough around a clean branch or stick and suspend the branch over the dying embers of the fire, turning frequently until browned and crisp. Pull off the stick and the bread is ready to eat.

Note: The dough can be patted into a round and cooked on a hot greased griddle for 5-7 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Found at: Journey Folki

Joe Grey Soup (Traditional Gypsy Recipe)

163_051027022519508_wideweb__300x375An authentic Romany Gypsy recipe for a cheap and filling sausage and potatoes soup. Like most traditional Romany recipes, its easy to make and can feed a large family cheaply.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 links pork sausage
  • 8 slices unsmoked back bacon, rindless
  • 2 onions, chopped into large chunks
  • 5 tomatoes, sliced
  • 5 medium potatoes, sliced
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • bread, to serve
  • butter, to serve

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan and brown the sausages. Remove from the pan and cut each sausage into 3 pieces. Return to the pan.

Cut each bacon slice into 3, add to the pan and cook until browned. Add the onion and cook until browned. Cover the contents of the pan with boiling water, but not to the top of the pan. Continue cooking and add the sliced potato.

Cook until the potatoes are soft – you may need to top it up with more boiling water from the kettle. Add the sliced tomatoes and crumble in the stock cubes. Stir well and simmer until the tomatoes are soft.

Serve on plates (not bowls) with lots of fresh chunky bread

Serves 6

From: Food.com

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