Recipes and Food
Romani families, or tribes, though wandering the country most of the year, would occasionally stop at a particularly favorite campground for two or three months at a time. Frequently this campground was a favorite of other branches of the tribe, and sometimes there was a grand reunion that took place when the different groups came together there.
Many Gypsies, especially the older ones, looked forward to these reunions, to again meeting with old friends and to sharing their stories, their adventures, their tales of sorrow and joy.
Here is a spell that was sometimes worked to bring about such a gathering, particularly if it had been a hard winter and support, comfort, and advice was needed. This magick is worked by the mother of the family when cooking a meal (usually hedgehog or rabbit stew) during the waxing of the Moon.
All potatoes to be used should be cut lengthwise, rather than crosswise, and thrown into the family cookpot along with a pinch each of allspice, thyme, and mace. Onion can be used but not garlic. Carrots, turnips and similar root crops should be plentifully included. Stir the cookpot only clockwise, and when moving around it, move only clockwise. The stirring spoon must be a wooden one, and the cookpot must be iron.
On the fire over which the cookpot hangs, throw handfuls of cedar chips; and at some time during the cooking, sprinkle onto the fire three spoonfuls of salt.
Any time the pot is stirred, it must be stirred in batches of three, for example: three, six, or nine clockwise stirs at a time. During these stirrings the mother will say:
Stir the pot and bring us round;
Rom are to the atching-tan bound.
Merry we’ll meet and merry we’ll part
And merry will be the company found.
Source: Gypsy Love Magick
As for the garden of mint, the very smell of it alone recovers and refreshes our spirits, as the taste stirs up our appetite for meat.
Mint is another commonly used herb and a real favorite with the true Romanies. Mint is sweet and refreshing, try a few chopped fresh leaves in a salad, also chop and add to pea soup and add it to the water of potatoes when they are nearly cooked. Mint is used with so many foods, because it is a great aid to digestion.
Romanies always use mint with carrots. They cook the carrots until tender in salted water and then strain them. Then add a sprinkle of sugar and a spoonful of chopped mint to the pan, return the strained carrots and shake them over a gentle heat until they are coated and reheated.
Saute a minced onion in a little butter or olive oil and add two large diced potatoes, 1/2 cup of white rice, 1 cup of chopped parsley (no stems) and about 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer half an hour. Just before serving, add 1 cup of fresh chopped parsley and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Or add fresh parsley and cheese to each bowl and ladle hot soup over it.
Recipe source unknown
This is a wonderful recipe for relieving rheumatism and cleaning the blood:
Wash a big bunch of parsley, put it into a large earthenware pot or flameproof casserole dish. Press it down tightly and cover it with water, bring it to the boil and simmer with lid on for two hours.
Strain the liquid, measure it, and add a pound of sugar and rind of a lemon for every pint of juice. Bring the juice to a boil in a pan on top of the stove, then simmer slowly until a little set when tested on a cold saucer.
Take the lemon peel out and pour the liquid into clean, warm, dried jars. When it is cooled and set, spread thickly onto thin brown bread and butter.
Recipe source unknown
Here is the secret of the most health- giving drink.
Mix a chopped carrot, celery and spinach in equal proportions and add a teaspoonful of chopped parsley. Put into the blender and mix to make a drink that is rich in potassium – in fact it contains practically the whole range of organic minerals and salts necessary for good health!
Sage is a familiar herb that plays a great part in Romany cooking. It relieves flatulence. Its flavor is strong, so it should be used sparingly. Add just a pinch to soups, egg dishes and stews.
Here’s a recipe for Sage Potatoes:
Bake potatoes in their jackets, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the centers, leaving just enough flesh in so that the cases remain firm. Mash potato with a little margarine, 1 teaspoon fresh,or half teaspoon dried sage, seasoning, and a little bit of milk. Pack back into the potato cases and cover with grated cheese. Lay a thin piece of apple on top, return to oven and bake until the tops are crisp and golden.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup sour milk
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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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.