Recipes and Food
Here’s a recipe for a delicious Yuletide holiday svaijko. It is a freely adapted modern version of a very old, traditional Romany holiday recipe.
For the dough:
- 25 grams of yeast
- 60 grams of butter
- 2.5 deciliters of water
- 0.5 deciliters of sugar
- 1 liter of flour
For the filling:
- 100 grams of sour cream
- 100 grams of butter
- 200 grams of sweet chocolate
Mix the yeast, butter, water sugar and flour in a bowl so that you get a firm dough. In another bowl, mix sour cream, sugar and raisins.
Roll out the dough so that it is flattened, and spread the filling all over it. Shred the chocolate all over. Roll up the dough into a cylinder shaped roll – but carefully, so that the filling does not leak.
Brush the roll with butter, and spread some sugar all over it.
Bake it in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 40 minutes, until the roll is relatively firm inside.
Slice the roll into appropriate pieces. Serve it as a snack after the Christmas dinner, and your Christmas feast will be a great success!
If you need to convert the measurements there is a nifty calculator at Diana’s Desserts.
Put half a gallon of blackberries into a preserving pan with 3 tablespoons of water. Set over a slow heat stirring fairly frequently until the fruit is a pulp. Strain through a sieve or muslin bag. Measure the juice, return to the pan and to each quart add one pound of white sugar. Put 1 tablespoon each of cloves, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg into a small muslin bag and add to the mixture. Boil for quarter of an hour stirring constantly. Remove the spices, add a wineglass of Rum or Brandy. Allow the cordial to cool then bottle and cork tightly.
- One loaf of stale wholemeal bread.
- Hot stewed and sweetened blackberries with plenty of juice.
Slice the bread fairly thinly, removing the crusts and line the inside of a pie dish with some slices, fitting them in well and evenly. Gradually fill with hot stewed blackberries and enough juice to color all the bread in the dish. Cover the fruit with bread slices, and pour the remainder of the juice over them. Set the pie dish in a tin, place a dish or plate over the pudding and weight it down. Leave in a cool place overnight then turn out carefully. Whip some cream and decorate the pudding with it, or add a scoop of ice cream and a couple of cookies.
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.