Create and EAT all the dishes found behind the walls of Redwall Abbey. Try Greatwall gooseberry fool, shrimp and hotroot soup, and Mole’s favorite deeper than ever turnip ‘n tater beetroot pie, all washed down with Summer strawberry fizz.
These traditional recipes were born during the scarce years of the Second World War… but many probably go back much farther than that, handed down by mothers and mother’s mothers in Britain ever since they began to grow potatoes and cabbages.
Don’t worry, though. All these recipes taste great. And even better, they are good for you. All are made from seasonally fresh foods from scratch and most of them feature many fruits and veggies. Because sugar was rationed during the war, sweets are at a minimum.
Best of all you can read along, about the adventures of Mole and Badger in the Mossflower woods.
See if you can find The Redwall Cookbook at your library. This cheery little book, by Brian Jacques and illustrated by Christopher Denise, is sure to turn inexperienced Dibbuns into seasoned chefs. Dig in!
To get you started, try these:
Crispy cheese and onion hogbake
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups (4 oz) grated cheddar cheese
4 eggs, beaten
¼ cup milk (Vinny suggests using skim)
1 ½ cup cornflakes (Vinny says try bran flakes instead)
4 tomatoes, sliced
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Place onions in a large casserole. Sprinkle the cheese over the onions; pour in the beaten egg and milk and season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the cereal flakes over all and arrange the tomatoes to cover.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. Serve hot.
OR HOW ABOUT…..
Gourmet garrison grilled leeks
1 ½ pound (about 4 medium) leeks, cleaned and chopped into 1 ½ inch lengths
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Preheat the broiler.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt.
- Boil the leeks for 10 minutes.
- Drain and transfer the leeks to a shallow oven-proof dish.
- In a bowl cream the butter, mustard and cheese and spread over the leaks.
- Broil until golden, about 3 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
Caffeine-free hot mint tea
(Vinny’s recipe, based on Redwall’s - what would a British meal be without tea?)
1 tablespoon Roibus tea leaves (or other caffeine-free tea)
1 small bunch of mint leaves (a nice handful)
honey, to taste
- Put the tea and mint leaves into a teapot large enough to hold six cups.
- Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and pour over the leaves.
- Let it rest (steep) for 5 minutes.
- Strain into four mugs and sweeten with honey, as you like it.
Greathall gooseberry fool
1 pound gooseberries (you can use any kind of berries but then, you must change the name…)
½ cup sugar (use less if you are using a sweet berry instead of gooseberries)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons plus ½ c milk (Vinny uses skim)
½ cup heavy cream, whipped
Grated chocolate to garnish
- Cook the gooseberries in a saucepan with the sugar and 2 tablespoons water, about 10 minutes, until the berries are soft.
- Press the fruit through a sieve over a bowl.
- Let the fruit puree cool.
Make the custard
- Mix the cornstarch and sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk.
- Bring another ½ cup of milk to a boil and pour it slowly over the cornstarch mix, stirring to blend well.
- Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium low heat, stirring until thickened, about 4 minutes.
- Let cool, stirring occasionally.
- Fold the custard, then the whipped cream into the berry puree.
- Cover and chill at least an hour.
- Serve the fool in four pretty glasses and sprinkle with grated chocolate.