Grandma’s kitchen: seven of her favourite ingredients
Swede, egg royale, parsley. Do they bring back memories? Generations of grandmothers relied on foods that sadly have fallen out of favour in today’s world. We take a look at seven key ingredients Grandma loved and reveal why you should try them too.
Many a grandparent has been heard to mutter the phrase “everything was better in the old days”. We find that hard to believe, but as part of our “new year, new leaf” outlook we’ve decided to sample seven favourites from “the good old days”. They’ve all fallen out of food fashion so let’s see if we can revive one or two. Get set for a trip down memory lane!
One of the most controversial vegetables out there. Its unique taste split foodies into two camps: those who love them and the rest of the planet.
We say: give these tiny cabbages another shot. They taste great in potato-based stews, in soups or with venison.
Another veg many of us nurture a love-hate relationship with. Grandma would boil it, mash it or cook up a casserole that would last for days.
We say: swede makes a pleasant change from potato. As well as having a long storage life, it’s easy to prep and can be added to bakes and soups.
Long before tofu, there was something else added to clear soups. “Egg royale” was the original meat replacement. The egg-like pancake is made using eggs, milk and a dash of nutmeg. It’s cut into strips or cubes and added to soups and broths to make them more filling.
They look like apples and grow like apples, but wait. Anyone who has bitten into a freshly picked quince will know just how sour, hard and woody they taste. So Grandma would whip quinces into jams and jellies instead. Contemporary cuisine has popularised both quince chutney and baked quince as a side dish.
Most of you will remember semolina as a heavy pudding. It’s made using a range of grains, and has heavy competition nowadays in the form of couscous, quinoa and chia seeds. We say: go old school and use semolina to make delicious dumplings or a creamy dessert.
When we think of gooseberries, we’re reminded of lazy summer days in Grandma’s garden. As barefoot, sticky fingered children we learnt that red gooseberries are yummy, but green gooseberries taste yucky. And as adults we know the red berries can be eaten straight from the bush, but the green ones are best stewed or in cakes.
What coriander is to modern cooking was parsley for Grandma. Whether a roast dinner, mashed potato or a hearty stew a sprig of parsley was the ultimate garnish. This leafy green herb can do so much more though. Add it to sauces, dips, soups, salads or fish and meat dishes for an unmistakable, savoury flavour.