Hawberry (Crataegus laevigata og Crataegus monogyna)

There are plenty of hawberries on the commons, in hedgerows and scrubs. This year I couldn’t resist to pick some of them. When I got home, I found a recipe for ketchup based on hawthorn on Jonathan Wallace’s blog Self-sufficient in Suburbia.

Since I always have to try things a little different than stated in the recipe, I ended up making ketchup from: Hawthorn, kombucha, sugar, red wine vinegar, salt, garlic, black pepper, paprika, chilli and tarragon.

Hawthorn Ketchup

The result was 4 glasses of hawberry ketchup. The taste is great, quite similar to tomato ketchup. This is the first time I’ve used hawberries. With this experience, I could not dream of growing tomatoes for ketchup. It is easier to go out on a nice day and pick the small berries, than it is to grow a similar number of tomatoes from seeds, taking care of them spring and summer.

The process is simple. Rinse the berries, cover them with half vinegar and half water (here I used kombucha and a little vinegar). Gently boil them 30 minutes and press them through a sieve. Kernels and stem residues remain in the sieve, out comes a beautiful red mass. The spices are added and the ketchup boiled again, then poured on scalded glasses. I immediately turn the glasses, to let the heat of the content pasteurize the lids.

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Garlic Cookies with oatmeal, almonds and garlic

Garlic Cookies with oatmeal

125 g (4.4 ounce) butter
225 g (7.9 ounce) cane sugar (or other sugars)
1 egg
1 tablespoon white wine (or apple cider or water)
125 g (4.4 ounce) of sieved flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
170 g (6.0 ounce)coarse oatmeal

Filling for ½ portion dough
100 g (3.5 ounce) almonds
4 cloves garlic, for example. “Estonian Red ‘,’ Persian Star ‘or another strong cultivar

dried cranberries


First mix the butter with sugar, until it becomes soft. It takes some time, use a hand mixer or get some healthy exercise. It should feel as if the sugar is dissolved in the butter.
Then add 1 egg and then the white wine. Mix well.
Pulverizer sea salt in a mortar. Sift the flour and mix with sea salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix with the rest of the dough. When dough is well mixed, stir in the coarse oatmeal. Use a spoon, so the oatmeal does not turn into flour.

Now you can add the filling. There is a high degree of freedom. Consider the dough as a mortar, that will bind bind the filling ingredients together. First add the almonds and mix gently. Cut the garlic in thin slices and turn into the mixture.

Unless you bake for a big family, you probably want to add some other kind of filling to the other half of the dough.
All kinds of nuts and dried fruit goes nicely as a filling. Grated citrus peel is fine too. You can also add a little spice, like cardamom or fennel, but beware that it does not disturb the taste of the basic filling ingredients.

Baking in the oven
Bake at approx. 180C (350F), until the cookies take colour and turn brown at the edges (about 12 minutes)

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Grey Pea ‘Lollandske rosiner’

At last I had a chance to boil the grey peas. Grey peas was stable food in northern europe before the potato made its way into the kitchens. Since then the use of grey peas have been forgotten. To learn how to cook them, I looked them up in a danish cookbook from 1847 written by Madam Mangor. You might be able to translate it with BabelFish or Google.
But an anarchist live somewhere inside of me, always making me do things a bit different to the recipe.

Grey peas in their own gravy

I soaked the grey peas overnight well covered in tapwater. Changed the water, brougth to boil and added a pinch of baking soda, then gently boiled for two hours. Now the grey peas was tender and had developed their own gravy. We dined on some of it. Next day the gravy had turned in to jelly, but melted quickly on boiling. They tasted even better the second day. Taste was superior to the yellow peas, and to my surprise with no gas problems.
I hope grey peas will one day be awailable in the ordinary supermarkets – ithey are delicious.

PS. Thanks to Poul, who saved ‘Lollandske rosiner’ from extinction, and to Kirsten, who grew and presented this batch of grey peas to me.

On the danish version of this blogMerete jokingly commented(in danish) that you can eat the burgundy snail. This comment made me do the effort to find my uncle’s recipe for escargots. Svend Holt had a small snail farm, and sold the prepared escargots to gourmet restaurents. They were popular, and I would like to share his recipe:

My uncle’s escargots

Burgundy snails comes in two sizes. The small ones must grow a year more, pick only the big ones.

Feed the snails boiled spaghetti in a dry cage. They eat the spaghetti, and when all feces is white, and the snail have retires to their houses it’s time to boil the water.

Add the snails one at a time, and boil for 2 min. Now you can twist the snail out of the house, holding the snail with a tiny fork, and try to get even the tiniest curl out of the house. Cut off the curls (intestines), and work the snails with coarse salt to rub off the mucus.

In a mixture of 1/3 water and 2/3 white wine add 5 great onions, a few cloves, 1 celery, 2 leeks, 4 carrots in slices, 1 teaspoon grounded white pepper, 2 spoons of salt, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 twigs of thyme and 4 laurel leaves.

Boil snails 4 hours, or 105 min. in a pressurecooker.
Meanwhile clean the houses thoroughly in washing soda solution. Control by holding them up against the light. There must be no remains of the snail in the house. Houses must fall to the bottom of the water.

After boiling strain, and freze the surplus of escargots in the soup. They stay fresh in the freezer at least a year.

Serve with garlic butter in the house, then the escargot and top with parsley butter. Heat them for 10-12 min. at 120 C.

This recipe is for 100-200 burgundy snails.

The main ingredients

Kale flowerspikes stirfried with fennelshoots and scallops taste wonderfull. It includes a shallot and a garlic. First sautee the shallot and garlic in oliveoil, add the kale flowerspikes, next scallops and then fennel. It’s very quick to prepare, as shoots and flowerspikes are very tender. Add salt, pepper, lemonjuice and applecider vinegar to taste. Serve with bread.

Stirfried Red Russian with scallops

Kale flowerspikes comes from ‘Red Russian’, fennelshoots are from the perennial bronzefennel, shallot is the danish heirloom “Kartoffelløg fra Læsø” and garlic is ‘Polish hardneck’, but other varieties will be good as well. Applecider vinegar I made some years ago by natural fermenting apples from the garden, added herbs and left it to mature in the refridgerator.