DIOD SINSIR (GINGER BEER)
4lb (1.8Kg) lump sugar, 6 oz (170g) stem ginger, 6 lemons, 4 oz (115g) yeast, 4 gallons (18 Litres) water,
Peel the lemons, cut them in halves and squeeze them on the sugar, Bruise the ginger and let them all be in a pan. Pour the boiling water on them. When cold enough add a small tea-cup full of yeast. Let it stand 24 hours before bottling. In three days it will be ready to drink
4 lumps of well pounded stem ginger, 2 sticks of rhubarb, 1 lb (500g) lump sugar, 1 oz (30g) of yeast, a handful of blackcurrant leaves, 8 pints (5 Litres) cold water, dandelions and nettles tops in equal proportion.
Half fill a 10 pint (7 Litre) saucepan with an equal amount of dandelions and nettles. Add two sticks of rhubarb, a handful of blackcurrant leaves, pounded stem ginger, cover with cold water and boil for 15 minutes. Strain off the liquid, add the lump sugar till dissolved and well stirred. Pour over 8 pints (5 Litres) of cold water and stir. When tepid take a cup of the liquid to dissolve the yeast in then pour back in, stirring well. Leave overnight. The yeast is skimmed off the next day and the ginger beer bottled. Corked loosely at first and after bubbling has ceased, corked tightly.
6 heads of elderflower (in bloom), 2 lemons, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 pints (1.2 Litres) water
Pick the blossoms off the elderflower stalks and put them into a large jug with the sugar, water and very thinly sliced lemon rind / peel from the two lemons. Cover and let it stand overnight. Next day squeeze the lemons and add the juice. Strain through some muslin cloth, pour into a glass jug, chill and serve cold.
NETTLE BEER (Mrs Edwards, from Corwen, 1887)
½ lb nettles, 1 gallon (4.5 Litres) water, 1lb (500g) raisins, 1 oz (30g) ground ginger, 1 oz (30g) cream of tartar, 1 lemon (quartered), ½ lb (250g) sugar, 1 oz (30g) yeast.
Boil the nettles and raisins for 15 minutes in the water, then strain and retain the liquid, allow to cool. (The plumped raisins should be separated from the nettles, drained, and used again in a cake or bara brith). When lukewarm add the sugar, ground ginger, cream of tartar and the lemon quarters. Then add the yeast to the beer and stir it in. Cover and leave stand overnight somewhere warm. Next day remove the lemon and squeeze in the juice, stir. Cover and leave stand for a few more hours. Strain the nettle beer through some muslin cloth, then bottle. Loosely cork the bottles for a day then firmly cork the bottles and store. Serve chilled.
½ lb dandelion leaves, 1 gallon (4.5 Litres) water, 1lb (500g) raisins, 1 oz (30g) ground ginger, 1 oz (30g) cream of tartar, 1 lemon (quartered), ½ lb (250g) sugar, 1 oz (30g) yeast.
Boil the dandelion leaves and raisins for 15 minutes in the water, then strain and retain the liquid, allow to cool. (The plumped raisins should be separated from the nettles, drained, and used again in a cake or bara brith). When lukewarm add the sugar, ground ginger, cream of tartar and the lemon quarters. Then add the yeast to the beer and stir it in. Cover and leave stand overnight somewhere warm. Next day remove the lemon and squeeze in the juice, stir. Cover and leave stand for a few more hours. Strain the dandelion beer through some muslin cloth, then bottle. Loosely cork the bottles for a day then firmly cork the bottles and store. Serve chilled.
MEDD HEN FFASIWN (MEAD OR METHEGLIN)
1 gallon (4.5 Litres) water, 2 pints (1.2 Litres) clear honey, 2 lemons, 4 cloves, 1 lb (500g) white sugar, sprig of rosemary, 4 inch (10cm) long piece of root ginger, 1 oz (30g) yeast.
Boil together the sugar, water and honey and skim of any scum that rises. Stand in an earthenware basin and add the juice of the two lemons and large sections of rind / peel of one lemon. Also add the cloves, rosemary and well bruised root ginger. When cooled to blood temperature or less, add the yeast (too hot a liquid will kill the yeast). After 3 days remove the lemon rind / peel but let fermentation continue until it has stopped ‘hissing’. After leaving for about a weak the liquid can be strained and bottled. Cork loosely to begin with then tighten up if it is not bubbling. Leave for at least 3-6 months before drinking.
CYFLAITH (TREACLE TOFFEE)
1 lb (500g or 2 cups) demerara sugar (natural brown sugar), 12 oz (340g or 1 ½ cups) butter, 12 oz (340g or 3 cups) golden syrup (corn syrup)
Boil all ingredients together and stir gently for about 10 minutes or until a few drops poured into cold water harden straight away (at the hard-crack stage). Pour into an oiled flat tin or plate and when barely set mark into squares with a knife and loosen from the bottom of the tin. Leave until quite cold and firm before removing from the tin. Break up into pieces and either wrap in small squares of oiled paper or store in an airtight tin. Makes about 2lb (1Kg) toffee. Nuts or dried fruit may be added before pouring into the tin.
FFEST Y CYBYDD (THE MISER’S FEAST)
Place in the pan layers of peeled potatoes and sliced onions and a little salt, cover with water and bring to the boil, then place on top of the vegetables some slices of bacon and simmer slowly until cooked. This dish was so named because the miser was supposed to eat the vegetables flavoured by the bacon one day, while the bacon was kept to be eaten cold with oatmeal dumplings or plain boiled potatoes the next day.
TRELENNOD BLAWD CEIRCH (OATMEAL DUMPLINGS)
12 oz (340g or 3 cups) fine oatmeal, 4 oz (115g or 1 cup) self raising flour, 3 oz (85g or 3/4 cup) suet or margarine, 2 oz (60g or 1/2 cup) currants, pinch salt, approx 1 cup (200ml) buttermilk or water.
Mix all the dry ingredients together then add just enough liquid to make it firm. Roll into small balls, the size of a large walnut, in oatmeal coated hands. Poach them in chicken stock for about 40 minutes. Drain the dumplings before serving. The dumplings may break up in an overcrowded pan.
CAWL CENNIN (LEEK SOUP)
1 lb (480g) Leeks, 1 onion, 2oz (60g) butter, 1 lb (480g) potatoes, 2 pints (1 Litre) chicken stock, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp chopped mint, 1/4 pint (150ml) single cream
Trim the leeks and wash them and slice; peel and slice the onion. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the leeks and onion and fry gently for 10 minutes. Peel and cube the potatoes, add to the other vegetables. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for 1/2 hour. Mash everything down (or blend everything together using a blender or liquidiser). Return to the pan, season, add the mint and stir in the cream. Heat gently through without boiling and serve.
2 onions (peeled and finely sliced), 6 stalks of celery (scrubbed and finely sliced), 1 0z (30g) butter, 1 1/2 pints (900ml) of milk, 1/2 pint (300ml) of water, a blade of mace, salt, pepper, 1 oz (30g) cornflour, 6 oz (180g) welsh cheese (grated), chopped chives and chopped parsley to garnish
Prepare the vegetables and fry them gently in the butter, without letting them take on any colour. Add the milk and water, salt, freshely ground black pepper and a blade of mace and bring up to the boil. Then simmer over a low heat until the vegetables are tender (about 30 minutes). Take out the mace and mash the soup down (or blend everything together using a blender or liquidiser). Back on a low heat add into the soup the cornflour – which has been mixed together into a paste using 1 tbsp of water and then a little of the soup to thin, (do not add the dry cornflour directly into the soup without making it into a paste first). Stir the thined cornflour paste into the soup and stir continuously until the soup is brought up to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes just under the boil and adjust the seasoning. Turn the soup down onto a low heat. Just before you want to serve stir in the grated cheese until it melts – then serve, topping off with chopped parsley and chives.
OYSTER STUFFED MUTTON (1680 A.D.)
Meryell Williams of Ystumcolwyn
Take a pint (600ml) of oysters and put them in hot water to make them white; they must be taken out as soon as they are put in. Put to them half a pound (240g) of beef suet and a little marjoram, and parsley. Shred 2 anchovies, 4 yolks of eggs hardened, 2 yolks unboiled, about 2 or 3 dozen capers and a little pepper and salt, 3 or 4 cloves, all this well mined together. Make 2 holes in the shoulder of mutton, and stuff it on both sides. As soon as it is stuffed it must be wrapped in a sheet of white paper well basted with fresh butter, keeping it well basted till it is roasted.
When your mutton is half roasted, take broth or water, half a dozen spoonfulls or more, and 2 or 3 spoonfulls of claret and a little salt, 2 shallots, to baste your mutton put your suace over the fire, put one or two cloves, some capers or sampire, 2 spoonfulls of vinegar, so boil it and put it upon the mutton. You may set some oysters or mussells if you please.
STEWED CARP (1680 A.D.)
Meryell Williams of Ystumcolwyn
Take your Carp and knock it in the head. Then put it into cold water for half an hour. Scale it and open it, clean it and dry well, and flour it on both sides. When you have ready your frying pan with fresh butter done very brown, then put your carp in and fry it brown on both sides. then have ready your stewpan with some claret (red wine) put in the Carp and a little lemon. Peel 2 or 3 cloves, a little mace and let it stew on a slow fire for 3 quarters of an hour (45 minutes). Then turn it, and when it is enough take it upon the dish.
Then make your sauce with what it was stewed in, straining it first, then put two anchovies, a little mace, a little pickle of mushrooms, a little juice of lemon. Take some butter turned in flour and give it a boil and so serve it up, and put some mushrooms and toasts of white bread in the dish.
GWYDD (GOOSE STUFFED WITH SPICY APPLE SAUCE)
12 lb (5Kg) goose, goose and giblets, 4 tablespoons lard or oil, 3 tablespoons Port or red wine, 1 small chopped onion, 1/4 pint (300ml or 1/2 cup) dark ale or stout
For the Stuffing: 4 oz (115g or 2cups) fresh breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon chopped sage, 1 medium peeled cored and minced apple, 1 medium sliced chopped onion, 1 separated egg, chopped goose liver, salt and pepper.
For the Sauce: 1/2 lb (225g) cooking apples, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, pinch dry mustard, pinch cinnamon
Boil the giblets (keeping the liver for the stuffing) in salted water to cover for 1/2 an hour (30 minutes). Mix all the stuffing ingredients together except for the egg white, whip that stiffly and add last. Stuff the bird with this and secure. Put into a roasting tin, pour over the oil, cover with foil and roast in a hot oven 400F (200C) for 20 minutes to the pound. After the first 20 minutes lower the heat to around 325F (170C). Baste the goose three or four times until 15 minutes before it is ready, then pour off the surplus fat, keeping the remaining basting juices which are poured into a saucepan, add the giblet stock and season well. Add 3 tablespoons of Port or red wine and let it reduce on the top of the stove to make gravy. While the goose is cooking bake in the oven the peeled and cored apples for the sauce for 30 minutes – when baked mash the apple in a saucepan with the chopped onion which were softened by frying in a little butter, then add the sugar and ale. Reduce this sauce a little and then stir in the breadcrumbs, vinegar, mustard, cinnamon and a little of the goose gravy. Simmer it all for 10 minutes and serve hot with the bird. Serves around 8.
TORBWT WEDI EI FOTSIO (POACHED TURBOT WITH GRANVILLE SAUCE)
4 thick turbot cutlets, 1 medium onion finely sliced, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, water to cover, salt and pepper.
For the Granville Sauce: 1 chopped shallot or small onion, 1 pounded anchovy, 2 tablespoons sherry, 2 teaspoons wine vinegar, 6 peppercorns, pinch of nutmeg and mace, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon flour, 6 tablespoons cream
Slice the onion very finely and lay on the bottom of a pan, add the parsley then put the turbot cutlets on top. Season well and pour over barely enough water to cover. Put a lid on top or cover with foil and very gently poach for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the cutlets. Leave in the water until needed.
Meanwhile make the sauce by simmering in a double boiler the first 6 ingredients until the shallot is soft. Using another saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Mix well until smooth. Add the mix from the double boiler and simmer, stirring all the time. When smooth and cooked, add the remaining 6 tablespoons of cream. Stir well, strain or liquidize and serve warm with the drained fish. Serves 4.