Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘beetroot’

Neighbours, Herbal Lore and Wisdom…on country lanes.

In Folklore, herbal remedies on February 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Walking each day on the lane is great. It exercises myself and the dogs, it gives me a chance to observe the hedgerows and sometimes take pics for the blog, but best of all one has chance encounters with the neighbours. This I really enjoy as you never know where the conversation will lead. Yesterday , Joe, who farms sheep further up the lane was in a great mood for chatting. After the usual pleasantries about the weather and such Joe’s topic of the day was health, so many people taking tablets now and still in ill health. Joe is quiet elderly, one would’nt dare ask his age, but other neighbours say he is near 80. Anyway he is old enough to remember when folk did’nt take so many tablets and relied on herbal cures.

Joe has a great memory and he was happy to tell me of a few cures he remembers. One was for gout: in the Spring when nettles have some nice new growth, take a handful, boil with a couple of cabbage leaves. Strain and retain the juice. Keep the juice in a cool place and drink half a small glass  first thing each morning on an empty stomach. This has to be done for 9 days. The nettle and cabbage can be eaten as a vegetable.

The next cure was for an infected foot resulting from a thorn or walking on a rusty nail. Cut an onion in half and apply the cut side to the affected area. Bandage to keep in place overnight. Next morning the onion will have drawn the poison from the infected foot.

All this talk on herbal lore reminded me of a book given to me by years ago by an old lady when I lived in Tipperary. It is called Mrs Lavenders Herbal Book and as you can see isn’t in great shape. It does have all it’s pages and is an interesting read. Published in 1930 and sold at a cost of 6 old pence it talks of garden and wild plants as cures for all ailments.

On Beetroot Mrs Lavender says: “All who suffer from jaundice or similar liver troubles should eat the ordinary red beetroot freely. Also it is excellent for growing girls and women of all ages, doing much to strenghten them and to cure weakening diseases to which they are liable.”

St. John’s Wort is mentioned as “useful in all lung troubles, particularly if there is any tendency to phythisis. If the flower and leaves are chopped fine and added to melted clarified lard they form an ointment that will heal almost any wound.”

Burdock is recommended for kidney troubles. “Two ounces of burdock root boiled in half a gallon of water till the latter is reduced to a quart makes an excellent medicine for many kidney troubles such as gravel or stone, and also for those who are suffering from dropsy.”

So between Joe and Mrs. lavender’s guidance we should be able to cope with all eventualities in the health department!!

In future chats with Joe I hope to draw more of this wisdom from him. I have started writing it down as this is part of our folklore which needs to be held on to. As with Mrs. Lavender the turns of phrase are different to those used nowadays. I would however be a bit suspicious of some of her cures…especially the use of snails as a cure for consumption!!!!

 

Beetroot Mania!

In Gardening, vegetable growing on November 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm

 

Since reading up on the benefits of Beetroot we have decided to juice some and have a shot of it every day for the next week. Interesting that it’s so good for the blood and  being the same colour too. I listed all the vitamins and minerals in the previous post if you’re interested. Looks a bit like a bloodbath when you’re juicing it plus my juicer has developed a leak too so twas a bit messy. Luckily I have another juicer so this one is going to the recycling centre.

 

 

Andy mixed his shot with some Grapefruit juice. I mixed mine with a Banana, Strawberries and soya milk to make a smoothie. Delicious…kept me going for the day. I’m working up to drinking it neat!

Being in a beetrooty frame of mind I decided to make the Beetroot and Chocolate Cake I mentioned in my last post.

To make it you need: 8ozs self-raising flour, 1 oz cocoa powder, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 4 ozs caster sugar, 4 ozs raw beetroot, peeled and grated, 3 ozs dark chocolate, melted, 3 ozs butter, melted, 2 eggs, beaten.

Set the oven to Gas 4, 180 c. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Stir in the sugar, beetroot, melted chocolate and melted butter. Turn into tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

 

 

After I had started to mix the cake I realised did’nt have any chocolate…I went ahead anyway and used an extra egg and a bit more butter which worked fine.

 

It’s amazing how someone always turns up when you’ve baked a cake. This one was cooling when our neighbours called in. Kettle on…tea and coffee…chat…and a freshly baked cake. It was still slightly warm but it was devoured anyway. No one could guess the secret ingredient…even with knowing it was hard to tell the cake contained beetroot. There’s still lots more Beetroot in the polytunnel  so I’m off to seek out a few more recipes!  

 

Sunday Ramblings from Prospect Cottage.

In arigna, Gardening on November 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm

View from the back door.

 The weather this month has been extraordinary. Fluctuating between wet and dry weather but always so mild…springlike actually. The pic above was taken yesterday…very low cloud on Corry Mountain making the wind turbines invisible. I spent 2 hours in the garden…weeding and tidying up. It was too warm for a coat!

Japenese Anemones.

 Japenese Anemones continue to produce flowers. Be careful where you plant these as they are impossible to remove and spread like crazy. I thought I had dug them all up from this corner of one of the veg beds…but no…they came back with a vengeance again this year. Any little bit of root produces a new plant…a bit like Bindweed.

In the polytunnel the Peach tree has dropped most of it’s leaves…making a bright splash of yellow for a short time. I will enjoy this colour for a little while before collecting the leaves for the compost.

The Grapevine too will soon be bare. In the kitchen above the stove the last of the grapes are bubbling away… hopefully a nice wine will result.

There is still lots of Beetroot to be harvested in the polytunnel. I have made lots of Beetroot Chutney and tried Borscht for the first time earlier this week…delicious. Beetroot is said to have health enhancing properties and contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K plus calcium, mangenese, potassium, iron, copper, phosphorus, sodium, zinc and selenium. It does’nt have to be eaten from a bath of cheap vinerar only. It is delicious roasted…can be grated over salads…makes great soup…and can even be used in cakes. I have a recipe for Chocolate and Beetroot Cake which I intend to make this week. I’m also going to juice some…I’ve had Beetroot juice in the past…it’s very sweet. Beetroot is said to provide more oxygen to the blood. So there you go…the humble easy to grow Beetroot is really a superfood.

Finally a look at where I do my blogging from…the front porch looks out onto our front field and beyond that to Sliabh an Iriann (the Iron Mountain)which is shrouded in heavy mist today. A comfy chair…bookshelves to my right…I like to check info before I put it out there. Laptop on desk in front of radiator…cushy. Looking out on our little world whilst communicating with the big wide world out there. Lovin it!