I have a new book out!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a mince pie. I like to serve them warm from the oven with a little Bailey’s extra thick cream
This is the season for a wassail. We drink it around a fire, offering some of the cider to our garden fruit trees.
A very tasty old Norse preservation method. Once used to transport meat over large distances. In modern Norway this is part of a traditional Norwegian Yule feast
These are one of my favorites, they are softer and more cake like than normal gingerbread, and have lots more flavour.
Welcome in the Autumn with warming winter spices and seasonal pumpkin. Halloween season is nearly upon us!
A favourite of the Anglo Saxons, though with the addition of cinnamon, and the fact that an oven was required to bake – these would be reserved for only the wealthiest in society. Whether you are a Saxon or not I’m sure you’ll love these traditional tarts.
This is quick to make and is the perfect comfort food on a rainy day
This is one of my favourite curries. It takes little effort to make, but has an amazing flavour.
I grew up eating this, when I could get some. Its really popular in our house, even now.
A snickerdoodle is a kind of leavened cookie, dusted in sugar and cinnamon. Although most well known in America, it is believed that Snickerdoodles may have originated in Germany.
Pulled pork seems to be the thing at the moment. Everywhere we go it’s being served with stuffing, apple sauce and crackling. Here is a great alternative. It takes a bit of effort and a long, slow cook – so its best saved for when you have guests.
This is a great way to use up any surplus veg coming from your garden at the moment.
Nasturtiums capers make a great addition to salads, pestos, salsas and pizza, as well as a side for fish, like seabass. In fact anywhere you would use ‘normal’ capers.
Nasturtiums are easy to grow, and are an under-used garden staple. With a peppery, mustard like flavour, they are packed with vitamin C and iron. All parts of the plant are edible, from the leaves, to the seeds & even the flowers.
During the Viking era, sweet foods would have been rare, with one of the only sweeteners, honey, being an expensive commodity, saved for only the wealthy or those stupid enough to raid wild bee hives.
This dish is quick and easy to make, and super tasty. The flavour of the lamb can really stand up for itself against the spices in this dish.
Robert Mitchell told me about this one at Auk’s White horse moot 2018. His Mum used to make it when he was younger. It’s based on a recipe from a friend of hers, who is from Croatia. It was always known to Robert as ‘Cro roll’ though we have no idea what it was originally called.
A delicious snack, that doesn’t last very long in our house!
A Sweet and lightly spiced soup. Great served with freshly toasted sourdough for dunking.
Loki promised the giant Thrym that he would give him the beautiful Freya’s hand in marriage.
The year was 878. King Alfred the great was the ruler of Wessex, and not a lot else.
‘OK’ said the eagle ‘Bring me Idun, and her magical fruits that keep the Gods looking so youthful.’
Loki grabbed a rope, tied one end to a goat and the other end to his, erm… manhood. What followed was one of the most painful games of tug of war that anyone has ever witnessed
Thor’s goats It had been a good days travel, and Thor and Loki had started out early. But even gods need to rest and more importantly said Thor ‘I need to eat!’ They happened upon a small holding and decided to ask the farmer if they could stop for the night, in exchange Thor would…
This is a story of fire, and ice. I’ve embellished it a bit, but that’s my right. Before the world is here, before grass, or sand, or cool waves, there is only fire, and ice, and the gap. When the fire meets the ice in the middle of the gap, great rivers grow, roofed with…
Eating vegan food packed with veg doesn’t have to be boring. This lasagne will satisfy even the most hardcore meat-eaters!
A paratha is a flaky multi-layered flatbread. Its often eaten in India as part of breakfast, but we eat them with curries for dinner.
A traditional sweet bun to mark the end of lent by including all the things that couldn’t be eaten during the previous 40 days.
At the beginning of the world there was bear. Bear owned fire and tended to its needs and kept it fed. In return fire warmed bear and his people on cold nights. One day bear came to a great forest full of tasty acorns, so he put fire down at the edge of the forest,…
This is my twist on a traditional English folklore story. Once upon an old road, there was a giant named Baugi. One day while on his travels, he decided to be done with the Gods for good. He formulated a plan to bury Asgard under a pile of rocks and soil. So he stole a…
The Gods were celebrating. Idun had returned to the hall and the giant Thjazi had been slain. This called for a great feast and celebration. There was mead and meat, cake and balloons. Well…maybe not balloons, but you get the idea. Thor was on his 11th horn of mead when the doors to the hall…
Great served with watercress, spinach & peppery rocket.
A slow cooked, but super easy one pot dish.
I love a risotto. It does take a bit of effort to make, but the results are well worth it.
This is a fantastic vegan alternative to a Chinese take away. If you don’t like mushrooms try using cauliflower instead.
Pottage would have been quite a common food for the Anglo Saxons and Vikings. Often left in the pot for days or even weeks
This is fancy jam, not one for the kids – keep it for yourself! Almost as good as Blackberry whiskey jam.
This is an idea I have been meaning to try for quite a long time, but to be honest I was put off by the long processing time and complex method involved. Having now tried it – its not that hard and though it does take some time to produce a usable soap, it doesn’t take that much actual work.
Char cloth is used to light fires with just a spark. It works incredibly well and burns very hot. It’s also easy to make and can be used for authentic fire lighting for reenactment purposes or as a lightweight item for survivalists and prepers.
The latest in my blogs of historical recipes for Viking and Saxon reenactment
I thought that nut milk was a modern idea. They have become particularly popular in recent years as people become more environmentally aware. But did you know that they date back to the medieval period, as far back as the 13th century!
This is really easy to make. It will keep, if chilled, for up to a week, but the flavour will mature. It tastes great spread on fresh sourdough or sprinkled into a salad.
Traditional Scandinavian tvare whisks date back to at least the 9th century. The old Norse word for them was þvara. The word tvare, means ‘mixing’ though they would have been used for mashing, as well as stirring porridge and stew. As these were custom made the size of the handle varied for its user, as…
This is a great recipe, made using ingredients only available in the Early medieval Viking and Saxon times. Great cooked over a real fire, although it will obviously work just as well in the Kitchen
This chocolate cake is really tasty and best of all – its vegan!
Much quicker and easier to make than mince pies, and without the need for the long maturing time of a Christmas cake.
Great heated with honey and spices at christmas
This makes a great tear and share bread for any evening meal or supper.
The idea for this one comes from a Moroccan M’hanncha or snake cake. It’s usually a sweet dish, cooked as a pudding. Make sure to allow enough time to cool the filling after cooking.
Eating this reminds me of my childhood Halloween, bonfire night and Christmas treats.
Stingy Jack, was a drunken trickster who invited the Devil for a drink
This sauce makes a great accompaniment to dark meats, like venison or gamey birds like Pigeon.
This syrup is said to be great for colds. Either way it tastes great on porridge, mixed with hot water to make a tea or as a mixer for gin.
Chilli and chocolate is one of my favourite combinations.
This is my wife’s favorite curry, and is certainly up there as one of mine too.
A classic British food. Fried fish was introduced to Britain in the 17th century by Jewish refugees from Spain & Portugal. Who paired it with chips seems to be under some debate, although the earliest chip shop was opened in London in 1860.
This was inspired by Robin Hobb’s books. The story follows that of a bastard of a prince, Fitz, as he becomes an assassin. It’s a beautiful story filled with magic, dragons and apricot brandy shared with his friend, the fool
This makes a lovely refreshing, sparkling drink in the Summer.
Crispy and delicous. Its easy to make your own pizzas from scratch. With a little early prep to make the dough
a simple recipe for cheese scones and who doesn’t like cheese scones!
These burgers are great served in buns, with Chips, onion rings or a summer salad.
Ingredients: 2L cider 1L apple juice 2 Cinnamon sticks 6 cloves 1/2 a nutmeg 200g Brown sugar 200g white sugar 350ml vodka 350 ml spiced rum Method: Put the cider, apple juice & spices into a large pan. Bring to a simmer and stir in the sugar. Continue to simmer until the sugar is…
This has to be my favorite drinks. Great chilled in the summer, or warmed in the winter.
Its that time of year again, when the days are long and a short walk is filled with the smell of Elderflowers, summer is here!
As far as non-alcoholic drinks go, this one takes some beating.
Loosely based on a Goan Vindaloo
This is a fantastic little recipe, that we can’t stop making in our house. Serve with Couscous, rocket and cherry tomatoes.
In a rush in the morning, but don’t want to skip breakfast? Make this the night before, and it’ll be ready to eat the minute you get up! Ingredients: 80g Porridge oats 250ml milk (any kind you like – cows, goats, almond, soy etc) 40g Raspberries 40g Blueberries Honey Method: Put 2 handfuls of oats…
Drink straight, as a mixer, or add a splash to Gravadlax
Kombucha is a really great health food, promoting good gut bacteria. It’s been in use for hundreds of years, all over the world.
Bored of the usual ham sandwich, I was looking for a healthy alternative, so here it is! This is a very filling vegetarian sandwich.
This is a pretty versatile Irish recipe. Serve with eggs & bacon, jam, or as an alternative to pancakes.
Easy to do, and weirdly satisfying.
Easy to make and delicious spread on crackers or mixed into a summer salad.
Dukkah is an ancient Egyptian nut/spice mix. It works great, instead of breadcrumbs on rissoles.
Stinging nettles are high in vitamin A and calcium and are a good source of protein
Originally found in an early viking age grave in Sweden, it was baked using yeast from the same family as brewing today.
These taste great with curries. They don’t take much effort, but will need making a little in advance.
A dairy-free alternative to a classic British recipe. At home, we usually use pork sausages, when we cannot get hold of decent quality toads.
Pick your flowers on a Sunny day, if possible. Dandelions close up at night, so you’ll want to pick them as early as possible.
With no yeast, or proving required, these are a great, last minute addition to any meal.
A simple, light and fresh tasting meal in the Spring and early Summer.
Great for making rye bread and sourdough
Nettles are everywhere at the moment and if you are new to foraging, you are unlikely to go wrong picking them – just wear a good pair of gloves! They are high in vitamin A and calcium and are a good source of protein.
Serves 4 Ingredients: For the ribs; 1kg lamb or pork ribs Salt & pepper 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice (plus extra for seasoning) 3 Spring onions (finely chopped) 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 tsp ground ginger Pinch of chilli flakes 2 tablespoon Ketchup 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 tablespoon sweet cider 2 garlic cloves (peeled…
I made these for my wife, who has a dairy allergy, as an Easter treat.
Its a fantastic combo, between rich dark chocolate, crunchy biscuit and nuts, with squishy marshmallows and tangy cranberries.
Ingredients: 1 tin of Pineapple rings Muscovado sugar 80g Butter 180g Plain flour 160g Muscovado sugar Tsp Baking powder 2 eggs Pineapple juice (from the tin) Method: Melt the butter in a pan and pour into a cake tin. Spread the butter around the tin, as evenly as possible, making sure to coat the sides….
This is a popular drink in America, but probably originated in Jamaica. It tastes like a fiery home made lemonade. Its a great thirst quencher in the Summer, but works well as a mixer for whiskey or vodka on a colder Winters night.
Ingredients: 2 trout fillets Salt & pepper (to taste) 2 tsp fennel seeds Pinch of chilli flakes (optional) ½ a fennel bulb (finely chopped) 1 small or ½ a large courgette (sliced) 12 cherry tomatoes (halved) 2 slices of lemon Method: Place the fillets onto 2 separate large pieces of foil. Season well with salt…
Due to the long cooking time of the potatoes, this is probably more suitable as a brunch than a breakfast. However with a little bit of forward planning, you could cook the potatoes the day before, or us leftovers from a meal.
Hated by Gollum, for ruining perfectly good fresh fish, this stew is an old family recipe of the Gamgee’s, featuring Sams favourite – potatoes!
The history of Halva seems to be a bit of a mystery, with versions of it appearing all over the world
Best served spread on toast or with bananas on pancakes.
Goulash is a 9th century medieval Hungarian dish, originally eaten by shepherds. It’s a stew made from meat, vegetables and paprika, although paprika wouldn’t have been added until its introduction in the 16th century.
No one will ever notice the lack of dairy in this cake. You can use any kind of jam for the filling, raspberry is most traditional, but blackberry whiskey jam is fantastic!
Super easy and really tasty. We make this quite a lot. We often have it whilst out camping with salty nacho chips, but rice works well too.
As there are only 2 and a half of us, I freeze the leftovers from this, for a quick dinner the following week.
This recipe is based on the North African poached egg dish, but with added sausages and beans – to make a great breakfast or brunch.
A traditional British food, originating in Birmingham. We used to have these as a kid, but they were always shop bought.
I don’t remember particularly liking them, but as with most things – I now love them.
Serve with either mash or chips, peas and lots of gravy.
Serves 2 Ingredients: 350g prawns 1/2 a can of sweetcorn 1 courgette (sliced) 6 cherry tomatoes (sliced) 2 mushrooms (quartered) 1 clove of garlic (sliced) 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp ground ginger Pinch of chilli flakes Handful of coriander (roughly chopped) Salt & pepper Olive oil 1 limes (sliced) Large knob of butter Method:…
Ingredients: 500g strong bread flour 10g salt 80g caster sugar 20g bread yeast 50g Olive oil 300ml warm soy milk 100g dark orange chocolate Method: Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add the yeast and the olive oil. Slowly add a little milk at a time, while mixing together with…
Whether cooked mid-winter in the oven, or at a Summer time BBQ, these chicken wings are delicous.
A healthy homemade take-away.
Thought to have originated over 500 years ago in Sweden. These were originally cooked twice a year, in rounds, with a hole in the middle, to enable hanging from the rafers on a stick.
This is a really simple, no flour, no knead bread.
Great served with cheese and chutney, lightly toasted, as a snack, or dunked into soups and stews.
This recipe requires a starter recipe, which you can find here, this takes about a week to establish, but once going is ready to use any time. Great dunked into soups and stews. Ingredients: 500g strong bread flour 10g salt 160g sourdough starter 20g bread yeast 250ml warm water 1 large rosemary sprig (finely chopped)…
The mythical bread of the elves in lord of the rings. Said to keep a man on his feet for a whole day.
Whilst it is unknown what is actually in lembas, there are many recipes around. This version is not unlike shortbread and tastes great with blackberry whiskey jam.
I love a Thai green curry, and its so easy to make the sauce yourself, rather than buying one in a jar.
Lentils are one of the oldest domesticated pulse crops in the world, having been found alongside human habitations dating back to 11,000BCE
Goat is lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than pork, lamb, chicken and beef, whilst being high in iron and protein. Due to its low levels of saturated fat its said to improve cholesterol.
This is a very simple vegetarian Indian rice dish. There are many different versions of this recipe, usually containing meat, fish or eggs.
Great served with rice, naan or flatbreads
This is a vegan version of a moroccan spiced soup. It can be eaten all year, but to me it feels like a winter dish.
A traditional Italian pasta dish. As my wife has a dairy alergy I made this with soy cream and vegan cheese.
A tasty vegan alternative to a classic pasta dish.
A traditional, spicy breakfast that takes as long as a fry-up but with a lot less fat.
Spaghetti bolognese has a special place in our family, as it was the last meal we all had together, as a family just a few days before my Mum died.
This is a great vegan version, packed full of veg.
Better than any take away, lower in salt and sugar, but just as delicous!
I made this with home-made venison sausages, but pork would work just as well.
I made these whilst making some sausages, so the recipe will also work for that, if you have a sausage maker.
Serve with potatoes or with a salad.
A British classic – tea and crumpets. These are easy to make and have more flavour than shop bought crumpets.
These are really easy to make, using any type of bread. There is always a little bread in our house that is past its best. Most often its the end of a loaf of sourdough
Generally we try to eat seasonally. In summer we look forward to the first courgettes, and then spend the rest of the season eating various recipes that make use of courgette. We find new and interesting ways to use them up, making wines, jams and cakes. By the end of Summer we are sick of…
I first had a version of this at a deer skinning/butchery course with ‘Wild cooking bath’. It was so good we recreated it for our Christmas day dinner.
I had the idea to try this one for myself, after my Sister in law’s fiance cooked us a gammon in Coca Cola. I then found out that Bob Thornton, of Moremead had already done it.
Warm yourself by the fire with a freshly made mug of gently spiced wine.
These dairy and egg free puddings are an essential for any roast.
A savory alternative to the classic sweet pancake.
Pancakes are not just for February. Serve however you like them. Lemon and sugar? Bananas and Nutella? We have even done them with duck!
This is great served with chunks of sourdough bread. I have been making this to take to work, for my lunches.
A great dairy-free variation of the classic gingerbread, perfect for Christmas. Once made the dough can be frozen for cooking at a later date.
This is super rich and indulgent. Perfect on a cold winters night.
A great, meat-free version of a shephards pie topped with sweet potatoes
Perfect food for the coming party season. Try adding a little paprika, chilli or garlic for an extra twist.
The perfect Autumn night treat for Halloween or Bonfire night.
Apples and spices are the first things I think of in Autumn – that and firelit evenings, mulled wine and the coming fetivities – Halloween, Bonfire night and Christmas!
Packed full of veg and healthy lentils, this is very filling. Best served with my garlic flatbreads.
A little hint of spice on a cold day, really helps to warm you up.
A very filling and tasty winter warmer soup.
The perfect autumn soup – sweet apples, mixed with pumpkin and warm spices.
This is a tasty vegetarian pasta dish, but if you leave out the parmesan it works just as well as a vegan dish.
Crab apples are available in large quantities from late Summer. This drink is perfect for warming yourself, sat by the fire during the long, cold winter months
I usually make these in September and feed them every couple of weeks, up till December, with a mixture of brandy, dark rum, and sloe gin, for a really boozy cake.
This recipe came about after my neighbour offered us a tree full of pears. Making this in September fills the house with the smell of Christmas and really gets me excited for the cosy Winter nights ahead, sat by the fire and the build up to Christmas season. Ingredients: 500g pears (cored and cut into…
Simple, yet satisfying. These macaroons are really tasty and can be made in just a few minutes. Great for making with kids. Ingredients: 2 free range eggs 200g desiccated coconut 160g caster sugar 150g Dark chocolate (optional) Method: Beat the eggs in a bowl. Add the coconut and the sugar and stir well. Spoon the…
We like to eat this in winter stews or in the summer with cured meats and cheeses. Ingredients: 1kg beetroot (sliced) 1 tbsp black peppercorns 2 teaspoons of salt 1 tbsp coriander seeds 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds 10 cloves pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional) 700ml cider vinegar 100g light brown soft sugar Method:…
This recipe is great for using up the end of season tomatoes that didn’t have time to ripen before autumn, combined with the last of the summer glut of courgettes, and freshly foraged crab apples. Ingredients: 1kg courgettes (diced) 1kg green tomatoes (diced) 500g crab apples (cored and diced) 500g shallots (peeled and diced) 500g…
Chocolate banana melt I’m not sure if a banana still counts as one of your five a day after you’ve filled it with marshmallow and chocolate, but once in a while can’t do any harm. This one is great when out camping. Ingredients: 1 banana 2 tablespoons mini marshmallows 2 tablespoons chocolate chips Method: Slice…
This was a bit of an experiment, and ended up a success! The golden syrup flavour really comes out in the finished ale. Ingredients: 500g coopers amber malt extract 35g fuggles/Goldings hops zest of 3 oranges 375g light brown soft sugar 12 pints of water 1 teaspoon Young’s super wine yeast extract Golden syrup Method:…
This spicy jam is perfect with meats and cheeses or for dipping prawns into. I usually make a lot of it in the summer using homegrown chillies. You can easily vary the heat by changing the type of chilli you use to match your own taste. Ingredients: 840g sweet red peppers (deseeded and top removed)…