spring recipes

Nettle and Sorrel Soup

– approximately 20 nettle heads

– 1 handful of wild or common sorrel

– water to cover the leaves

– 1 finely sliced potato

– 1 sliced onion

– 1 ¾ pints vegetable stock

– salt and pepper

– cream to finish

– pan 

Shake out any bugs from the nettle and sorrel leaves and put them in a pan, just covering the leaves with water. Add the potato to provide the soup with thickness, and then add the onion for flavour. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and cook your mixture for a further 10 minutes. Let the soup cool a little before liquidizing, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve this either warm or cold; for a finishing touch, add a swirl of cream just before serving. 

Recipe Source: “Treat Yourself Natural” by Sof McVeigh


Herbal Butter

– 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

– 4 to 6 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, flowers, or seeds, OR 4 to 6 teaspoons dried herbs

– juice and grated zest of 1 lemon

– salt and pepper to taste, or dry mustard or paprika for a zesty flavor

Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Chop the herbs and flowers very fine or pulverize the seeds and blend them into the butter. Spoon onto a sheet of waxed paper and roll it up so that the butter is almost ½ inch in diameter. Refrigerate until ready and cut into slices.

Recipe Source: “Celtic Folklore Cooking” by Joanna Asala


Seofan Bridd and Knut Breowan

– 7 pigeons, plucked and gutted

– a half finger length of fatty bacon

– garlic root to taste

– chives

– 3 bay leaves

– wood mushrooms (chopped into beaker of ale)

– roasted cobnuts (hazelnuts), bashed into pieces

– small beaker of water

– butyre

– loafen of bread to serve

Warm the butyre to brown the bacon, cobnuts and garlic in heavy-based stewing potte. 

Brown birds till all sides are toasty. Drown the seofan bridds in the ale, mushrooms and water til meat is falling from the bones. Serve whole or in part on warm loafen.

(Note: A fun fact – I got this soup recipe from a British paranormal mystery computer game my sister played called The Lost Crown. There was a part in the game where you had to collect the recipe ingredients around the forest for a woman living in an adorable, old woodland cottage. Make of this recipe what you will, it’s rather vague and old-timey, but it sounds fun to try to recreate from the game.)

Recipe Source: “The Lost Crown: A Ghost Hunting Adventure” by Jonathan Boakes


May Day Maple Hearth Bread

– 1 envelope active dry yeast

– ⅓ cup real maple syrup

– ¼ cup warm water

– 3 cups flour

– 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

– 1 tablespoon baking powder

– ½ teaspoon salt

– 1 cup coarsely ground hazelnuts

– ¼ cup shortening

Dissolve the yeast and maple syrup in the water. Mix 1 ½ cups of the flour with the brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and hazelnuts. Cut in shortening using a fork. Add the yeast mixture; stir. Slowly add the remaining flour until the dough is easy to handle. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 1 minute. Cover; let rise for 15 minutes. Form into a round or oval; place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the image of a heart or other appropriate symbol into the top of the bread. Bake for 30 minutes. The bread is done if the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If desired, the loaf can be brushed with a little syrup and butter during the last 5 minutes of baking. This bread is very crusty.

Recipe Source: “A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook” by Patricia Telesco


Scottish Bannocks

– 2 cups hot milk

– 1 ½ cups instant oatmeal

– 1 egg

– ½ teaspoon baking soda

– 1 tablespoon grated orange peel

– 1 tablespoon chopped almonds

In a large bowl, pour the milk over the oatmeal; let sit for 10 minutes. Beat in the egg, baking soda, orange peel, and almonds. Consistency should be like a thick pancake batter. If the batter is too thin, add more oatmeal; if too thick, add a little milk. 

Heat griddle over a moderate flame; grease. Pour the batter onto the griddle; cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook the other side. Best served with butter and honey. 

Makes about 12 (2-inch) bannocks. 

Recipe Source: “A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook” by Patricia Telesco


Green Man Salad

– 5 cups green leaf lettuce

– 2 cups fresh dandelion greens

– 6 to 8 slices of bacon

– 2 tablespoons white vinegar

– 2 teaspoons sugar

– salt to taste

Remove stems of greens and roughly chop leaves. Cut bacon into 1-inch square pieces and fry until crispy. Pour off the fat, reserving ½ cup. Add vinegar, sugar, and salt to the bacon and reserved fat, and bring to a boil. Pour dressing over greens, toss, and serve. 

Recipe Source: “Celtic Folklore Cooking” by Joanna Asala


Aphrodite’s Love Cakes

– ¼ cup whiskey or brandy

– 2 tablespoons dried damiana

– 2 tablespoons dried rose petals, crushed

– ½ cup whole wheat flour

– ½ cup unbleached white flour

– ½ cup rolled oats

– 2 teaspoons baking powder

– ½ teaspoon sea salt

– ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

– 1 egg

– ½ cup honey

– ½ cup melted butter or oil

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– dried coriander

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a small bowl, place the whiskey or brandy, damiana, and rose petals. Steep this mixture for at least 15 minutes. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, the oats, baking powder, sea salt, and ground cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the honey, oil or melted butter, and vanilla, and stir to combine.

Add both bowls of wet ingredients to the dry ones in the large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Grease a baking sheet. Drop dough by tablespoons into the greased sheet, then sprinkle cakes with dried coriander. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Do not overbake. Cakes should be soft, moist, and chewy.

Recipe Source: “Witch in the Kitchen: Magical Cooking for All Seasons” by Cait Johnson


May Wine

– 1 bottle dry white wine, or 1 bottle light rose or red wine

– 3 to 4 sprigs of sweet woodruff

– strawberries (to steep with woodruff)

In a non-metallic container, steep the sweet woodruff and strawberries in the wine and set in a cool, dark place overnight. (Some herbs, such as rose petals, may need to steep for several weeks to take on the characteristic flavor, so you should place the wine in sterilized jars and seal.)

Filter before serving.

Recipe Source: “Celtic Folklore Cooking” by Joanna Asala (under the recipe name “Spring Wine”)


Cottage Cheese with Chives

– 8 oz. cottage cheese

– 1 tablespoon mustard

– 1 shallot

– 1 bunch chives

– ½ teaspoon paprika

– salt

– white pepper

Blend the cottage cheese and mustard. Peel the shallot, chop finely and mix with the cottage cheese blend. 

Wash and dry the chives and snip them finely. Stir about two-thirds of the chives into the cottage cheese mixture. Season the cottage cheese mixture with the paprika and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the remaining chives on top.

Recipe Source: Unknown


Elderflower Cordial

– 60 elderflower heads

– 5 unwaxed lemons

– 5 ¼ pints water

– 5 lb. 8 oz. caster (superfine) sugar

– 4 ½ oz. citric acid

– sieve lined with muslin

– large bowl

– large pan

– clean, sterilized bottles or jars

Shake out any bugs from the flowerheads and place them in the large bowl (or in several bowls). Zest then slice the lemons and add to the flowers in the large bowl.

Now make a sugar syrup: fill a large pan with half the water and add all the sugar. Heat just until all the sugar is dissolved, stirring all the time. Do not burn! Pour this sugar syrup over the flowers and lemons in the bowl then add the rest of the water.

Sprinkle over the citric acid and stir well. Leave overnight so the elderflower flavour and goodness can seep out into the water.

In the morning, strain the mixture through a sieve lined with muslin. Push out as much liquid as you can; squeezing the muslin with your hands at the end is messy but satisfying. Pour this liquid into clean, sterilized bottles or jam jars.

You can use your cordial straight away – just dilute with water to taste.

Recipe Source: “Treat Yourself Natural” by Sof McVeigh

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