travelling the highways and byways

My next writing retreat with my chums is going to be in a gypsy caravan – in an orchard not travelling the highways and byways. We’re all very excited about it knowing that we’ll get some writing done, talk al lot about writing, read quite a bit and have fun! I remembered that I have some Romany recipes, so maybe it would be fun to make some of them to take with us. I’m not sure what the cooking facilities will be so I think I had better choose thigns which can be cooked in advance!

One of the recipes is for saviako which is similar to a pasty but is fried, I guess rather like a samosa. It would traditionally be filled with minced or chopped lamb with spices and herbs, some curd cheese and raisins, but it can also be sweet – I wonder which my writing friends would prefer? Another traditional thing – which would also remind us of our retreat in Wales, are oatcakes. Now I have to say I have tried making them before, and to be honest they were somewhat of a disaster! However, being optimistic I might try again. I already have some sloe gin, so i could take a bottle along – perfect if the evenings are a little chilly! I love nettle soup, but I haven’t seen a good nettle patch for ages – do they not grow near the sea? Not being sure what facilities we will have, I can’t even be sure i could make some if they are growing round our caravan!

There are plenty of recipes which are called ‘gypsy’ something, for example gypsy tart – which are probably not traditional anyway, but I could certainly make one of those and take with us. It’s a pastry case filled with a mixture of condensed and evaporated milk and muscovado sugar then baked… it does sound very sweet and somewhat sickly! We’re not going away for a month or so, I have plenty of time to prepare!

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