In the old times spring meant two good news. At least the grass arises and the cows began to give milk.
So, ancient Estonian spring dishes contain a lot of milk, dairy products and greens.
Goutweed tastes like carrots and celery. Nettles are a bit sweet. Dandelion tastes like honey, but could be little bit bitter. To decrease the bitterness, leave leaves in to the cold salty water to set. And wood sorrel is sour.
Nettles need to be kept in the boiling water 1-2 minutes. Goutweed and wood sorrel are eatable when fresh. NB! Use only young, fresh, new, small weeds, grown in a pure and clean environment.
Barley has been cultivated in Estonia longer than any other crops – for over 4,000 years. And pearl barley has been a staple food for Estonians through the ages; it has even been a food fit for celebrations. In the olden days, the tradition in Estonian villages was to make sauerkraut soup with pork and barley groats on Thursdays and Sundays.
You can cook this soup on the traditional way: swell beans and barley overnight. Prepare beautiful and delicious broth, and cook up to 2 hours.
But I recommend the easier and faster ”everyday version”:
This soup has enough flavours, so you can cook this without meat. If needed add some meat leftovers or strengthen flavour with ready broth.
And Use prepared/canned beans and barley groats.
Mulgi-Mulgimaa is a district in South-Estonia with its own culture, food and dialect.
My mother is Mulk and so am I. Mulgipuder means Mulgi’s porridge. This dish is very old though. In former times when people had wood burning stoves the porridge was placed on a stove in the morning where it had time to cook and get simmer and better. People just had more time.
Mulgid (the people who lived in Mulgimaa) were wealthy. But because in early times animals were more important than people, they were usually to ones who got to eat the porridge first. And if there was anything left from the dish it was passed on to the rest of the family. Like my mother used to say – the Mulgi’s porridge was a pig food (Bon appétit! Sorry!)
Despite all, me and Estonians love this dish. It’s very, very nourishing and filling with an option to cook it completely vegan-friendly!
Potato and pearl barley porridge, i.e. potato-barley mash, originates from Southern Estonia. People in Southern Estonia (the Mulgi people) started boiling potatoes and pearl barley together in the second half of the 19th century as the combination was very filling. By the last quarter of the 19th century, this porridge was known all over Estonia. In the second half of the 20th century, this dish reached cafeterias as well and it has by now become a national dish that is served at various official events.
Long long time ago. Poor Soldier came from War.
He was tired and hungry.
Knocked on the door and asked for food. The hostess was stingy and said that she is poor herself and have not any food.
Ok, said Soldier. But do you have an axe? Lets cook an ax soup, then.
This sounded interesting, the hostess heard for the first time about ax soup and agreed.
Soldier put cattle on the stove and added water and an ax. Let it simmer, tasted and said: it is too strong. To make this lighter, we have to add something. Do you have some meat?
Yes, agreed hostess and went to the pantry for meat. During this time soldier hid an ax and changed water.
Hostess brought meat, soldier added this in to the cattle. Let simmer, tasted and asked. This is still too strong. You have very strong ax,.. To make this lighter, please bring some barley…
then they added some vegetable to make soup ” lighter”.
Finally was soup ready. Look, said Soldier: we cooked this so long, that ax is just dissolved!
Hostess tasted soup and was amazed: so delicious, who might have known that ax is so delicious!
This is story about envy, greed and deceit. And how to cook something about nothing 🙂
Now you probably already know, that I prefer dishes which take time max 30 minutes. And this soup is the same. You can cook it in a decent manner: prepare stock and use meat and spend hours to have perfect dish.
But at the afternoon, you have not time. And this is the simplest version to prepare soup. In my opinion cabbage suits with sausages. But you can cook vegan version, or use minced meat or bacon or…. whatever you like.
It reminds me story from childhood 🙂
I was I believe 5 years old and my sister 3. We went with our family to the forest. To pick blueberries and mushrooms. And middle in the forest. Big a compost or garbage ” mountain”. Full of pumpkins.
My mother took both berry buckets and father took two big pumpkins.
Walking. My sister starts to whine.. I am tired. Take me to the arms…
Father sigh, laid one pumpkin down and took sister.
Now was my turn. I am tired. Please..please… I can not anymore.
yes. We left both pumpkins in the forest…
Pumpkin became a commonly-used vegetable in Estonia in the 1920s–1930s. And now we love pumpkin 🙂
Today I will share recipe, which you probably will never do. Kama.
Kama is Estonian traditional finely milled flour mixture. Estonians buying Kama mixture from shop.. and the easiest way is to try this, probably visit Estonia. But I still give you the recipe.
Historically kama was a non-perishable, easy-to-carry food that could be quickly fashioned into a stomach-filling snack by rolling it into butter or lard; it didn’t require baking, as it was already roasted. Today Kama is perfect summer dish. Just add some fresh or fermented milk and sugar or salt, mix, and ready!
Today Kama is used for making cakes, mousse, desserts and salty snacks..