Monday, 3 June 2013

Oats, And Beans, And Barley Grow

Sorry about School video–I couldn't find Maddy Prior!

Oats, and beans, and barley grow,
Can you or I or anyone know
How oats, and beans, and barley grow?

First the farmer sows his seed,
Stands erect and takes his ease,
He stamps his foot and claps his hands,
And turns around to view his lands.

A–waiting for the partner

Now you're married you must obey
Must be true in all you say
Must be kind and must be good
And help your wife to chop the wood

A–waiting for the partner

I made a meal with barley last week- from this book

newenglishtable roseprince

It has been a delightful read. It is one of those cookbooks which is full of useful information and interesting snippets as well as recipes. Rose takes about 80 different ingredients [listed alphabetically from Apples to Woodpigeon via Cobnuts, Gurnard and Quince] which she feels have a place in ‘English’ cuisine [she does include imported food like Olive Oil, Lemons and Tea]

She is concerned about sensible, sustainable farming, and shows good eating is good for the environment. She also recycles leftovers very imaginatively. She uses simple foods – oats, beans, barley, to create tasty family meals and elegant supper dishes. One idea in her book involves cooking barley ‘as for risotto’ so I tried this.


Heat a little oil or butter in a pan, and soften a finely chopped onion or shallot. Add barley [about 2½ oz per person] Cook for 30 seconds. Now add liquid – one glass of white wine if you have some to hand [I didn't, I used water] and bring to the boil. Now stir in a ladleful of chicken stock, keep stirring till all is absorbed. Repeat this until all stock is absorbed and barley is tender. I added a handful of frozen peas and a few chopped mushrooms at this point. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in a knob of butter or spoonful of oil. Notice how I garnished mine with a few sage leaves!

It was deliciously ‘nutty’ – Bob grated parmesan over his.


Rose suggests adding hard British ewe’s milk cheese [eg Somerset Rambler] or young broad beans or Cos lettuce. Or omit the cheese and add North Atlantic prawns [having used stock made from their shells instead of chicken or vegetable stock]

rose-prince- cookSo that’s one of Rose’s barley ‘ideas’- I plan to try out some of her oats and beans suggestions too.The book is subtitled “200 recipes that will not cost the earth”

I think the book is good because it has both formal recipes, and also less structured ideas and variations to spark your imagination.I would give it a  *****rating

[The folk song dates back over 350 years – and I am fascinated by the last verse which is clearly directed at the husband!]

1 comment:

  1. I love the old folk songs you have to dig into to get the meaning out of. When we were kids we sang "Ring Around the Rosies" and "London Bridges" with absolutely no idea as to what they might mean. It wasn't until long after that it occurred to me to wonder why we were singing "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down."

    The cookbook sounds wonderful! I'll have to see if we can get it in the States.



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