Romany Gypsy Recipes

(and what they say about 'The Dreamsnatcher'  trilogy characters)


Duck from the, um, river…

Lie hidden in an alder branch overhanging the river

Wait, crouch low and size up prey, hopefully a duck

Leap from the branches, splay claws then

dig fangs into duck’s neck

Drag prey to the banks and consume it


Character Notes: the way the wildcat waits silently for its prey indicates a stealthy, secretive nature and its violent attack suggests a wild personality


Joey Grey soup

Add oil or lard to the pot and melt

Add six sausages and cook until brown

Remove the sausages and chop them up into chunks

Place the sausages back into the pot with six rashers

of chopped bacon

Cook until brown

Add 3 chopped onions and 1 garlic clove

Once brown add water and 4 potatoes

Cook potatoes until soft

Add 4 large tomatoes and stock then cook

until tomatoes soften

Serve with bread and butter


Character Notes: six sausages imply the person may be slightly greedy but the tradition at the heart of this Romany soup dictates a loyal character


Poacher’s Stew

Mix ½ a cup of flour with 1 teaspoon of salt

and ¼ teaspoon of pepper

Coat 2lbs of venison in the flour

Melt butter or lard in a heavy cast iron Dutch oven pot

Brown the meat then add 6 cups of water and

heat until boiling

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours

Stir in 3 potatoes, 1 turnip, 4 carrots, 1 bell pepper,

4 stalks of celery, 1 onion, 1lb white button mushrooms

(all of the above should be peeled and cubed)

Add 1 bay leaf

Simmer for 30-45 minutes until vegetables are tender

Heat to boiling and boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously

Best served with fresh bread


Character Notes: the name of the recipe shows this person is tough and can survive in the wild, but the fact that the venison is poached might mean this character is

keeping a secret…


Elderflower in Batter

Make a batter with flour and milk,

some sugar and a beaten egg

Take an elderflower head (cut short at the stalk)

Dip it into the batter and shallow-fry in butter


Character Notes: short recipes mean a person is impatient and probably headstrong – they don’t like cooking but the eating is all good. The shallow-fry in butter means this character has a cheeky side and the use of a wild plant like elderflower suggests an unpredictable nature


Bacon-or-Rasher Pudding

Put 8 tablespoons of self-raising flour into a bowl

Add 4 tablespoons of shredded suet (raw beef or mutton – the hard fat found around the lions and kidneys – if you have Atora beef suet that will do)

Mix ingredients together

Pour in some cold water and mix to a stiff dough, Flour a big tray or board and roll out to about, 16 inches x 11 inches

Place a few rashers of bacon, sliced onions and tomatoes on top, Sprinkle with dried mixed herbs, salt and pepper

Roll up (like a Swiss roll),Wet edges to stick together

Flour a muslin cloth (or cotton tea cloth) and

roll pudding in it loosely, Tie end with string, wrap loosely and tie other end, Place in big pot of boiling water and let it

bubble gently for 2 hours

Best served with boiled spuds and cabbage


Character Notes: The slightly strange, contradictory nature of the title of this recipe suggests a person with a mystical mind. The dried mixed herbs imply a close connection with natural spirits and the precise nature of the recipe indicates this person adopts rituals when carrying out activities


Hotchi Witchi

Encase a hedgehog in clay and bake on a campfire

until the clay is glowing red

Break open the clay and you will find the spines

of the animal stuck to the inside

Roast the meat over the fire on a spit

Keep turning until the meat is cooked through

Serve with spuds or raspberry jam


Character Notes: though not to everyone’s taste, this recipe shows the person has a cheeky sense of humour, verging on the absurd. The spuds show a fondness for tradition but the raspberry jam indicates the underlying randomness at the heart of this person


Stewed Rat

Skin and gut the rat then split it lengthwise

Fry in butter until brown

Cover with water then add tomatoes, peppers and salt

Simmer the rat until tender and serve with rice


Character Notes: The rat is an unlucky symbol for gypsies and so surrounding this person is a sense of darkness. The violent language used in the recipe implies a sinister side to this character. Watch out…

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