Passover and Herbs
From The Christian Calendar
Tansies - A Passover Recipe
This is a Mediaeval recipe designed to commemorate the bitter herbs eaten by the Jews during the original Passover period.
a pint of cream
20 yolks of egg
10 egg whites
2 spoonsful of rosewater
6 or 8 pippins (apples) shredded
Optional: Leaves of Tansy*, Feverfew*, Violets*, Spinach or of Primrose*.
To the exceptionally huge recipe ( for about twenty people) add the leaves sparingly. Adding any amount of spinach is fine- This recipe could take as much as a bag of shredded spinach.
If you are adding violet leaves- from empirical experience I am adding the caution: only use fresh, small new violet leaves. Wash these very well. Half a dozen leaves is probably too much - or share a leaf of violet between two or three people in a reduced recipe.
Violet leaves are an herbal remedy for the heart- a tonic. Too many of them feel like an uncomfortable overdose of too much internalized soap - that 'prelude to a stroke' feeling.
Keep the caution for leaves of feverfew, one flower of which is used as a dose for migraine. Use two feverfew leaves per ten people, as a homeopathic dose which will do them good.
We North Americans overdo things, and no doubt, in the fervent, pious Middle Ages, great suffering doses of the bitter herbs were used (lest we forget) in the hope that over-wintering minutiae would get the hint to leave into the Spring outdoors.
"Tansies" get their name from the insect repellent- Tansy .
* Add two or three leaves at the most, for ten people. (a tiny hint wilt dew.)
Herbs that are actually used traditionally during Jewish Passover are five "bitter" herbs. These are Coriander, Lettuce, Horseradish, Horehound and Nettle.
Shown to the left is Horseradish, leaf and flower. The grated root, cored, is used as a condiment during Seder, a feast during Passover. Hopefully Nettle is presented in its cooked and benign form!
LINK BELOW TO PROPERTIES FOR 'TANSY' HERBS
Photos of Feverfew, Tansy and Violets by Northdays Image: Natural Light Photos
Primrose photos by: Pat Brindley, pp:173 and 274, The Encyclopaedia of Herbs and Herbalism
Recipe from The Christian Calendar: W.Cowie and John Selwyn Gummer, Springfield, Mass.: G and C Merriam CO.;1974