It was tough to decide what to commemorate today. Should it be St Patrick's day? The birthday of the incomparable Clare Grogan? The feast day of St Gertrude of Nevelles?
All the customers and staff have been talking about Spring today; how it is FINALLY here after a particularly cold winter and how lovely it is to see snowdrops, crocuses and the leaves of tulips and daffodils popping up all over Orkney.
F. Marian McNeill's Green Dumplings recipe is to be made only at this time of year. Make dumplings following your usual recipe, then add a touch of spring:
"Pick the green buds of hawthorn, the succulent tips of nettles, grass, and other green things - remember that in this condition nothing is poisonous. Include dandelions, leaves, daisy stems, shoots of young corn, and turnip tops, or anything that tastes sweet and harmless. Wash and chop finely and work into the dough until it is green through and through. Form into balls - small ones (one inch across) for soups, and larger for stews and meats. They go with almost anything, and play the part of a salad in wholsomeness."
I hasten to add a disclaimer to the 'nothing is poisonous' bit and the idea of dumplings being a substitute for salad is clearly absurd but this recipe is very appealing otherwise.
Recipe from 'Recipes From Scotland' by F. Marian McNeill