Sunday, February 15, 2009
Annie Barrows and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society revisited
I know many of you have read Guernsey already, some because you discovered it by yourself and some because of my recommendation.
Because it's such a good story on so many levels, I suggested it to my book club. Little did I know that if accepted, that meant I would be the presenter. It's been a while since my teaching days, but because I loved it so much I delved into it's history as if I were going to be teaching my class. I've since read several books on the time period, location and subject (see past posts) and done my Wikipedia homework, but nowhere could I find a recipe for the potato peel pie that plays a part in the story.
I decided perhaps the publisher could help me. My research led me to Annie Barrows herself, who was kind enough to share this version, along with her comments:
" I will give you a potato peel pie recipe, but don't say I didn't warn you: It tastes like paste. The more authentic it is, the nastier.
These ingredients will make a very small pie (expand at will):
1 Tablespoon milk
Peel the potato and put the peelings in a pie pan. Don't cook the peels, because you're in the middle of an Occupation and you don't have any fuel. Boil the potato and the beet together in salty water, but not for very long, due to the fuel problem. Just until you can stick a fork in the potato. Take them out and mash them up with the milk. Pour the glop in the pie pan. Bake at 375 for as short a time as is consonant with digestion (fuel again), say, fifteen minutes.
The finished product will look quite attractive and pink. If you squint, you can almost imagine raspberries. Don't be fooled. It looks a lot better than it is. However, if you forgot that you were in the middle of WWII and added a bunch of butter and milk and salt, it could be quite tasty."
Thank you, Annie!
Here are links to several children's books by Annie Barrow.
Such a gracious lady and talented writer!