A blog about my photos, my artwork, quotations, ideas, collections, passions, England, authors, handwork of all kinds, rusty bits, buffalo, and architectural detail...for starters. And the occasional rant.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Having been recommended to me by nearly everybody since it first came out in 2008, I was recently given a copy of this lovely book by a lovely in-law so I sat right down and started reading it.  The fact that I spent nearly all of one day and evening reading straight through tells you how much I enjoyed it.

Having several Guernsey postcards in my collection certainly enhanced the experience.  Being able to picture the setting adds so much to a good read and in this case, as the book consists of letters between the main characters, it was doubly welcome.  The day after reading the book I dug out my Guernsey collection and herewith share a couple of them with you.

The same day I went looking for the eponymous recipe.  As is typical with internet adventures I came up with a multitude of possibilities, which included ‘best guess’ recipes and outright denials that such a thing even existed.  I will trust the publisher’s website for the book (however foolish that may be) and provide you with their recipe, including their comments:

Here’s a recipe for a potato peel pie, but I 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 potato
1 beet
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.

You will notice it says “could be quite tasty”,  not was quite tasty.  If they weren’t willing to try an enhanced version, I think I will pass also.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

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