Starting April 1986 a regular, (but not much enjoyed, sorry Mam!) part of our diet was Carrageen Jelly. Carrageen, meaning 'little rock' in Irish is a seaweed that has been used in Ireland for generations as a remedy for coughs, colds and other ailments. Recent research shows that it has antiviral properties but it's the high concentration of iodine in Carrageen that made it of interest to our Mam. In the months after the Chernobyl accident that released radioactive material into the atmosphere and over parts of Europe, she served this jelly to top up our natural iodine stores. Iodine, that can in some way protect against the effects of radiation.
On the 11th of March once again we had a terrifying reminder that we are not in control of this planet we inhabit and it behoves us to take care of our planet and ourselves if we want to remain here.Being a practical Mammy, my Mum was quick to deliver a package of Carrageen Moss with instructions to feed it to her precious Granddaughter as often as possible! That night at 11.30pm (that's when I get extra things done!) I started cooking.
I adapted her recipe a little, since we had no eggs I used apple purée but I think the apple worked really well with the recipe.
Firstly (and most importantly!) it pleased the palate of our youngest family member and second it tasted pretty good to the rest of the family!
Carrageen Moss Pudding
from Myrtle Allen
in Irish Seaweed Kitchen
3.5 - 4.5g carageen moss (I used a handful!)
1 1/2 pints milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla pod seeds
1 1/2 oz sugar
1 egg, separated (I used a cup of apple purée)
1. Soak the carrageen in cold water for ten minutes, then remove and put in a saucepan with milk and a vanilla pod.
2. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 15 minutes, semi-covered, taking care that it does not boil over.
3. The carageen will now be swollen and exuding jelly.
4. Pour through a strainer and into a mixing bowl.
5. Rub the jelly through a strainer and beat it into the milk with the sugar, egg yolk (apple).
6. Whisk egg white and fold into mixture if using.
7. Transfer to serving bowl and serve chilled.
Making a yummy pudding and protecting us from radiation at the same time, is there anything this magic seaweed can't do!