The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter B…

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet…letter B…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing…my followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…haha

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Brawn, Cabbage, and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure  some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha


Barmbrack is an Irish bread traditionally made from the froth or “barm” leftover after fermenting beer or ale, which is mixed with sultanas and spice to make a heavy, fruity bread. And while brack is eaten all year round, it is only at Halloween that symbolic additions are made to the mix, each with a supposed fortune-telling significance for the year ahead.

The Irish term for this, Bairín Breac, means ‘speckled bread’ indicating that the fruit was scarce in the loaf. The Druidic tradition is represented by the inclusion of charms in the bread, meant to indicate the fortune of the recipient.

There were a few traditional charms: a ring, a coin, a pea, and a piece of fabric.

  • A pea, a dried pea, the person would not marry
  • A piece of cloth, the person would have bad luck or would be poor
  • A coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich
  • A ring, the person would be married within the year

The person who got the ring was meant to place it under his or her pillow when they would dream of the person they would marry! The ring is still included in a barmbrack today, though I think it is now regarded as just a little bit of fun.


With over 400 different species, the berries come in a range of colours red, black, purple, white, and yellow. The tart taste will be more or prominent in some varieties than others…other examples are raspberry and cranberry whose middle letter is  B…

All 3 of these berries have numerous proven health benefits and can be eaten raw or cooked, juiced or in smoothies, made into jams or jellies they pair well with both meat and fish.


Also commonly known as Bogbean, or Marsh Trefoil. It grows on marshy grown or on the edges of ponds in the shallow water.

It is edible but in moderation and with some care it is also used in traditional medicines.

The Root can be eaten cooked not raw but having a very bitter taste it must be treated to get rid of the acrid taste This can be done by drying the root, grinding it into a powder and then washing it in running water, unfortunately, this treatment will also get rid of many of the vitamins and minerals contained in the root.

The powder can be used for making ‘missen bread’ (famine bread)…bread which was made many, many years ago when farmers had nothing to eat and food was scarce the powder was mixed with flour to make this bread.

The intensely bitter leaves are used as a substitute for hops in making beer.


Cabbage is a leafy green, red, or white biennial plant grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads…It can be eaten raw or cooked…

Here is eaten both raw and salted as an accompaniment to many dishes… we eat it raw with sticky rice and chicken or fish where it can be wrapped around the rice and meat to make a tasty bite…

One of my favourite vegetables especially spiced red cabbage is packed with nutrients and low in calories or it can be shredded and used in slaws…it doesn’t end there it can be sauteed, added to stir-fries used as a wrap…Kimchi and sauerkraut…Yes, please are both plentiful here and used as sides with rice dishes…or just salted and fermented it is one of Lily’s favourites she eats it like sweets…

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)


  • 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
  • 8 large spring onions chopped
  • Coarse Salt.

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy…Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

Then refrigerate and enjoy!


Chablis wines are dry white wines that are characterized by their purity, crispness, sophistication and minerality… a beautiful wine.


Not something I eat often but when I do I generally enjoy a cheeseburger…


Cobblers are a fruit dessert baked with biscuit-style topping. It’s called a cobbler because its top crust is not smooth like a pie crust but rather “cobbled” and coarse. It’s usually dropped or spooned over the fruit, then baked.



Easy to make and quick to cook I make flatbreads quite a lot either as an accompaniment to a curry or stuffed and rolled as in my Egyptian Flatbreads which are delicious.


Kebabs are varying types of cooked meats with their origins in Middle Eastern Cuisine…the meat can be cubed and cooked on a stick, it can be minced and shaped into an oval and grilled or rolled around a wooden skewer or a stem of lemongrass it can also be cooked as a whole on a vertical rotisserie and then sliced off and mixed with a variety of fillings inside a pitta bread or tortilla type bread…All delicious but calorific…


As the name suggests balls of meat or fish but then they are fishballs…Made of ground meat and spices meatballs are cooked by frying, baking, steaming or braising in sauce either tomato or a brown bbq sauce…One of our favourites are these Swedish Meatballs


To parboil is to boil food, usually vegetables, briefly and lightly…For example, I parboil potatoes prior to roasting or making chips(fries)…vegetables like parsnips and turnips may be parboiled before roasting…it speeds up the cooking and makes for a crispier outer and who doesn’t love crispy roasties…


Is a champagne bottle size…36 glasses to be precise… 4.5-litres  named after the son of King Solomon and grandson of King David, who ruled the Kingdom of Judah in the 10th century BC.


Beautiful fleshy, edible stalks which make a lovely pie or crumble and also pair well in savoury dishes…the leaves however SHOULD not be eaten as they are highly toxic …very high in oxalic acid, which quickly causes kidney failure in humans. …

About 25 grams of pure oxalic acid is the average amount needed to kill a human. That said, rhubarb leaves aren’t pure oxalic acid, and it would take around 11 pounds of the leaves to secure that much. But still! I’d stay away.


Ribes is a genus of about 200 known species of flowering plants native throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The various species are known as currants or gooseberries, and some are cultivated for their edible fruit or as ornamental plants.


It is only in recent years that I knew that the vegetable I have always called swede is also known as rutabagas…it is a root vegetable which belongs to the cabbage family…with yellow or purple skin they can have white to yellow flesh and are much denser than the turnip. High in fibre, potassium and Vitamin C…

How to eat?…

  • Add rutabagas to soups, stews and casseroles, or puree with mashed potatoes.
  • Eat rutabagas raw as a snack or grate into salads and slaws. Slice and bake like French fries.
  • Rutabagas can be combined with carrots, potatoes, turnips and other root vegetables for a healthy stew.
  • They are also one of my very favourite vegetables mashed with lots of butter and black pepper however I rely on someone bringing them over for me as they are not grown here(too) warm so a rare treat…


Sambal is a chilli sauce or pastes, typically made from a mixture of a variety of chilli peppers with secondary ingredients such as shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, and lime juice.


Is an anise-flavoured liqueur…it can be served neat as a shot…on the rocks or with water…Like other anise liqueurs, it may be consumed after coffee as an ammazzacaffè or added directly to coffee in place of sugar to produce a caffè corretto.


Known as the German National dish…Sauerbraten is a traditional German roast of heavily marinated meat. It can be prepared from a variety of meats, most often from beef, but also from venison, lamb and mutton, pork and horse.


Is a frozen dessert made from fruit puree, fruit juice, wine or honey and no dairy…one of my favourites is a raspberry sorbet…


A species of legume native to East Asia…widely grown for its edible bean. Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and tofu skin are made.

Other uses are cooking oils, meal for animal feeds and fermented uses include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, nattō, and tempeh.


Is the thymus gland and is only available from young animals. As animals mature, the gland degenerates into a mass of connective tissue and fat…It is one part of an animal which I don’t eat…


Is an Australian freshwater crustacean …a species of crayfish…a name given in Australia to two different kinds of crustacean: Cherax (freshwater yabby), a crayfish. Trypaea (marine yabby),

Usually, yabbies are boiled and eaten plain, or with condiments. … Prior to cooking, it is advisable to ‘purge’ the yabby in clean saltwater, this helps to clear the gut of any muddy flavour, resulting in sweeter tasting meat.

That’s all for today I hope you have enjoyed the letter B…

Thank you so much for your visit today I hope you have enjoyed the read…Please feel free to leave a comment as you know I love to chat…Love Carol xxx

26 thoughts on “The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter B…

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  2. Jim Borden

    Here’s what I could go for right now:
    Barmbrack (even though this is the first I’ve heard of it, I love Irish soda bread, so maybe this will be almost as good)
    parboiled potatoes

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter B… – MobsterTiger

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