Food For Ill People

Gries Schmarn: a recipe from my Granny's cookbook (just under Povidl Noodles, whatever they were..!)

I think my appendix could be about to burst. Or something chronic.
I’ve tried to go to the doctors, but I can’t get an appointment until next Wednesday evening. I might be dead by then. The only small comfort is that I could be hailed as a martyr for the NHS. Probably not though.

When I was little, there were two small perks of illness: Ill-Person’s-TV (episodes of Blue Peter I might’ve missed while I was out at brownies, compiled on one ultimate mix-video), and Ill-Person’s-Food, which, in our house, was ‘gries schmarn’ – a Czech dish passed down my mum’s side of the family.

When your tummy needs to be gently cajoled into eating, and your nose can’t deal with anything too fragrant, and you’re too shattered to even do proper chewing and eating with a knife and fork, this is perfect.

You have to be careful choosing Ill-Person’s-Food. Thick dairy products can get easily thrown up again, and fruit can be too acidic on sensitive stomachs. I once had a stonkingly bad hangover and turned to a bowl of plain mashed potato to fill my tum and rebalance the food-alcohol ration in my system. Not a good idea.

Semolina has bad reputation from the prunes and custard horror days of school dinners, but I really recommend this to all the sickly people out there who have been struck down by Norovirus or who might have exploding appendixes too.

Gries Schmarn
2oz semolina (50 grams)
½ pint milk
1 small egg
sugar to taste
handful of sultanas
2oz butter (50 grams) - though I only used 25g which still seemed like quite a lot.

Mix together the semolina, milk, egg, sugar and sultanas. Melt the butter in a dish and pour the mixture in. Bake in a moderate oven (180C) for about ½ hour stirring occasionally.

• It’s fine to store semolina in the fridge and reheat in the microwave, but add a splash of milk as you reheat it and stir mid-way through heating.
• Serve the gries schmarn with a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon and a couple of extra knobs of butter.

PS. Let me know what your Ill-Person’s-Food is in case I get bored with gries schmarn.

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