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Scottish Seaweed

Seaweeds have the great advantage over fungi in that none of them are positively poisonous, so that if you are on the Scottish shore with nothing to eat about you and you don't like wilks or limpets, you may safely nibble a bit of seaweed and thus keep hunger at bay, or firth. But you will be thirsty. Our edible seaweeds include Carrageen or Sea-moss; Tangle or Red-ware (Eng. Sea-girdle); Hen-ware or Honey-ware (Eng. Bladderlock); Sloke (Eng. Laver); and Dulse. Sea-tangle and Dulse can be eaten raw, the latter being reckoned as both "loosning" and "very good for the sight".

To cook Dulse, wash carefully and simmer in fresh water till tender. Strain, cut up small, heat through in a pan with butter, add pepper and salt, and offer it to those who really love you. They are the only people, yourself excepted, who are likely to eat it. Tell them that when thus prepared, especially if eaten with the juice, it is more "loosning" than when in its raw state. Another thing to do with it is to roll it on a stone with a red-hot poker till it turns green. It is then kept dry to eat as a relish with potatoes. Sloke, in 1703, "restored to his former state of health a young man who had lost his Appetite, and taken Pills to no purpose", and for all you know it may do the same to you if you are in the same way. If your trouble is rather lack of money than of health, "they say that if a little butter be added to it, one might live many years on this alone, without Bread, or any other Food, and at the same time, undergo any laborious exercise".

It should be washed to remove the salt and sand, steeped for a few hours in cold water to which a little bicarbonate of soda has been added, and stewed in milk, with beating to make it tender. This is part of the laborious exercise connected with it. Juice and weed together form the dark green soup that is so good for you. Carrageen, after being washed, is allowed to bleach and dry on a cloth out of doors for some days and is then kept in bags in the kitchen. It is made into a jelly by adding a heaped tablespoonful to a quart of milk and simmering till the milk thickens, when it is strained and cooled. It can be flavoured with cinnamon or lemon, and is served with cream. It is good for chest troubles, containing, as it does, iodine and sulphur. By adding twice the quantity of milk or water it can be made into a drink.

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