Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cress grown on a bit of flannel

Ministry of Food War Cookery Leaflet Number 14 Grow your own! Even if you have no garden, you can have fresh-picked parsley or mustard and cress, for these both grow well in window-boxes or flower-pots. Or mustard and cress can be grown on damp flannel. Remember--the fresher the better for you--and the better the flavor!

I've been working on the old Victory Garden recently (Can you picture 7 cubic yards of manure? Neither could I. I can now. Really, really well.), and managed to find a packet of cress. I put half of the seeds on flannel that used to be pajamas with sock monkeys on them, and half of them on an old terrycloth washcloth, so I could see which was better. For victory!

March 3

After watering responsibly and giving the cloths plenty of sun, this was the result:

April 5

Result: Buy some potting mix, for goodness sake. Aw, geez. If growing cress on your windowsill helps fight Hitler, what does failing this miserably do?

If anyone has any helpful hints, or has been able to do this successfully, let me know! You will receive all the gold stars in my possession.

Update: apparently, I should have kept them in a darker place until they sprouted. Curses! I wonder how many WWII folk made similar frustrating mistakes?


J.W. said...

Never tried to do it that way, but lots of luck with the jar it possible the window was too hot? Most sprouting instructions start with very damp, dark, cool conditions!

Hazel said...

I've done it like this (or we used to use blotting paper or more latterly kitchen roll) and from what I can see I'd agree with too much heat/sun and not damp enough?

Next you need to sprinkle the seeds in the shape of your initial...

I'm not sure if I've posted before. If not, hi! I've been lurking for a while and have loved what I've read.

Jana said...

Aw, man! You are both probably right. Should have stuck them on top of the fridge first. Grrrr! I wonder how many WWII folk made the same mistake?

Also, thanks Hazel!

Nonna said...

We sprouted wheat a few times but it tasted bitter.Years ago, they had sprouting kits. It was quite a craze in the 60's and 70's. You have to be careful when you sprout but I can't remember why, it's been so many years since we've done it !

Jana said...

I think I prefer my wheat in the form of whole wheat bread...

J.W. said...

Nonna, I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure sprouted wheat is prone to mold, including some rather dangerous potential strains. That's part of why it's usually either used right away, or cooked into something like bread.

Does that sound like it might be right?

Nonna said...

Jesse, that's right !

Thank you so much. It was way back and filed in the cobwebs of my mind but just couldn't remember when I was writing my comment.

And since tasting sprouted wheat and finding it icky, I agree with Jana !