I’ve often fancied giving this foraging thing a go. Yesterday’s dandelion and nettle crisps experiment was a splendid success I’d definitely repeat. What wasn’t eaten last night, was crumbled on top of fried rice for lunch today. Divine. I think you don’t believe me? Honestly, it’s true!
Our dear friends Helen and Andy are seasoned experts. They have permission from CRT to forage for their business Wild Side Preserves. Sadly they can’t even board Wand’ring Bark for their annual six-month cruise – never mind sell their delicious jams and chutneys from The Jam Butty.
Like lots of other people currently, I find myself with ‘time’ on my hands during the lockdown for coronavirus. I acknowledge many people aren’t experiencing such a luxury, and I feel for you. Whilst there’s plenty of online learning to be had, and I’m making the most of ukelele lessons, I also want to treasure connecting more with Mother Nature. One of the top search terms for this blog is ‘water gypsy’. I guess from a post I wrote some time ago about why I’m happy being called one!
Making The Most of Mother Nature’s Bounty
We feel extremely fortunate to be ‘stranded’ in the middle of the Cheshire countryside during the lockdown, living on a narrowboat. Nestled amongst lush green fields and walkways, my thoughts have recently turned to how we could gratefully accept Mother Nature’s bounties to source food. We don’t have our own paths of land to grow vegetables or fruit, so it was puzzling me.
Have you noticed how when you start thinking of red cars, you suddenly see dozens of red cars? Or you’re feeling sad, and you hear all the heartbreaking melodies. It’s like misery surrounds you and believe “… nothing ever goes right for me?” Well for me it’s been recipes for ‘wild food’!
Yesterday’s dandelion and nettle crips were a great beginning. So simple! And the perfect season for both leaves. Posting photos of the results on Instagram, a friend commented she’d recently seen recipes for dandelion honey. Awesome! A week or so ago I posted a photo of the brilliant yellow of a local dandelion flower, and I know from my walks how prolific they currently are nearby.
I read around about how honey is normally sourced. By bees of course, and the harm this can do to them by not so sustainable methods. I was rather shocked, and thought I’d give a ‘natural’ recipe a go.
The recipe I’ve used is from ‘Plante Pusherne‘ and includes 100 dandelion flower heads, two apples, some lemon juice and sugar. It’s on the stove now simmering away ‘reducing’ for a few hours – I’ll let you know tomorrow how delectable (or otherwise!) it is.
Which Witch and Where’s Peter Today?
Admittedly it feels more than a little ‘witchy’, as Barry has noted, but which (!) I have no problem with whatsoever. There’ve long-been witches magically flying around our boat from various sources …
The first boat witch was bought in Prague, December 2003. She still has her tag on. I wasn’t allowed to take her to NZ with me in early 2005, due to the wooden broomstick, so we were only reunited in 2013. The second one was hand-cut from a vinyl record, commissioned specially to Croc’s The Vinyl Cut, as a gift from Barry at a FAB festival many years ago. The third witch flies in our bedroom and is from Kim. Now we’ve even got a cast-iron cauldron to cook on an outdoor open fire!
Today, Peter was feeling the ‘papa’, next to my breast-feeding African Queen 😉
2.5 Million Reached!
This morning for the first time, the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker App showed it had reached it’s halfway to 5 million mark. Well done to the research team.
We’ve both reported no symptoms again – I’ll keep doing the spells!
How’s it all going in your neck of the woods?
An important point of note on foraging: When picking anything from the wild, always pick responsibly. I only took what I needed for the recipe above, and not all from the same plant or area.