(Follow the link to find out how you can enter a Competition for May with 'Herbs on Saturday')
I gathered a bunch of nice young Dandelion leaves:
A bunch of Young Nettle tips.
Youch! Just when I was feeling smug at not stinging myself, I got about three stings on one thumb! Gah 'Pride comes before a fall'. I have read about the health benefits of Nettles and Dandelions, both are iron rich, blood tonics and Dandelion is a great diuretic. It eases water retention. My Mom used to tell me not to pick Dandelions when I was little, as a 'folk' name for them is 'Wet the beds'! I sure hope I don't!
I came home with my 'rich' pickings and popped them straight in the sink for a good wash. Now as you know I am back on a 'Healthy Regime'. I am in week 4 of Weight Watchers, so far I have lost 9.5 lbs. You will also know you don't get at all hungry on these
I have made Nettle Soup before and know it cooks and tastes very much like Spinach, maybe even better than spinach. I beat three eggs from my bestest chicken buddies and added them to the pan. I like a nice ometlette but I don't like them too eggy! The French have soft almost runny omelettes that you fold in half and let the heat finish off cooking the egg, I don't. Under the Grill goes my omelette, I like it cooked all the way through. The verdict:
The Wild Garlic gave a lovely mild hint of Garlic and the buds added a nice texture too.
The Nettles were delicious. I have made a mental not to myself to use more nettles. I don't like nettle tea but I love the taste and texture of the leaves. They cook very quickly too. They were definitely worth the stings. My sons's are both desperate to try eating nettles so I may be 'Hunter Gathering' again soon.
Dandelion, seriously who would have thought Dandelion and Cheese would be a flavour match made in heaven? Move over Cheese and Onion, here comes Cheese and Dandelion.
Wild Weed, Ham, Cheese and Tomato Omelette: Delicious. If I owned a Cafe, this would be my current lunchtime 'Special'. I would serve it with
My plant identification skills are somewhat lacking, so my foraging skills are limited, I definitely would not forage for mushrooms or fungi, knowing my luck I would not live to tell the tale. As a child I used to love to pick Blackberries until I discovered grubs. We used to have family outings to gather Chestnuts, delicious toasted when you get back home. My favourite used to be gathering Hazel Nuts I used to gather them on the way to school from about the age of five. I would crack them with my teeth and munch them on the way. My little eyes got well trained and I could find more nuts than anyone I knew! Let me tell you my Mom looks ladylike, but nobody can shake a Hazel branch with the same gusto as my Mother, in the Autumn when the nuts are just ready, they rain down if the branches are shook vigorously. I have always been a bit nutty! I have also gathered Damsons in the past to make wine, I nearly came to a nasty end on a wet fence! That is another story. One year I gathered enough young Oak Leaves to make 'Oak leaf Wine'. The recipe I have has a warning about the strength of the wine, never underestimate 'The Power of the Mighty Oak'. My brother can add testimony to that! Not a traditional 'Country Wine' to give the Vicar when he popped in! I bet many a great party has been had, drinking 'Oak Leaf' wine, followed by many a stinking hangover! I am wondering if any of you forage, if you do what do find and what do you do with it?