Sunday, 15 May 2011

lovely May

I've had some happy days on my boat recently, moored up in a little private paradise of trees, waist-high nettles and brambles ;-) Lovely. The fine weather made it especially gorgeous with everything leafy and green. (My internet connection's too slow to let me upload a photo, I'll try and remember to do it later.)
Reading Lucky Duck's blog I was led to Belle's blog where a boater is experimenting with foraging and cooking from the hedgerows. There, I was amazed by the recipe for Dandelion marmalade which I must have a go at making. I've made a dandelion oil before, for salads and also a dandelion remedy for aching muscles (thouh I've never been sure whether it wasn't just the rubbing in that helped ;-)and once tried some flower heads in a salad (more pretty than tasty!)but reckon the marmalade will be good.
It's a good time to be making stuff when everything is young-leaved and fresh-tasting. I missed out on finding any St George's mushrooms this year (not enough rain maybe?) but am determined to be a little more adventurous with mushrooms this autumn. Apart from the giant puffball I found along the Shropshire union canal one year and a couple of field mushrooms, I haven't dared try anything, even though I have a couple of good books to guide me. When I lived in France, everyone went Cep gathering and you could take anything you weren't sure of to the pharmacy to get it identified!
I've hardly done any hedgerow foraging myself yet this year. Instead, I've been lucky enough to have been given fruit and also taken advantage of throwaway supermarket gluts to make:
Rhubarb and ginger jam
Date and rhubarb chutney
Chilli tomato chutney
Fig and caramelised onion jam
Pickled peppers
Pickled garlic mushrooms

As for my little rooftop garden, apart from plenty of perpetual spinach (which is very easy to grow and comes again all summer, some peas that may or may not produce enough for a meal ;-), and some reluctant-to-flower strawberries, I haven't made the big effort I intended to this spring. Never mind, I AM glad I got around to planting some flowers because it's great to see the bees busy foraging, although as Simon commented, it may cause some confusion back at the hive, when the dance of map instructions leads them to a recently vacated mooring!

(Yes! - Got a better signal to post my photo)


Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should build yourself a hive then and make it easy for them! :-)
Kath (nb Herbie)

belle said...

Hi Carrie, very interested to read of your foraging and thank you so much for the link! I've just put up a recipe for Wild Flower Syrup which was fun to make too enjoy your Dandelion Marmalade, Helen.

Carrie said...

Hi Kath - I would, but it might attract bears.. :-)

Belle, hi. I forgot that I did make elderflower cordial last week and took some away with me this weekend. Every time I tasted it, I was back on my boat, among the trees and flowers! Yum. The wild flower syrup sounds tasty.
p.s I don't think your Wild Thyme blog is listed in your user profile yet. Could only find you via the Lucky Ducks ;-)