A last minute decision to join an organised forage led by Monica Wilde at the weekend proved to be both stimulating, informative, holistic and above all fun after all those indoor days of winter.
Though it was windy and sometimes wet, it was great to be out in the fresh air again. In-fact it was invigorating walking the cliff face and sea shore in search of any edible delicacies supervised by the watchful eye of Monica.
But it didn’t stop there, after clear identification we all returned to our abode where Monica and friends rustled up delightful creations from our wintered soil. This coupled with a few modern gin aperitifs and the odd bottle of wine, plus good company…….what can I say!!
Monica Wilde (second from left) is a forager, research herbalist and ethnobotanist. She has a Masters degree in Herbal Medicine and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society in the UK.
Also, Bill O’Dea who is a passionate Irish mycophagist was our mushroom specialist that day.
Here are just a few of the delightful yet easy creations when a little knowledge is added:
Peal 12 Pears leaving stalks intact and a slice at base to enable them to stand securely in a tight fitting pot.
Add ½ bottle white wine, Hogweed seed, ginger and star anis, poach with lid on for 15 minutes.
Serve with Flavoured Cream:
To Pouring Cream add stock syrup flavoured with ground ivy & a little crème fraiche.
Homemade Seaweed Butter:
Split baby potatoes tossed in chopped ground elder, fennel, lemon balm and mint.
Chickweed and daisy salad:
There were dozens of herbs, flowers and leaves gathered, tasted and cooked over the three days confirming the abundance of nature even after this harsh winter.
Just a few: