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A wild food feast for every season.

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default A wild food feast for every season.

Post by chickenofthewoods on 21st June 2010, 5:48 pm

This has been an ongoing experiment for the mag I write recipes for. Slightly cautiously, we thought we'd have a go at putting together a feast from foraged foods for each season (like the title says. Clever huh?). Nothing complicated, just good straightforward foraged fare.

Anyhoo. I say cautiously because it's always a bit hit & miss this foraging lark and you can never be 'quite' sure what you will find, even when you know your patch intimately. The Spring feast went deceptively well, in spite of the late start we all seem to have had and the silver lining of that seems to have carried over to this summer. Mostly by now I would expect things to be getting dry, seedy and over the hill but a surprising amount of stuff is still thriving and green enough to make very good use of. Plus, we spread our remit wide & looked at produce harvested from field and shore so in the event we returned from our excursions with an abundance of riches for the feast! This is what was on the menu:

Starters:

Battered deep fried young Dryad's saddle and battered deep fried mallow leaves, both served with a honey, garlic and chilli dipping sauce.

Winkles served au naturel (a squeeze of lemon optional)

Main courses:

Seafod paella (containing mussels, winkles, oysters and limpets)

Pit-roasted game meats (pheasant and rabbit)

Pan-seared squirrel

Dutch-oven roasted pheasant

Mackerel baked in paper served with a sorrel and cream sauce

All served with damper bread and a choice of wild greens - steamed sea purslane, samphire and sea beet tips, or a wild leaf and flower salad.

Desserts:

Wilding cherry and carrageen jelly

Elderflower and carrageen blanchmange

Drinks:

May cup (a blend of hawthorn and elderflower steeped in white wine and brandy)

Elderflower fizz (an orange and a lemon version)

Beechleaf noyau (3 year old!)

Elderflower milk-shake

Nettle beer

All in all an excellent and very productive day. Roll on autumn!

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Chi vo far 'na bona zena magn'un erb d'tut la mena
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chickenofthewoods

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Post by Bardster on 22nd June 2010, 7:28 pm

Was a fantastic repast Carol. You did us proud!
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 22nd June 2010, 7:50 pm

Very impressive.

There will be a few tree nymphs sitting gingerly on those doughnut cushions though.

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Wilhelm Von Rhomboid

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 22nd June 2010, 10:30 pm

We worked hard but it was a lot of fun & I'm looking forward to the autumn. Had a quick wizz by the local wild strawberry patch this morning and came back with a decent handful of really ripe ones, so I think I'll rustle up another carrageen blanchmange and add them to it. Oh, and another clutch of those young fresh dryad's saddles, so I'll have to think up something good to put them into. Quite fancy Thai.
Will have to think on that.

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Post by Compostwoman on 22nd June 2010, 10:45 pm

Have you finished delivering the Wild Food qualification now COTW? It sounded really interesting, I would love some details of what you have been doing, if you have a moment sometime?

One of the many skills I want to get better at!

(along with so many other things ...but am working on them!)

Wonderful Summer feast...made me feel very hungry!


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Post by chickenofthewoods on 22nd June 2010, 10:57 pm

Not yet CW, I have the other half to complete in the autumn. I wish it was an accredited qualification (there's certainly enough work involved to make it feel like it ought to be!), but sadly no such thing exists at the moment (to my knowledge). But I'm finding it enjoyable and a challenge and the perfect excuse to do what I enjoy most.

Pity my ultra conservative other half views wild food with such suspicion! He has no idea what he's missing, and try as I might it's unbelievably hard to open his mind to it - I long ago came to the conclusion that his idea of a good meal is something plastic wrapped, which I find more than a bit tragic really (I blame his parents!). He'd never be able to cope with Billy's magnificent menus.

If you want to chat about it, by all means pm or you can give me a nudge via facebook if you prefer.

P.S. I meant to add that with all your knowledge and experience I suspect that you'd sail through it easily!

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Chi vo far 'na bona zena magn'un erb d'tut la mena
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Post by Compostwoman on 22nd June 2010, 11:28 pm

Surely it could be accredited? I am setting up as an OCN centre (why? oh why? am I doing this?)

because OCN as an awarding body are really good on bushcraft/woodcraft type quals (coppicing, Forest School, woodland management etc...)

so I would hope it could be a possibility to offer a certified qual, for those who are interested?

Mmm I tend to be a bit wary with Wild Food..partly because I had an unfortunate "incident" where a previous OH tried to feed me toxic stuff......."accidentally"

I stick to nettles, ransoms, obvious fungi, leaves etc......stuff I am very sure won't kill anyone ( very costly on insurance!)

Would LOVE you to come up here and do a Wild Food forage session sometime...am keen to promote that side of my wood if I can!

Picked the last of the Ransoms last week, they had gone a bit woody but had lasted an amazing length of time....

Am just trying to decide if I have time / energy to make Elderflower...have a very shaded tree which is only just coming into blossom...the other trees have gone catty..( and the hens have pecked off all the good flowers!)

Tbh, not that fond as it really smells like cats pee to me...regardless of how young the blossoms are.


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Post by bbaybe on 31st December 2010, 8:30 pm

I don't think anyone would blame you for not wanting to eat anything that smells of cat pee, lol.
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Post by Compostwoman on 31st December 2010, 9:03 pm

Bunny, after the fun and games introducing a rescue kitten to the existing furry familiars....cats pee is NOT my favourite scent Laughing

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Post by bbaybe on 22nd January 2011, 4:41 am

I can imagine not! Not that it was ever mine. Laughing
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