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Archive for June, 2010

Dear Wild Cooks

Why not indulge in the simplest of pleasures – a chilled glass of Wild Chamomile tea.  What could be more refreshing, when sitting watching the men’s final!

It is easy and these tiny white flowers are not difficult to spot.  You want the long stemmed, sandy soil loving German Chamomile, to give it its text book name. This tiny flower head is the forager’s golden nugget – they are so flavoursome and go well in many things such as custards, brulees etc.

Chamomile

Chamomile

If you are in any doubt, rub the flower head in your fingers and it should smell like Chamomile tea.

It grows in fields and in waste land so make sure that you pick flower heads that are growing in a place that has not been sprayed by pesticides.

Wild Chamomile Tea

Simply remove the flower heads and lightly wash them under a cold tap for a few seconds.  Place them in a teapot and cover with boiling water.  It will take a few minutes to infuse.  Using a tea-strainer, pour the tea into your cup – if you like you can add a little runny honey to make your tea a little sweeter.  Alternatively allow the tea to cool and then pour into a glass for chilling in the fridge prior to drinking.

Serve with a bowl of local strawberries and it’s a real top glass to accompany your tennis!

Any good tennis wild food ideas to share folks?  

Steph x

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It seems like I’m not the only one who has been busy discovering nature’s delights in the grounds of Rudding Park.

Although not strictly foraging related I felt I just had to share this gorgeous photo with you, which was taken by Tim Richardson, one of Rudding Park’s golf members, as he played his early morning round on the Hawtree course …

Pheasants in the grounds at Rudding Park

A couple of pheasants in the grounds at Rudding Park

If any of you have taken any photos of wildlife whilst you’ve been out foraging I’d love to see them!

Steph

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Steph Moon goes food foraging at Rudding ParkWell Wild Cooks, what a hectic few weeks it has been – topped off by yours truely taking on a starring role in The Yorkshire Post’s ‘Yorkshire Cooks’ Masterclass’ podcast

Trying not to let the somewhat dreary June weather dampen my spirits, I donned my favourite red wellies and headed out into the grounds of Rudding Park with cameraman Jonny Walton to see what foraging delights we could unearth …

… and I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with the results:

Cook’s Masterclass: Foraging for Food in Yorkshire’s Hedgerows

Steph

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Wood Sorrel

Wood Sorrel

Well, Wild Cooks, the world is a happier place now I have the wonderful sweet sharp flavour of Wood Sorrel back in my life!

As wild food goes this is a diamond, a real find, and the best thing is that I came across this beauty on Rudding Park’s golf course in a leafy wood near a putting green!

Wood sorrel is delicate and ideal to add to any salad or to sprinkle on the top of fish to enhance the dish.

I guess, like any herb, it can be a bit too much of it if eaten in big quantities. However it can be used for sweet or savoury dishes alike.  The flavour is something to behold and what’s more, it’s a great source of vitamin C.

As always, remember to be extra careful that you collect the right thing when foraging, as some plants can be poisonous. If you’re not sure then take a good reference book with you. Also try and avoid areas of ground which may have been sprayed with pesticides.

What are your foraging favourites? I’d love to hear about them.

 The Wood Sorrel Detective! …Steph!

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PanacottaThere is something very smooth about a “panacotta” – if it was an Italian person instead of an Italian dish they would be immaculately dressed and drive an Ferrari Enzo (no, Wild Cooks, I am not losing my grip on the hedgerow – all I know about my own car is that it’s blue and has a decent stereo! I had to look Ferraris up!)

But back to the food folks – this panacotta is ideal for a starter or as part of a spring time trio of starters.

Goat’s Cheese and Lemon Thyme Panacotta recipe

The goat’s cheese melts in the mouth and the hint of lemon thyme goes great with it. My own thyme is going crazy in the garden!

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Stephanie MoonFellow Wild Cooks

Life is often full of enriching experiences. Cooking alongside fellow Yorkshire born chefs Andrew Pern, James Mackenzie and Michael Hijort at what was dubbed by many as the ‘Yorkshire Dinner of the Year’ was not only great fun, but the food was very well received – made using a mixture of Yorkshire produce and some seasonal classics.

We even made it into Yorkshire Life!

Rudding Park where delighted to be amongst the line up at the dinner and the event was a roaring success. What’s more we got the chance to cook in the amazing ‘Hospitium’ building in York and all in aid of the York Museums Trust – a great charity event for a great cause.

To find out more, check out Yorkshire Life online or pick up a copy from your local newsagent!!

Steph (Wild Cook tamed for an evening)

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Love for Lovage!

Lovage

Lovage love

So, my wild loving friends, how about some of nature’s loveage soup …?

This stuff grows like crazy in my sister’s garden and a smooth soup is a great way of using up those stems.

Jerome, our head chef at Clocktower, ate some of the leaves by mistake and was not overly impressed by the taste, but the stems in the soup are a different matter – really subtle and flavoursome.

Lovage soup recipe

Enjoy!

Foraging Steph

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