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Posts Tagged ‘ground ivy’

Dear Wild Cooks,

In my eyes, the opportunity to cook for a group of like-minded, fun-loving foragers is one not to be missed. So when I was invited to cook for The International Wine and Food Society’s Leeds branch I accepted without hesitation! The group are definately up for some fun and eager to learn about food and wine that complement foraged ingredients.

The evening seemed made for my foraging friends Chris and Rose Bax of Taste the Wild who lead the foraging walk around the stunning Hillbark Gardens in Bardsey.

Chris offering his expert foraging advice to the group

Chris offering his expert foraging advice to the group


The owners, Tim Gittins and Malcolm Simm, were on hand to look after everyone which was a good job as there was a total of 33 members on the evening.Chris and Rose discussed their foraging finds with the group. The gardens are truly amazing and Tim and Malcolm often have charity open days so keeep a look out on their website www.hillbark.co.uk  . The foraged finds on the evening included sweet cicely, mugwort, pineapple weed, corn mint and bitter cress. They are amazing ingredients folks and I, along with the help of my commis Tim Norton and his partner Becky, cooked up the following menu for the group:

Introducing the dishes

Introducing the dishes


Canapes

Goats Cheese En Croute with Sweet Cicely Seeds
Vegetarian Foragers’ Parcels using Rosebay Willow Herb

Mains

Smoked Trout Marinaded in Elderflower, Chick Weed, Bitter Cress, Wood Sorrel
BBQ Smoked Cherry Wood Mackerel with ‘Jack by the Hedge’ Root 
Pigeon with Nettle Spelt
Rabbit and Mugwort Dahl

Puddings

Forager’s Infusion Chocolate Marquise
Corn Mint and Cumin Granite
Meadow Sweet Biscuit
Ground Ivy Jelly
Wood Sorrel Mojito

Coffee and Lemon Balm Tea

Supper Club!

Supper Club!

Please click on the links above to follow the fun and easy recipes. As we ate the dishes, Chris and Rose passed on more helpful advice. Here is a great extract from their note:

Be aware that there might be a backlash at some point from people who are worried about the countryside being plundered. However, foraging is about understanding and respecting the natural environment and provising that pickers follow a basic code of conduct it can only improve our knowledge and husbandry of the countryside”.

I hope you enjoy the dishes as much as the guests did on the evening. The event was declared a great success and Tim even said it was their best supper club to date which was great to hear. My thanks go to Chris and Rose Bax who made the foraging side so interesting for the guests adn my commis Tim and his partner Becky for their help. Huge thanks must also go to Tim and Malcolm who of course made this evening possible and kindly invited me to take part.

Steph the Forager on tour – supper club style!!

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Has the world gone mad? I cannot believe that this autumn kids are not allowed to play conkers in school because of health and safety! That’s according to a local farm shop who was inform of the new rule when they had conkers and string on display for the kids to make their own fun…

Conkers has to be one of a Forager’s favourite games and I was not going to give it up easily! I therefore took my niece and nephew out and about to forage for some different items we could use!

Our foraging finds!

Our foraging finds!

Bullis, rosehips , sloes, hawthorne and a few conkers (!!) to be exact, which they enjoyed apart from the rosehips…danger money was not provided by their Aunty Steph! (rosehips are VERY prickly!)

We also selected further foraged ingredients for for the Food Festival at The Devonshire Arms in Bolton Abbey this week. I am really excited about this one Wild Cooks, it’s a real honour to be asked by Steve Smith (Head Chef at the Burlington) to be a part of this festival and to cook along side fellow Harrogate Chef , Tom Van Zellar.

Amazing autumnal colours

Amazing autumnal colours

As my Niece and Nephew were brilliant foragers, I thought it best to cook them up a tasty pot of homely food to warm them up. This great stew is one you can leave on the slow cooker all day or in the Aga and it will be ready for your return.

Oxtail Casserole Recipe

Watch out for my next blog regarding the Devonshire Food Festival and I will let you know how I get on!

Steph  (the evil Aunty!!! No really – they loved it!)

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Wow, can you believe it is the 100th entry on The Wild Cooks’ Blog?

To celebrate this momentous milestone, here is a quick, easy and fun way to pack a forager’s punch into a bowl of springtime pasta. This meal is quick, vibrant, wild and an understated tasty dish!

Knaresborough is a small market town only a few miles from Rudding Park.  Down by the river there is an abundance of  nettles, ground ivy, dandelion, sticky weed and wild garlic and I also managed to source hawthorn “bread and cheese” leaves which will add a sharp twist to our springtime spirals of pasta.

I went for a walk (avoiding the paths less travelled by our four legged friends!) and look what I came up with… 

Searching for my ingredients

Searching for my ingredients

 

Me picking the wild garlic

Me picking the wild garlic

So, hot footing it back to the kitchen and a ½ hour of cooking produced a simple, lovely, springtime meal.

Lots of wild food finds!

Lots of wild food finds!

Foraged finds and tips:

Nettles – ouch! Remember they still have their sting until cooked!
Wild garlic
Hawthorn leaves (otherwise known as ‘bread and cheese’)
Sticky weed (known as Goose Grass – remember as a kid throwing it on your friends’ jumpers and watching it stick!)
Dandelion
Ground ivy (this is not to be mixed up with ivy which is not edible – look for the tiny purple flowers and the hoof like leaves for ground ivy)

"Bread and Cheese" - Hawthorn Leaves
“Bread and Cheese” – Hawthorn Leaves

Please have a look at our recipe.

Wild food is brilliant fun – always remember to make sure you know what you are picking, some wild food can be dangerous to eat.

Happy Foraging!

Steph x 

Foraged Pasta Delight!

Foraged Pasta Delight!

 
 

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