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Acorns

Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow! And from those little acorns a range of superb, wild crafted products can be obtained, in this case, flour.  I've been intending to make acorn flour for several years now (it's currently 2017!), either time hasn't been on my side, acorns have been sparse, or I've just been so engrossed in other wild food experiments that my intentions just haven't come to fruition. A key factor that eventually led to me making acorn flour was my first ever tasting of acorn bread in December 2015. After attending the first ever Association of Foragers meet ( https://foragers-association.org/  ), myself and a friend met with another friend to hang out in Cornwall for a few days. On the very first morning, Chris who had been up since 4am, had baked a fresh loaf of acorn bread, he served up a couple of slices complete with a perfectly poached egg, lashings of shaved perigord truffle, wall penny-wort, truffle oil and seasoning, and it blew me
Recent posts

The Joys of Coastal Foraging: Seaweeds

It will come as no surprise that the UK is an island and therefore bordered by a vast and magnificent coastline. I imagine most of us were introduced to the delights of the seaside as children, which included many joyous and seemingly timeless hours of innocent fun, exploring rock-pools and coastal caves, racing imaginary horses (unicorns?) along and through the fringes of the incoming and outgoing tides, eating ice-cream and partially burying your favourite, yet annoying sibling and sculpting them into strange creations, adorned with various coastal debris & tucking fish n chip dinners, complete with the random obligatory grains of sand that somehow find their way in no matter how carefully you attempt to fend off their incursions - magic! I've always been fascinated by the coast and the majority of my childhood holidays were spent at various coastal locations around the UK: I consider myself very fortunate to have experienced those times. Our coastline, for the majority

Japanese Quince Jelly, Syrup and Sweets

Japanese Quince is one of my autumn favourites and one I make a beeline for every year. You can read more about these delightfully scented,  mouth-puckering and fabulously versatile little fruits here:  https://edible-leeds.blogspot.com/2017/11/quince-quince-glorious-quince.html   Japanese Quince Jelly   This beautifully sharp, sweet and dreamily aromatic jelly is one of the creations that go into my JQ Knickerbocker Glory, it also works well spread on to warm toast or served alongside game meats, particularly wildfowl and is great added to sauces to provide an edge of acidity, sweetness and aromatic attitude. There are many other applications for this jelly, so get busy gathering, creating and playing... 1kg Japanese Quince 750g Golden Granulated Sugar Water Wash the fruits to remove any dirt and then place them whole in a large pan. Add water to cover, (approximately 800ml) and bring to the boil, once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until all the fruits split. Pour the contents of

Chicken of the Woods

Wild mushrooms have a special place in my heart. My wild food and foraging journey stemmed from an interest in them before branching out into plants and seaweeds. The 'silent hunt', as Antonio Carluccio so beautifully and aptly put it, is one of my favourite things. To find yourself at ease, wandering and treading gently, on the fringes of or deep within and beneath, the multi-layered, multi-coloured patchwork of woodland canopies, or in ancient meadows, in anticipation of the sometimes elusive, yet always magical and mysterious organisms that comprise the 5th kingdom is a pure delight. Fungi are truly fascinating, yet the great majority of the uk population have yet to discover just how awesome, intriguing, fascinating and tasty they can be. Most people think the best time of year for finding wild mushrooms is in the 'autumn' and, although there is some truth in this, it's not the whole truth. Spring, summer and winter can prove very fruitful (fung-ful) when it

Sea Kale

If you are lucky and live close to the sea, especially in striking distance of a shingle beach, then you may just find Sea Kale... As far as coastal edibles go, Sea Kale rocks: it's a true delight! Throughout the winter you will detect very little in the way of signs indicating if Sea Kale is present as it spends the winter tucked up, snugly, beneath the shingle awaiting the Spring. The first signs of life generally begin in early spring (in mild winters it may appear earlier), when the tiniest of shoots, wake from their wintry slumber and start to force their way up through the shingle and, as the season progresses, more and more shoots appear. The leaves, whether new or mature, come in an assortment of varied and magnificent colours (see image top right): greens, purples, reds, greys and lilacs. They are crinkly edged and become more open and rounded edged with age. Eventually, the flowering shoots appear on thick, tender, circular stalks and look remarkably similar to pu

Common Sorrel

Wow! What a wonderfully, flavour packed herb Common Sorrel is! For such a delicious plant it really doesn't get the attention or kudos it so rightly deserves. Aside from it's super tart and punchy taste profile, it's easy to identify, abundant and rather versatile in the kitchen, forming the base of many an amazing dish whether savoury or sweet. Identification and Habitat: Common Sorrel has a preference for grassy areas; meadows, waste ground, fields and gardens. Each plant produces numerous leaves and can therefore be treated like cut and come lettuce (continuously produces leaves, except when in flower/seed stage).  Common Sorrel (as with Sheep Sorrel) has very obvious identification features and it's wise to spend time familiarising yourself with these. One particularly stand-out feature is the distinctive 'split' located at the base of each leaf, instead of attaching to the leaf stem it splays out, akin to a snakes tongue (see image).  Leaves are gener