Skip to main content

Wanderlust Part 1 - Lake District

I was over-taken by the urge & desire to wander. My birthday was approaching. Moon was waxing and would be full in two days more and would coincide with, 'Lammas' - celebration of the early harvest. The call of the wild was explicit and clear, I was stuck in the city, I didn't want to be here.

Now, I love foraging, I love Leeds, I love visiting my various wild food haunts but there are times when a desire to explore new areas and regions really take hold. The UK is home to a variety of habitats/environs and each of these are host to a varying array of wild species. If, for example, I wish to find Spignel (Meum athamanticum) then it's fairly pointless in me trapsing around Yorkshire in search of it - Spignel is reportedly found in only 2 regions in England, 1 in Wales, 5 in Scotland and introduced at 1 site in Ireland. My love and enjoyment of wild plants, fungi etc... is an extension of my wider love of nature. It's great, after a day of wandering the fields, woodlands, hedgerows and coasts to return home with a basket or bag, full or partially of wild tasty treats. However, if on my wanderings I return home with actual samples or pictures of plants that aren't edible I'm equally happy. The journey and exploration I went on was great for all these reasons and more. What follows is a documentary (mainly of images) of my some of my discoveries and experiments.

Lake District: I explored the more northern reaches of the Lake District.


Pictures like the one on the right aren't really the kind I wish to take and post up but then again, discovering some lazy arsed, disrespectful git bags trash in the middle of a beautiful location like the Lake District, a NATIONAL PARK, isn't what I expect to find. Sort it out peeps, if you can carry it when it's full and therefore heavier, why can't you take it home or to a rubbish bin - it's not like there aren't any available is it!! Right, now I've got that off my chest, this post gets cleaner and more beautiful by the picture :)


Cleaning up after untidy others. It's a national park you twats!



Sheathed Woodtuft (Kuehneromyces mutabilis)
 















Waxcaps. Possibly a new one for me, if so I'm thinking Vermilion Waxcap. My other guess is Scarlet Waxcap. Fungi can appear very different throughout their growth stages and from pictures in books. All part of the fun of discovering.












Undecided?
Collared Parachute (Marasmius rotula)

Sometimes you have to look real hard or zone in deep to find the smallest of wild things (right).


 

















Daldinia concentrica
Exidia plana
The only 'gothic' section to this post! Exidia plana has a gellatinous n bouncey texture - sure there must be a culinary use for it somewhere... Daldinia concentrica is a great 'bushcrafting' fungi and when dry takes a spark from a flint & steel - think ancient ancestors....









Sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica). Great fun this one!
Ladys Bedstraw
Sneezewort has a numbing & tingling effect when chewed :) The leaves slightly less so and are a great salad addition. Ladys Bedstraw, once dried, has an adorable aroma, use to essence custards, cordials etc...













A wonderful array of wild flowers
A 'fence' eating tree :)
I'm guessing there is something lacking in the trees diet?
Wildflower meadows, areas have declined massively through poor land management, over development & pollution. They are integral to a healthy eco-system.










Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)
The sun came blazing through and I took the opportunity to repose and bask in it's glory. Wild Angelica (right), an aromatic herb of the 'Carrot'- 'Apiaceae' family.














Hazels Hazels Hazels! So many Hazels :)
So many Cherries n Redcurrants too
Hazels were still under-ripe but the fruits were sublime and I got my 5 a day for sure :)
Feel healthy!












At this point I'm going to halt. I have so many images that this post could go on for ages which may possibly bore the peruser and definitely me - blast that computer time! :) I'll be posting part 2 very soon - the Scottish half of my adventure... http://edible-leeds.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/wanderlust-part-2-scotland.html

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nettle, Wild Garlic and Ground Elder Soup

It's officially Spring, a time of new beginnings, longer daylight hours (yeeha!) and powerful, nutritious herbs. This recipe is one I first made a number of years back, at my first ever food festival - I had a 30 minute slot, so needed something quick easy and representative of some of the tasty, nutritious and powerful herbs available - it's a recipe that I've tweaked over the years and recent tweaks have left me feeling very satisfied with the results and those who have shared a bowl or two with me. The great joy of this soup, other than it's delicious and satisfying taste, is the ease of identification of the wild ingredients, the very small quantities required and the simplicity regarding the cooking. This isn't just a 'simply green tasting soup', this is wild gourmet food at it's simplest and finest.

Ingredients:

75g Nettle Tops
75g Wild Garlic
35g Ground Elder
2 Onions
5 Garlic Cloves
1 - 2 Tbsps Fermented Brown Rice Miso Paste
2 - 3 Tbsps Coconut…

Pheasant and Wild Garlic Dolmades

I should really call this 'when opportunity knocks'! There are moments when opportunities arise while out and about, it's all about good fortune, random happenings, destiny (however you like to call it) and whether or not to act on the opportunities presented - when it comes to road-kill pheasant, I'm always happy to swing with the opportunity. This recent RTA bird was initially destined to become 'Pheasant Kiev'. However, while out early yesterday morning to pick the wild garlic required, my mind drifted and happened upon another idea I've had for a while, a take on Dolmades - this was in part due to the terrific size of some of the leaves I was finding, they were perfect for wrapping into mouth watering parcels and a bit of fun too.

The following recipe made 8 dolmades and there is still enough mixture left over for at least 6 more - I should have picked more leaves! It's a flavour fusion reminiscent of the Mediterranean, North Africa and the UK.

Ingr…

Edible Leeds: The Magic of Seaweed at Salvos

After hosting the Anglesey Forage Weekend (July 22nd/23rd), alongside my friend and fellow foraging tutor, Jesper Launder, I stayed on Anglesey to grab some down time and to prepare for the upcoming 'Magic of Seaweed' event at, Mondo Piccolo at, Salvos Salumeria, in Headingley. I had seaweeds to gather, fish to catch and coastal herbs to collect for the evenings menu. After returning to Leeds on the Wednesday, I arrived at Salvos on the Thursday morning and spent the day prepping for the evenings event - I did manage to squeeze a quick 40 minute forage in in the late afternoon to gather some extra herbs and flowers to accompany the evenings dishes; always time for a quick forage...

The evening began with a short talk on seaweeds including where and how to forage for them, lunar cycles and tides, health and nutritional benefits, their effects on human brain development and evolution (science theory based) and the fun bit, how to preserve, prepare and eat various species found …