Wednesday, April 8

Somerset in the Spring

I'm sitting in the sunshine of a glorious spring afternoon. Spread out before me are the Somerset Levels, Weston-Super-Mare in the distance. Angela and I have just come back from a glorious walk over chalk downland and through iron-age and Roman hill forts.

The damper, shadier lanes in this part of Somerset are lined with carpets of wild garlic, some stretching back eight to ten feet deep from the path. I picked a handful of the youngest, tenderest shoots this morning, and popped them into a bag. At the lunch stop they provided a delicate garlicky undernote in our cheese sandwiches.

Finely chopped, and added to cream cheese or a soft young goats cheese they would make a veritable challenger to Garlic Boursin.

Our organic veg box comes from Devon, an area richly endowed with the moist bosky lanes that wild garlic, or Ransoms, adore. Riverford sent all of their customers a gift a couple of weeks ago, a large bag full of the leaves. Unlike "normal" garlic, it is the leaves that are of use, deeply green, straplike, reminiscent in shape, (though not in perfume), of Lily-of-the-Valley.

When the bag came I added some to sandwiches like today. Others delicately perfumed a salad of home-grown japanese salad leaves.

I used the majority of the leaves (it was a big bag) in a stir-fry of chicken, par-cooking the chicken first, then removing it from the wok, stir frying some spring onions, then adding the wild garlic leaves to the pan to wilt with a splash of chicken stock and some rice wine. I returned the chicken to the wok to finish off, and added some pre-toasted cashew nuts for extra crunch. A handful of beansprouts and the dish was finished. The garlic had reduced down and was sticky and richly savoury, yet didn't dominate.

If you happen to be out and about in the next few days, keep a look out. Wild Garlic is free, it's seasonal, and most of all, it's delicious!

EDIT: Good Friday, April 10th. I realised a post like this needed a photo. I took one yesterday:


Thursday, January 29

I am Honoured.

It is a small world. The Blogosphere is even smaller.

I noticed an article on Slow Blogging a few months ago. I intended to blog about it then. I didnt. I figured it would be in keeping with the Slow ethos to let it wait for a while...

I finally got back into blogging and after one post I have been given an award. My fellow blogger Amalee Issa has awarded me this sparkling prize...

Amalee has passed this on to me for services rendered. In particular, for introducing her (via Russell Davies' blog, Egg Bacon Chips and Beans) to greasy spoon cafe breakfasts. My pleasure.

Anyone checking out the Slow Blogging article should read all the way down. They will find a photo of none other than Mr Davies himself. He has created a slow alternative to Twitter, Dawdler. I think Amalee should send him a postcard!

Tuesday, January 27

Happy New Year!!!

Ok, Ok. I know I didn't wish anyone Merry Christmas either. Sorry.

My new job has kept me busier than I could have imagined. Added to that, I have got involved with the local branch of the Ramblers' Association. It seemed natural to start up a blog about that, so I did.

The blog is called "Rambling On..." and can be found here.

For my sins, I have just been nominated as the group Secretary, so I guess I will just end up even more distracted!

At least I have got back in the metaphorical saddle of Phantom bloggery after falling off last November.

I am still cooking, and under-gardener to Angela. It's Chinese New year soon, and I will make a resolution to post at least once a week over in this corner of cyberspace.

More soon. (and Amalee- I haven't forgotten I owe you a post...)