Teaching my daughter all about PRIDE and identity this month, it’s so important that she feels safe when it comes to talking about sexuality and that she is comfortable in herself despite the different environments she will be in. It got me thinking about my own experiences growing up, I have always been fairly open about my sexuality but only to those I’m most comfortable with. Most people don’t know the first person I ever fancied was actually a girl…but the environments I was brought up in was that you went off and got married to a man and anything else was weird. I went to an all girls school, I never knew of a single lesbian in that school in the time I was there….well that felt safe to come out. I feel like I had the privilege and option of boys to distract me from my feelings towards girls so that’s the way I went. I can’t even imagine what my lesbian peers were going through at the time and each time I see another girl from my school being open with her female partner on social media, it makes me smile. I still feel like my sexuality is nobody else’s business, but it’s important to share the fluidity of sexuality and the importance of this platform and having a voice so that our children will never have to grow up feeling like they’re weird because of feelings. I sure as hell will not let my daughters suppress theirs 🏳️🌈
So word is getting around that I am very interested in plants and cooking with wild food, I have currently three books on the go all about wild cooking and a mountain of ideas! I was told there was some wild garlic growing in the garden which apart from the initial idea of soup I didn’t really know what else I should do with it, so I had a little research for some cool dishes! I did a little research on the plant too and was very suprised to find out how this plant can be mixed up with another poisonous plant called Lily-of-the-Valley. This can happen when the flowers aren’t in bloom which being at the beginning of spring they aren’t. The main thing that distinguishes this plant from anything else is that it smells very strongly of onion and garlic! Their leaves are also formed differently I noticed after researching, but to be on the safe side I double checked with the garden owner. Pesto seemed to be the most simple, popular recipe with just a few basic ingredients that we already had in the cupboard so I thought why not give it a go.
Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) also known as Ramsons have beautiful long green leaves and you can usually smell them before you spot them as they have a very strong onion/garlic scent. When raw they are quite strong to eat that are similar to chives, cooking them helps reduce the flavour. You will find Wild Garlic in woodland areas and damp places.
TOP TIPS FOR PICKING WILD GARLIC
Make sure you can identify wild garlic by an experienced forager, they can be identified by their leaves and distinct smell but can potentially be mixed up with similar looking poisonous plants.
Ask permission to pick and do not remove bulbs from the ground as they will not grow back.
Thoroughly wash leaves thoroughly before use
You can eat all of the plant including the flowers when in bloom.
Cook leaves and treat like spinach if you prefer a milder flavour.
WILD GARLIC PESTO
100g Raw Wild Garlic leaves
50g Cashews (Pine nuts or whatever you prefer)
100ml Olive Oil
Chop up the washed Wild Garlic leaves into relatively small pieces.
Place the nuts and parmesan with the leaves and use a blender to break it all down.
Introduce olive oil gradually until you have your preferred consistency.
Add some black pepper to finish.
Use as a sauce or as to add a bit of flavour to your dish.
April and I make regular trips to visit this amazing little company Rogue Theatre in Tehidy Woods in Cornwall where they provide immersive shows in Summer, for Halloween, Christmas and Easter. I worked for these guys in a project down in Land’s End and have followed their work for years spreading the word because they are just amazing! What makes their shows so special is the feeling that you are walking into another world spotting characters and quirky props, watching the unique stories of fairytales and local Cornish myths and legends. Seeing the individual talents and skills of all the Rogues mixed with the wonderful outdoors it is hard to leave the woods without feeling completely magical!
April’s request for her Birthday/Christmas is to go visit Old Man Winter and the Rogues as it really is a great way to start the holidays, we travel an hour and half each way just to get there but I promise you it is so worth it so please book for their next show, get your wellies ready and we will see you in the woods!