Sharp’s Lot Picnic + Eat Your Greens II

Throwing a frisby

And then – it was warm! Only for a day, but what a boon. We walked the short distance to Sharp’s Lot, not a new novel by Bernard Cornwell, but along with Pointer Wood and Clarke’s Lot, a small National Trust property on the outskirts of the village. We chucked a Frisbee around and picnicked on hotdogs, with sausages heated up over the trusty Bushbuddy…

Heating hotdog sausages 

….which for some reason I can’t quite fathom we got going straight off this time and which really roared, warming the sausages and boiling a couple of kettles full of hot water in no time.

TBH and A decided to head home after our picnic, but the boys were content to play with sticks and poke about under boulders…

Playing with sticks 

So, this being a sheltered spot where things often seem to appear earlier than they do elsewhere, I had a wander with my camera, seeking out some signs of our delayed spring…

Hazel catkin 

Hazel Catkin (male flower)

Female hazel flower 

Female hazel flower.

Barren strawberry 

Barren strawberry.

New hawthorn leaves 

New hawthorn leaves.

More lichen 

More lichen.

An abundance of primroses 

In a dip in the limestone pavement in Pointer Wood, there seems to be the perfect environment for primroses – they really thrive here.

An abundance of primroses II 

There’s always something new and/or odd to look at when we’re out locally, on this occasion it was this bracket fungus on a broken branch…

Bracket fungus 

Bracket fungus II 

Bracket fungus III 

On our outings this Easter we’ve been foraging for ramson leaves. Non more enthusiastically then little S, who loves their garlicky tang.

Gathering ramsons 

I’ve twice made this soup with them:

Serves 6

  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 3 average potatoes
  • A dash of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 l of chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150 ml cream
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 100 -150 g of ramson leaves
  • Salt and white pepper

1) Slice onion, leek and dice potatoes. The size doesn’t matter because it will be blended in the end. Chop the ramson leaves.

2) Sweat onion and leek in oil and butter mixture in the pot. Add potatoes, bay leaf and hot stock. Keep cooking at moderate heat.

3) When potatoes are cooked and soft, add cream, wine and ramson. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to gentle boil, turn down the heat and blend everything in blender.

4) Serve hot with toasted white bread or baguette.

This recipe is from Picante Cooking.

Actually, I left out the cream and the butter. And I served it with homemade bread, since I’ve discovered this holiday that making bread, even without a bread-maker, is both very easy and very satisfying to do, and what’s more, that if I make it, the kids will eat wholemeal bread. Having flour from Little Salkeld Mill, which one of our local Booths now stocks, probably helps too. (more about Little Salkeld Watermill  and there wares here)

A fierce briar

Sharp’s Lot Picnic + Eat Your Greens II

7 thoughts on “Sharp’s Lot Picnic + Eat Your Greens II

  1. As others have commented, nice pics of the flowers and fungi.

    Hopefully the weather is now starting to turn it’s thoughts towards spring – and not before time. A few longer days and some sunshine (even if not much warmth) would lift the spirits enormously.

  2. Cynthia Beebe says:

    Mark, as always when I read your blog I relive my children’s childhood (and perhaps a past life childhood in the UK, myself). It is a joy to witness the ways in which you are “grounding” (in all the most glorious senses) your children’s lives through your shared experiences of the natural world.

    I often think of you all, with the deepest conviction of how you demonstrate in your parenting that life’s challenges are vindicated in the (sublimely variable) beauty of the earth.

    And please remember my promise that if you all come to the Pacific Northwest, I would welcome you….

  3. beatingthebounds says:

    Hi Cynthia,
    It’s always lovely to hear from you! I hope that you and yours are well.
    We try to spend as much time out of doors together as we can, although the weather and our other commitments don’t always allow it.
    I hope one day to be able to take you up on your very generous offer. In fact we shall be spending a few days on your side of the pond this summer, visiting some close relatives, some of whom we’ve only met via Skype, so that’s very exciting. Sadly, they’re in Virginia and even my hazy grasp of US geography is sufficient to tell me that we shan’t be at all handy for the Pacific Northwest.
    Next time perhaps.

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