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…
….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…
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 (male flower)
Female hazel flower.
New hawthorn leaves.
In a dip in the limestone pavement in Pointer Wood, there seems to be the perfect environment for primroses – they really thrive here.
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…
On our outings this Easter we’ve been foraging for ramson leaves. Non more enthusiastically then little S, who loves their garlicky tang.
I’ve twice made this soup with them:
- 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)