Friday, 20 April 2018

Spring Blossom

Spring is definitely here now, and my lunchtime walks are filled with wonder. Everything seems to be happening at once. 
I spotted a lovely pair of kestrels, soaring above in the azure. I decided to take some photos to remember the day.
Blackthorn, spires blooming and towering skyward. Pretty but also prickly.
A delightful and very old ornamental Cherry blossoming by the roadside.
A healthy looking cluster of Plum blossom in a hedgerow.
Elder, buds breaking through already, getting ready to begin flowering any day soon.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Ransoms & Flapjack

The plum and blackthorn flowers are wilting, and being replaced by cherry blossom, cheerful daffodils are giving way to beautiful bluebells. When walking in local woodland, bright green leaves are beginning to fill the hedges and trees, and the dappled shade is punctuated by the pungent aroma of wild garlic and ransoms.
April showers had persuaded us to work on some long overdue decorating jobs. The house was still in chaos so the kids and I decided to take a break from the mess and put some of our stored nuts to use, by revisiting one of our favourite recipes for delicious flapjack
We had baskets of hazelnuts and Walnuts left over from last summer and often had cracking/nibbling sessions but this little lot had me sat down with the nut cracker listening to the radio for a quite a while. I find this quite relaxing.
Other than the shelling, the kids did all the baking, and after a couple of hours weighing, mixing and cooking, they had created a superbly scrumptious result.
We have also been experimenting with various Ransom/Wild Garlic recipes. After a quick trip to the local woods, the kids made some delicious Garlic Butter. This is ingenious and can be stored in the fridge, then spread upon toast to create instant Garlic Bread!
We also tried scrambled eggs with shredded Ransoms, this turned out to be a simple but delicious twist on the traditional healthy snack.  We then combined Ransom leaves with further Walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to make a very tasty Ransom Pesto to have with pasta. Our next project will be to pickle some Ransom Capers.
Meanwhile, the children have found an alternative use for our nut stash, hand-feeding an increasingly tame local squirrel!