Rose Petal Cordial

This delicious cordial is so easy to make and fast too. Keep those wonderful rose flavours to use as cordial, for cocktails, to add to desserts, even to add to vinegar. Herbalists say that rose flavour lifts the spirits, I love it. The recipe starts with notes on sterilising equipment ‚Äď just to keep you safe. ūüėä
Rose Petal Cordial ‚Äď makes 1.7 Litres
‚ÄĘ 150g well scented rose petals
‚ÄĘ 1 litre water
‚ÄĘ 1 kg sugar
‚ÄĘ 1 lemon zested and sliced
‚ÄĘ 35g citric acid
‚ÄĘ Screw topped bottles.

Always use sterile equipment, check out the best method for you.
Different ways to achieve this are:
‚ÄĘ chemical steriliser e.g. Milton,
‚ÄĘ microwave wet for 2 minutes,
‚ÄĘ heat in the oven at 125 degrees C for 10 minutes,
‚ÄĘ boiling for 10 minutes.

First sterilise a large plastic food container and a stirring spoon. Then boil the water and pour it into the container, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. When warm ‚Äď but not steaming, add the lemon zest, sliced lemon, rose petals and citric acid. Stir, then cover the container with a lid or tea towel.
Stir twice a day for two days with a very clean spoon (pour boiling water over it – this will remove germs).
After two days the cordial is ready to bottle. Sterilise a large jug, a funnel, bottles, and a muslin cloth (or fine sieve).
Strain the cordial through the muslin in to the jug. Then using the funnel fill the bottles and screw down the caps.
The cordial will keep for up to a month in the fridge or will freeze well.

Making natural skin and hair care products

We have spent a lot of years looking in to the culinary uses of wild plants and along the way have discovered that they also have some fantastic therapeutic benefits. Many of our everyday wild plants have amazing ways to help our skin and hair.

hair and skin care

Rose has designed a great new course to teach about some of these exciting plant uses. Come along and learn to make natural skin and hair products at home, for yourself and for others!

The beauty of this course is that you can choose the wild ingredients that are perfect for your own hair and skin. For example some strengthen hair, some encourage it to grow, there are plants for reducing wrinkles and some that help with eczema.

Course itinerary

  • Introduction to the benefits of using wild plants in skin and hair care.
  • Demonstration on making infused oils
  • Hands-on session making shampoo for your own hair type.
  • Demo, then everyone makes a bath bomb
  • All make bath salts
  • Tea, coffee and biscuits
  • Demonstration on making lip balm
  • Hands on session making lip balm and herb salve
  • Talk about emulsifying and demonstration of making cream
  • Q & A

Herbal hair and skin care is extremely personal and this course gives you the chance to make products for your own needs. You will receive hands-on experience in making, natural skin and hair care products along with an introduction to the raw materials used. No previous knowledge or experience needed.

The course runs from 10.00am until 1.00pm on Tuesday 22nd November, at Pilmoor Grange, close to our wood in North Yorkshire. We will be in a beautiful stone and oak barn and there will be heaters but it would be advisable to wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes and to bring an apron. Course materials, herbal plant guide sheets and recipe sheets are provided for each student as well as tea, coffee and biscuits. Full directions are given when you book. Places are limited to 8 people.  £60.00 per person.

Of course you’ll take home all of the products that you make:

  • Herbal shampoo
  • Bath bomb
  • Bath salts
  • Lip balm
  • Herbal salve

To book visit our website here www.tastethewild.co.uk/courses-extracourses.html

Wild food cookery course

We have had many requests for an ‚Äėin depth‚Äô wild food cookery course, so here it is!

We have designed this day to give you real taste of seasonal wild ingredients and during the day Chris will teach you, as if in your own kitchen, how to cook great dishes that will bring new  flavours to your table.

The venue for the course is The Yorkshire Wolds cookery school, near Driffield, which gives us all the facilities we need for a fabulous day of cooking and eating.

The use of the cookery school allows us to explore some more refined recipes that we would find hard to do over an open fire in the woods. Chris has created dishes that make the most of autumn’s bounty and also teach you some great core cookery skills like game preparation, curing and preserving as well as the processing of interesting wild ingredients like Burdock and acorns.

cured venison

The day will be a mixture of demonstrations from Chris and plenty of hands on cooking sessions in the schools beautiful teaching kitchen.  Lunch will be cooked as part of the course and you will also take away a goody bag and a comprehensive set of recipes for all the dishes.

Planned menu

A terrine of rabbit, black pudding and cobnut with apple and hawthorn.

Cured venison loin, elderberry ketchup, pickled berries and smoked oil.

Roast partridge, hogweed spiced squash, and burdock chips

Acorn panna cotta

Skills covered on the day

Jointing a rabbit.
Terrine making.
Simple curing.
Ketchup making.
Preparing and roasting game birds.
Preparing and cooking with burdock.
Preparing and processing acorns.
Making panna cotta.

To book the course go to our main website here www.tastethewild.co.uk/courses-extracourses.html 

Accommodation is available at the Yorkshire Wolds cookery school and this can be booked directly with Highfield farm. http://highfieldfarm.co.uk/bed-breakfast .

Ground Ivy icecream with candied flowers, crushed pistachios and vanilla tuille

Ground Ivy, Glechoma hederacea, sometimes called Alehoof is one of my favourite wild aromatic herbs and we use it in a wide range of savoury dishes.

This recipe is a bit of a change and uses it in a dessert.  A delicately scented herb icecream served with candied purple Ground ivy flowers and a couple of crunchy extras.

Delicious!

096

Ground Ivy icecream

  • 4 sprigs of Ground Ivy
  • 250ml milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 150g caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 250ml double cream

Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat gently to just below simmering point.  Put the sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the egg yolks and beat until well blended. Check the milk is just below a simmer and add the ground ivy sprigs, stir and remove from the heat. Allow the herb to infuse for 1 minute then return the pan to the heat..  When the milk is very close to boiling pour it through a sieve onto the egg and sugar mix, whisk it quickly to combine the ingredients. Now add the cream and stir. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge.

If you have an icecream maker churn this mixture per the manufacturers instructions.

You can make the ice cream without an ice cream maker (it will not be quite as smooth but just as tastey) by freezing the liquid ice cream in a freezer proof box for 1 hour then whisking it. Continue freezing and whisking the mix hourly until you are happy with the consistency.

Serve with crushed pistachios, candied Ground ivy flowers and vanilla tuille.

Candied flowers

  • Ground ivy flowers
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tblsp cold water
  • caster sugar

Mix the egg white and water thoroughly and the paint a thin layer on to each flower. Toss the flowers in caster sugar and lay them on baking parchment. Dry them in an airing cupboard or similar warm place. When they are completely dry you can store the flowers in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.

Vanilla tuile

  • 1 large egg white
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 30g plain flour
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon vanilla extract

Set the oven to 180¬įC/ 356¬įF/Gas Mark 4
Put the egg white in a medium bowl. Whisk it lightly with a fork, then whisk in the sugar to a froth. Sift in the flour and mix in the melted butter and vanilla extract.
Next drop teaspoons of the mixture evenly spaced out on  the lined tray, then using a small palette knife spread the mixture thinly and evenly into ovals about 7cm long.  Bake for 9-10 mins.
Cool and store in an airtight tin.

Ground Ivy Glechoma hederacea

A native perennial height to 40cm. As the name suggests it creeps along the ground and can form mats. The leaves are approximately 2 ‚Äď 3cm across and¬†are the shape of a horses hoof print with a scalloped edge. Ground Ivy has a square stem – it is a member of the mint family. When it flowers the stems grow upright and it bears purple flowers. They are similar to those of a violet but with a larger lower petal. There are often purple tints to the leaves and stalks especially near the flowers. The strong aromatic smell is the most distinctive characteristic¬†of this plant.

Ground ivy flowering beautifully

Ground ivy flowering beautifully

Talking foraging at the Leatherhead Taste trends conference 2014

Plus a recipe for seaweed scones

Yesterday I was very proud to be talking about foraged ingredients at the Leatherhead food research ‘Taste trends 2014’ conference.¬†http://www.leatherheadfood.com

I am constantly amazed where foraging takes me and the incredibly interesting people I meet along the way.  My natural habitat is in the outdoors, knees muddy from the forest floor or feet wet from rockpools and lapping waves, so to be standing in a rather sterile conference room behind a lectern and in front of an audience of food producers definitely took me a country mile from my usual environment.

The day persuaded me that I need to get out of my favoured environment more! It is very easy to get a little too comfortable in your own little world, and I am guilty of this. There cannot be many places more lovely to live than North Yorkshire and the opportunity to have this beautiful landscape as a workplace is a dream, so maybe I can be forgiven for being comfortable. But speaking at Taste trends 2014 and spending the day with a great group of people from all walks of the food industry was an amazing experience and one that has given me a huge amount of knowledge and inspiration.

The 3 highlights of the day for me were:

Steve Wallis from Tastebillion www.tastebillion.4ormat.com/.
His insight into trends and innovation within the food industry was truly inspirational. The future looks exciting.

Sara Danesin Medio  www.saradanesinmedio.com/ .
Sara’s passion for good quality simple ingredients filled the room and held everyone’s attention throughout. ¬†Hearing Sara speak reinforced my own belief in great ingredients and good cooking and I really hope that one day we might be able to combine our¬†knowledge and work together.

Jennifer Arthur. Strategic insight manager, Leatherhead food research.
Another look at the future through different but no less exciting eyes!  So much in depth research to produce a vision of the future that is both exciting and positive. Health and wellbeing both of consumers and the planet seems to be top of the agenda which has got to be a good thing.

The most important idea that reccured throughout the day, the one that makes me optimistic and hopeful for the future and is so much part of our own ethos at Taste the wild was the importance of Sustainability.  Virtually every speaker during the day had sustainability playing a major part in all sectors of the food industry, driving both manufacturers practice and policy as well as consumers buying and eating habits.

I really hope that all their predictions are correct.

Thanks to everyone at Leatherhead food research, especially Laura and Guida who looked after us so well.

I now know I need to get out more!!

+++

We were asked to produce some canapes for the lunchtime break and one of the three we came up with was a Seaweed scone with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

The scones are delicious and have a great hit of marine freshness, I hope you like them.
Serve with smoked salmon and cream cheese or as an accompaniment to fish soup.

Seaweed scones.  makes about 14-16

 

IMG_0424

 

Ingredients

12g dried Bladderwrack Ground up very small
7g dried Gutweed Ground fine and mixed with 2g fine sea salt.

60g Butter
250g S.R. Flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1 Egg
150ml Milk

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mix looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the Bladdewrack .

Break the egg into a measuring jug and make up to 150ml with milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix to a soft dough.

Press the dough out to a 2cm deep layer using your fingers. Using a 4cm cutter stamp out your scones. brush the tops with a little milk and sprinkle with the Gutweed/salt mixture.

Bake on a greased baking sheet for 8-10 minutes and cool on a rack.

 

Gutweed

Gutweed

 

Gutweed  Ulva intestinalis
This annual seaweed grows through spring and summer. It is a bright, light green in colour and can cover rocks looking like a carpet. The individual fronds are hollow tubes and these fill with oxygen so that it can float. The tubes are a little like guts and are approximately 6-10mm wide and 10-30cm long. If they don’t have any air in, the weed looks like stringy sea lettuce.

 

 

Bladderwrack

Bladderwrack

 

Bladderwrack Fucus vesiculosus
This seaweed grows to approximately 50-100cm. It is a dark greenish brown colour sometimes with lighter areas. The fronds are branched with smooth edges. The midrib is quite pronounced and there are rounded air bladders along the fronds, usually in pairs.

 

Hedge Jelly

This is a simple recipe to make a wonderfully tasty wild fruit jelly that is great on toast, in cakes or whenever you need a hit of fruity goodness.  We have been doing it for years and it remains a great favourite.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use which ever edible hedgerow fruit you can find. We put some Crab Apples in as well to add pectin to the jelly.  It is the perfect recipe for when after a Sunday stroll with the family you have a bag of mixed berries and a little time to be creative.

There are no quantities on this recipe  just a list of ingredients. The reason for this will become clear.

berries

Ingredients

Sloes, Blackberries, Hawthorn haws, Rosehips, Elderberries, Rowan berries, Crab Apples… and some water, lemons and sugar.

 Method

The amount of water, lemon and sugar depends on how much fruit you have gathered. We usually have about half a basket of Hawthorn haws and then a mixture of the other fruits.

Clean the fruit of any large stalks and leaves put them into a large pan, cover with water and simmer for 45 mins until the fruit loses its colour and is very soft (you might need to top up the water). Strain through muslin and save the hot fruit juice.

Measure the liquid and pour it in to a clean pan. Add 450g (1 lb) of sugar for every pint and the strained juice of a lemon.  Stir the jelly until the sugar dissolves and then boil it fast until jelly reaches setting point ( usually 104 degrees C ) skimming off any scum. Pour into sterile jars and cover when cool enough.

 

Below are a few pictures of last weeks foraging courses.  Thank you all for coming.

Our new season is nearly here

Our 2014 foraging courses will be starting just a few weeks time and we are busy making a few improvements on site.  As always Rose has been very busy managing the woodland, creating habitat for our growing number of wild edibles and clearing up storm damage.

The loss of a few big trees in the winter winds is always sad, but on the bright side it does open up the opportunity for a bit of new planting to take their place. The choice of what to put in is always a difficult one but it is always a task Rose approaches with relish, ready to balance the long term needs of the woodland with some shorter term gain in beauty and food for us and the birds!  Final planting was 15 Oak to help regenerate what was once continuous cover oak woodland, 15 Rowan for their rugged nature and their amazing berries, 15 Hawthorn for their flowers, foliage and berries and finally 15 Rosa rugosa (Japanese Rose).

I know the Rose is not native. but it is such an amazing plant. Rugged and resilient it will thrive on the edge of the woods and in time will provide us with fragrant flowers and huge hips both of which we love to use in the kitchen. You might remember some of our R. rugosa recipes here.

Japanese rose (square)

Rosa rugosa in full bloom

Whilst Rose has been working hard on the woodland management I have been refurbishing the composting toilets which also got a battering in the storms. ¬†I know it doesn’t sound like fun but actually I’ve enjoyed every minute. The improvements mean that as well as lasting for a few more years, dealing with our waste in a most efficient way, the newly remodeled facilities will be a bit more comfortable for our visitors.

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Chris fixing bench together

 

We have also been revamping the teaching area with some new benches, a way to create something new from some of our fallen trees.. We are looking forward to seeing new visitors sitting on them very soon.

Foraging course begin 12th April See website for details www.tastethewild.co.uk

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