Out to lunch

Yesterday I took Fizz out to dinner. Well, it was just a walk really with a bit of foraging but she called it a date and I didn’t mind that.

We got a nice table (hay bale) by the hedgerow and had Sloe berries for starters.

Sloe Berries

Sloe BerriesI know that some people say that you have got to wait for the frosts but I like them as they are. Juicy and refreshing but anyway you can always try one and see if you like it, they won’t kill you.

Sloe BerriesThere were lots of berries on the hawthorn too and you can eat them if you want…

Hawthorn BerriesBut why would you? They are just pip and skin, there is no flesh on them and they are not juicy.

Hawthorn BerriesHere’s me and Fizz playing games with our shadows.

Shadows

Shadows

ShadowsRose hips are nice.

RosehipYou have to break them open and scatter the seeds. The inside is hairy and I just scrape that off with a finger nail…

RosehipWhat’s left is a delicious crunchy little nibble for when you are walking around the field, full of vitamin C.

RosehipBut all this is just nonsense. The berries are sweets, lovely to nibble on as you wander but not proper food.

I was absolutely delighted to find a pond full of proper food.

Water-cressThis is Water-cress, Nasturtium officinale and itΒ something that I would go to the super-market and buy, so that makes it proper food. It is a delicious peppery salad leaf a bit like wild rocket but better and if you have got two slices of bread and a pond full of Water-cress then you have got a really good sandwich and your lunch.

There is so much of it here that I could fill carrier bags up with it but I like my salad fresh so I just take what I will eat today.

Water-cress

Water-cress

Water-cress

Water-cress

Water-cress(There are lots of pictures of Water-cress for identification purposes, just in case you decide to eat Dog’s Mercury after reading this, which could kill you. These pictures have been checked by experts from the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland and are a true and accurate depiction of Nasturtium officinale, it grows in water) πŸ˜€

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23 thoughts on “Out to lunch”

  1. I have very fond memories of water-cress from my time in the UK in the 1970s. It’s available here in Australia but I’ve never bought it.

    Sometimes, its best to keep favourite food memories just that – memories. Besides, rocket sandwiches are just as yummy.

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    1. Thanks Vicki πŸ™‚ It is not so much that I can get it for free that appeals to me but that I can pick it fresh. I live out in the sticks and there are no shops around so I get my groceries delivered once a week. There are only a few leaves that I think are really better than you can get in the shops. Wild Garlic, Garlic Mustard too and definitely Water-cress. πŸ˜€

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      1. Do you get chickweed in your fields, Colin?

        You can steam young chickweed like spinach – much the same taste. Need to be sure you’ve got the right ‘weed’ though. They’re are so many poisonous ones. I tried chickweed back in the early 1990s when I was studying Herbal Medicine, but haven’t tried it since.

        I remember visiting Ewelme (sp?) in the UK and seeing the watercress beds. I wonder if they are still there? Wild Garlic is also nice.

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    1. Thanks Maggie, I have never done anything other than wash it and eat it. It is a salad leaf with a wonderful herby garlic flavour. In the UK there are quite a few good salad leaves growing in the hedgerow at that time of year (Springtime) but it is also good to add to any shop bought salad. Just, whenever you are foraging, be carefull, there are some nasty leaves out there as well. It can be tempting to pick leaves by the hand full but I pick each leaf one at a time and know what every single one is. I have many photographs of seriously poisonous leaves growing in the midst of good food and looking very similar. πŸ™‚

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      1. Something that I forgot to add. Garlic Mustard wilts quite quickly. Pick it on your way home and at the last possible moment and it is better to pick the whole plant and not just take leaves, the leaves will be fresher when you get home. I have done it this way and got home and washed them, put them in a plastic bag in the fridge and they have still been great the next day πŸ™‚

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  2. Such interesting adventures you share with us! And the extent of your knowledge (and wisdom, which is different than knowledge) makes me want to ask you a question if you don’t mind. Would you tell us what you did when you worked; were you a teacher?

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    1. Thanks Sarasin πŸ™‚ I think that I could have been a good teacher, I genuinely love people and understanding and bringing those two things together and when I find something wonderful I have a need to share it, all good stuff. I was expelled from school aged fourteen, when they found that I had been playing truant for a whole year and had never actually been to their school. Whoops πŸ™‚ By the time I was eleven I had been to thirteen different schools. I got into Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone, England. England had just won the World Cup and I was passionate about football, you make a lot of friends on the football field. When I was moved again, a year later I couldn’t take it. I used to go into my new school, sign the register and leave. I would get a bus to the next town and go in to my old school and sit in class and see my friends. I was wearing the wrong school uniform and I wasn’t supposed to be there (plus I never did any stupid homework) and no teacher ever questioned anything. Well, for a year they didn’t, then I got found out and kicked out. I went to work in a factory. Sometimes life lets us down. I worked on building sites, on the boats, anywhere I could but spent most of my life as a printer. I am not finished yet. I don’t know what my next job will be. πŸ˜€

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      1. I would probably make a good head hunter. I have a very sharp knife and good tracking skills. Does anyone know what the job of head hunter actually entails? I am looking for a job πŸ˜€

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  3. I used to live in Alresford, Hants. There were loads of commercial cress beds there. It was very popular. I used to wander around looking for Green Sandpipers and Grey Wags. Do I see a dog’s paw on the tennis ball? What a nice touch. Looks like it was a good date.

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    1. Thanks Andrew πŸ™‚ There is a dogs paw on the ball and those balls were rubbish. Two rubber cups held together by the fabric around them, even Fizz broke them, first time out. Yesterday I received delivery of fifty used tennis balls, sourced from the internet. I used to keep a German Shepherd and two Collies and they didn’t break tennis balls so Fizz heaven, coming up πŸ˜€

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  4. Water-cress! Wow!! I haven’t seen or tasted it since I was a kid. It grew in the spring house where I used to live. Mom would gather it for us to eat at supper. I loved it! I never knew it bloomed though. Thanks for sharing and bringing back fond memories! Happy Trails!

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  5. I was interested in your bit about rose hips. We have wild ones here, too. An Ojibway (the local First Nation) word for rose hips translates to ‘itchy bum’. I guess they hadn’t yet determined how to remove the hairs when they named it! I’ve also read that the seeds make a good flour, full of vitamin E. I’ve never tried it… I’d be hunting my life away looking for enough rose hips to make the flour! Sometimes I wonder who actually tries these things. Obviously they live in an area with more roses than I have here! πŸ™‚

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  6. A really lovely post. As a city dweller I never really think of a hedgerow as a place to find food, except for blackberries. Deep down, I think it’s ignorance and a fear of doing oneself harm.

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  7. I didn’t know that about rosehips, I save and dry them for tea, but I bet they’re tastier fresh. I also love watercress, we have it in Mexico too, and as with most things it is eaten with salt and lime, but I like it with a but of bread and butter too. πŸ™‚

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