Primrose is out. Not only the delicate yellow blooms which punctuate the lane side verges, but also our beautiful, delicate baby daughter. She arrived on good Friday and life has once again been turned upside down and shaken vigorously, in the most fantastic way.
As May day approaches I am reminded how late the Spring is this year. Many plants are nearly a month behind where they would normally be, something I am acutely aware of, as my spring foraging courses have been running since the snowy days of late March! Lady’s smock, that elegant mistress of the early wayside has just begun to flower and this year I’m drying a few bunches to grind and use as seasoning. The small fern like leaves and slender stems are so peppery, that many course members liken the taste to horse radish.
Although sprouting broccoli and a bit of early salad is available from the garden, veg is in short supply and most days I am off to the fields and woods to gather ingredients. The highlight was perhaps a couple of brown trout taken from the local stream and fried with some of the wild garlic which grows along its banks. In that humble yet delicious meal lay the essence of the simple life and it satisfied the soul every bit as much as it did the stomach. Jack by the hedge, nettles, sorrel and garlic as well as many other plants are entering the house by the sack full and soup is always a quick and easy form of preparation. Our two year old son who has a healthy boy like suspicion of any green leaf, can’t get enough of an emerald bowl of wild greens soup – a mystery.