About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Foraged Food Friday: Plantain

I'm late again, but resisting the temptation to skip a week entirely, because then I'm sure the foraging challenge would just fizzle out after that. This is another one I learnt about on the foraging course, and we're not talking about the relatives of bananas, but the common weed. I had some reasonable photos, but unfortunately left them on my phone, which is now dead (contacts corroded completely, so impossible to charge or connect to computer) so I just went out to take another picture...


Slightly blurred ribwport plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

... which is a little out of focus because I was being viciously attacked at the time by these guys:


Evil midges intent on eating me alive. Also out of focus.

Anyway, it's the flower heads that I'm talking about this week, which Jade told us taste a little like mushrooms. Hmm, yes I guess so, a little. Not liking the fuzzy texture very much, I decided to try them as a base for soup, so picked a fair quantity and boiled them up to make stock. It kind of worked. There's certainly a decent savoury flavour, but there's also a certain amount of bitterness. Maybe I used too many, or maybe I didn't trim off the green stem carefully enough...
These have potential to be a useful flavouring, if I get the hang of using them properly, but I'm not immediately impressed.


Also harvesting this week
Vetch
Mint
Sage
Thyme
Bay
Rosemary
Wild garlic (this is pretty much over now, even here. The flowers are setting seed and the leaves are yellowing, but I picked a couple anyway).
Tiny potatoes ("volunteers" from last year, dug up to make way for squash plants)

Also drinking
Heather ale
Rosebay willowherb and bay leaf ("Bay herb") ale
Sloe wine

Also eating
Crab apple and rowan jelly
Carrageen-set ice cream (second attempt much the same as the first: Poor texture but still delicious)
Carrageen not-set chocolate panna cotta (the chocolate stops it setting, which is interesting, if a little annoying when you have guests)

Foraged food challenge summary page here.

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