First foraging of the year

Tom explains how some routine weeding became a family hunt for food.

The unusually warm weather over the Easter weekend meant we spent a lot more time in the garden and became very aware of the amount of dandelions and nettles we have. Luckily we were able to turn this into an opportunity to make a family meal.

Last year I discovered this recipe for dandelion fritters which turned a spot of weeding into a far more exciting food experiment. We fried the dandelion flowers (taking off the bitter green bits) in a simple batter - doing it over a camping stove for an even more 'outdoor' feel. Unfortunately the dandelion taste wasn't appreciated by everyone and we had to have a batch of unadulterated batter, but it was a worthwhile experiment.

After we picked the nettles with strong gloves I took off all of the smallest, young leaves and made them into nettle soup. The older nettles were chopped up into the compost heap as they work well as an accelerator. We didn't clear all of the nettles though, leaving a few for butterflies.

All in all it was a great family effort and some of us even enjoyed the results.