Sunday, 12 May 2019

celebrating moms

thinking about all the beautiful, incredible moms i know and love.
 i am so happy and fortunate to be a mom, 
and spend the day with my mom, my kids, 
siblings, and some other wonderful moms that happen to be related! 
and thinking of mark of course…
thank you for starting this mother’s journey. 
happy mothers day!
warm, motherly hugs,

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

finding spring

oh happy spring!

and just like that everything is growing and green and healthy! 
i love how the farm bursts from dreary brown to every possible shade of green...
from the shy pale new shoots to the bold, verdant green leaves.

i have 2 savoury recipes to share that are a spring treat..
wild garlic scones, and stinging nettle pesto.

foraging for wild garlic is now a spring ritual for us 
and because they are seasonal it makes them quite special! 
we discovered them last year for the first time.
their flavour and aroma are intense...
a potent combination of chives and garlic and onions.  

lucky for us, my nephew brett’s girlfriend alix is an amazing baker. 
he foraged, she baked. sweet.

wild garlic scones

2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter cubed
1 cup shredded cheese plus an extra couple of tablespoons to sprinkle on the tops
alix used parmesan - old cheddar would be lovely too.
1 large handful of wild garlic leaves chopped 
1 cup of buttermilk plus a little extra for brushing 
how to 
preheat oven to 425˚
line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
with a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until you have a crumbly mixture.
add the cheese and wild garlic leaves.
stir in buttermilk until just combined.
on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently 10 times, then roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. 
cut out the scones with a 3 inch floured cutter. an upside down drinking glass works brilliantly too.
place on lined baking sheets. brush with buttermilk and a sprinkling of extra cheese on top.

bake at 425˚ for 12 -15 minutes, until lightly browned.
enjoy warm with butter or a big dollop of creme fraiche. 
these are just lovely with eggs of any type. they are perfect for dunking in soup too!

stinging nettle pesto

oh that doesn't sound very tasty does it?  it really is though! 
it does represent spring so well and nettles are reputed to have many health benefits. 
this is a lovely spread for crackers or bread, as part of a cheese tray. 
the colour is so bright and fresh!
you can use this as a dip or as a sauce on pasta. 
wear gloves, boots and long pants while harvesting…
you don’t want to get stung. 

7 ish cups fresh nettles
2 cloves of garlic 
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese 
a generous pinch of flaked salt 
1/4 ish cup of toasted nuts you love… pine nuts, walnuts, pecans. i used chestnuts. 5 medium ones.  
you can buy them already cooked and peeled in the grocery stores. so easy. (i use them in soups too.) 
1/2 cup good olive oil

how to  
bring a large pot of water to boil. 
set aside a large bowl of ice water.

using tongs to avoid getting stung, place nettles in boiling water for 2 minutes. this will relax the stinging hairs. 
remove nettles from the boiling water and plunge in ice water.
let them cool, about 5 ish minutes. 
this retains their colour and stops the cooking process. 
you can save the boiled water if you are cooking pasta, or enjoy the tea you have just made!
drain and squeeze out excess water. set them on a tea towel to dry a little.
in the bowl of a food processor, add nettles, garlic, cheese, salt and nuts. 
pulse a few times to combine. this will be a thick paste. 
with the machine running, add the olive oil in a stream until smooth, and you get the desired consistency. 

the pesto keeps in the fridge for a month and it freezes well too.
freezing in an ice cube tray makes portioning very easy. 

oh there are so many wonderful things to treasure each spring…

we wake up to birdsong. 
the bluebirds are back.
my magnolia tree is in full bloom. 
we have a robin raising her baby birds. 
i have found an antler by the turtle pond. 
even the first dandelions are charming! 

and soon we will be hunting for wild asparagus...
the next spring food to cherish. 
warm spring hugs,