eating wild – day out

Muks and I have always wanted to learn how to forage for wild greens in the UK. Sometime last month, Muks found this and without too much arm twisting, Waki and I took the day off from work and spent the rest of the time eagerly waiting for the day to come.

The day started early, about 7am since we had to get to Welwyn North by 8.30.

tea1

Once there and met up with Muks, a much needed cuppa was had while we waited for our ride to Country Bumpkin HQ.

At HQ a little while later, we had yet another cuppa with a very cute tea cosy…

tea2

When the rest of the group arrived (3 very nice older ladies), we finally set out to snag ourselves some crayfish at Coots Corner Fishery.

Coots Corner Fishery

There, we went about walking around the ponds dragging up traps that were set the night before by Stuart, foraging/fishing/trapping/hunting extraordinaire.

crayfish1

Ta da..!

crayfish

Slowly, but surely the bucket began to fill up….

crayfish3

I think the crayfishies were not amused.

crayfish4

With all the traps checked and bucket loaded with dinner cray fish, we were then driven to a nearby wooded area for a bit of foraging.

There we were introduced to wild garlic (which tastes like garlic)

wild garlic

and pig nuts (that tastes of nuts)

pig nuts

By now we were all hungry from all that fresh air, so back to HQ for tea,

tea3

yummy hand made venison burger garnished with freshly picked wild garlic blossoms,

venison burger

and some photo posing for Waki.

wakigarlic

Tummies full, we set about sorting the crayfish by size while enjoying the rare bit of sun for the day.

crayfish5

We had to be quite careful not to be pinched by them critters as they’re a feisty bunch….

crayfish6

After a quick rinse, and into the pot they go for around 5 minutes.

crayfish7

and then another hour for peeling (and accidentally spraying each other with bits of crayfish gunk).

crayfish8

While we were having lunch and peeling crayfish, Stuart went off and shot 2 rabbits…

rabbit1

and showed us how to skin and prep one which I got to take home to cook.

rabbit2

It was late afternoon when we went for our last bit of foraging and were shown edibles around the hedgerow such as hedge garlic, hairy bittercress, yarrow, mallow, and hogweed.

Waki only deigned to pop out of my bag for more photos and hog the hogweed when we were safely back at HQ because it stated to hail.

hogweed

While we waited for the day’s harvest being cooked, out comes another cuppa.

tea4

First on the menu, gorgeous nettle soup with wild garlic blossoms, which tasted very green and a bit like spinach.

nettlesoup

Then, came our main, superb crayfish linguine.

crayfish9

Still licking our lips after that fantastic meal, Muks and I decided to buy a goose egg each (a rare treat since it’s only available in spring), as well as some very fresh duck eggs.

goose and duck

With my bag loaded with eggs, wild garlic and rabbit, we set off home happy from an absolutely brilliant day out.

 

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