But this time also brought some rather exciting discoveries in the yard. After the mandatory llama head counts to make sure they are still alive and kicking (5 girls, 1 boy- check), we headed out to explore.
A little walk around the front revealed tons of food (that would have been otherwise classified as weeds by my lovely dad). He won't go to the bother of trying to kill weeds as he knows the ramifications. But he wasn't entirely pleased with the idea of eating weeds.
My first finds were tiny, jewel-like wild strawberries that had more concentrated flavour than I can put into mere words. Any description eludes me. Enough to say that when the kids saw my hard work (in a rather small cup), they decided to reward themselves with the tempting fruit of my labour. They greedily gobble up the precious berries.
Here are some of the recipes that resulted from our wild foraging this week. I am hoping that some of these recipes encouraged my parents to eat a little more locally than they usually do...
Wild Strawberry Fool
1 cup whipping or heavy cream
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (happened to be non-fat)
2 tbsp icing sugar
wild (or as fresh as you can get) strawberries
1. Whip cream until nearly stiff in a medium-sized bowl. Add greek yogurt and icing sugar and combine until smooth.
2. Add as many wild strawberries as you can gather (I had less than 1 cup) and mix them into the cream mixture. Serve immediately.
Wild Strawberry Leaf Tea
Apparently wild strawberry leaves are very high in Vitamin C, so this is a great tonic!
1. Place a few strands of clean, wild strawberry leaves in a cup and pour boiling water over top. Let stand for several minutes before drinking.
Chickweed has a spinach-like flavour, so feel free to sub spinach or basil if you can't get your hands on some chickweed!
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups packed, washed chickweed (tender tops)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
Optional, but recommended:
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup packed fresh grated parmesan
1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
2. Use as a topping for pasta, pizza or crostini topping. I like to use only part of this recipe on hot pasta and smooth it out with a touch of heavy cream. I reserve the rest for use at a later date (you can freeze it).