Spring is well and truly underway, a magical time when new life gives new hopes, new dreams, new realities. All my wishes suddenly turning into reality. I’ve been gardening as much as humanly possible and sowing, sowing, sowing. Its almost turned into a race, and very soon the foraging for me will be full on. I have started and so far I am foraging wild garlic, pine needles, gorse flowers.
Whilst busying myself I get distracted by how beautiful the landscape is around me. I feel that Mother nature herself has announced the Spring Ball.
Birds have obliged and have created the perfect chorus. Whilst the Sun has taken on a new morning glow replacing the dark morning with a new soft flattering light.
Let the dance begin. If you stop and look your see it, its everywhere in woodlands, driveways roadsides every tree, every plant is in attendance.
Trees and hedgerows wearing dresses as pretty as a picture in bright coloured blossoms, pink, stunning reds and whiter than white petals, hang from branches as if they have been pinned on overnight.
O then I remember the purpose of my walk gorse flowers, a beautiful yellow flower, that seems to glow in the new seasons sunshine, I have a new idea for these this year, something special, I let you know as soon as Ive managed to perfect this little treat. Talking of special if you haven’t heard then I would like to introduce you to Rupert who uses corse flowers to make Gin with. He can be found here www.conkerspirit.co.uk and I can recommend that you try some of his Gin.
Now earlier on I was talking rhubarb, yes I am obsessed with rhubarb can’t help it. Its wonderful you can do some much with it. The tiny shoots appearing earlier on have now grown and some are ready for the pot. So what will I be making Rhubarb jam rhubarb ketchup, (great with Pork).
I love it so much that I have a whole plot dedicated to growing it.! I am also very lucky to have Darren Venables and his wonderful team, at the http://www.chewtonglen.com/ who grow some fantastic varieties for me to turn into jam for the hotel. They also use it in the kitchens were the talented Executive chef Luke Mathews and his team turn into rhubarb pavlova.
However this week I am trying to be good after all the chocolate eaten up from the generous easter bunny. So I am going to try and do something a little savory. Rhubarb ketchup. There are many recipes for this little delight but one of the best I have found is Richard Turners recipe.
550g of forced pink steam rhubarb
150g of sugar
100ml of cider
50ml of orange juice
sea salt and spices. 2cm Root ginger, ½ cinnamon stick 2 cloves, 8 black peppercorns (all in a spice bag)
Place all the above ingredients into a stainless steel pan. Boil then simmer for 20 minutes
Remove the spice bag and blend the sauce into a puree. Pass through a sieve and refrigerate until needed.
I like it poured over ice cream or whipped into mergans. I also like to use it in GIn!
Richard serves his with a tasty outstanding dish of his slow-roast leg of pork. I tried this recipe and its mouth watering delicious.
Check out his new book.Hog its piggy brilliant.