Friday, August 28, 2015

Cape Town forage

Alerted by a drive-by sighting of the flowers I grew up calling The Aliens, I took a basket and went for a stroll up the greenbelt, in the company of The Corg, to inspect the plants more closely.

The Aliens are in fact aliens - Allium triquetrum is an invasive wild onion known in Europe as a three-cornered leek, for its stem shape. It escaped from its native Mediterranean and has naturalized in this winter-wet climate at the foot of Africa. I collected it for the first time in July 2014It was good - strong when raw, very mild when cooked.

I pulled some bulbs, which are pure white and firm. The stems are very fleshy, unlike those of ramps and field garlic (Allium tricoccum and Allium vineale). Garlic filled the air. The Corg sniffed and chewed some grass appreciatively.

After washing and peeling at home, the bulbs went into a pot of braising oxtail stew - chilly weather food, there are fires every night - with the addition of red wine, fresh bay leaves from the garden, fennel and tiny cubes of carrot.

Those are their flowers in the blue enamel jug, with folded up Oxalis pes-caprae. The others are from the garden.  Spot the Lachenalias on the left, with gorgeous, green-dipped tips.

Today I have a date with some stinging nettles in the Swartland, which Johan and Peter say are still flourishing in their olive orchard, after a  visit with Lily to a country wild flower show, in Hopefield (it runs till Sunday if you can make it) - there, I am hoping to find a good plate of boerekos, with waterblommetjies (the seasonally aquatic Aponogeton distachyos).

It is a good, green time of year if you like things that grow. And I do.


                           Book an Autumn Walk 


  1. So beautiful. Funny the post about Karel Kat. As we were walking our dog Karina this morning in the New England woods, I was thinking about what I might name a second dog and the name I came up with was Kaz as in Kazimir -- my younger son's name is Karsten so I guess I have a thing for Ks.

  2. "Hopefield" -- what a wonderful
    name for a town! Especially one which features a country wildflower show.
    Hope your father is doing well and of
    course your mother as well. Do you miss
    Brooklyn yet? Best, Diane in Denver


Comments on posts older than 48 hours are moderated (for spam control) . Yours will be seen! Unless you are a troll. Serial trollers are banned.