Sunday, April 30, 2023

Forage picnic fare

Spring is packed with foraging, with picnics, with forays into green spaces, either alone or trailing two to 15 people, like a slow-moving, plant-obsessed comet. At the end of the group adventures, I spread out a picnic, sometimes on a bench, or on a slightly too-uneven log, or on grass, on a step, and everyone dips in, at first a little shyly, to taste some wild things. 

One of the regular features of these forage picnics is a focaccia, baked the night before, or that morning, and versatile enough to be able to convey the flavors of a season. 

In April's case those flavors have been Japanese knotweed (first cooked gently in olive oil), dandelion flowers, ramp leaves, and lately, nettles - all pressed into the jiggly, bubbly dough just before I slide it into a blazing oven.

Blanched muscari flowers are fun, and their flavor distinctive (more flowers in the dough).

Although the ones atop the focaccia did lose their color...

I manage to snap pictures of them, briefly, for my notes - time is rather tight: Picnic prep takes about eight hours, not counting the actual foraging, marketing, or route-planning. (Or the planning, the posting, the emails, the weather-watching...) 

So these are the snaps.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The King (of Everything)

April has skidded past on green heels, leaving pollen devils whirling in its wake. So my blog-posting has suffered. But here is proof of life. 

Nkwe Pirelli continues to entertain and amaze. It's been 10 weeks since he moved in with us and the spectre that both the Frenchman and I feared, in adopting a new cat ("What if he's boring, and just sits there?") has been banished. I mean, he does sit. Sometimes. And, mercifully, sleeps. But he is not boring. He has found his voice, is teaching us his ways. And we have laughed more in the last couple of months than in many years.

And that's not nothing.

Now, it's back to spring.


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