Saturday, 1 June 2013

A Walk in the Woods: Wild Garlic Butter

Wow, it's been a long time but I have finally made it back to the blog. I don't quite know what went wrong; a busy week turned into a busy month and into a busy spring and before I knew it I had missed a whole season of inspiration. In that time I have had lots of ideas, I even started writing a number of posts but never quite had the time to finish them. I have missed it! Being out taking the pictures and sitting at the computer this week was so much fun, like re-connecting with an old friend. I promise not to stay away so long this time.

During the break I have got totally addicted to Pinterest. If you haven't discovered it yet, it is a social networking site that is image-based. You set up pin boards and pin images of things that inspire you. You can also follow others to see what they are pinning. It has been a source of much inspiration and certainly helped nudge me to get blogging again. Seeing the gorgeous images and blog posts of others inspired me to want to practise my photography more and create beautiful things to share. I have also been inspired by posts that aren't just restricted to food and recipes. So although I am sure there will continue to be lots of recipes here (food is never far from my thoughts), I am hoping to also blog about other ways to find beauty in the everyday and the simple. Which brings me on to today's post.

In the welsh borderlands we have been finally feeling a change in the season. The cold clung on well into the spring but the last few weeks have seen a change. The tell-tale scent of garlic first hit me last week on my drive to work. I am very lucky that my commute climbs the hills of the Clwydian range before descending into the valley along the edge of the Loggerheads country park. At the bridge over the river at this time of year the air is thick with the aroma of wild garlic, a pungent smell that contradicts its delicate flavour. It was time to get out picking. 

Evie and I set out one beautifully clear and sunny morning for a walk in the woods, basket in hand. While Evie told me stories of the bears and witches that live in each of the dark nooks of the woods I scouted out a good picking spot. The perfect place was next to a shallow bank ideal for paddling. It was still cool enough for Evie to prefer to keep her wellies on. Splashing over we began our harvesting, aiming for enough to fill a salad bag.

Wild Garlic Butter

Back home, I washed the leaves before blitzing them in a food processor with a drop of olive oil. I then mashed my wild garlic paste into a packet of crunchy sea salt butter at room temperature. Next I took out a sheet of greaseproof paper and shaped the butter into a sausage shape in the middle before rolling it up and tying either end with string. This will remain stashed in my freezer waiting to be sliced and stirred into pasta or soup, pushed under the skin of a chicken for roasting, melted onto jacket potatoes or smothered onto a stale baguette for delicious wild garlic bread. 

As we were enjoying our wild garlic pasta on the patio, I noticed that the bluebells were in full bloom in the woodland that surrounds our neighbours' house. Wild garlic and bluebells; what better reason do you need for a beautiful woodland walk this weekend? 

Enjoy, Victoria xxx

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