This week I spent a highly enjoyable day on a foraging course, based at a farm near Steyning, to the north of Brighton. Organised and run by the lovely Carol and Louise at Pick It Cook It, my mum and I were welcomed by Roo and Sam the farm dogs. After some yummy homemade cake we were taken for a walk through ancient woodland, where Louise pointed out many wild herbs and berries which we would never have spotted.
|Beautiful ancient woodland|
|A clearing between the trees.|
|A birch plantation|
The main focus of the day was to collect hawthorn berries (haws) in order to make haw ketchup. Louise guided us to the best crops and we set to work picking.
|Me at my most butch...|
|Roo took a shine to Mum (who wouldn't!)|
|Carol and Mum de-stalk the haws back at the farm.|
|And so do I...|
|Finally there are enough to wash and cook. Just add vinegar, water and sugar!|
|I've never seen so many haws in one place!|
|Once cooked, the haws are sieved.|
|And here's the end result|
|Just pour into sterilised jars and...|
The ketchup is ideal for marinating meats or vegetables, or adding to soups and stews.
I would never have thought of an activity like this, luckily I chanced upon an advert in the brochure of the Horsham Food and Drink Festival. Mum and I really enjoyed the day, and a highlight was the delicious lunch, including Carol's scrumptious homemade soup and bread and a ploughmans. We also enjoyed our first taste of stir-fried dandelion root - surprisingly tasty it was too! Thank you Carol and Louise for a truly memorable day.