Dandelion Bhaji

St Georges Day is 23rd June, and this the day traditionally to pick dandelion flowers to make wine as they are usually in full bloom with the first flush of their beautfil yellow faces, this year however they have been out en masse for about a week already and looking glorious until the rain decended!

I was watching Country File on the TV the other evening and was very surpised to see them cooking!  They were making dandelion bhajis, which look brilliant.  Onion bhajis are very easy to make and taste delicious freshly fried, so I can’t wait to try these.  Check out the link

http://www.tastethewildcommunity.info/_With-Countryfile-in-Calderdale/blog/5918511/159627.html

I must say that I think I would just use the flower petals (even tho’ its a bit faffy to seperate them) because I think the yellow would look better and the petals would distribute through the batter more evenly.

Also see my blog in April last year for Hugh’s River Cottage dandelion marmalade

 

Mushrooms?

To date, apart from field mushrooms, I have never picked and ate wild mushrooms and I certainly am not confident with my identification skills (yet), but a couple of weeks ago( in the glorious spriong weather we were having before the snow decended!), whilst out collecting nettles and wild garlic for the firts batch of Nettle Soup of the year, I spotted some mushrooms.  Thinking that they could only be some early St Georges Day Mushrooms (so named beacuse they are usually spotted around April 23rd) I picked them to bring home and chck the identification with the books, and internet if necessary.

I checked the books, working through the keys, I checked with a friend by sending photos and got my brother who was staying to check the books again – same conclusion all around – Wood Blewitt, growing in the wrong place at the wriong time of year.  We cooked it and ate it (a little nervously on my part).  It was fine – no ill effects for anyone.  Useful learning process – especially as my brother, who had always claimed that ‘looks like a mushroom, smells like a mushroom, must be edible’ read through most of my books that evening and found that several very poisonious ones do look and smell just fine!