13 October 2014

News

Hey, this blog is no longer being updated. Keep up to date with all Cracking Good Food's news and events over on our shiny new blog by clicking here. See you there soon!

1 October 2014

GUEST BLOG: Rise to the occasion

By guest blogger CORIN BELL

Our full-day bread baking course is going from strength to strength in its new home in Prestwich, and Saturday was no exception! The amazing Rob Tomlinson was on hand to tell us everything we ever wanted to know about yeast, sourdough, flours, processes and myths in bread baking. The day started with a chat about the loaves that we’d be making, choosing the right flour and different sorts of yeast - all over a coffee… and some of Rob’s lovely home made flapjack (he does look after us). 

The group's first task was to make a classic white loaf, keeping the recipe nice and simple to focus on techniques, the right steps to take, timings and myths. There are so many books, websites and blogs about bread, and all of the experts have different tips and steps that they swear by, so it’s great to have Rob on hand to explain why certain bakers swear by certain tips, how they all fit together, and how you can devise the perfect bread baking process to suit you. 


While the participants cracked on with kneading, I got on with getting lunch prepared. In keeping with the dough-based theme, we were making pizzas, with some tasty beetroot and farro grain salad. Although the group don’t make the pizzas themselves, we talked them through the process, which is very similar to the basic loaf recipe, and everyone got the recipe so they could have a go when at home.

Over the course of the day, with lots of time for coffee and questions, the group also made a beautiful black olive, sun-dried tomato and rosemary focaccia, and a light rye bread bloomer. It was great to be able to compare how the different types of flour behave, and how different additions to the basic loaf (the focaccia is an enriched dough, with olive oil in the basic recipe) affect the rising time, and how you treat the dough to get it light and airy. 

The full-day bread making course is a delightful, engaging workshop, with a lovely relaxed pace… as Rob reminded us, great bread has five ingredients, flour, yeast, water, and pinch of salt, and lots of time. 

Check out the Cracking Good Food website for details of all our breadmaking courses.

25 September 2014

GUEST POST: Nepal you want

By guest blogger CORIN BELL

Cracking Good Food started an exciting new chapter on Saturday with the first of our new programme of Nepalese cookery courses… Momo Making! Momos are traditional Nepalese dumplings, and are a staple of Nepalese street food. Our wonderful chef, Philippa, who lived in Nepal for a number of years, explained that you can find momos, steamed or fried, meat or veggie, on every street corner in Nepal. To add to the authentic Nepalese street food vibe, the session also included making a classic spicy tomato pickle to serve with the momo, and Thenthuk, a spicy broth filled with chunks of vegetable and “hand pulled” noodles. 


The session began with a traditional Nepali tea, prepared by Philippa, which had an amazing fragrance of spices, similar to Indian chai. While we drink our tea, Philippa explained a little about how she ended up living in Nepal, and told us about the origins of the food that we would be cooking. The hands-on cooking started with us making dough for the dumplings (in this case the dough is called the wrapper) and the noodles. As it's the same mix, this is one of the reasons you tend to find these dishes together on a Nepalese street stall. 


The next job was to prepare the fillings for our momo and our soup, which involved some serious chopping skills as the vegetables for the momo filling have to be chopped incredibly finely to ensure a good mixture of filling in each small dumpling. Philippa and the Cracking Good Food team were on hand to demonstrate some good techniques. The ingredients for the momo filling are simple and fresh, and the kitchen soon filled with amazing smells. At the same time we started to get our soup on the boil. The Thenthuk broth is something that has evolved over time and contains Tibetan, as well as Indian, influences. A wonderful mix of spices and herbs brings simple vegetables to life. 


Assembling our momo dumplings was the fun part, along with learning the age-old technique for stretching our “hand-pulled” noodles. This is where nimble fingers, or just lots of time to try and try again, come in handy. Philippa demonstrated how to fold the rolled-out dumpling “wrappers” around the filling to create a beautiful little work of food art. Great fun, some mocking, and a little confusion follow. Slowly but surely, with some one-to-one support from Philippa, we all start to have our momo “eureka!” moments. It has to be said, the first time you actually manage to make a momo that looks anything like one of Philippa’s is a very proud moment! After the momos, the hand-pulled noodles are not nearly as much of a challenge. 

We decided to make steamed dumplings rather than fried and, along with the very low-fat, spice-packed noodle soup, the whole session was really healthy! The spicy tomato pickle was the easiest, and one of the tastiest, things I’ve ever made, and will now be accompanying every meal I eat! And just to really finish off the day, Philippa offered everyone a quick lesson in the Nepalese alphabet and a spice bag with their name written in Nepali on it. 

There are more photos from this session on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page. Click here to be redirected.

Philippa is back at the Cracking Good Food Chorlton cookery school on Saturday 4 October (sold out) and Saturday 7 February, showing how to make Dal Bhat, delicious Nepalese curries. See our website for details and how to book.

24 September 2014

GUEST BLOG: Playing ketchup

By guest blogger FINN TOPSON

Last Wednesday's foraging session was relocated from Chorlton Ees to nearby Fletcher Moss park in Didsbury, but due to a distinct lack of rain this September, there was some uncertainty as to whether this dry and warm early evening walk would provide the group with what we had come to seek: wild food! Luckily, it soon became obvious that we had no need to worry as our first encounter with wild mushrooms took place only metres from the park's main gate, where we found some beautiful and large, yet sadly inedible, specimens.


Over the course of the evening, we foraged through several areas of the park and learnt a good deal from our forage leader Jesper about the various identification methods which can be employed when seeking wild mushrooms. He also told us all about potential medicinal uses for fungi and, as well as filling our baskets with various types of mushrooms, we got the chance to pick some three-cornered leeks as well as some hawthorn berries.

We regrouped back at the park entrance and Jesper swiftly began cooking up a storm, sautéing the wild mushrooms along with the three-cornered leeks and plenty of butter in one pan, and boiling the hawthorn berries with vinegar, sugar and water to prepare a delicious ketchup in another. The food was served in a fittingly rustic style with the mushrooms and ketchup piled onto slices of bread, and the quiet while everyone ate and the empty pans at the end is a sure sign that everyone greatly enjoyed their food!  

Jesper Launder leads regular wild food forages with Cracking Good Food, in Chorlton and Didsbury. The next are on Saturday 8 November and Sunday 30 November - full details of all the foraging trips are available on the CGF website here.

15 September 2014

GUEST BLOG: Back to bake

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

We kicked off the autumn programme of Cracking Good Food classes on Saturday with our four-hour Breaking Bread session at our Chorlton cookery school. The group of 11 each made an organic loaf, then paired up to make focaccia with sundried tomatoes, red onion, black olives, rock salt and herbs, and finally some garlic naan breads.

The first job was to make a dough for the loaves with a mix of flours and different yeasts, which Cracking Cook and expert baker Rob Tomlinson explained. The dough was put to one side to rise in the warm kitchen environment as the group got on with the other breads.

Co-ordinator and volunteer Claire was in charge of lunch and cracked on with preparing the pizza dough plus toppings of red peppers, anchovies, mushrooms, fresh chillies, black olives and grated cheese. The pizza sauce was made from scratch using red onions, garlic, diced apple, bouillon powder, tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, fresh garlic and salt, and left on a low heat to reduce. The participants enjoyed a few slices of pizza as their lunch today and were given the recipe for pizza dough (and all the other breads) at the end of the session, so they could try making it themselves at home.



While Claire busied herself with the pizzas, the participants made focaccia dough. This was left to rise for a short while then it was rolled out, sprinkled with chopped, sundried tomatoes and olives, folded over then left to rise again.  After it was rolled for the second time, it was sprinkled with sliced red onions, rosemary, olive oil and sea salt, and put it in the oven. Cheese can also be added on top towards the end of the cooking time.  

The garlic paste for the naan is made by crushing garlic and salt together - it's as simple and quick as that - then it's added to the flour mix. Yoghurt is heated in a pan and used instead of water to make the dough. The mixture is rolled out after it has risen and fried in a pan of oil. It's delicious eaten with houmous or other dips and of course curry dishes.

So it was another busy, but rewarding, morning in the kitchen with new skills learnt, a wealth of knowledge shared by Rob and everyone enjoying the communal cooking and eating experience.  Recipe sheets were handed out at the end of the session so the love of breadmaking can continue at home.



We currently run two different breadmaking classes in three locations: Chorlton, Prestwich and Flixton. There are lots more of the four-hour Breaking Bread sessions in Chorlton (£60) coming up along with the extended six-hour Our Daily Bread classes in Flixton and Prestwich (at the new, lower price of £80). The six-hour sessions include an introduction to sourdough and a free sourdough starter, plus a 26-page colour booklet, Best Thing Since Sliced Bread, full of information, tips and recipes from our resident artisan breadmaker Rob TomlinsonBoth Breaking Bread and Our Daily Bread are suitable for beginners or people who want to get more out of their breadmaking, and all our classes teach skills which can be practised at home using simple, non-specialist equipment. We now have a dedicated breadmaking page on the website - to view click here.

5 September 2014

GUEST BLOG: Cooking by torchlight

By guest blogger MONICA BURR

As the Late Summer Forage on the evening of Wednesday 27 August was my first forage with Cracking Good Food, I arrived a bit early - so early there was nobody at the meeting spot. I thought maybe I had the wrong place but then I spotted some one with a basket walking towards me, smiling. A forager and her basket - baskets are part of a forager's kit, I now know!

By 5.30pm, 13 people, carrying bags, baskets and containers, had gathered. We talked and introduced ourselves. Two people had been on many of Jesper's forages (they had great baskets!) while some people were first timers (no baskets). One woman told me that she jogged regularly in Fletcher Moss Park and thought it would be fun to learn about the plants she was running by each day. Another was interested in learning how to identify edible mushrooms.


Jesper, our forage leader, arrived and off we headed. Over the next three hours, Jesper led us through various parts of the park so we could experience different growing areas. Deep, wet, shady forest, open, sunny meadows, grassy areas with big trees and fallen logs, edges of paths. There were a surprising number of mushrooms just in the grass around the tennis courts! Actually there were mushrooms everywhere although I never would have noticed them if Jesper hadn't pointed them out. We found so many different kinds that I can't remember them all, except Shaggy Ink Caps these I can now identify. And they are tasty when cooked.
 As we walked, Jesper helped us find other edibles. Hawthorn berries, sloe berries, wild horseradish, the seeds from the exploding pods of the Himalayan balsam (who knew?), rosehips, elderberries, blackberries and wild garlic. He explained the nutritional and medicinal benefits of some of the plants as well teaching us how to forage sustainably and responsibly. A visually beautiful example of nature's abundance was finding hundreds of freshly fallen bright yellow oval-shaped plums in a darker, forested area. 


The sun sets later these days and I think we were surprised at how soon it got dark. But with the help of light from phones, Jesper set up a camp kitchen and cooked a huge pan of mushrooms and wild garlic. Dessert was stewed plums, blackberries and elderberries served with thick yoghurt. Everyone headed home with containers of yummy wild food and a warm tummy - and perhaps with eyes a little more open to the delicate details that we pass each day.

For details of upcoming Jesper's wild food foraging trips - the next on Wednesday 17 September at 5.30pm - visit the Cracking Good Food website by clicking here.

13 August 2014

GUEST BLOG: No waste zone

By guest blogger TRACEY

It's great how the smell of onions can draw a crowd, but it takes some good tasty home cooking that'll keep them! Well, our tuna fish cakes and spicy bean and sweet potato patties did just that at Saturday's Love Food Hate Waste community event in Partington. We cooked and served up just under 200 portions, each served with fresh and crispy iceberg lettuce and topped with some sauteed samphire sprinkled with chilli flakes (see bottom photograph - more photos on our Facebook page).



Our 'diners' were shocked to learn that nearly all the fresh ingredients (120 kilograms of it!) we used to make their lunch and fill their FREE bag of fruit and vegetables were destined for composting had Fareshare not intercepted; especially as Manchester has the highest figures for child food poverty in England. They could easily see that the tomatoes, lemons and watermelons were juicy; the lettuce, chillies and peppers crispy, and the skin on the potatoes and beetroot was wrinkle free and firm. OK, the juices from the onions were going to bring a tear to most eyes, but in reality, it was seeing the amount of food which could have gone to waste that was the real tear jerker.


15 July 2014

GUEST BLOG: Cooking roadshow

By guest blogger ADELE JORDAN

We had a great day running our first Community Cooking Roadshow (hopefully the start of many!) at New Smithfields Market in east Manchester. As ever, all the food was supplied by the wonderful Fareshare, an organisation that redistributes short dated and unwanted food from composting, to people in need. 


We cooked three recipes in three separate pods with over 100 people, distributed all but six of our free Take Away Kit Bags full of raw ingredients and gave away nearly two pallets of food that was deemed as waste. All the participants also received a booklet of recipes and top tips for how to save money on food. 


Thanks go to the wonderful volunteers, all those who participated and to the Big Lottery for funding the event. You can see more photos from the day on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page by clicking here.

19 June 2014

GUEST BLOG: Stockport projects

By guest blogger TRACEY
CGF were delighted to be invited to Stockport Residents' Findings Launch Event on Monday evening to hear the results of how the Stockport Central Food Project is getting on. This is a scheme set up to identify and try to tackle some of the barriers preventing residents from accessing healthy food in some of Stockport's central zones. The residents detailed the project to date, prompting discussion about what they need to do to ensure its continued success. Exciting times are ahead and hopefully some healthier nutritious and appetising food is winging its way down the A6!




16 June 2014

GUEST BLOG: Bread time

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

We had another full house on Saturday for our popular four-hour breadmaking session at Chorlton High School. On the menu today was a loaf of bread, garlic naans and focaccia. The participants were also treated to four freshly made pizzas for their lunch made by volunteer Katya and myself, another use for dough. We lathered them with our very own recipe for tomato sauce, containing apple, red onions, fresh garlic and tinned tomatoes. The toppings were olives, chestnut mushrooms, anchovies, red and yellow peppers, red chillies, ground pepper and grated cheese - delicious. There was enough for a quarter of a pizza each. The recipe is given to the participants, along with all the baked goods they make, at the end of the session. 

Rob, Cracking Good Food's very own breadmaker extraordinaire, chatted passionately about bread throughout the session, sharing preparation tips, scientific facts, good places to buy ingredients and interesting stories. Everyone has recipe sheets to take away at the end of the session, so time could be spent enjoying the hands-on experience of making dough, rather than taking notes. These sessions are designed for working individually and also in small groups, learning together in a relaxed, sociable environment. 

To make the dough for their loaves of bread, the participants were given a choice of flours and yeast. While the dough is rising, the dough for the naans and focaccia is prepared. The temperature in the kitchen was quite tropical - perfect conditions for the dough to rise in. The focaccia dough is stretched, rolled and sprinkled with sundried tomatoes and chopped black olives, then folded into three and rolled out again. It's then left to rise before being sprinkled with sliced red onions, rock salt and fresh rosemary  ready to bake. These look so spectacular when cooked - rustic heaven. The garlic naans are also rolled into shape and cooked in a frying pan on the stove top. It's a lovely sight to see them bubble and go a deep golden colour and the delicious smell envelopes the kitchen space.

This was another successful session, inspiring the participants, who now have the knowledge to bake their own breads at home. A wonderful group this week, who all helped clear up and muck in - hope they come back soon, a joy in the cooking room. Thank you to Katya, our volunteer, who worked so hard to help with the smooth running of this session.
There are more photos from Saturday's Breaking Bread class on the official CGF Facebook page here - do be sure to click "like"! 
And if you'd like to try your hand at making your own bread or improve the bread baking skills you already have, we run lots of courses, in Chorlton, Flixton and now Prestwich. See our website for more by clicking here.

GUEST BLOG: Beside the seaside

By guest blogger TRACEY

Last Thursday, we teamed up with environmental not-for-profit organisation Red Rose Forest to show pupils from Thames Primary Academy School in Blackpool about the benefits of growing - and eating - home grown fruit and veg. Red Rose Forest have helped the pupils to create an allotment as part of the Big Lottery Fund's Local Food Project and we ran a cookery lesson using fresh produce plucked from the plot.


When your critics are made up of 30 lively and opinionated children, you know you've achieved success when each one says ‘thank you’ for the session. Although not all were great fans of our now infamous quesadilla recipe, stuffed with refried beans and served with a cold salsa and sour cream, they each appreciated that they were being introduced to new ingredients and had been taught some useful cooking skills. 


Many had never held a knife before, used a masher or grated up cheese, but this didn't stop them from being keen - all wanting to smell the herbs and spices and try the dish even if onions weren't their thing! We never get dispirited when met with unwillingness to try because the participants always take something (knowledge and skills) away, which they can always apply to other dishes. Still, it did raise a smile knowing that this young chap went away fully satisfied: "Best I’ve ever had, I enjoyed the session and the food - I had two plates," said Marcus from Year 6.

More photos from this session can be viewed on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page here.

11 June 2014

GUEST BLOG: Sweet and savoury

By guest blogger HELEN ROADHOUSE

When you end a school cooking session with the mushroom 'haters' saying that they love them after trying them in our savoury pancakes, you know you are doing something right.

We were at Wentworth School in Eccles running a cookery session for kids who were involved in growing their own food, so this was a great opportunity for them to taste foods that they could then go on to grow for themselves.

We started with a no-bake cheesecake plus raspberries (sourced from Fareshare) cooked with some sugar and lemon as this needed to be left to cool in the fridges while the class got on with chopping up the fillings for the pancakes. Some had beans to purée and some had mushrooms to fry with garlic. We also sieved gram flour to make pancakes, just adding some water to make a fairly loose mixture. In some of this, we added chopped fresh herbs, which Miranda had brought from her garden to show the class what they could grow in the allotments at the school, and chopped chillies. The class was really attentive and keen to get the pancakes cooked. Seeing them all trying the pancakes and discussing what other ingredients they could add was great - chicken was a popular choice. The beans were delicious but it was the mushroom filling with spinach and cheese that got used up. 

A frantic washing-up session was needed before we could serve up the anticipated cheesecakes. The fruit was a surprise hit and all of the children absolutely loved the reduced raspberry topping just by itself and had loads of ideas as to what else they could use it for, like on ice cream, cakes and porridge, and even on meat! Of course, we made enough for all our volunteers and the teachers, but there wouldn't have been any waste.

It really was a fun and enthusiastic session and all the children seemed to thoroughly enjoy learning, cooking and eating the food. I asked if they could describe in one word what they thought of the session and we got 'extravaganza' from Kyle, 'fandabidozy' from Alex, 'perfect' from Abdul and  'extraordinary' from our other excellent pancake chef Jayden. Erin loved the cheesecake and said 'sweet' while Morgan absolutely loved what we cooked and said it was 'mind changing'. Kate said it was 'lush', Daisy said it was 'superb', Robyn said it was 'OMG LOL!' and Hannah just said 'mushrooms'! We had a definite all-round positive response and there were lots of comments about not being able to wait to try it at home. We all loved this session and all the kids were brilliant and so well behaved, and I have it down as one of my all time CGF faves!

10 June 2014

GUEST BLOG: Bread heads

By guest blogger CORIN BELL

Our full-day bread-baking course came to a new home this week, at Prestwich Arts College, and it’s great to be doing some more work in the north! The ever-amazing Rob Tomlinson was on hand to tell us everything we ever wanted to know about yeast, sourdough, flours, processes and myths in breadmaking.

The day started with a nice fresh coffee and some discussion about the breads we were going to make, different types of flour, different types of yeast, and the additives and ingredients that can sometimes pop up in shop-bought breads.

The group started by making a classic white loaf, keeping the recipe nice and simple to focus on techniques, the right steps to take and timings. There are so many books, websites and blogs about bread, and all of the experts have different tips and steps they swear by, so it’s great to have Rob on hand to explain why how they all fit together, and how you can devise the perfect bread-baking process to suit you.



While the participants cracked on with kneading, myself and our delightful volunteer Marcello made some pizza dough and a lovely thick tomato sauce to whip up some pizzas for lunch. Although the group didn’t make the pizzas themselves, myself and Marcello talked them through the process (the dough is very similar to the basic loaf recipe), and everyone got the recipe so they could have a go when they got home. The end result four different pizzas, a beetroot and farro grain salad, and a well-earned break.

Over the course of the day, with lots of time for coffee and questions, the group also made a beautiful black olive, sun-dried tomato and rosemary focaccia, and a light rye bread bloomer. It’s great to be able to compare how the different types of flour behave, and how different additions to the basic loaf (the focaccia is an enriched dough, with olive oil in the basic recipe) affect the rising time, and how you treat the dough to get it light and airy.

The course also has a strong environmental and sustainable focus, reflecting the values of Cracking Good Food. Rob spoke passionately about organic flour, and how real bread shouldn’t be full of additives. One of the things I love most about being involved with this course is the almost philosophical feel it has. Conversation flows from traditional skills, to the satisfaction of creating your own bread, to the practice of kneading as meditation… what a bunch of hippies!

The full-day breadmaking course is a delightful, engaging workshop with a lovely relaxed pace… as Rob tells every group, great bread has five ingredients: flour, yeast, water and pinch of salt - and lots of time.

More photographs from this session, our first in Prestwich, can be viewed on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page here. Please "like" and, if you were there, send us your photos for out Facebook album!


Our next full-day session in Prestwich is on Saturday 27 September. In the meantime, we're running a full-day session in Flixton on Saturday 12 July (and again on Saturday 8 November), plus a half-day session in Chorlton on Saturday 13 September (and again on Saturday 11 October). We're also running a special Festive Bread session in Chorlton on Saturday 22 November. Full details of all these sessions and how to book can be found here. Spread the word!

4 June 2014

GUEST BLOG: Bread matters

By guest blogger TRACEY


Our half day bread session (Breaking Bread) with the Boaz Trust on 24 May was spent baking a basic loaf, naans and focaccia with 12 ladies representing so many corners of the globe; Cuba, China, Iran, Kenya, Uganda and many more. Some were able to share their own native breadmaking styles, whilst a lady from Eritrea demonstrated how they decorate their own flat breads using a fork, simply stunning. Rob easily captivated their interest through sharing information about the rewards and health benefits of making your own chemical free bread. 



He highlighted how you decide on the grain and can vary the taste by adding different seeds, thus personalising your loaf. After such hard work mixing and kneading their dough, they carefully 'cradled' the dough into a greased tin. We all sat to share and eat the home made pizzas at lunch time, it was a much needed break to fuel the work needed to move to the naan dough. They chose to add garlic to the mix, so expertly top and tailed each clove after Rob's demonstration. The focaccia was a wetter dough, but our happy bakers kneaded and proved the dough to perfection as each focaccia looked amazing once garnished with garlic, rock salt, and rosemary.

There are more photos from this session on our Facebook page here.

If you're interested in learning breadmaking or developing your skills, we have plenty of classes to sign up for in Chorlton, Flixton and Prestwich - the next is a full-day session this Saturday; see our website for full details and how to book here.

GUEST BLOG: Happy in Horwich

By guest blogger TRACEY

Cracking Good Food recently delivered a cooking workshop at Places for People (Horwich), an organisation specialising in property management, development and regeneration. We set up at the residential setting as part of a Community Involvement Day event. A group of enthusiastic residents and visitors swiftly prepped the celery and onions for the lentil and tomate soup they were also keen to move onto the quesadillas. These ‘low prep’ dishes were chosen as we are mindful that some people aged over 55 may experience dexterity difficulties. 


Many of the participants shared their past experiences of making soups and their most favourite flavours but were keen to hear Kim’s money and time saving tips of making bulk and freezing batches, keeping it healthy by adding water and not oil to a ‘sticky’ pan, for tired hands use pre crushed garlic and that freezing fresh herbs is possible! The aroma of the bouquet garni brought many an enquiring nose into the room to participate or prep and they were all fascinated by the accompanying dish of spiced Mexican quesadillas. Kim explained how the refried beans filling were an excellent cheap and great source of fibre and protein and are incredibly cheap to buy. They were moderately spiced with paprika, cumin and zesty lime juice, then mixed with the sautéed peppers and red onions. Once the mixture was spread between the tortillas, sprinkled with grated cheese and lightly fried, the queue for this nutritious and low cost lunch nearly spread across the room!


More photos from this session are on our Facebook page here.

GUEST BLOG: Foraging in Hebden

By guest blogger SARAH BENJAMINS

A gorgeous sunny day enticed us out to the hills of Hebden Bridge on Sunday 18 May, through beautiful mixed woodland, along babbling brooks and gullies, crossing a hidden waterfall, and up onto sunny meadows. Late spring brings an abundance of interesting plants, both culinary and medicinal, as foraging expert Jesper Launder (pictured) explained. Woodavens, Nettle (rich in iron and other minerals), Toadflax, Jack by the Hedge, Rosebay Willowherb, Meadowsweet (aspirin precursor), Hawthorn Flowers (good for the heart). 



We collected basketfuls of watercress from a stream, along with a graphic explanation of why foraged watercress should always be eaten cooked not raw (liver flukes are not to be messed with). We also found Easter Dock, an important, nutrient rich wild spring food which is celebrated nearby at the annual Mytholmroyd Easter Dock Pudding Festival. The highlight for some was looking for pignuts, along with a lesson on how to forage legally, sustainably and responsibly, ensuring we leave a habitat able to continue to provide its bounty year on year. Back at base, Jesper cooked up our finds, making fritters and soup, and sharing with us some of his home brewed Oak leaf and Knotweed wines. A great way to spend a Sunday!

There are more great photos from the trip to Hebden Bridge on our Facebook page here and here.

Jesper is leading some special elderflower forages this month, and on 25 June you get a free Le Parfait jar to preserve your jams, jellies, pickles etc - see our website for more: click here.