Friends phoned this morning to say they were passing and could they drop in for lunch. Well, the patient and I are getting a little short of conversation, so YES, come AS SOON AS YOU CAN.
These particular friends are tremendous food scavengers - we've been with them shrimping and on mushroom hunts, and you wouldn't believe how determined they are. So I went out into the garden to see if I could find anything wild. Much too dry for mushrooms. Nettle soup, I thought. The nettles are beginning to show, but there weren't quite enough for a big pot of soup. Next week, probably, if the sun keeps on shining.
So then I turned my attention to the lawn. During the summer, blink, and there's a mass of dandelions. Young dandelion leaves make very good eating, soft bitter leaves if you catch them early. Well, it's too early ... not a sign of a dandelion. I know they're lurking there, beneath the ground, but nothing so much as the tip of a leaf.
However, in the search, I found something truly lovely, and utterly unexpected: in the place where, until last summer, stood a crab apple tree - there, hardly visible, were two wild crocuses, and the tip of another. Magical.
So then I went to pick the first of this year's sorrel.
Nettle tea - and other tips
The crab apple tree
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