Family, Fun, Food & Foraging on a Wild Garlic Bear Hunt

Monday 26 May 2014
If you went down to Dunnottar Wood's yesterday, you'd have stumbled across 30 families enjoying a Garlic Bear Hunt. Over two sessions more than 100 adults and kids joined Mandy from Mud Pies and myself for a fantastic spring adventure full of fun, foraging and food. The weather could have been kinder but no spirits were dampened as everyone was equiped with wellies, waterproofs and lots of enthusiasm.
Base camp was established with help from the Dunnottar Bodgers group who provided us with canopy, fire pit, advice and a wonderful display of their traditional woodworking skills. Armed with buckets and bags we headed off on our Bear Hunt. Searching for cuddly bears in the woods and stinky bear garlic. Buckets were filled with bears, leaves, sticks and stones as we wandered via the Shell Housie down to the Glaslaw Burn and saw and smelt the swathes of wild garlic. 
The garlic was very easy to spot as it was in full flower. Buckets and Bags were filled and the next mission commenced. The quest to find the perfect stick to cook damper bread and toast marshmallows on. Back to base camp and time to get shaking and making butter in jam jars. Things got very competitive at this point with the Dads in particular engaging in vigorous efforts to be the first to separate the butter and the buttermilk.
Jam Jar Butter
Pesto Pounding came next. Wild Garlic, salt, pepper, oil, parmesan cheese and pine nuts ground together in perfect proportions to make each families individual secret pesto recipe. Thanks to all my friends who rallied round and lent me an assortment of Pestle and Mortars for the day. Promise I'll give them a good wash out before returning.
Wild Garlic Pesto Pounding
Wild Garlic Pesto and Jam Jar Butter
Whilst one half of the group made pesto the other half made Damper Bread. Self Raising Flour and a pinch of salt mixed to a dough with milk. Rolled into a 'snake' and wrapped around the end of a carefully chosen and peeled stick before cooking over the fire.
Damper Bread & Marshmallows on the Campfire
Damper Bread with Wild Garlic Pesto
Time to start eating at last. Dampers were spread with butter and pesto, corn was popped and origami pouches made to hold it in, marshmallows were toasted and all was washed down with tea, coffee, milk and blackcurrant squash.
Deep Fried Nettles, Wild Food, Nettle Crisps
Deep Fried Nettles, Wild Food, Nettle Crisps
Final foodie treat of the day was Nettle Crisps. These proved to be a real talking point. Simply deep fried nettles. Great on their own or with a sprinkle of either salt or sugar. Promise they won't sting your mouth.
Damper Bread with Wild Garlic Pesto
Thanks so much to everyone who came along to our first joint Mud Pies & Foodie Quine Event. Myself and Mandy had a great time and from the feedback we've received it seems like the participants did too. Plans are already being made for further Nature Fun for the Adventuresome with a Foodie slant. Next on our agenda is a Summer Blaeberry Bash followed by an Autumnal Bramble Ramble. Like the Mud Pies and Foodie Quine Facebook pages to be kept posted with what we're up to.

1 comment

  1. What a fantastic foraging expedition. I would love to do something like with the enthusiastic people.


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