Facing Forward

Having taken a bit of a backwards step in the recupperating just lately (I have another infection.  Booo!), I have had time to flip through my foraging and recipe books.  I am planning to do some book reviews at some point as I am building up quite a collection.  Discovering very old country recipe books is a particular joy.

I am also looking forward to another boaty week very soon.  The Captain and I shall be setting sail with the 18 year old for some nautical fun and frolics.  Actually, I am not sure one does set sail in a narrowboat but no matter.  I have never been good at the technical terms.  Unless it involves gin.  I am positive we have a yardarm somewhere.

This time I am reliably informed we are heading to Worcester to complete the Stourpourt figure of eight which takes in the hopefully opened in time Droitwich Canal not once but twice!  We shall soon have to address the Captain as Captain twice Droitwich Ahab I think.  As ever, I am bad on the journeying details.  However, I am good on hedgerow memories and am keen to forage along the Tardebigge flight.  Last year we had an epic lock day coming back from Gloucester having been stuck there for sometime thanks to the flood conditions of the Severn.  In one day we travelled Diglis Basin to the top of Tardebigge covering 51 locks in total.

Madness I tell you.  I realise this is nothing compared to those of you who competed in the BCN Marathon Challenge.  As I type I have the Captain twittering in my ear telling me that now his record is 85 locks in a day.  That is beyond madness.  Anyway.  In the midst of my 51 lock nightmare, I recall noticing that there were abundant sloes, plums and hazelnuts on the way up.  Sadly, I did not have the time (or energy!) to gather any that day.

Obviously, we are far to early this time for those fruits but I am hopeful of other treats.  I am on the look out for cherry plums, maybe some more wild cherries although my tree has finished so it may too late and wild strawberries.  Chickweed would be good and the hips from the Japanese Roses should be ready for me to experiment with.  I have a recipe for Rose Hip Soda Bread.  Exciting.


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