All posts by Monica Wilde

Clover crispbreads recipe

Clover crispbreads – from ideally red but also white clover – are a delicious and surprisingly easy way to eat your lawn. I was introduced to these by my very… Read More

Vegetarian artichoke rennet

Here is a lovely cheese developing from goats milk curdled with immature artichoke seed. For more about wild and vegetarian rennets see my long blog post here.  Curds after cutting. … Read More

Chemicals in plants – cyanide

Phytosemiosis. Talking to the trees.

Hydrogen cyanide (aka hydrocyanic acid) has a faint bitter-almond scent – although not everyone can smell it, due to a recessive gene. It is released in plants by compounds called… Read More

Variety, the superspice of life

Variety, we are told in the popular expression, is the spice of life. However, we are missing something today and I’d like to rewrite that old saying. I would argue… Read More

Cooking with Comfrey

Today I’ve been eating a comfrey ratatouille. This was partly inspired by Ivan Van Rooyen’s comment on my post ‘Is comfrey edible?” He said “My family and I have been… Read More

How to cook Sea Spaghetti

Thongweed (Himanthalia elongata) is called sea spaghetti because it really does turn out like pasta! It can be eaten on its own or mixed with spaghetti, cooked and added to… Read More

Forest trips help asthma and allergies

Asthma and atopic dermatitis are common allergic diseases, and their prevalence has increased in urban children. Recently, it is becoming understood that forest environment has favourable health effects in patients… Read More

Escape from the City to the Sea

              To discover the peace and tranquility of Lambay and let the wildness of nature restore your body and mind, get away from the… Read More

Sweet, Sweet Cicely

Sweet Cicely and Rhubarb

In April and May the ditches, damp hedgerows and water meadows are full of sweet cicely. Myrrhis odorata is a gorgeous member of the Apiaceae family – definitely one of my… Read More

How do dock leaves work?

By Sten Porse - Own photo, taken in Jutland., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=735079

I’ve already written extensively about the right way to use dock and how powerfully it works. The trick being to use the gel found inside the young, furled leaf sheath… Read More

Hogweed Pakora

Hogweed shoots are my favourite vegetable in the Spring. They can be steamed but they truly come into their own when fried. I often just fry them in butter until… Read More

Tapping Birch, Walnut and Maple Trees

There are at least 20 species of tree that can be tapped for their edible sap. And in many cases, once the sap has been reduced, a syrup can be… Read More

Potted Winkles

Here are some recipes for your steamed winkles including my favourite, Potted Winkles.  As a guide to quantities, one large mug will contain about 95 winkles, which will weigh about… Read More

How to Cook Winkles

Winkles

You can identify winkles by their colour – they’re dark grey (black when wet) with a white edged opening, and their shape and size – small and rounded. You might… Read More

How to Make Laverbread

Laver seaweed

Laverbread is not a bread. It is a thick paste made from laver seaweed that was traditionally spread on bread or toast. It has a very savoury, umami taste and, in… Read More

Laver Cakes Recipe

Laver seaweed balls

This is a delicious breakfast snack. A twist on an old Scottish breakfast classic and a great way of making sure that you get your daily dose of the vital… Read More

How to Harvest Seaweed

I’m often asked when the best time to harvest seaweed is. It certainly isn’t in the summer. Sadly many people’s view of seaweed has been coloured by their childhood trips to… Read More

Our Plant Relatives

“Transformed seawater runs through the veins of my hand as well as the leaf’s veins – one carrying chlorophyll, the other carrying blood. The change of a single ion, from… Read More

The Sweet Smell of Danger

All scents, perfumes and fragrances contain aroma chemicals. This is what makes them smell nice. Some are natural, some are manufactured as nature-identical and some are created in the lab.… Read More

Do Plants Talk? It’s Called Biosemiosis

Can plants talk? This century we’re learning that bacteria can talk and count – it’s called quorum sensing – and they know when there are enough of them to mount… Read More

Lament for the Loss of Wild Foods

Wild Fact of the Day: Once humankind used 7000 species of plant and 1069 species of fungi as foods.  A single community averaged 120 wild species in their daily diet… Read More

Hairy bittercress

Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). It’s the essential seasonal ingredient for winter soups, pestos, salads & garnishes providing a fresh, and tasty source of vitamins and minerals right through the winter. … Read More

Making a wild fungi broth

The season of soups is starting as the first frosty mornings herald the transition of autumn to winter. Samhain is around the corner. Today I made a cauliflower fungus broth… Read More

List of Japanese mushroom names

I’ve always been intrigued by the poetry of Japanese names for mushrooms. beyond the top five edibles I couldn’t find a detailed list in English. Here is my list of… Read More

Thoughts on the Autumn Equinox

The Autumn Equinox marks the first day of autumn. It is end of summer, when the day and the night have become equal lengths and, for the moment, nature is… Read More

New Forest fungi picking ban by the Forestry Commission

Aside from the lurid media “Aliens Ate My Fungi” headlines, the alleged criminal gangs sweeping the forests, the unsubstantiated evils of fungi picking on conservation, the misreported fungi poisoning statistics… Read More

Why foraging? A trend or an ancient connection to nature…

foraging in Scotland

Foraging reconnects people with nature in a really positive way. Once you can identify plants, appreciate their culinary and medicinal values, recognise them as old friends and discover the wondrous… Read More

The Future of Food and Technology

I was asked for my thoughts on the future of food and technology. It may have been a spam email but I answered it anyway: “The future of food through… Read More

How to make Diodgriafel 

…or how to make wine with wild yeast In Wales, recorded in 1802, poor people would “make a drink called Diodgriafel by infusing [rowan] berries in water”. In 1798, John Evans writes that… Read More