This morning the sleet came down and the wind howled as I headed into the woods around Ross Castle. This is a favourite stomping ground of ours and the beauty of where I live never ceases to amaze me.
I had picked up on a tweet earlier this week when we were blanketed with snow, that the wild garlic was starting to peep through, it was suspended in a frozen state peeping through the snow ready to make it’s annual appearance. I love wild garlic, if you have never tasted it you don’t know what you are missing. It’s so versatile, I make wild garlic pesto which I rub beneath the skin of whole chicken before roasting it or toss it through pasta for a quick and ULTRA healthy meal for the kids, I make wild garlic soup and blue cheese and wild garlic scones but today because it’s early, young and not there in huge masses yet, I only took a little and decided to make some ‘Wild Garlic Mash’.
As I was bent over picking I was reminded of a discussion I saw this week on twitter about food. One was to do with cheap food and cooking, another about food education and one on the ‘Organic’ philosophy. There were a lot of points raised and people spoke with a lot of passion. My thinking is this….I am a busy mother with four children to feed but I feed them economically and with good home-food. I have hens, I try to grow my own veg, I forage for what I can when I can, I buy from my local butcher BUT I also shop in Lidl, Aldi and if I see meat on special offer in my local Supervalu I will bulk buy and freeze. I make everything from scratch, I want to know what goes into my body and also what my kids are made of. They rarely get sick! I do all of this on a budget because I am feeding 6 people. We waste nothing, it’s not being stingy it’s just being practical, if I have put time, effort and wonderful ingredients into making a gorgeous gravy for my roast beef and have some left over I will freeze it….I’m not going to throw it out quiet simply because it will save me time and effort another day. Home cooking shouldn’t be seen as expensive and timely, if anything it is economical and although some dishes may take you a few hours, others can be thrown together in 10 mins. I do understand that I am lucky that I am at home so I can dedicate more time to this but with six of us in the house I am very busy and I do some work out of the house too. I try to teach my children where their food comes from, they come picking and foraging with me. I talk to them and explain. They have seen our vegetables grow. This is my part of educating my children about food. It has to begin at home. We do need to look at our schools and what is in kids lunch boxes but really….I think it is fair to say that sweets or crisps in our childrens lunch boxes is a big no! So who do we educate? We educate the parents and the next generation but we need to take responsibility ourselves for what we and our family eats. We need to show people how to buy low cost cuts of meat and how to cook them. We have forgotten many of these skill.
I hope you get my point, I mix it up, I take my bit of the ‘Organic lifestyle’ philosophy, I marry it with my budget, I put thought and effort into our food, I source ‘local’ over ‘Organic’ I forage where I can and most importantly….I am teaching my next generation about food and I am instilling my passion in them and educating all the way.
WILD GARLIC MASH
Milk or Cream
A knob of butter
Wild Garlic chopped
Salt and white pepper.
How to cook….
Place the wild garlic, milk or cream, the knob of butter and a some salt and white pepper into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave the flavours to infuse for around 30mins.
Put your warm mashed potatoes into a bowl and pout over the liquid and stir through.
Adjust seasoning and serve with a knob of meting butter.
N.B Make sure you have all lumps mashed out of the potatoes before adding the liquid, I also heat the liquid again before adding it as it works better with the starch in the potatoes.