Welcome to my 'Kemps Kronicles' blog! I'm a singing, foraging, baking, preserving, vegetable-growing, lecturing, researching and dog-walking midwife - so I can't guarantee a cohesive thread through the blog.
Last summer, due to a period of ill-health, I had time to forage through the Kentish country lanes and made mountains of preserves - selling them throughout the year for the local midwives' charity. I made quite a bit of money as it goes but wouldn't recommend it as a sole means of income - by my calculations I earned £1 an hour! For Christmas my husband (Mr. Know-it-all [no really, he does!]) bought me a foraging day in Dorset with Mat Follas (winner of Masterchef 2009) and finally this week the long-awaited day came. I was not disappointed - neither with what I learned in the lanes and hedgerows or with the 3 course lunch that followed.
Today I put what I had learned into practice. Walking the dog through the local nature reserve (dis-used ragstone quarry) I identified and filled my pockets with the following: Wild horseradish, vetch (a member of the pea family that grows everywhere), cow parsely (I now know the difference between this tasty edible flower and it's deadly cousin Hemlock!), wild marjoram, dandelion leaves, hawthorn leaves and dead nettle flowers. Arriving home I paired these with smoked mackerel and added spinach leaves from the garden, rice noodles, cucumber, spring onions and coriander - and a vietnamese style dressing - and we sat by the stream to enjoy the fruit of my endeavours. Happy times!