We went for a walk around Groombridge Place, near Tunbridge Wells again at the weekend, in fact we’ve taken seasonal tickets this year as it’s a family favourite. The main house was used in the Keira Knightly version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ as the Bennets’ home, you can’t go into the house, only the formal gardens (which includes a maze the boys love) but the woods are open and have a fantastic series of things to do, such as a 400m long boardwalk among the trees, giant swings that hang off very high branches and a pirate house.
We were lucky to catch the bluebells giving a spectacular show and sitting alongside were masses of wild garlic.
I think wild garlic is very much a hit or miss thing, you either love the smell or loath it; me I love it, it reminds of the woods near our family home, especially when the air is slightly damp, as it is every day right now 😉
I’ve been hoping to make the wild garlic muffins from River Cottage Handbook No 8 – Cakes, for a while, I only recently bought the book but it’s already a favourite and my Sister had recommended trying out the muffins last year (she has lots of wild garlic growing on her land). Wild garlic grows all over the place around here, so I braved the nettles in the scrubland near our house and picked a few leaves.
Please excuse the bad photo, I took this late on Sunday on my iphone as I was trying to tidy away the Sunday lunch, but I can promise you they were delicious and it got me thinking of other things you might make using wild garlic. I checked out the BBC Food website and there are 193 recipes using wild garlic, I also noticed that River Cottage website have this wild garlic pesto recipe which sounds delicious, especially if it freezes well (as suggested), I also like the idea of scrambled eggs with wild garlic and even wild Welsh rarebit. The muffins, I should add, give an instant smell of wild garlic woods when you tear them open – delicious!
It’s taken me so long to publish this post (written on Monday) that since then I have managed to source and order some wild garlic plants from Wiggly Wigglers UK. I’m quite excited, I’ve bought enough to put some plants in tubs as well as direct in the ground under our trees, that way if the tree planted ones don’t survive (I fear it might be too dry for them there) I should have some from the tubs for cooking with next year. Perfect 🙂