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Location - Back of Stanmer Park, Brighton

A quick outing today, we went in search of one thing - Broom - which used to grow here but alas is all gone for now! A lot of work as gone on in the woods here, hopefully the Broom will recover!

We soon changed tack and in our one hour found Nettles, Brambles, Clematis, Hogweed, Hawthorn, and Ground Ivy - here's what we did...

Mark Lloyds steamer made a welcome return and we steamed Nettle Leaves (big and small), Bramble Shoots, Clematis Shoots, Young almost unfurled Hogweed leaves, and in its own steamer sat the strong scented Ground Ivy.

  • Mark L liked the Ground Ivy best with is strong pungent taste, which goes well hot water as a tea, but was a bit strong for me.
  • My favourite was the nettle leaves, I've tried nettle tips  and young leaves many times hoping to enjoy them as much as others promise, but never have. Steamed, however, even the large more mature leaves were a real treat. Very like my favourite vegetable, spinach. A full but not strong taste.
  • The clemtais shoots and Hogweed Leaves were fine, but nothing special in either of our opinions, though we both remember the Hogweed Seed we ate last autumn, so we know there more to come from that plant!
  • The Bramble Shoots were awful - chewy, rough and poorly flavoured. But the leaves make a good tea, and the berries are my favourite Autumn fruit, so again, loads more to come from this one.
  • Finally worth a mention was the "Bread and Cheese" of a Hawthorn Leaf wrapped around Hawthorn Flower buds - the leaves are a fine spring salad, but soon go waxy as the spring progresses, so get them early. I'd never tried the flower buds before, and the whole little wrapped up package looked really nice. It tasted ok too! I wonder if these can be parcelled up and fried - maybe next spring - most of the flower buds have burst already!