Brewing Britain is a surprisingly good book. I say that because I didn’t expect a book on such a limited field to be so hard to put down – I’ve read similar books on wine and found them to be a great cure for insomnia, so really didn’t expect to be so drawn in.
Gin is basically vodka or any other neutral spirit flavoured with botanicals, of which juniper is the predominant flavour – hence the name – but everything else is left up to the imagination.
When I was young my father used to take us along the side of a disused railway track not too far from the terraced house where we lived. The experience stuck in my head; we were collecting our own food and it was delicious, messy and fun.
I’ve recently hit on to a local foraging secret; near to our house is a nature reserve, the entrance to which is made by a tree lined grass path. Visit at the wrong time of year and they are inconspicuous enough, but at this time of year they’re full with an abundance of green, yellow, red and purple plums.
The smell and flavour of wild garlic is sweeter and less harsh than that of farmed garlic. The bulbs are much smaller but the leaves more tender, therefore it is the leaves that are generally picked.
Horseradish is one of those hidden gems of foraging, growing in among the weeds on practically every grass verge in the country. This home-made horseradish sauce blows the mild shop bought varieties out of the water!