Well, some people have ‘liked’ the photo, so here’s the recipe. Our ingredients cost well under a pound to make two big jars full, and two of our regular young people did all the work making it. It’s a very flexible recipe – more or less of one or another ingredient will change the taste, so make it how you like it!
1. Gather your fresh leaves. Avoid getting leaves from areas where dogs are walked.
Identification: fleshy leaves which smell of garlic when crushed. In late spring there will be white flowers, which are also edible. Check the garlic smell of each leaf, as it can be confused with daffodil leaves (mildly toxic) or get mixed up with grass (edible but stringy). Wild garlic grows in damp places and woods. Pick leaves from the base, making sure not to pick all the leaves from a single plant and only pick from abundant clumps.
Identification: this plant stings you with its injection needle hairs. Nettles are most tender when they are growing fast, in the spring. Use gloves and/or scissors to avoid being stung. Alternatives: any strong flavoured green leaf can be used. Rocket, landcress, watercress, parsley, sorrel, chickweed …We picked a bowl of wild garlic and a handful of nettle tips, which pressed down to make one cup of chopped leaves.
2. Wash the leaves. Pick out any dried up leaves. Pour boiling water over the nettles to wilt them – this stops them from stinging you. Chop/ tear all the leaves.
3. Toast a cup of sunflower seeds (or other seeds or nuts) in a saucepan on medium heat until they start to brown. Optional – add a splash of soy sauce to the seeds immediately after taking them off the heat.
4. Blend the toasted seeds. Add the chopped leaves, a lump of cheese and a quarter cup of oil and continue to blend until smooth. Serve however you like. We stirred it into drained pasta, and it was very tasty. It should keep for a few days in the fridge, and can be frozen.
With support from BAM Nuttal, who will supply us with some clay excavated from the development site at King’s Cross, other materials and construction support, we’re able to go ahead with…
This is a chance for to get involved in building something we can all use. Locals and those who aren’t so local are all welcome – let anyone you know who might like to get involved. It’s fine to attend only a few sessions, or to come to all of them. We want to keep a family atmosphere but adults are welcome to come and see how an oven is made and can join in, depending on numbers, if they keep this in mind. Please contact us on 020 7837 8019 or firstname.lastname@example.org – or in the comments here if you’d like to help out – let us know if you’ve got any skills around building you could volunteer!
We’ve taken Climate Week as a prompt to do something we often do a bit more! Next Saturday, we’re having a recycled arts and craft day. It’s not a one off – every weekend 8-14 yr olds, and accompanied under 8s are welcome to drop in, and making things using whatever we can find is always fun. We’re going to be making a roof for our new cob oven from old plastic bottles – more details about that coming soon – but we’re starting to collect them and experiment with different techniques now. Come round if you want to get involved!
Last autumn two more playworkers started at the Calthorpe Project, with funding from John Lyon’s Access to Nature fund. This has meant we can open on Sundays.
Through the autumn we’ve been exploring the potential of the garden with the under-14s who have come here at weekends. While doing activities from sawing down dead trees to cooking healthy food together we’ve also been making plans …
We finished the autumn with a blaze at our Fire Festival. On the 15th December we made a fire sculpture – of a reindeer – using recycled, found and natural materials. Everyone had a chance to have a go at starting a fire with a flint and steel, and to keep warm around a fire enjoying some live music in the festival area. Fire spinners taught some skills using unlit and practice tools, and then performed for everybody to see, finishing with the finale of burning the reindeer. Thanks to our volunteer guest fire-makers, musicians and fire spinners and everyone who helped out with the cafe for making this such a success.
Now in the New Year we’re getting set for spring. The theme for 2013 is food from around the world. We’re going to building a new outdoor oven, looking at different methods of cooking from different environments and cultures. Plans are also in the pipeline for a redesign of the adventure playground area, for gardening, for introducing more edible plants for everyone to get to try. Keep following our website and facebook to hear about everything that’s going on.